Were you to Google ‘Fine dining in Cape Town’, Tableview would not be the first area to feature. Indeed, our foodie hotspots are mainly in the city centre, or a little further flung out in the Winelands. While Tableview might offer one of the most iconic views of Table Mountain, it had little to offer visitors on the special dinner front.
Chef Matt Schreuder is changing all of that. Inspired by his several years of experience in Michelin star restaurants across the globe, Matt has returned to his West Coast home and created a dining experience to rival the best.
So why should you drive to the burbs for this one? We get into all of the delicious details.
Drapes over the front door hide the magic from plain sight. Once inside, it is a feast for the eyes. The decor could be described as ‘rustic chic’, exuding a feeling of comfort and warmth.
Candles drip over glass bottles, clustered on upcycled wooden pallets; copper piping gleams in the glow of naked bulbs hung from the exposed rafters, while leather, wood and quirky decor accents make for an unending visual smorgasbord. Interestingly, much of the decor and furniture have been crafted and assembled by Matt himself, with the help of his friends, to evoke the homely aesthetic he loves.
Of course, this steampunk-esque pallet plays second fiddle to the real art – the food itself.
Before diving in, allow your eyes to wander down the inventive cocktail menu. There are the usual suspects and Matt’s team does a mean Old Fashioned. As a serious bubbly fan, the Hugo is the way to go. Bubbly, elderflower, fresh mint and lime combine to delightful effect.
Once you are settled, take a gander at the menus.
One can choose between a Three course menu, or a Tasting menu (4 courses and palate cleansers), with a Veggie or Vegan menu for the plant-based eaters. There is also an A La Carte option for those who wish to self-drive. Remarkably, all of Matt’s dishes are paired with a specific wine. Focusing only on South African wines, the idea is to discover some hidden gems.
It is hard to box in the bistro fare, but what is apparent is the meeting of Asian influences with traditional South African heritage cuisine – a compelling combo that works exceptionally well.
We opted for the Tasting Menu (it is incredible value for money). There are just a couple of choices to make here, with some long-time favourites to guide you if you feel overwhelmed. The deconstructed Caprese goats cheese croquettes with balsamic ice cream, semi-dried tomatoes, beetroot jelly, rocket, buttermilk and basil oil is a wonder. Crunchy, creamy, crispy in all the right places, it manages to be both refreshing and exciting. Another winner (and the most pop popular dish) is the beef tataki. Fillet and sushi fans, this one is for you. Imagine perfectly seared fillet battered and sliced into ‘sushi’ style rolls, served with wasabi infused kewpie mayo and crispy tempura options. Pure bites of bliss.
The best part? You do not have to choose as the Tasting Menu includes two starters. So go for them both, or branch out into the likes of the Smoked snoek samoosa with hanepoot, corn, citrus rooibos chicken and fragrant herbs. Alternatively there is also the prawn dumplings with togarashi mayo. You can make no mistakes here.
At Homespun, even the palate cleansers are worthy of a line or two. Far from a sad dollop of sorbet, here you are served a combo of MCC, fruit, candied peels, pops of ‘caviar’ and, if you are lucky, an electric daisy. It is a mind-bending, full mouth experience.
With all senses tingling, it was time for mains. The firm favourite is Matt’s special beef fillet. However, as with all things at Homespun, it is not what you would expect. Here, the succulent Angus beef is surrounded by wasabi-infused mayo, carrot puree, walnut crumb, caramelised red onion, fried capers (so good!), smoked cherry tomatoes and a dark, salty ponzu reduction. I hope he never takes this one off the menu. Every element harmonizes perfectly and the wine pairing just sends it over the top.
For fish-lovers, the Kingklip, with squid, dukkha, yuzu togarashi, avocado, cucumber dashi and parsnip is a winner. Together with that, the Idiom Pinot Gris a crisp compliment. New to the menu is the Gammon – served with pecorino, orange honey, mushrooms and baby marrow, it too is a fulsome dish and ideal if you are missing Christmas already.
Matt brings magic to the desserts too; the most popular of which is the chocolate torte, though I personally will never say no to a good crème bruleé – served in this case with fruit sorbet, sweet potato, cardamom white chocolate and coffee inflections. If you are visiting South Africa for the first time, order the Milk tart. Matt’s take on one of best-loved heritage dishes (akin to a baked custard tart), is tremendous. The Amarula, Kahluha and Tonka bean adding a naughty dash to the otherwise innocent treat. All desserts are paired with an African rooibos ruby vermouth, the muscat infused with our iconic local herb. A perfect ending.
Paired with impeccable service – friendly and attentive without being overbearing – it is a spot that delivers the whole package in one neat little parcel.
So take the short drive out to the coast, soak in the iconic views of our glorious mountain and then end off the evening transported into culinary heaven.
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Blog post by Tarah Darge