Frances Geoghegan, Managing Director of Africa Travel, reviews Cape Town's newest hot spot.
I had heard great things about this restaurant; those in the know now consider it to be the best eatery in Cape Town. Being Irish, I know about Liam Tomlin - his cookery schools, his restaurant in Sydney and his collaboration with BA on their inflight menu, not to mention his numerous accolades for his great food - but I have never tasted his food.
The small and intimate restaurant is located on the now very cool Bree Street, but you can’t make a booking, you just wait your turn, and boy is it worth it. The décor is simple - wooden counters and high stools, the interior is split into two rooms, with dark wooden floors, and both are filled with shelves laden with exotic cooking ingredients, heavy saucepans and knives. The dining area has long narrow tables, and there is little room to move. Menus are printed on rice paper clipped onto sushi mats. We ordered the tapas menu, which flows over their large wooden trays. Our dishes included a heavenly-fragranced Asian duck broth with a kick of chilli; some sublime circles of barley-seared tuna with wasabi mousse; and calamari with the lightest of batter served with chorizo and a dip of fiery mayonnaise. There was crispy chicken and prawns served with the freshest creamy sweetcorn, and melt-in-your-mouth rare sirloin beef. Marinated pork with brussel sprouts was served alongside the perfect creamy pea and parmesan risotto. There was also a side of zesty smoked salmon salad which was packed with flavour. The portions are tapas-size, each bursting with deliciousness, flavours are intense and each mouthful of food is unforgettable. I declined desert, but there is lots to tempt the sweet-toothed.
There was an unusual array of alcohol options including Dragon Fiery Ginger beer, Liefmans Fruitesse, and some great Normandy cider, plus an extensive wine list. This is up there with Luke Dale Roberts’ Pot Luck Club, but without the theatre. A thoroughly excellent food experience, I feel privileged to have got a table - and at £20 each including wine it's also very good value.
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