Venues

Mondiall

Mondiall
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Cost
R135 avg main meal
Ambience
Authentic culture, Contemporary cool
Food
Food from the Americas, International, South African
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
500

Critic's review

The people
Mondiall is a joint venture between Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef Peter Tempelhoff (executive chef of The Collection by Liz McGrath, whose restaurants include The Greenhouse and The Conservatory at Cellars-Hohenort; Pavillion and Seafood at The Marine; and Seafood at The Plettenberg) and restaurateur Patrick Symington of Cape Town’s erstwhile Café Dharma and Asoka fame. It’s a match made in heaven, in a setting that’s just as heavenly: the spot where the Green Dolphin used to be, next to the Victoria & Alfred Hotel, overlooking Table Mountain.

The food
This is not The Greenhouse (number four in our current Top 10), so don’t expect over-the-top fine dining. Instead, the menu features timeless classics, interpreted in a contemporary fashion. Simple food is made with exceptional ingredients, presented in a beautiful but understated fashion. Each dish references its year and country of origin. It’s a jumble of mostly French, American and Italian dishes, with the odd English, Mexican, Japanese and South African contribution.

The result is a food offering that caters for a wide variety of tastes and appetites. Lighter options include things like spicy and sticky Buffalo wings (circa 1964, from Buffalo, New York) served with a delicious ranch dressing; seafood ceviche (circa 13AD, Lima, Peru); and a magnificent Caesar salad with lemony white anchovies, smoked pancetta and a soft-boiled and crumbed free-range egg. Interestingly enough, said salad originated in Tijuana, Mexico around 1924 – and not anywhere near the Roman empire.

Meatier options are just that – quite meaty. From a classic cheeseburger and fries (and a dollop of delectable umami ketchup) and a grilled sirloin café de Paris (from Switzerland!) to a fragrant Cape Malay lamb curry. Seafood is also plentiful: West Coast oysters, grilled lobster Hollandaise (circa 1593, Netherlands), fish tacos (circa 1650, Mexico City, Mexico) and, of course, good old fish and chips (thank you, England).

Desserts cover a host of classics – pecan pie, baked cheesecake, malva pudding and more – but it is the Mondiall chocolate sundae that takes the, uhm, cake. Originating in Wisconsin, USA, around 1881, its huge glass is filled to the brim with sweets and treats: berries, caramel, mint, chocolate, nuts and cream.

Drinks
The selection of drinks is as thought-through as the food. The wine list includes a variety of local and international wines, across a good variety of cultivars. There’s also an impressive martini menu as well as a few classic (and beautiful) cocktails.

Service
It’s a new restaurant, so they’re clearly still ironing out a few issues. Nothing serious, though. Everyone is friendly, willing and knowledgeable about the food. If only they wouldn’t start flapping when you ask for salt for the table…

Ambience
Boasting what is arguably the best view of Table Mountain at the waterfront, Mondiall really didn’t have to pull out many stops when it came to the décor. But they did. It’s an open, modern space with a nod to an old-school European brasserie. It’s undeniably elegant, but far from pretentious. A table of gaggling new mothers (minus prams, but plus flip-flops and a mountain of shopping bags) didn’t nearly look out of place.
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User reviews

  • Food was pretty great here but I won’t be back because of the poor service. There were so many things wrong that it’s difficult to list them all. Mondiall was reasonable enough when booking – very accommodating. However, once getting there it was very different. My advice is never to go for the Thursday Ladies Night. They immediately seem to resent you for a special they created. First they brought us about 20 pieces of bread, to a table of nine, with two tiny pieces of butter. Then we noticed the flowers on the table were completely wilted. Ordered a sparkling water and received a still instead (later they expected us to pay for this and yes, the sparkling had to be separately ordered again instead of just brought with an apology). The cocktails were terrible. A normal margarita was ordered – with the express instruction that it not be smoked. It was smoked. Mondiall is also apparently incapable of creating one of the simplest cocktails – a mojito. It was executed poorly – so much so, that it tasted nothing like a mojito should. Someone with a proclaimed violent allergy was almost given a meal containing the allergen. One person ordered specific fries and we don’t know if any of us got it – he certainly didn’t. There was no salt or pepper on the table and when, for the bread, balsamic and olive oil was asked for, we received it once all the bread was already finished. Similarly, the dessert (cheesecake, one of the three desserts they actually had available) somehow took an hour to arrive. Then there was the whiskey cart (although all we were offered was “a version of absinthe”). We were offered shots, then double shots, then a sample of a shot for just one person, and several more offers. Every time we asked what the price was and the man blatantly ignored us. Eventually he gave in and reluctantly told us it would be R80 per shot. Insane to think that if we had simply let him go ahead, either at the beginning or after any one of the times he ignored our request for a price, R1600 would have been charged to our bill. Then the bill came. The waiter became furious when we pointed out that he had overcharged us. The cocktails – though widely advertised as being R30 for ladies on Ladies Night, were R32,50. The waiter helpfully pointed out that this was half price, after all – as if that makes it ok that it is not at all the advertised special. Additionally, some of the ladies’ meals did not get 50% subtracted despite that also being the special. Yet another thing the guests had to fight for. At the end of the day we almost paid close to R150 more than we were supposed to, had we not thoroughly checked the bill. This is all just the absolute worst complaints; there were even more things wrong that contributed to a disappointing dinner. And unfortunately they weren’t anywhere near to being filled to capacity so they don’t even have that as an excuse.
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  • I had a nice meal here with some friends in the first week of December 2015. I ordered a ceviche starter (fresh but lacking the lime and chilli punch 12/20), and spicy fish tacos for mains (delicious 15/20). My friend ordered the gazpacho (Nice, but lacking garlic and olive oil, and tasted as though it was sweetened with sugar 12/20), risotto of the day (very good 14/20) and garlic prawns (very good 14/20). The only blip was the oysters which, although fresh, had a strange milky texture. However, we ate most of them and reported the issue to the manager. We later learned at another restaurant that it was oyster breeding season and hence not good for eating. Service was good and well-meaning. I would visit this restaurant again.
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  • I come here for their amazing burgers and drinks. I had the pasta for the first time and it was the worst pasta dish I have ever eaten. What a disappointment. It was he beat example of sticking to what you now. Absolutely atrocious.
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  • My experience at Mondiall was bittersweet. Such great food, fantastic entertainment by Jeremy Oliver, fabulous view of our beautiful Cape Town...but really disappointing service all round. On the phone the hostess was lovely. But the experience in house did not live up to that. From the moment we were met at the door, the hospitality wasn't great. We waited a while before we were asked for our drinks order, and only once it was already placed was I told there were not enough ingredients for my Rose Cosmo... We didn't get side plates with our breads or our tapas starters. Aside from having to physically put my hand up more than once to get the waitresses attention, she was unfriendly, cold and disinterested. What made is slightly worse, was that no other waiter attempted to help us, even when they saw we were in need of assistance. We used an Entertainer voucher for our lunch, and there have been some rumours flying around that service is not great as soon as the establishment is aware that you have a voucher...I would HATE to think that is the reason for the bad service at Mondiall. All in all, a perfectly fabulous meal ruined by terrible service.
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  • The sirloin with the whiskey mushroom cream sauce is definitely a must when visiting Mondiall. The atmosphere is amazing and the manager is very pleasant. Will definitely return to Mondiall.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Beer served
  • Booking required
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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