A small menu that changes weekly, and an always-on set-menu special, makes this well-run modern bistro a neighbourhood favourite.
There’s just one downside to a menu that gets tweaked according to what’s fresh and abundant at the market – you may not find the dish you promised you’d be back for the last time you visited this popular Sea Point eatery. Or if you do discover that the braised pork belly is back in rotation, take note that instead of pulled pork and goat’s cheese ravioli and wilted greens, this time it may share the plate with roasted butternut and tomato and beetroot chutney.
Ditto the rabbit, much fancied by the La Boheme kitchen, who apply classic French techniques to this tricky meat but play around with accompaniments, such as potato gnocchi, edamame beans and roast cherry tomatoes alongside confit rabbit; or a hefty helping of aubergine and potato puree whose sheer volume seems to concede that the rabbit and bacon ballotine is on the dry side.
Vegetarians will typically find a single option each among the starters and mains, which is fine when you land the coconut lentil curry with salted pears, less thrilling when the grilled halloumi with strawberries, watercress and asparagus turns out impervious to the chilli dressing.
There’s a Mediterranean-inspired tapas menu if small plates are your thing, and crowd-pleasers such as sticky toffee pudding and apple tart for dessert.
Hot tip? If the springbok carpaccio with roast garlic, crème fraiche and horseradish isn’t on the menu, ask if the chef can rustle some up. It’s sublime.
BYO is permitted, but seems almost churlish when this much enthusiasm has gone into composing an extensive wine list that overflows onto a blackboard on the wall. In fact the wine choices so vastly outnumber the items on the food menu (plus there’s a full bar) that the missed opportunity seems to be a more curated list that gives greater consideration to what the chef is up to. A tight budget narrows down the choices. There are plenty by-the-glass options, starting at R50.
Friendly and competent, with this easily-remedied flaw: choosing where to sit is cool when you’re a local who knows the joint inside out, but on a first visit a bit of guidance is helpful.
Still looking spruce after 10 years, the inside area runs to the elegant end of bistro-casual, while things get more rustic outside. In case it matters, it’s a bit too low-lit to get a decent shot of your dinner for your Instagram account. Two reasons why you should Uber when you go: parking is scarce, and it’s a wine bar after all.
Second dates and midweek treats.
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