Affordable fine dining at La Mouette

Wednesday night’s MasterChef SA episode featured a dish by chef Henry Vigar of Sea Point darling, La Mouette. We review the resaurant, where you can taste it for yourself.


Affordable fine dining is the forte of this Sea Point favourite. Chef Henry Vigar turns out a tasty six-course tasting menu for a fraction of what you’d expect to pay at other Cape restaurants. Menus change monthly but are always well-balanced between ingredients, flavours and richness.

Dishes take their queue from contemporary French cuisine, with an occasional Mediterranean twist. Think crispy, savoury ricotta balls served with hummus, tart pomegranate arils and sweet yoghurt or a perfectly creamy quenelle of chicken parfait with a crispy spring roll, sweet pear chutney and pickled mushrooms. Line fish is served on a base of cumin-laced potato with a crisp onion bhaji and tomato chutney. On the sweet side, look out for the insanely delicious salted caramel macarons. The dark chocolate pavé with orange purée is satisfyingly wicked.


Wine pairing is offered with the tasting menu. Some of the pairings are spot on and others are less perfect, but considering the price, it’s fantastic value for money.


Set in a grand old building which reputedly once belonged to the mayor of Cape Town, dining here feels like visiting the home of wealthy, but beloved, relative. Several large fireplaces make it a cosy option in winter, while an outside paved garden area, complete with fountain, is lovely in the summer time.


Husband and wife team Henry and Mari Vigar are omnipresent, and it shows. The courses fly out of the kitchen, and servers are professional, but relaxed.


The winter special is a real drawcard and is improbably cheap: six courses were on offer for R185, or R320 with wine pairing, for winter 2013.

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