From the team at the popular fine dining restaurant, La Mouette, comes this contemporary creation, Upper Bloem.
Finally there is a place, a trendy restaurant that has taken Cape Malay cuisine to another level. We recently experienced their 9 course sharing plate dinner and enjoyed different products in unique style, taste and presentation.
Great to have this alternative dining venue now in Cape Town, certainly recommended for foodies wanting to experience the diverse flavors of the Cape Malay cuisine
I'm not much of a fan generally of SA food turned into shi-shi tasting morsels. I am a South African, and I grew up with all the tastes and flavours which typify SA grub - sosaties, bobotie, frikkadels, bunny chow, etc. I like them all, but truly SA cuisine (and I hesitated to use this word) is about large and robust flavours which mostly lend themselves to equally large and robust portions. Turning this into sand and foam and suchlike fluff is a wretched, gut churningly revolting idea.
My wife booked at Upper Bloem because I asked her to book a nice restaurant in Cape Town for the Cape Town Cycle Tour weekend. She was unsupervised and, clearly not having the same qualms about fine SA cuisine as I do, booked here. I arrived at the restaurant vowing that that my spouse's brief lunge at independence could not be allowed to repeat itself in future, and eyed out possible nearby burger joints for a proper meal afterwards.
With this introduction of sad misgivings, you of course know that the meal was good. It was superb. Better than superb because it was such a delightful surprise! Chef Andre is an enormously nice man. He is unassuming, and I would guess a great boss - there was no shouting or histrionics from the open plan kitchen, just calm deliberate cooking and plate after plate of delicious food. Andre has identified flavours and smells which, to a South African are immediately recognisable but also strangely unfamiliar. He takes the punch of smoked snoek and isolates just the subtlest hint in a spread for bread. Blink and you'll miss it. Turn around and go back. In fact, that is how I think of many of the dishes presented to us. Try them and then go back again, and again to discover their subtlety, complexity and layers.
Dinner is served in 3 sharing courses. Each course comprises three separate dishes. Don't be fooled though, it is a proper tasting menu. The bread is lovely as are the various butters ..... the wild garlic is most definitely unusual (its difficult not to be polarised about this one).
My favourites were the ostrich bunny chow - a delicious one bite morsel (if you don't know what bunny chow is, click here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunny_chow It has nothing to do with bunnys), the mussels in a tin - hands down the nicest thing I have eaten in years, and the buffalo curds and whey - man!
You will want desert and you won't be disappointed by the Malay spiced carrot cake (if you have less of a sweet tooth), or the ginger bread semi-freddo sandwich (if you do).
The service was attentive and knowledgeable and it was overall a delightful experience. What a find! Thank you Andre for the amazing meal and the large dose of humble pie, I wish you every success.
This is honestly the best lunch I’ve had in a long time! From the bright and modern interior, to the attentive and warm service, the experience is only surpassed by the delicious and nostalgic tapas-style dishes. The menu is a standard R195 per person (lunch) with optional extras for the bread board and dessert.
Starting with the bread board (totally worth it for the additional R35) with the more-ish seaweed butter and snoek paté, followed by the Cape Malay-style onions, with their intense smoky flavor (definitely a highlight), and then on to two more courses that are superbly cooked and well-presented, each course was delicious and perfectly portioned. Even so, by the time the not-too-sweet koe-sisters were served, I was definitely full!
I really enjoyed the presentation style: it’s completely unfussy and social. They’re not clearing your plate and bringing new cutlery after every single bite, and that was totally fine with me. The service is good but you’re also not constantly answering the dreaded “Everything okay?” question.
Other highlights are the non-alcoholic cocktails (the “grape-thyme” was divine and refreshing) and the triple-cooked potato (I had a hard time deciding between this and the Cape Malay onions as my favorite).
Compliments to the chef and staff. I cannot wait to return for another lunch and to try out the dinner menu!
What an amazing Experience this was ?????? @upperbloem Definitely brought the flavors of proudly Safrican dishes in a fine dining experience ? Each dish served was absolutely YUM! I would Definitely recommend and cannot wait to try their Din Dins ?
The food is served in a tapas set menu style of three courses. Each dish was bursting with flavour. We also did the wine pairing which was well worth it- someone had put some careful thought into it! All in all a new Cape Town gem!