After dining at Chefs Warehouse and Canteen in Bree Street, Cape Town, South Africa, I wanted to visit all of Liam Tomlin’s restaurants. The Chefs Warehouse in Beau Constantia was fully booked. However, we were able to get a last minute slot.
I was amazed at the beautiful view. Located at the top of Constantia Nek, overlooking False Bay and the vineyards. It was spectacular. They used a lot of natural materials in the restaurant interior and exterior that complemented the environment. Through their large windows, a lot of natural light enter as well as provide you with a picturesque view.
The open kitchen creates a great vibe as you can interact with the chef and his incredible team and see how the ingredients are transformed into edible art. The pendant lights, above the kitchen counter, added an interesting feature as well as being functional keeping the food heated while awaiting service.
The restaurant only opened in December 2016 but with its sister restaurant in the heart of the city and the ex- Test Kitchen’s chef, Ivor Jones it was bound to be a winning combination. The concept of the restaurant was base on sharing great tapas style food with a plant to table kind of feel as most of their ingredients are fresh from their large garden. The menu is seasonal driven and changes regularly.
They serve eight different tapas dishes over three courses. You would be able to add bread or oysters as a starter as well as a dessert of your choice at an additional charge. We decided to start our dining experience with their bread.
The local bread, butter and olives arrived.
The potato bread from the Woodstock bakery was given a light toasting on their charcoal grill and served with a piped butter with a fennel salt and olives marinated with their garden herbs. The bread was crisp and together with the freshness of the herbs made for a great start to our culinary feast.
The first course of three plates arrived.
The first dish was a seared tuna with a miso cream cheese, fermented black bean salsa, pickled jalapeno and green pepper topped off with thinly sliced radish and tempura kale. The plating was very detailed and looked beautiful. The paper thin radish amazed me; some serious knife skills were used here. If I did not know as I had kale, I would never have quested it, judging by the taste. It was so crisp and delicious, adding a great crunch element to the dish. I need more of this Kale in my life.
The second dish was one of their newer dishes, a Yellowtail sashimi with vermicelli noodles, crispy onions, charcoaled onions, spicy road dressing and a coconut-lime dressing. The coconut-lime dressing was poured over the dish in front of us, creating a bit of theatre at our table. An interesting dish indeed with some great flavour combinations.
The third dish, a blacked beef teriyaki with a sour cream dressing, rice puffs, toasted coconut, roasted aubergine, tomato, cucumber, fresh basil, mint, coriander and to top it off a bit of chilli string. This dish had a little bit of a spicy side, and they recommended to finish off with it. The spiciness of the chilli together with the toasted coconut work brilliantly together. The rice puffs was a great little crunch to the dish. I have to admit at first glance they reminded me of little worms, but boy did they taste good.
In between each course, the staff was very quick to clear the tables and fill up our glasses.
The second course of two dishes arrived.
The fourth dish was a pea risotto with Swiss chard, lemon salted butter, a Belnori goats cheese and topped off with fried peas and sugar snaps. This risotto was so silky and smooth and just damn delicious. My husband is not a pea fan and would never order a pea dish, he tried it, loved it and almost did not want to share it. He said if I made peas like this he would eat it every single day. Kudos to the chef for making him eat his peas.
The fifth dish, was an Asia tuc mushrooms, sitting on a tahini mayo with a charred spring onion and teriyaki, a variety of different mushrooms cooked in a variety of ways, topped off with a crispy corn crepe and shaved button mushrooms. The presentation of this dish was excellent. I liked the plate as I felt it added so much to the overall presentation. The crepe was super thin and with a subtle corn flavour it disappears in your mouth. The flavour combinations of the different mushrooms worked well together, to add more dimension to the dish.
The third course of three dishes arrived.
The sixth dish, a pan fried Hake sitting on a charred corn puree with a burnt lime and topped with a corn salsa. The flavour combinations of the corn and the fish were remarkable. The fish was cooked perfectly with the skin crisp and the centre soft. The acidity of the lime broke through the sweetness of the corn.
The seventh dish, a barbequed duck breast sitting on a peanut sauté, steamed bok choy and broccoli topped with a Mediterranean black pepper dressing. The presentation of the dish was mouth-watering. The duck was prepared flawlessly with its crispy skin and juicy centre.
The eighth and final dish of our tapas menu was a de-boned Moroccan lamb rib, with a port jus around the sides, homemade ricotta, onions and topped with a Moroccan crumb. The flavours were spot on. The meat was so soft; it melted in your mouth. The crispy skin added an element of crunch, leaving you wanting more. This dish was by far my favourite and I might even go as far as to say the best lamb rib I have ever had.
As we came to and end of a great tapas menu, we were so impressed with every single dish and felt that we could not leave this restaurant without trying their desserts and coffee. We asked the chef to recommend two of his favourite desserts. If I were to select I would have selected them all, as they all sounded delicious.
Our coffee arrived on a slate tray and looked lovely. The coffee tasted great. The milk was frothed perfectly leaving you with a sweetish taste. This barista knew how to brew a good cup that was for sure. Great coffee!
As our dessert arrived, I was amazed as it looked beyond expectation. Each served on its own tray, and I could not wait to dig right in.
The first dessert was a wild honey and lavender crème served with a honeycomb topped with a lavender infused wild honey and served with a side of cassia bark ice cream. The crème was light with the burst of flavours coming through the crunchiness of the honeycomb, and the subtleness of the lavender was such a delight. Together with the ice cream, my taste buds went into overload. Winning combination.
The final dessert was their chocolate pot. At the bottom was a chocolate cake drenched in salted caramel, topped with a chocolate mousse and grated chocolate served with an orange marmalade ice cream on the side. The salted caramel added a unique surprise element to the dish. The mousse was prepared perfectly with just the correct amount of sweetness to it.
Looking back at our dining experience, there was not a thing that I could critique regarding the taste and presentation of the food. It was spot one, world class. The floor manager, Jami was great and together with the rest of the staff made our experience so memorable. This restaurant is a dining spot that I would return to again and again and highly recommend. Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia you get the biggest splash of approval.