Upon arrival, we were welcomed with a warmth and friendliness like none I've experienced before - something that honestly made a very big impression and completely set the mood for the rest of the evening. Swiftly seated at a lovely table near the window, overlooking the beauty that is the Waterfront harbour, our waiter was ready to take excellent care of us as we began our exploration of the tasting menu and Executive Chef, Malika van Reenen's creations.
Seven course journey Meal 1:
As our delicious virgin cocktails arrived, so did our first course - the brioche, poached marron and hollandaise. The brioche, which is a French bread-like pastry, is incredibly light and bursts with a delectable buttery flavour and tender texture, while the poached marron (closely related species of crayfish) is cooked to utter perfection (yes, I'm an avid crayfish lover) and is complimented beautifully by the yummy hollandaise sauce - the best hollandaise I've tasted. This was one of my favourite dishes.
Next up was the combined favourite of the night - seared salmon, smoked ginger velouté and orange cloud. The tastefully seasoned salmon was cooked perfectly, according to my preference which means it is still pink and only seared on the outside. An ultra-fluffy and airy orange flavoured foam or "cloud" rests gently on top of the salmon and the incredibly delicious smoked ginger velouté (French sauce) provides the perfect base for the dish. The sauce, once again, really stood out in this dish - we even soaked up some of it with our bread rolls (shhhhhhh...).
Something I've never tried before, so I don't have a frame of reference, the next dish was pan-roasted quail breast, garlic purée and gremolata (a chopped herb condiment). The delicate dish definitely piqued our interest, although I'm not entirely sure how to describe the unusual taste of this gamey little bird. I'm glad we tried it though.
Meal 4/palette cleanser:
The palette cleanser was a lime sorbet, cucumber granita (semi-frozen dessert) and melon foam. This dish offered a fresh and icy cleanser, with a sour limey flavour taking the lead, the freshness from the cucumber following suit and a very mild melon after taste. This perfectly prepared us for the rich meal that was to follow.
The grilled springbok, aubergine, tomato and balsamic jus was another successful dish. The medium-rare springbok accompanied by delicate seasoning, a flavourful jus, fresh broccoli, a potato-like cake and the unusual but welcome inclusion of pomegranate, was a yummy meaty dish that we quite happily could've had more of.
On to dessert, the croissant and butter pudding, passion fruit marmalade and lemon thyme ice cream. If you are a passion fruit lover this dish is for you - this is a sweet, fruity dessert. The ice cream is smooth and flavourful and cuts through the sweetness somewhat.
The last dish to be served, the espresso, vanilla ice cream and aniseed biscotti finished the evening off on a vanilla pod-flavoured note. Although I must admit I didn't detect the espresso flavour, the dish was sweet and fragrant, with a creamy texture and the scrumptious biscotti to add some crunch. Add some coffee and you have a good end to a great meal.
Cruising on the deck
Not quite ready to leave, we enjoyed a scenic walk along the enclosed deck alongside the habour. The reflection from the lights of the surrounding buildings and apartments dance with the stars amongst the yachts and boats docked in the bay, creating a vision that will remain imprinted in your memory - definitely don't forget to take a stroll before you leave! The entire evening is one that comes highly recommended.
For reservations, contact:
[T] +27 (21) 410 7080