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Reuben’s at One&Only Cape Town

Cost
R165 avg main meal
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Bistro fare, Modern, South African
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Greg Landman

Food
Chef Reuben Riffel’s cuisine has always relied on the use of the freshest ingredients available seasonally, which he combines with ethically sourced meat products. A straightforward approach to cooking, with generous portions and bold flavours, adds to the pleasure of dining here. While there are excellent starters to be had, try the Table Toppers, which are designed for sharing. Order three or four for the table – they are slightly bigger than tapas portions but enough to go around. Try things like pork belly with pea purée, chilli ginger and caramel jus, ham croquette and crackling (delicious), salmon tostardos with avo purée and green chilli dressing, and crispy chicken wing confit with roasted apple and spiced pumpkin velouté. Go on to pan-fried line fish (Cape salmon when we were there) with fish cream, crumbed mussels, and ras el hanout caramel, delightfully fragrant. Carnivores will just love one of the excellent cuts of Chalmar beef – fillet, sirloin, or rib eye – perfectly done in their top of the range Big Green Egg ceramic cooker, with all the trimmings. Also available is grilled Norwegian salmon or Karoo lamb chops done the same way. It does seem a bit of a cop out to order the artisanal cheese platter to end the meal, but one like this deserves mention: the superb selection includes Karoo Blue, Lanquedoc, Langeberg Cheddar and Isinyani goats’ cheese.

Drinks
The spectacular wine list features the best of the Cape and many others from around the world, housed in a magnificent three-storey tall glass wall, all under the sure hand of master sommelier, Luvo Ntezo.

Service
Friendly and informed of what is going on in the kitchen; it’s a pleasure to be waited on by professionals.

Ambience
The room is a large one and the triple volumes do not help to create a cosy ambience. So book a table at the edge of the room or, better still, in summer, or when the weather is good, book a table outside overlooking the Marina, very romantic.

And …
Enjoy a cocktail in their excellent bar before dining, or a digestif afterwards.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Greg Landman

    Food
    Chef Reuben Riffel’s cuisine has always relied on the use of the freshest ingredients available seasonally, which he combines with ethically sourced meat products. A straightforward approach to cooking, with generous portions and bold flavours, adds to the pleasure of dining here. While there are excellent starters to be had, try the Table Toppers, which are designed for sharing. Order three or four for the table – they are slightly bigger than tapas portions but enough to go around. Try things like pork belly with pea purée, chilli ginger and caramel jus, ham croquette and crackling (delicious), salmon tostardos with avo purée and green chilli dressing, and crispy chicken wing confit with roasted apple and spiced pumpkin velouté. Go on to pan-fried line fish (Cape salmon when we were there) with fish cream, crumbed mussels, and ras el hanout caramel, delightfully fragrant. Carnivores will just love one of the excellent cuts of Chalmar beef – fillet, sirloin, or rib eye – perfectly done in their top of the range Big Green Egg ceramic cooker, with all the trimmings. Also available is grilled Norwegian salmon or Karoo lamb chops done the same way. It does seem a bit of a cop out to order the artisanal cheese platter to end the meal, but one like this deserves mention: the superb selection includes Karoo Blue, Lanquedoc, Langeberg Cheddar and Isinyani goats’ cheese.

    Drinks
    The spectacular wine list features the best of the Cape and many others from around the world, housed in a magnificent three-storey tall glass wall, all under the sure hand of master sommelier, Luvo Ntezo.

    Service
    Friendly and informed of what is going on in the kitchen; it’s a pleasure to be waited on by professionals.

    Ambience
    The room is a large one and the triple volumes do not help to create a cosy ambience. So book a table at the edge of the room or, better still, in summer, or when the weather is good, book a table outside overlooking the Marina, very romantic.

    And …
    Enjoy a cocktail in their excellent bar before dining, or a digestif afterwards.

    October 2015

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    • Food
  • Fans head here when Franschhoek seems too far away and they need a chef Reuben Riffel fix. The vast space may appear impersonal but the waiters and sommelier (special mention to Luvo Ntezo) are friendly and charming. Local ingredients are showcased for foreign visitors and locals alike. Reuben does magic with pork. (EO mag 2014)
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  • Food
    Reuben Riffel took over what was Gordon Ramsay’s Maze and, after some teething problems, has emerged with the kind of food for which he is noted. The winter menu includes items like French onion soup, chicken liver parfait, and warm duck salad – all delicious. For mains, order miso-cured salmon; light-as-air gnocchi with fried porcini mushrooms, butternut and crisp sage; soy-braised pork belly; lamb shank; or creamy prawn and chicken curry. The best dessert is the glazed lemon tart. (Menu changes seasonally.)

    Wine
    With a wall of bottles well into the thousands, one could be spoiled for choice.

    Service
    Loosened up considerably, but still attentive and smooth.

    Ambience
    The triple volume space has huge columns down the middle, reminiscent of Dubai airport. Not conducive to tres intime moments, it’s best at night when things take on a better glow.

    And...
    Take advantage of the valet parking, life is too short to park elsewhere and walk. (GL, October 2011)
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User reviews

  • Our first visit to Reubens at the One & Only was in December 2014, when we had a fabulous experience all round, so much so that we decided to take a special lady there to celebrate her 85th birthday. There were a few things that we feel need to be noted, we are locals who like to return to special places and recommend to our friends and family, however, we may not be able to do this. The staff were attentive and we did get a very warm welcome from the front of house. We had requested a side table, knowing the size of the restaurant, and the fact that there are "visitors" who come in quite casually with their children etc, may not be that special to them to eat at Reubens, but it is to us given the high prices of the items on menu (we are earning Rands after all). We also mentioned that we would like the side table because it was a special occasion. We insisted on this and were eventually given the last side table on offer. Unfortunately the main sommelier was not there (he certainly made our first experience at Reubens most memorable), but our waiter for the evening was attentive and good. The oysters were we felt not shucked properly as they had shell shards in them. They were also not checked before leaving the kitchen as one shell had nothing in it, this was rectified immediately with 2 oysters to replace the one. The main meal chosen by two of us was Norwegian Salmon with a side dish of mash potato and sauce and one with mash potato and spinach, we each had requested one seared and one medium. The meal came to the table direct from the kitchen, without our waiter serving it, and we did not know which was the seared and which was the medium - a bit of confusion. My fish was cold as was the mash, the spinach was a bit warmer - the plates were not piping hot as they should be in a restaurant of that "standard". We were pleasantly surprised with a treat for the birthday girl and she was served a lovely chocolate slice with candle and a happy birthday message on a chocolate disc - a lovely touch to end the meal served with 3 glasses of Graham Beck cuvee brut sparkling wine. Please Reubens, do something about the AWFUL piped music that thumped in the background like an amateur percussionist, who has lost his music and can only remember the first two bars of music - truly distracting and unecessary. The one thing we really do enjoy about this space, is that the acoustics are perfect and we were not aware of anyone else's conversation, or any other background noise - so the music spoilt that wonderful quietness that is so rare these days in a restaurant. We did wonder if the drop in standard was due to Reuben not being around much anymore.
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  • The one & only time I will ever eat @ Rubens has been & gone..... three of us went for dinner, an avid meat eater, a veg/pescaterian and an all rounder, we started with two starters, the Gratinated Healey's aged cheddar cheese custard, rainbow roots, moskonfyt, macadamia nuts, fragrant leaves and leek ash, a beautifully tasty presented dish, that smoothness of the cheese custard working well with all the other elements of the dish. Second starter was the delicious tender succulent melt in your mouth House-smoked pork belly with apple and saltana chutney, ham croquette & pork crackling, the croquette crispy on the outside with a soft inner and crackling that crackled. We were off to a good start, now eagerly waiting our mains, our waiter informed us that the Springbok Loin was a better option than the Karoo Lamb rump, so opted for the former, which was grilled (medium) walnut-honey compote, creamed savoury savoy cabbage, medjool dates & pinotage jus, the verdict is bleh and yuck!! I must find out if the dog enjoyed it. I was toying with the idea of a Cape Malay curry and asked if it was on a par to a Bo-Kaap curry and the waiter was honest and agreed nothing beats a Bo-Kaap curry. Thus decided to share the Line fish (kingklip)for two accompanied by two sides & a choice of sauce, one option grilled, the other salt cooked, we choose the latter, it was suggested not to fillet the fish as would be firmer when cooking. Now in our mind a salt baked/cooked fish, would be one packed in a salt crust, we were informed it would take twenty minutes after the starters were finished, thinking of the cooking procedure had no problem. On presentation of the whole fish, head to tail, skin and all, no sign of the salt Firstly I don't like to see the eyes of something I'm about to eat, fish skin also not a favourite. The meat was overcooked & dry, the side dishes of greens & honey glazed root veggies spot on. We waited for our chosen sauce of Ginger, chilli & lemongrass, did not arrive, we had to find a server twice & ask twice for the sauce, where upon a foamy lemon butter sauce was presented. Another main not completed and wrapped to go. The floor manager compensated with glasses of Graham Beck Brut, only two consume alcohol, so appletizer was provided for the third. Now onto the dessert, another several requests for the desert menu. The One & Only group claim to be the creme de la creme of exclusive hotel choices, should the service, standard and choice of sub let restaurants maintain this supposed high standard, a very disappointing evening and our decision to do 'dives' in future, not 'dives' in disguise. The dessert was never ordered as our tolerance level had expired. On exiting saw the pastry station and on the eye looked good. Cost for this experience R386.00 per head including 10% service and only two glasses of wine, a water and an appletizer.
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  • There have been few times in my life as a 'Good food aficionado' that I have had a truly unbelievable experience in all aspects of a night out...Wine and Dine at Reuben's One and Only was definitely such an occasion!

    To Reuben Riffel and Robertson spices I can say with confidence that this is my combination: The One and Only CT, the chef team at Reuben's, Graham Beck wines put to justice by a perfect pairing from sommelier Luvo, great service from our waiter Siya and ofcourse the ever-cheerful company of One and Only brand ambassador Aubrey.

    Food highlights included slow cooked lamb shoulder that was truly cooked so slow it took its time falling apart from the simple touch of your fork. The baked yoghurt, I don't know what word could possibly describe such a spectacle other than unforgettable!

    No longer will I only associate Graham Beck wines simply with their MCC, the rest of their collection is amazing. The Coffeestone Cabernet was set apart as the wine of the evening for its pure sophistication and class, a wine that will be a great addition to my excuse for a wine cellar! The Game Reserve range, of which we tasted the chenin blanc and shiraz were both so elegantly smooth an paired fantastically with the butternut risotto and lamb loin respectively.

    Many thanks to all who were involved to make this night special for all who attended.

    The self-elected Good food aficionado.
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  • Once again, Reuben's at One&Only disappoints. Raw prawns, cold fries and slow service. If you are looking for a fine dining expereince, go elsewhere!

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  • We had a reservation 25th May at 19,30 and would like to make a few comments.

    1. We have eaten before at Reuben's in Franschhoek and both agreed it was a great experience.
    2. What a disappointment not to have the same experience at the One and Only.
    3. We were seated next to a service station having to watch and smell all the left overs in the dinner plates on a continuous basis during the evening.
    4. The Irish coffees were ice cold and were served in wine glasses. I realised that is why the coffee were cold, the glasses would have cracked as the person making them obviously did not realise the glasses should have been tempered for a hot drink.
    5. I noted stains on the carpets everywhere.

    I am sorry, but the restaurant did not do justice to the Reuben's we know!

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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Accommodation
  • Booking required
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Live entertainment
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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