La Colombe reopens with new forest-inspired look and menu

Top 10 restaurant La Colombe has reopened after an extensive six-week renovation, with a new look and menu that builds on the restaurant’s now-trademark forest theme. Fans will be pleased to know that the feeling of tranquility so treasured in the Constantia Nek space remains in the new treehouse-inspired design.

While some iconic dishes will still feature, new items include the likes of ‘flavours of the veggie garden’, a mini woodland landscape dotted with roasted geranium macarons, lemon-thyme beehive-shaped marshmallows and mint-and-cocoa candy floss inspired by After Eight chocolates. While some elaborate presentations use elements of dry ice mist and unusual serving surfaces, the dishes themselves are not overly intimidating. “First and foremost, is a balance of flavours. I believe food should be delicious and inviting and not overthought, overworked or overcomplicated,” says executive chef James Gaag.

As guests arrive they will be served palate cleansers of blood orange spheres with cocoa-butter shell, camomile gel and orange zest. Photo by Romy Wilson.

Interior designer Hayley Turner from Bone Studio drew upon the restaurant’s setting amongst the trees at Silvermist to inspire the calm, neutral palette.  

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The namesake dove appears in the hand-drawn artwork by Lucie de Moyencourt on the main feature wall, and then also the carved wooden doves by local artisan Lameck Tayengwa. The white oiled chevron oak floors, travertine mosaic and hand-cut bespoke terracotta tiles, and the touches of brass and oak complement the crisp white linen of fine dining.

The sense of theatre can still be found on the new menu

Elaborate presentation balances with simple dishes. Photo by Romy Wilson.

Former head chef James Gaag is now at the helm as executive chef, while Jess van Dyk has returned to La Colombe as the new head chef, and Keegan Braithewaite takes over as sous chef.

“I’m delighted to finally realise my dream of running La Colombe,” says James. “My team and I are excited for this new and exciting chapter. We’ll be keeping some signature dishes on the menu, and can’t wait to introduce everyone to the new dishes.”

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