Now under the helm of head chef Johannes de Bruijn, Winehouse restaurant at Ten Bompas Hotel is the perfect place for a romantic evening or a lazy alfresco lunch on the terrace. The restaurant boasts its own organically grown garden that provides produce for the restaurant’s delicately prepared, French-inspired menu.
The menu is divided into set prices to allow a choice between a two or three-course meal. While it might seem limited, the menu caters to various tastes, from the adventurous to the vegetarian and the traditionalist. The starter of braised beef tongue, creamy winter beans and bone marrow vinaigrette with tomato confit will certainly please the more seasoned palate. The lamb loin with smoked eggplant, lemon confit and Moroccan-spiced jus is a masterful dish, subtly transporting you to another land. Don’t let the simplicity of the roasted fresh hake fool you: the crispy-skinned fish nestles on a creamy mushroom risotto, perfectly al-dente, with a fresh and crunchy contrast of nasturtium and pine nuts ¬– a true stand-out dish. The ratatouille main was a complete surprise: the dish of roasted vegetables on a rich tomato sauce, covered in a cloud of thyme foam and dotted with parmesan crisps, has the potential to convert a carnivore. The crowning glory of this meal, however, was the feather-light sweet potato beignet with chocolate tart, caramel sauce and brown-butter ice cream. My only complaint with this dish was the portion – way too small for its deliciousness! (The portions are designed for you to comfortably enjoy a three-course meal, so don’t be surprised by their relatively small size.)
The predominantly South African wine list is extensive, with some special gems and vintages for the connoisseur. Ask to be taken on a walk through their spectacular cellar to choose the wines for your meal. Due to the variety available, you’re not allowed to bring your own.
The staff are friendly and keen, but could do with a bit of polishing.
The restaurant takes its inspiration (and name) from a painting of the late singer Amy Winehouse, which enjoys centre stage over the fireplace. The space is cosy and contemporary, with large glass windows overlooking the terrace and garden. They have a private dining room that seats 20 people – ideal for a business lunch or function.
Look out for their jazz lunches on the first Sunday of the month, and their special food and wine pairing dinners.
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