Ashley Moss is at the helm in the kitchen here after his stint at Greenhouse, where he and Pete Tempelhoff impressed the southern suburbs for many years. You can tell the shift to the city mood and mindset has inspired them, in this theatre where the interplay of Japanese and South African flavours, with the deft touch of skilled, experienced chefs, is expertly realised.
A series of bento boxes arrives first, inverting their origins as a convenient container for a humble home-made meal. A landscape of beautiful wooden frames, pebbles and trays presents artfully plated canapés such as Cape Malay-spiced guinea fowl lollipops, daikon wraps, enveloping spinach and warming sancho chilli, pinned by cherry-blossom-adorned forks that wouldn’t be amiss in a geisha’s hairdo. Kombu ‘spoons’ lend an incredible umami depth of flavour to just-cooked blue prawns with wakame and naartjie. Stark black buns filled with smooth smoked snoek are topped with delicate dried petals and sesame seeds for lightness. All the while, bone-marrow butter, rolled in caramelised onion ash, melts at the table, ready for dipping.
Next, a kaiseki tray features mini Wagyu-beef spring rolls served with pearly enoki mushrooms, finely chopped charred green beans and onion petals, with smoky truffley accents. The tender sea trout is a treat, with counterpoints in crunchy apple, crystalline dune spinach and tempura samphire. Sashimi slivers of game fish are draped over maki with ginger-and-avo mousse. Beautiful crockery resembles shells, rocks and wood, taking you to a shoreline.
Prepare for what is possibly the most memorable cheese sandwich of your life. It’s a masterstroke of frozen gorgonzola and white chocolate in warm, snappy brick pastry with a sticky port reduction.
Kaiseki-style dessert comes in three courses: strawberries, chamomile and little yoghurt flowers; blueberries with herbaceous buchu countered by soothing coconut; and bosveld cake with white coffee sauce, nut brittle and amarula.
Very polished and professional. Things move like clockwork. Waiters have excellent wine knowledge.
The wine list is an impressive 18 pages long, with plentiful options of anything you could possibly want in a glass of wine or Japanese whisky.
It’s like entering a theatre: moody, dramatic, breathtaking. The open kitchen is unlike any you’ve seen before, more down-lit performance art than hot, messy kitchen. While everything is calm, ordered and methodical – with the crew in neat, muted uniforms – the Japanese-inspired food is vibrant and confident. Windows let in the evening colours of blue, purple, silver and amber as the sun slips behind the mountain.
A spendy, luxurious night on the town.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
The new king of Cape Town, successfully dethroned the old guard in Constantia. Rise and applaud is all I can say for the polished theater and experience.
Well the price is over the top more expensive than anywhere else we have been in Cape Town. So expectations are high. Alas very disappointing. All sizzle and no substance. It starts well with canapés which are delicious. Bread with bone marrow coal. Give me a break. Just made my bread black and oiley. On the Kaiseki tray the game fish was tasteless but redeemed with the perlemoen. And then it’s downhill from there. Duck breast nothing special and I could not eat the octopus rice. Distasteful flavour. Final course of springbok. It’s okay. Nothing to write home about. And fluffy salty pap. Please don’t destroy Africa’s staple food! Desert is okay but didn’t eat much which means it’s not delicious. My partner says the wine choice is poor. And I have a terrible stomach ache. Can I have my money back please .And to add insult to injury they charge for coffee. It’s not included in the R1000 per person charge. One great thing. ... the service is good. Earnest, keen and pleasant wait staff. Cape Town you have far superior restaurants than this, at quarter the price. 3/10
The FYN Cape Town.... the place ... in case you miss it you will regret for the rest of your life
... and it would be nothing without Jennifer.... just the best
All I can say that it is the best meal I have ever had. What an experience. Cant wait to go again.
Brett van Aswegen
Top class Japanese inspired tasting menu
This morning when I woke up I had no idea what I was having for dinner tonight, with my wife’s cooking I rarely do. When I got to the office though, I remembered that my daughter was sleeping at her school tonight, outside on cardboard boxes (seriously). Safe in the knowledge that she was set to learn valuable lessons about the less fortunate, I decided that without the burden of the third wheel, my wife and I could have a decent peaceful dinner.
Oh glory, what a pleasure walking in and instantly knowing you are in safe warm hands. I don’t have to tell you that the food and service is great, you just know you’re not at McDonald’s. The kitchen is completely open and we chose to sit at the kitchen counter to have an up close and personal view of the ‘wekes’. You can imagine my disappointment when instead of seeing slaves whipped and screaming and sweating into the food, I witnessed boring calm organization! You just can’t find good kitchen drama like you see on one of Gordon Ramsey’s shows.
The food is described as Japanese, but with a twist. There are some obvious SA flavors incorporated which provide some much needed love for our country (yay... go Proteas!)
And like paying tax, the bill arrives and you know that tomorrow is another day at the office where the big wheel turns, but at least you will have the blissful memory that your own sweat and screams are all for the purpose of a joyous night out on the town.