The Red Room

1 Review
Contemporary fare, Modern
Phone Number 0214831516 Opening Hours Dinner

Dinner: Monday to Saturday 6pm to 9.30pm; BAR: 5pm till late

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Menu - The Red Room set menu - Updated in November 2023 The Red Room A la carte menu - Updated in November 2023 The Red Room Dim Sum Lounge menu - Updated in November 2023 The Red Room dessert and drinks menu - Updated in November 2023


Chef's set menu: R850 per person
Contemporary fare, Modern
Chef's set menu: R850 per person
Bar scene, Business meetings, Groups, Special occasions
Mastercard, Visa
Accepts credit cards, Beer served, Booking required, Cocktails, Dinner, Food, Licensed, Parking, Reservations recommended, Serves food

Critic's review

There are certain dining experiences that so completely take you out of yourself, you feel you could play at being someone else for the evening. As you descend the stairs into the decadent, crimson interior of The Red Room, you might choose to channel a Bond villain, a secret billionaire, or a long-lost descendent of European royalty. Of course, even if you come as you are, you’re guaranteed an evening for the books. The latest addition to Liam Tomlin’s Chefs Warehouse Group, The Red Room is one of Cape Town’s most exciting dining experiences. The menu is Pan-Asian but strictly not fusion. It’s inspired by the melting pot of Hong Kong’s culinary scene, in which multiple food cultures coexist rather than blending. Thus, you’ll see dishes from China, Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, with each country’s unique flavour profiles and techniques respected and celebrated. You can opt for the 12-dish Chefs' Choice Menu (R850 per person and designed to be shared between two) to experience the kitchen team’s top picks; or customise your meal from the extensive à la carte options. If you’re feeling a little more casual, book a table in the new Dim Sum Lounge, which offers a slightly truncated version of the à la carte, and includes snacks and sides to pair with your cocktails (more on those in a bit). There is such a wealth of small plates, dim sum, robata and house specialities, it feels churlish to single any out. However, you simply must try the karage chicken, which is truly light and popcorn-like without a hint of shaggy batter residue, and served with a doenjang foam that is a surprising but triumphant accompaniment, with pops of the lightest umami from yuzu caviar beneath the foam. The khao soi line fish may sound unassuming, but it stands out as shy winner, with simplicity, deep flavour, balance and confident delivery showcasing humble ingredients – a true joy to eat. If you’re a fan of Peking duck, then run, don’t walk, towards The Red Room. The perfectly cooked duck is luscious, flavourful and heavenly, with lacquered crispy skin. What’s more, you won’t find any flour tortillas here; only proper, lacy, rice pancakes with precisely the correct amount of chewiness. Dessert is not included in the Chefs' Choice Menu, but shame on you if you leave without sampling one. Expect phenomenal layering and texturing, complexity and extraordinary flavour. Pastry chef Caroline Lamb is a young master at work, creating masterpieces such as the banana rum banh (with ginger caramel, spiced crémeux and miso toffee) and matcha pudding (with elderflower jelly, caramelised white chocolate Namelaka and a brandy snap). Order “Dessert for 2” to work your way through the full menu. The Red Room is an immersive experience of deep and varied Asian flavours, delivered with nuance, delicacy and delicious intention, and leveraging a great command of technique.

The plush red banquettes of the recently opened Dim Sum Lounge (adjacent to the formal dining room) are just begging you to settle in with a preprandial tipple. Definitely try the Singapore sours: coconut fat-washed Roku gin, Singapore breakfast tea, lemon and egg white. The wine list is sensitively chosen to accompany a varied Asian menu, and there’s a decent selection of dessert wine and digestifs. An extra delight is the tea list. Sourced from Singaporean luxury teahouse chain TWG, it includes specialities such as Gunpowder Supreme, Imperial Pu-Erh, Weekend in Shanghai, and White Sky.

Unsurprisingly, considering that The Red Room is part of the highly acclaimed Chefs Warehouse group, service is graceful as well as professional. Servers are knowledgeable, confident and able to offer expert advice regarding the menu.

Adjectives such as “sumptuous” and “splendid” come to mind when considering The Red Room’s interior design. It’s a beautifully considered, luxe setting with old-world glamour in spades. True to the restaurant’s name, red is the main character here, with a supporting cast of black and gold. On the walls are large-scale ink-on-silk pieces; hyper-detailed pen drawings; and a striking dragon on brass panels. Brocade, lacquer, latticework and lantern-like light fixtures complete the Pan-Asian look without it feeling too theme-y. It’s perfect for a special gathering of friends, a romantic dinner à deux, or simply a treat-yourself moment.

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