Chef Dirk Gieselmann is at the helm here and the cuisine is both outstanding and faultless. Every dish is the picture of perfection and tastes thus. The menu is seasonal with an emphasis on the interplay between local and International ingredients and flavours. It is classical cuisine with hints of contemporary African flavour.
View offers breakfast, an afternoon tea and a dinner service - the dinner service being the main attraction, with a choice of either a 5-course tasting menu (with or without wine pairings) or an a la carte menu.
No matter your choice of menu, each table will enjoy complimentary, freshly baked breads and flavoured butters as well as an amuse bouche (we savoured a tantalising langoustine and lentil soup), and leave with a tiny box of petit fours (homemade nougat and a fruit pastel) which add to the delight of the eating experience.
For starters it’s a toss-up between the scallops and jerusalem artichokes with kalamansi butter, leeks and grilled king oyster mushrooms with crispy sage and biltong, and the Lesotho highland trout terrine with green asparagus, wasabi crème fraiche and tobiko. Both are refined dishes with wonderful textural play and punchy flavours.
From the main menu the herb-crusted rack of Karoo lamb comes highly recommended. It’s a magnificent dish comprising perfectly cooked, succulent lamb atop a cannellini bean mousseline, gorgeously fluffy and crisp chickpea fries, black olives, a dukkha tuile, coriander pesto and a velvety thyme jus. It’s a superlative winter dish infused with warming northern African notes.
If you’re in the mood for something a little less rich, the pan-fried fillet of kingklip with a nougatine crust, sautéed pak-choy, crispy ginger potato and beef reduction is sumptuous and beautifully salty-sweet.
Dessert sees a selection of innovative takes on the classics: dark chocolate fondant with vanilla-poached pineapple, passion fruit meringues and piña colada sorbet is available, as well as whiskey crème brûlée with white coffee ice cream and ginger shortbread.
The wine list is extensive. You’ll find a comprehensive list of champagnes and local MCCs as well as superb local and international offerings. There’s a good balance between interesting, lesser-known and local wines and the extravagances few can afford.
This is where View falls short. With a main dish costing around R275 and an average of a 300% mark-up on the wines, you’d expect the service to be out of this world, but it isn’t. You’re made to feel welcome, the staff are polite and congenial, but you’re not made to feel special in the way you’d expect when visiting a 5-star establishment. The waiting staff can get quite muddled and there’s a lack of clear distinction as to who is serving who.
The layout of the restaurant is such that the majority of the tables are next to windows facing the elaborate view. In winter, however, the windows are all closed and the interior lighting is such that at night the view is actually very difficult to see, which is a serious loss. Pre-dinner drinks on the terrace are therefore an absolute must if you want to appreciate the beautiful setting.
If you’re in the mood for serious decadence, their private dining room, The Cellar, accommodates up to 20 guests and is the perfect venue for intimate wine-paired dinners with added opulence.
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