Any foodie worth their salt will undoubtedly list Chef’s Warehouse and Canteen as a Cape Town must. And while the Bree Street enclave, led by acclaimed Chef Liam Tomlin, certainly is a hub of gastronomic delight, the ‘no booking’ policy can be a little frustrating to visitors.
Thankfully, that problem has been remedied, as visitors are most certainly encouraged to book at the newest Chefs Warehouse branch at Beau Constantia Wine Estate.
Unlike the original Chef’s Warehouse, which is more of a ‘dine and dash’ venue, the Beau Constantia setting invites a leisurely stay. Walking past the open kitchen, alive and buzzing with the energy of the team captained by Ivor Jones (former head chef at The Test Kitchen), we strolled through the light wooden and glass interior and out onto the veranda. Both the inside, with floor to ceiling windows, and exterior offer extraordinary views of the Constantia valley and distant mountains. While it was a little chilly sitting outside, our waiter brought us a heap of snuggly blankets that we burrowed under as we enjoyed watching the mountains turn purple in the twilight, the strings of fairy lights above us bathing our table in a soft glow.
In a similar spirit to its predecessor, Chef’s Warehouse offers a set menu for two, designed to be shared. One can also order bread or oysters beforehand at an additional cost. Feeling festive, we ordered a round of the fresh shellfish, the flavours brightened by a herby topping from the garden below.
While one can specify dietary requirements, you cannot choose any exact items as the menu is crafted around the availability of fresh produce. This I found to be a welcome relief, and, freed from the burden of decision-making, we sat back to enjoy the show.
The eight dishes come in three courses. During round one we enjoyed a tangy Linefish Sashimi with lemon achar and buttermilk dressing, a Mediterranean-flavoured Seared Tuna with saffron and tomato, as well as a coal-seared Beef Tataki, served with a delicious black bean salsa that added a wonderful depth of flavour.
The meaty start gave way to a veggie-centric second course with an unctuous Cauliflower and Parmesan Risotto (declared the table favourite) and Beetroot Tart; before finishing up with an exceptionally tasty Roasted Hake – the usually bland fish elevated by the charred leeks, parmesan and parsley sauce, a spicy Moroccan Lamb Rib and the Roast Pork Belly.
Desserts are too tempting to miss out on, our friendly waiter advising us to sample Ivor’s famed Wild Lavender Crème if nothing else. It was indeed, a showstopper, the floral notes, crunchy honeycomb and cinnamon flavours of the accompanying cassia bark ice-cream a perfect ending to a meal we won’t soon forget.
Choose from an impressive array of Beau Constantia’s own wines, available by the glass or bottle. There is also a smaller selection of wines from neighbouring farms, as well as the expected list of beers and standard liquors. We opted for a bubbly glass of Pas De Nom MCC with our oysters before enjoying the Beau Constantia Cecily Viognier, an excellent choice that paired well with our light courses.
Book Your Table at Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia
- Lunch is served from 12.00 until 14.00, with dinner offered from 17.00 until 20.00, Tuesday to Sunday.
- For reservations, please contact +27 21 7948632 ext.1 or direct an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images courtesy of: Sam Linsell
Blog post by: Tarah Darge