Caroline Lamb takes up the reins as new head chef of The Red Room

“It’s the kind of old-fashioned glamorous room where you’d expect to run into 007 at the bar, sipping a martini,” says Liam Tomlin. He’s talking about his most recent addition to the Chefs Warehouse Group, The Red Room at Cape Town’s Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, which won an Eat Out star at the 2023 Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards.


“A very grown-up restaurant that is about dressing up, attentive and professional service and of course the exciting palate of Asian flavours. The challenge for us was getting the right mix of nostalgia with our standards for sophisticated contemporary dining. We think we’ve nailed it.”

Caroline Lamb has recently taken over the reins as head chef after having worked with Liam and co-owner David Schneider since the restaurant’s inception. With a strong set of skills in both savoury cooking and pastry, she’s previously cooked at several award-winning restaurants in the La Colombe Group, amongst others.


In true Asian style, the flavours are deep and balanced: meeting at the junction of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. Inspired by the melting pot that is Hong Kong – where multiple Asian cultures co-exist – Caroline’s menu at The Red Room features Pan-Asian food done respectfully, with dishes from China, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand and Việt Nam, each given their due honour.

Some favourites include the oysters with nuoc chum, chili salt fried squid, crispy mushroom katsu sando and pork ribs with Filipino banana ketchup glaze. Small plates are more playful and inventive, with items like cabbage yakitori and Szechuan-cured gamefish with nashi pear. There are bite-size dumplings and dim sum, from Vietnamese rice rolls to daikon radish cakes to prawn har gow dumplings, and the ultimate classics, Peking Duck and whole-roasted fish, all done with respect and care.



The fish is sourced from ABALOBI – the initiative connecting restaurants and consumers with the stories behind their seafood, promoting transparency and sustainability in the fishing industry. Through the ABALOBI app, you can trace the journey of the fish from ocean to plate, allowing you to  make informed choices while supporting small-scale fishers and coastal communities in South Africa.

Complementing the food is The Red Room’s extensive drinks offering, and if you’re a cocktail fan, this is the place for you! Singapore Sours, Spicy Margarita or the Coconut Negronis are the orders not to miss.

In a city known for its thriving food scene, The Red Room stands out as a whimsical oasis of elegance and taste bud adventures.

 Follow The Red Room on Instagram to see more of their drool-worthy menu items.

Images: Claire Gunn

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