The final part of our amazing holiday in South Africa was spent in an absolute foodie wonderland. Rightly or wrongly the Michelin guide doesn’t cover Africa. I personally think that if it did then SA would certainly give other world renowned restaurants a run for their money. The other side of the argument is of course that maybe the fresh exciting talent in SA and Cape Town in particular doesn’t need confirmation from such an institution that they are absolutely fabulous! This blog will concentrate on our best bits………..
Our eight day stay in CT was spent at the Steenberg Hotel and Spa in Constantia and very lovely it is too. We stayed in the Khoi Khoi suite, which was one of the most stunning hotel suites I have ever stayed in. Service was impeccable. Breakfast in Catarina’s was really very good with a great selection of cooked options to choose from. Highlight for hubbie was the cooked breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs etc. I enjoyed the Cape Malay omelette, one slight issue was with the overly generous gritty fresh coriander in the omelette but this was rectified quickly.
La Colombe, Constantia
Without doubt the highlight of our trip to CT. This restaurant is set high in the hills above the Silvermist wine estate. From the moment you walk in you know its special. A very warm welcome and the offer of a little amuse bouche of thin white chocolate encasing a sweet/sour syrup which burst like a refreshing edible Christmas bauble was lovely. We went with our 7 year old and we were warmly accommodated. The dining area was light and airy and although it is a fine dining restaurant it never felt stuffy or overly formal. I asked to see the kitchen which was no problem at all. We were lucky to speak to some of the chefs who had a calm confidence about themselves. Bearing in mind this was before service it was very good to see. Our sommelier and waiter were knowledgeable and offered on point service without being intrusive. We opted for the impressive 9 course tasting menu with wine pairings and I am so glad we did. Aadi was very well looked after and enjoyed the Tuna starter and a roasted loin of lamb with chunky chips and veg. From start to finish the experience was a masterpiece, worthy of its place as one of the best restaurants in the world. I loved the bread and lardo, moreish and wonderful in its fatty saltiness. The signature ‘La Colombe Tuna’ was innovative and fun with the tasty morsel of Asian style tuna contained inside the cute little tin. The highlights for me were 1) the scarlet prawn, Kerala style sweetbreads, snoek dressing – perfectly cooked prawn and sweetbreads with a lovely balanced spice, the snoek dressing was unusual but incredibly creamy and savoury 2) the outstanding seared scallop, glazed sous vide pork belly spiced coconut and corn was nothing short of stunning. The scallop cooked perfectly with the crispy skinned pork belly was complemented beautifully by the sweetcorn which had been shaved off the cob in order to retain its shape. Perfect from start to finish. Not cheap but soooooo worth it!
The Codfather, Camps Bay
One of first meals out in Cape Town was at The Codfather in Camps Bay. It came highly recommended and the TRip Advisor reviews were glowing so we thought we would give it a go. The Codfather is casual with far from casual prices. The basic concept feels like a crab shack. There is a rather out of place sushi bar complete with sushi carousel which takes up a good part of the restaurant which leaves a relatively small area for normal dining and a seafood/fish ‘market’. It felt chaotic as we tried to muscle our way through the crowd with our waiter in order to choose our fish and seafood. The prices are not displayed and it is only after you have picked out what you want (and therefore its already been sent to be cooked) that the waiter advises the cost of your pickings. Your food arrives in a large ‘oven to table’ sharing platter which also contains your sides (potatoes, rice, greens and veg of the day). We ordered lobster, kingklip, scallops and crayfish. They were all sprinkled with the same seasoning and grilled. Various dipping sauces were available on the table. The fish and seafood were cooked well although the scallops were overdone and should have been cooked with a little bit more finesse. We left full but a bit disappointed. The Codfather is a great concept if you have the space of a Californian crab shack but unfortunately they don’t as a lot of space is taken up by the sushi area. Consequently high paying seafood diners are crammed into a tiny space. All in all a 4/10 from me.
So good we ate here twice! The first time was for hubbie’s birthday celebration. To be honest I wasn’t expecting a huge deal. Hotel bistro doing tapas style dishes with a limited menu. Lesson learnt; as I wont ever judge a book by its cover. The bistro is set to the back of the winery tasting and sales area. And what a backdrop it is! Really stylish but laid back and v v cool! The menu as I said before is limited but everything on it is beautiful. Highlights were; mussels in garlic veloute – the veloute was delicious, in fact I loved it so much that I preferred it to the aioli that was served with the patatas bravas; chicken wings in a sweet sticky bbq sauce were ordered twice (so so good). For dessert the kitchen were very kind and gave us a special birthday pudding and in addition I ordered the lemon posset with shortbread. The only tiny critism would be that the posset was just a bit on the tart side for me, but that may have been personal preference. We returned to the Bistro for our last dinner in CT and took along a dear friend who was also very impressed. Well done Bistro Sixteen82. Loved it!