MarbleJuly 24, 2017
The Braai RoomAugust 28, 2017
A few weeks ago I was in Cape Town for my graduation ceremony at UCT. I’ve been studying part time for a few years through UCT so I’ve been very fortunate to be a frequent visitor of one of my very favourite cities. Finally all the hard work of my studies paid off and I had made arrangements to fly down for a long weekend of celebrations. One of the very first planned foodie experiences was at La Colombe. My benedict had surprised me with a booking (weeks ahead) and treated me to a lunch tasting menu at La Colombe as my graduation gift. La Colombe is situated on the Silvermist estate in Constantia. It’s listed on the S.Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants as 73rd for 2017 and is the Eat Out Top 10 2016 runner up. Suffice to say, I was more than a little excited to visit La Colombe.
We had booked for the lunch special which is currently running from Monday to Thursday until the end of August (if you can, do yourself a favour and go visit them while the special is still on – it’s an absolute steal). Upon our arrival at the tranquil Silvermist estate, we were escorted to La Colombe. Laid out on the front desk at the entrance of the restaurant, was a beautiful mini garden display and in between all the leafy shrubs were little ‘apple bites’ served to us as palate cleansers; sweet and refreshing. We were then seated at our table which was next to a window overlooking a gorgeous herb garden. We opted for the Silvermist estate wine to go with our tasting menu; the sauvignon blanc – a lovely choice. To start with we were served a bread and butter dish. The chef came to our table with a hot plate and mixed an array of ingredients including butter, lamb reduction, chopped nuts, dukkah, parsley and a balsamic reduction. As it melted on the plate, the most delicious scent of the lamb was given off – my mouth quite literally filled was saliva! This lamb butter was served with freshly baked bread and it was amazing! I honestly could have eaten an entire loaf of bread with that absolutely delicious lamb butter. For my starter I ordered the prawn and swordfish. It was served with an asparagus, mustard, cucumber and sweet potato puree. This was a really interesting and beautifully presented dish. Once I had finished my dish and cleaned it of all puree, there was a message below from the chef which read “Food is our theatre, hope you enjoy the show”. And I certainly was in for a brilliant show…
For my next course I opted for the barbeque quail served with aubergine, gem squash and coconut. Another great tasting dish; I really loved the quail. The next dish was the tuna ‘La Colombe’. This is one of La Colombe’s signature dishes and very own unique version of ‘tinned tuna’. It is the sweetest looking dish served in a little closed can. I was pleasantly surprised when I removed the lid – a beautiful looking little tuna dish was revealed. And it tasted just as good as it looked. La Colombe offers an optional mystery course entitled ‘Enchanted Forest’ at an additional cost. You are taken into a room behind closed doors (I won’t say too much about the setting so as not to ruin the surprise for anyone else still to visit) and served a scallop dish which is then covered and cooked in a hot broth poured over it. The flavours of the broth were absolutely incredible. It was well worth the additional supplement for the mystery experience. For my main, I selected the beef fillet. This was served with smoked garlic, pickled red onion, peas and broccoli. A delicious and great choice of main course. I chose the strawberry dish for my dessert course. It was strawberries, served with a sorbet and white chocolate. This was absolutely outstanding and truly one of the best desserts I have ever tasted! Loved this beautifully sweet and fresh dessert. To end off our experience at La Colombe, we were served a ‘taste test’. This was a really fun and unique touch to such an amazing tasting menu. We were served five mystery dishes with a list of the five taste sensations; sweet, sour, bitter, umami and salty. Each dish was served in a different coloured bowl and the idea was to match each dish, and corresponding bowl colour, with its respective taste sensation. Let me assure you, it was far more challenging than one would think. I absolutely loved this concept; it’s something truly clever and memorable.
The service at La Colombe was superb and nothing short of what one would expect from a restaurant of this stature. The restaurant has a stunning and spacious layout; a look that boasts a simple, clean and very elegant feel. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every dish from the tasting menu; fantastic food for sure. La Colombe has indeed proven to be the master of food theatre and I most certainly did enjoy the show! It was a very special and memorable celebratory experience. La Colombe is now undeniably one of my favourite restaurants and I look forward to visiting again in the near future.