Venues

La Tête

La Tête
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Cost
R170 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Bistro fare, Contemporary fare
Payment
Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Linda Scarborough

Food
The ever-changing bistro menu by Giles Edwards is short and sweet, with dishes sometimes needing explanation from the waiter. (What is in Celeriac, exactly?) Though some, like Brains on Toast, need no elaboration. If you’ve eaten here before, you’ll know point to something and just trust in the magic from the open kitchen. If the nose-to-tail philosophy doesn’t appeal, you have plenty of options – from roasted baby quail with tangy aioli to the famous octopus salad, to mussels with bacon, or the fish sandwich with eggy caper mayonnaise, which will make you weak at the knees. The grilled green beans with Karoo crumble might be your salad of the season, if not year – simple, exquisitely dressed, tangy and textured, it’s just utter perfection. If you want sides, there are chips and the comforting roasted cauliflower cheese. End on madeleines fresh from the oven, salted caramel tart or the floating island.

Drinks
Begin with a bubbly then choose a craft gin from the shelf behind the bar. Or allow the staff to suggest a glass of wine to match your dish from the carefully chosen selection of boutique local bottles.

Service
Very professional, top-drawer service. These are no amateurs.

Ambience
It’s probably the starkest restaurant you’ve ever eaten in, with nothing on the walls nor tables nor floor, but it works to facilitate zoning in on what’s on your plate. A palette of dark wood, grey and white make it a blank canvas for the elegantly simple dishes.

And…
Printing La Tête on the plates was a masterstroke, as the dishes always seem to end up on Instagram.

(October 2017)

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

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  • Rupesh Kassen

    Food
    Trendy Bree Street in Cape Town is a perfect location for artisanal meat specialist Giles Edwards and his new eatery, La Tête (the head). Giles has brought his expertise from 10 years in London, working under Fergus Henderson at St. JOHN, a famed nose-to-tail London eatery, to the Mother City. This is his first venture along with his brother James Edwards.

    The meaty menu has French influences and promises delight for adventurous diners. While the nose-to-tail concept could be a challenge for some patrons, the food is cleverly prepared using familiar methods, showcasing flavour and simplicity no matter which parts of the animal are used.

    Start with crispy pig tails and aioli. The golden crusted tails are reminiscent of the best crumbed pork chop you’ve ever eaten. Mussels with bacon and Weiss beer are a bold combination, with a satisfying flavor and a delicious broth to mop up with some of the sourdough bread.

    While the experimental menu will change regularly, you can expect options like confit duck gizzards, grilled goat’s heart with peas and mint, and sweetbreads with fennel and bacon. The rolled pig’s head with radishes arrives less intimidating than imagined. Two slices of what look like a crispy roulade of pork belly with seared crispy edges deliver bags of richness, perfectly balanced with the fresh radishes and mustard dressing.

    Disappointingly, however, the pieces have scant servings of delicious meat between the fatty layers, which become slightly overwhelming after a few bites. Having said this, the chef must be commended for the process and time taken to present a unique piece of the animal in such a palatable way.

    Options like the salt hake and potato or lentils and goat’s cheese might appeal to the conservative palate, but are prepared with the same honesty and integrity as the other dishes. Dessert is certainly a highlight of the meal. Enjoy the likes of perfectly executed Madeleines – French patisserie at its best, and certainly worth the 15-minute wait.

    Drinks
    The compact and well-curated wine list offers interesting options, covering a good price spectrum and showcasing local small producers. Enjoy wines like the Diemersdal Grüner Veltliner, Crystallum pinot noir and Fable Mountain Night Sky blend. Artisanal gins, craft beers and a range of grappas are also available.

    Service
    Staff are keen, friendly and welcoming. Some are more informed than others, but this is only to be expected at a restaurant only a few weeks old.

    Ambience
    The modern space has concrete floors, white walls, and is dotted with industrial lighting, giving it a minimalistic and clean feel. You are welcomed by beautiful smells as you enter past the open kitchen. Enjoy the urban buzz of Bree Street and sit at one of the pavement table under the trees (wind permitting). The space was formerly occupied by Orinoco.

    And…
    La Tête will be opening for lunch soon.

    (December 2016)

User reviews

  • Much has been written in the media on 'La Tete'. Giles Edwards and the kitchen team, as well as the front of house staff run an impeccable calm oasis - a venue that brings back memories of 'St.John' London. If you can't be in Britain, to experience the culinary talent and innovation there, we have the sophisticated simplicity of this venue right here. We have heard much about 'Nose to Tail' and 'Field to Fork', and here, with its daily changing menu including a very good value 'Plat du Jour', one enjoys superb cuisine, well sourced, and suited to those looking for clean flavours, fresh seasonal produce, and all that is written about and not always produced. A haven on Bree Street, well worth seeking out.
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  • Had a fun girls night out.Loved the simplistic white decor.The wine list was carefully chosen,I do prefer a long stem wine glass though.The staff were friendly and service excellent.The starters were good,the bean salad tasty,though the pig's trotters were quite salty.The mains were sadly all together disappointing,considering what I'd been expecting after all the rave reviews.The ox heart came out cold and the duck breast was tough.The fish was well prepared but lacked the depth of flavour that the menu promised.The dessert made up somewhat for the let down of the mains.The madeleine's were fluffy and smelt of a fond childhood memory and the salted chocolate tart was as promised,rich and delicious.Not entirely what I'd hoped for but definitely potential.
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  • An excellent night out - we enjoyed fantastic, friendly service. The food is delicious - a good variety of flavours but we particularly enjoyed the mussels, leeks & bacon as well as the pig's tails. The veggies that accompany the mains were a big hit - the brussel sprouts in particular were delicious. And the celeriac salad is not to be missed. Will definitely return and can't wait to try the lamb shoulder for 4.
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  • I haven't enjoyed a meal so much in a long time! The dishes are deceptively simple - fried fish on ciabatta might sound a bit dull, but it was spectacular! Flaky, fresh hake, a wonderful crisp batter, aioli, some boiled eggs, little pea shoots - it was everything you could ever dream of in a fried fish sandwich. We also tried the rabbit saddle, which was in a clear broth but was so richly flavoured, and infused with rosemary (or perhaps thyme?) that it felt quite decadent. The lamb kidneys on sourdough were wonderful too - I love kidney, but these were like the kidneys of my childhood on steroids. Yum! The decor - like the food - is very pared down, but does exactly what it needs to do. One suggestion: if you're used to more elaborate meals, order several things to share, so you get a good idea of the breadth of the offering.

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  • My colleague from Holland joined me for an inner city lunch and La Tete did the impressing for Cape Town. The salted hake with the green herbs was delicious and refreshing. The lamb "ham" was indeed a different take on hamming it, dipping bread in the light broth was exquisite. We will be back and the word is spreading.
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  • A group of us had the pleasure of eating at this new restaurant that follows the path of St Johns restaurant in London - seen as a foodie institution. We absolutely loved our food trying most things on a menu which changes daily. Standouts were the sweetbreads and ox hearts but all dishes were of a very high quality with excellent wines to accompany our feast. All desserts were tried although they never made my way on the table as our party finished them quickly - they were that good particularly (I'm told) the salted caramel tart. Madeleines to finish were better that I've had in Paris. So a huge hit for us and we'll be back soon! Go enjoy the experience of a unique and memorable food journey!
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  • The food is like the decor. The octopus starter was full of flavour and texture, alluding to the flavours to come. However to our surprise the rest of the meal turned out to be bland an unexciting, especially the duck which was served with tasteless potatoes and was severely lacking a deliscious sauce and some colour in the plate.
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  • We went for dinner on Friday night; 9 December. Parking in Bree St. no problem. The restaurant is lovely; clean white lines where the diners provide the colour. We started with a number of the tapas style starters which we shared: mussels, chicory salad, and pigs tails. All great flavour and complimenting each other. Mains were fish and chips and lamb shank. Interesting wine list with some new ones I look forward to going back to try out. Good value for money, very good, but unobtrusive service.
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  • Stopped by for dinner last Thursday, was pleasantly surprised. We kicked off with the crispy pigs tails, what a treat. The lamb broth was exceptional and the pork rillettes were damn tasty. For the mains we had braised duck leg with lentils and kabeljou with chips and tartare sauce. Both dishes were scrumptious. For desserts, one of us had the salted chocolate caramel tart, it doesn't get better. My partner ordered the madelines, super yum.
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Menu

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Parking
  • Serves food

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