The menu is divided into two sections, the a la carte section which is priced at R395 for a choice of three courses (R695 with wine pairing. Or the other option is a set 5 course tasting menu for R295 (R620 with wine pairing). I, of course, naturally went for the 5 course option which begins with a selection of tapas, one of which is head Chef Henry Vigar's signature cheese croquettes served with aioli - the croquettes are so good I could live on them alone for the rest of my days. The other tapas items are the mushroom gyoza as well as a beef short rib bao, both equally as delicious as the croquettes.
The second course is a deconstructed leek and potato soup where smoked mash is served in a bowl with herb oil, then the leek veloute is poured on top at the table, the two are then stirred together to form the soup course, probably the least interesting course of the evening for me, although still very tasty.
Third Course is an option between a vegetable kofta and West Coast mussels. I chose the koftas which were wonderfully spicy and crisp served with an acidic pickled radish which made the dish wonderfully balanced, definitely my favourite course for its unexpected flavour punches.
Fourth is a choice between herb gnocchi and pork belly. The pork was wonderfully tender and rich coated with a sticky flavourful jus and served with a puffy pork cracker... I'm calling it a cracker because it was more the texture of a cracker than actual traditional teeth-breaking crackling (which by the way is one of my favourite things).
Finally, dessert is a unique interpretation of lemon meringue tart; two types of meringue, one crisp and the other marshmallowy and toasted, served with a sphere of lemon curd, and whipped mascarpone. It delivered everything I expect in a lemon meringue pie - sweet, citrus acidity and texture, loved the innovative re-imagination of a classic dish.
The menus items are all written with specific wine recommendations. You can of course choose to pair each course with a different wine as suggested or choose from the extensive wine list on offer. Some wines are offered by the glass. There is also always a seasonal bespoke cocktail creation on the menu to try. The usual spirits and soft drinks are also available on the beverage menu.
Service is excellent; patrons are greeted at the entrance by a friendly security guard who shows you into the courtyard where you are greeted by a sea of smiling waiters, ready and waiting for your arrival. Once seated, bread is served immediately and the menu is explained in great detail. What I love most about the service is that all the staff service all the tables, making you feel catered to and important. Each course is delivered and explained fully. The staff really does add to the divine dining experience.
On a clear summer night, sit in the courtyard where all the tables are positioned circling the fountain centrepiece. Even though the restaurant is in the middle of bustling Sea Point, it's still surprisingly tranquil outside. Inside are a number of dining rooms with fireplaces. Each table is set with crisp white linen and their signature blue water glasses. When you walk into the restaurant, you immediately feel as though you have walked into somewhere "fancy", yet the staff make you feel at ease and relaxed. I love how there have mastered the art of an unpretentious fine dining experience.
Relaxed and affordable fine ding, perfect for an upmarket evening out.
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