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inside at La Mouette
dish prepared and served at La Mouette

La Mouette

Cost
2 course R350; 3 course meal R450 plus wine pairing R785; Winter 5 course meal R295 plus wine pairing R545
Ambience
Groups, Kids, Special occasions
Food
Fine-dining food, French, Modern
Payment
Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Food
The menu is divided into two sections, the a la carte section which is priced at R395 for a choice of three courses (R695 with wine pairing. Or the other option is a set 5 course tasting menu for R295 (R620 with wine pairing). I, of course, naturally went for the 5 course option which begins with a selection of tapas, one of which is head Chef Henry Vigar's signature cheese croquettes served with aioli - the croquettes are so good I could live on them alone for the rest of my days. The other tapas items are the mushroom gyoza as well as a beef short rib bao, both equally as delicious as the croquettes.

The second course is a deconstructed leek and potato soup where smoked mash is served in a bowl with herb oil, then the leek veloute is poured on top at the table, the two are then stirred together to form the soup course, probably the least interesting course of the evening for me, although still very tasty.

Third Course is an option between a vegetable kofta and West Coast mussels. I chose the koftas which were wonderfully spicy and crisp served with an acidic pickled radish which made the dish wonderfully balanced, definitely my favourite course for its unexpected flavour punches.

Fourth is a choice between herb gnocchi and pork belly. The pork was wonderfully tender and rich coated with a sticky flavourful jus and served with a puffy pork cracker... I'm calling it a cracker because it was more the texture of a cracker than actual traditional teeth-breaking crackling (which by the way is one of my favourite things).

Finally, dessert is a unique interpretation of lemon meringue tart; two types of meringue, one crisp and the other marshmallowy and toasted, served with a sphere of lemon curd, and whipped mascarpone. It delivered everything I expect in a lemon meringue pie - sweet, citrus acidity and texture, loved the innovative re-imagination of a classic dish.

Drinks
The menus items are all written with specific wine recommendations. You can of course choose to pair each course with a different wine as suggested or choose from the extensive wine list on offer. Some wines are offered by the glass. There is also always a seasonal bespoke cocktail creation on the menu to try. The usual spirits and soft drinks are also available on the beverage menu.

Service
Service is excellent; patrons are greeted at the entrance by a friendly security guard who shows you into the courtyard where you are greeted by a sea of smiling waiters, ready and waiting for your arrival. Once seated, bread is served immediately and the menu is explained in great detail. What I love most about the service is that all the staff service all the tables, making you feel catered to and important. Each course is delivered and explained fully. The staff really does add to the divine dining experience.

Ambiance
On a clear summer night, sit in the courtyard where all the tables are positioned circling the fountain centrepiece. Even though the restaurant is in the middle of bustling Sea Point, it's still surprisingly tranquil outside. Inside are a number of dining rooms with fireplaces. Each table is set with crisp white linen and their signature blue water glasses. When you walk into the restaurant, you immediately feel as though you have walked into somewhere "fancy", yet the staff make you feel at ease and relaxed. I love how there have mastered the art of an unpretentious fine dining experience.

Best for...
Relaxed and affordable fine ding, perfect for an upmarket evening out.

(2018)

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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  • Food
  • Lynda Ingham-Brown

    Food
    Henry Vigar's three- or six-course set menus (with or without paired wines) are the name of the game here. Opt for the six courses and you’ll kick off with the likes of caramelised onion soup – a riff on the traditional French dish with a crisp curl of crouton and a cheesy croquette (chef's speciality). Next up is a fresh tomato jelly with roast baby beetroot, crunchy puffed quinoa and paprika. Then comes a tartiflette with crispy ham hock, charred Dalewood Superlatif cheese, and an artichoke truffle purée.

    For the next three courses, choose between the likes of rich lamb neck with black garlic paste and buffalo milk yoghurt, or an earthy mushroom dish with hazelnut pasta, chestnut purée, café au lait sauce and a parmesan brioche crumble. Other proteins on offer include yellowtail and pork belly.

    For the penultimate course, take your pick between perfectly pink duck with parsnip purée, potato rösti, pickled shiitake and charred cabbage; beef fillet with blue cheese cream, truffle pommes dauphine, walnuts and smoked bordelaise (an umami bomb); line fish with garlic cream, charred leeks and a lentil crust; or herb gnocchi with parmesan cream, marinated beetroot and mushrooms.

    For dessert, the melting play on a Ferrero Rocher is a gift for chocoholics, presenting as a salted hazelnut oil parfait and praline cremeux with chocolate sauce. To end things on a fresh note, opt for the lemon meringue with mascarpone, lemon leaf snow and wood sorrel. There is also a 'cheese picnic' and a goat’s milk and honey ice cream with honeycomb, honey cake and grapefruit purée.

    Drinks
    The wine list is excellent and includes offerings from some unusual estates, MCCs and French Champagnes. The selection available by the glass is also good.

    Service
    Warm, professional and knowledgeable.

    Ambience
    Sit outside in the leafy courtyard in summer and, in winter, cosy up by the fireplace.

    And…
    No time for the full experience? Pop in for croquettes and a glass of wine whenever you like.

    (October 2017)

    Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay their own way. Read our full editorial policy here.

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User reviews

  • A level above the rest! The food is out of this world! Each course just brought amazing textures and tastes that really kept me satisfied. The whole meal was on a different caliber when compared to most of the restaurants in the area!
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  • La Mouette never dissapoints!
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  • We went to La Mouette for lunch for our 1 year anniversary. We sat outside, ate delicious food and drank outstanding wine. The winter special is such a reasonable treat. We'll definitely be back!
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  • Fantastic experience with some friends this past weekend. Great food and great service. Their winter special is such fantastic value for money. Will definately be back
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  • We chose La Mouette as the setting for our one year wedding anniversary. We didn't have a great experience (although the food was sensational) and so I gave an average review on TripAdvisor. Within a few hours the lovely owner, Mari, replied with the hugest apology and an offer to "redo" our experience with them. We went last night and what an incredible evening it was! We were treated like absolute gold and spoilt rotten. The food was again sensational and the service, hospitality and overall experience was first class. All restaurants can have a bad day (like any business) but the way it is handled shows the true service and La Mouette and its wonderful owners took service to a new level for us. I would highly recommend this establishment!!!!!
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • StreetSmart affliated
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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