Chalk and Cork is a beautiful two-storey wine bar and restaurant with a large courtyard on Kloof Street, Cape Town. It specialises in small plates, knowledgeable service and a fun and approachable wine list that is forever changing. Marc and Amy Botes have taken inspiration from the restaurants they used to run in the UK and travels around Europe with a slight sway to Spanish ingredients.
Had a few different plates. The stand out plates were the chicken tikka and the tempura hake. In general, the food is terribly under seasoned to the point of being just bland. Their pizza is the only dish I'd recommend, wood fired with a crisp crackeresque crust. Don't expect miracles with the service either.
lovely tapas place with an inspired menu. only small issue that all those small bowls of delicious food add up and it can be a little pricey in the end. but a very nice place, with friendly staff.
Delicious tapas and pizzas. Relaxed outdoors seating and nice wine list. Open on Sunday when all the other nice places around are shut.
About the restaurant:
Chalk and Cork is a two storey wine bar and restaurant with a dainty courtyard alongside Kloof Street, Cape Town. They specialize in tapas style meals which naturally lean toward Spanish ingredients, however they also take inspiration from the owners' travels around the UK and Europe.
It was a typical Saturday afternoon in Cape Town. The temperature was in the high twenties but the wind in Town was picking up just enough to take the sting out of the sun's rays.
Upon arrival, we were ushered into the outside courtyard, a cosy little area covered by a few trees that were slowly encroaching onto Kloof street. Once seated, we glanced over the menu which immediately portrayed inspirations from European countries. A few dishes stood out. Albeit classic dishes, they promised to deliver a mouthful of flavour.
We started our meal with delicious slices of toasted sourdough bread, served with a jar of roasted red pepper & garlic hummus. Before digging in, I couldn't help but smell the aroma of fresh bread followed by the sweet hint of capsicum. A sure enough way to get my mouth watering...
With the first mouthful I initially tasted the sweetness of the red pepper, accentuated by the roasting process. What followed was a combination of a smokey undertone and some heat from the garlic. I couldn't get enough! I literally had to stop myself from hogging the bread board!
The next three dishes were then brought all at once, a common practice in tapas style meals. The first dish that happened to land on the table was a grilled lamb rump dish with a pea puree & labneh. For those of you who don't know, labneh is a soft, cream cheese made from strained yogurt.
The lamb was perfectly cooked, closer to medium than medium rare and was packed with its natural juices. The pea puree was brightened up with some mint which added a freshness to the dish, cutting though the fattiness of the lamb. The slightly sour labneh also aided in cutting through the richness of the meat. Overall, while well executed, this dish was my least favourite of the meal. It didn't give me any outstanding experience.
The next dish to hit the table was a butternut & ricotta gnocchi dish with brown sage butter and hazelnuts. This happened to be my favourite dish of the outing. The classic combination of sage and browned butter complimented the pillow-soft gnocchi in an orgasmic way. The nuttiness of the burnt butter was further heightened with the addition of the hazelnuts. The ricotta added a creamy dimension to the dish which was a kin to the light and fluffy gnocchi. This is a must try dish the next time you visit Kloof street.
Lastly we had the pleasure to try the roasted heirloom beetroot dish with asparagus, goat's cheese & truffle dressing. This beauty was not only easy on the eye but filled my mouth with flavour.
If I had to be critical about the dish, I would say that the asparagus was slightly overcooked and the beetroot crisps became soggy once reaching the table. Most probably because they weren't allowed to drip dry on paper after hitting the fryer. The crisps could have also used a touch more salt to bring out the natural flavour of the beetroot. My last little criticism was that my eating partner, who is a chef, pointed out that the truffle oil said to be in the dish was non existent. To be honest I completely forgot it was supposed to be in the dish and would have never realized had she not pointed it out. It was sad though, because I was looking forward to tasting it for the first time. The overall dish was delicious nevertheless, and if it was perfectly executed, would be a close competitor to the gnocchi dish.
My overall experience was a pleasant one. Good food and wine. To say I was satisfied would be an understatement. I would definitely recommend Chalk & Cork to those looking for a good restaurant and wine bar!
Super fast service,
and never forget fast Wi-fi,
Definitely coming back.