The space previously occupied by Café Dijon in De Waterkant Village in Green Point, Cape Town, has been taken over by a new tapas restaurant, The Mess. Inspired by the French word, mes, which means a portion of food, and the age-old concept of groups eating together, The Mess focuses on a small menu of dishes packed with flavour and intended for sharing.
The eatery realises owner Carlene de Gouveia’s vision of creating a restaurant with a relaxed environment and friendly atmosphere where friends and family can share foods from all around the world. Carlene studied food technology before working in the wine industry for nine years, during which time she frequently travelled to Europe. It was her exposure there to so many different cultures that inspired her to take the leap from wine to a restaurant that celebrates an amalgamation of cuisines.
The menu at The Mess places its real emphasis on all the many tapas plates to share, with only three main plates and three items from the grill. Options include the popular duck rillette served with pickled beetroot; tuna ceviche; Creole-fried soft-shell crab served with smoky mayo; and a barbecue pork belly taco. The Mess also caters for vegetarians with mushrooms with gruyère, cauliflower purée, and almond-and-parsley butter. All the tapas can be enjoyed with yoghurt-and-thyme flatbreads for dipping. For dessert, you might want the dark chocolate fondant with white-chocolate-and-lime ice cream all for yourself.
Carlene’s background in wine promises an extensive wine list, and soon there will be flavoured gin-and-tonic cocktails on offer, in pink grapefruit, sour cherry and cucumber versions.
The Mess is open from 6pm until late from Monday to Saturday.