Definitely a restaurant to go for a bit of a splurge. My husband and I came here on a Saturday evening to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. Located in the Morningside Shopping Centre, this restaurant sits jowl by cheek among some great eateries including Pomodoro and Signature.
The decor is classy and understated with comfortable seating. I found , however, that the lighting was extremely poor. At one point I whipped out my phone torch to better see my food. If I’m going to eat such beautiful food, I would really like to see it first!
The menu’s are presented in the form of a tablet and allow you to see some of the dishes available. The waiters also carry around a small smart phone, which I presume is used to enter orders into. I felt though that the phone was a distraction and focused the waiters more on the devices than their patrons. I just feel it doesn’t look professional and would really prefer the good old fashioned pen and paper. That being said, he was extremely attentive and knowledgeable about the array of dishes.
There is no wine list per se, but the menu does state that a collection of exclusive wines sourced from South African wineries is available. I ordered a glass of white wine and was pleasantly surprised by the price (R30) considering the type of restaurant I was in.
My husband and I decided we would order the tasting plates. Basically if you order the starter and main tasting plates, a dessert tasting plate is given complimentary. This seemed like a fantastic opportunity to get a good feel for all the restaurant had to offer. Although I love eating, I feel we would have been better served sharing one starter, main and dessert plate with my husband ordering an extra full sized main. The quantity of food was astonishing and I left feeling slightly ill. Something to consider if you don’t have a massive appetite.
Below is a breakdown of what was on each tasting plate and the various opinions I hold on each. Note that should you prefer not to do a tasting, all the below come in full sized portions too!
Starter tasting plate
- Mushroom spring rolls with brinjal chutney- crunchy spring rolls made from phyllo pastry accentuated by the sweet and sour tanginess of the brinjal chutney. A lovely and complex dish
- Duck lasagne- this dish consisted of flash fried duck between layers of phyllo with asian plum sauce. The flavours were honestly outstanding however the dish was let down by the duck basically being tiny, dry little shreds of meat. It gave the impression of eating flavoured saw dust and I felt it was a waste considering the beauty of the natural ingredient.
- Crispy fried chilli squid with cardamon mayo and tomato atchar- I have never tasted a dish that has so much of a cardamon flavour and it was truly delicious. Although not really crispy the squid was tender and flavoursome.
- Lamb samoosa with mint mayo- the lamb was cooked to perfecting, soft and pink. I would have liked a bit more mayo to cut the dryness of the meat and pastry.
Main tasting plate
- Sea bass with a pepper essence foam and a dill potato cake- one of the blandest dishes of the night. The fish was not very well seasoned and the pepper essence foam was non-existent. Not an interesting dish at all.
- Pork belly with sweet potato puree and mango mojo- I dont know what mango mojo is but boy did I enjoy it! This element lifted the dish to a whole new level. The sweet potato puree was silky smooth and sweet. The pork crackling was a huge let down as it had no flavour at all. All it needed was a bit of salt to brink out the natural flavours and this dish would be spectacular
- Chicken fig gorgonzola- a stuffed chicken breast cover in blue cheese, a fig foam and candied nuts. The sharp blue cheese with the candied nuts worked perfectly together to give me a dish I kept wanting more of. If there’s one main I would order again this would be it!
- Fillet bernaise- this dish is the only one not currently on the mains menu in a full sized portion. I found the meat to be overcooked as I prefer it medium rare and I now know I’m not a fan of bernaise sauce as it’s too eggy and rich for me. The potato rosti was a delight. Soft inside and crunchy on the outside. very yum!
dessert tasting plate
- Choc-chip bread and butter pudding- let me just start by saying this is the last dessert I would ever pick when confronted with the amazing sounding offerings on the menu. But do yourself a favour… ORDER IT! And don’t share! The pudding itself was soft and moist without being over-poweringly sweet. It came served with a banana ice-cream which tasted just like eating the real thing! Crunchy caramelised sugar work not only made it look beautiful but added a great textural element to a fabulous dessert. By far the best thing I ate all night!
- Pina-colada cheese cake- I found this to be less of a cheese cake and more of a panna cotta in terms of consistency. Also I didn’t find it to have any massively enticing flavours.
- lindt bon bons- essentially a lindt ball wrapped in phyllo and deep fried. Very little inventiveness needed here. The menu doesn’t give a description only stating its a must order and honestly if I had wasted my dessert order on this I would be a very unhappy customer. Lindt is naturally a chocolate with a high fat content so I find that fried it was all a bit too oily for me.
- Pineapple crumble- not for me at all. The crumble was not crumbly at all but rather big chunks of hard dough atop overly sweet pineapple.
Overall this was an enjoyable evening. Some of our dishes were a bit hit and miss but there’s definitely enough here to make me want to come back for another meal, if only to have the bread and butter pudding again!
The whole evening set us back a hefty R920.00 which is no small amount by anyone’s standards, however for what we got and the lovely evening we had, I found it very worthwhile!
overall rating 4/5
010 500 3778
Morningside Shopping Centre