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Mouth-Watering Mother City

Three eateries in Cape Town have had a culinary and visual makeover that, if you liked them before, you’re going to love them now

 

BOCCA

New ownership, chef & menu

Fans of this Italian eatery – and I’m one of them – will be happy to know the City Bowl favourite has got even better. New owners Guido and Adnana Brambilla have relocated from Bermuda, where Guido was the executive chef at a big hotel. He’s added a more contemporary style of urban Italian cuisine to the newly decorated space. Portions have become a little smaller – think Italian-style tapas – with the idea that you can either sit at the counter and order a few different plates from the “Bites” section of the menu with a glass of wine, or sit at a big table with a bunch of friends and share the wide variety of dishes from the “Crispy”, “Grains” and “Arrosti” sections. The latter’s cuts of beef, lamb, poultry and pork are seasoned and slow-roasted overnight in the dying embers of the wood-fired pizza oven. And yes, Bocca will still be offering its wonderful Verace Pizza Napoletanastyle pizzas on slow-fermented dough cooked at super-high heat.

Pricing Dishes from R75 to R145

Favourite dish Angus brisket braised in red wine and bay leaves, with salsa verde R140

Corner of Bree & Wale Streets, Cape Town CBD

bocca.co.za

 

SALSIFY

New name, ownership, chef & menu

To do with neither the Cuban dance or the Mexican sauce, foodies will know that salsify is pronounced sal-suh-fee, and is a root vegetable with an oyster-like flavour, popular in old French and modern British cuisine. It’s also the name of this new restaurant at the historic Roundhouse building in the Glen between Camps Bay and Clifton. Opened by the Test Kitchen’s Luke Dale-Roberts and fellow chef Ryan Cole (who has worked beside him at the Test Kitchen for the past three years), this new fine-dining establishment offers an à la carte menu, with a tasting menu on the cards further down the line. In reference to the restaurant’s name, the food has a focus on the trending “root to leaf” style of cooking (using a vegetable’s entirety – leaves, stem and all), as well as an emphasis on fish. “My father was a career fisherman and my brother is one too, so it’s in my DNA,” says Ryan. “A waste-not-want-not nose-to-tail approach will feature too.

Pricing Dishes from R150 to R270

Favourite dish Spring minestrone with octopus, oyster, sea herbs and tomato water R150

Roundhouse Road, Camps Bay

Salsify.co.za

 

THE RESTAURANT @ THE NEK

New name, chef & menu

Two years after the Harbour House Group (of Tiger’s Milk and La Parada fame) gave the Constantia Nek restaurant a major face-lift, it has renamed the landmark building, along with revamping the decor, menu and an impressively comprehensive wine list. In comes award-winning chef Dylan Laity (formerly of the Roundhouse), bringing with him bold flavours and a local twist. “We’re serving modern South African cuisine with influences from my travels abroad,” he says. “There’s a good mix of seafood, vegetarian, vegan and meat courses, and I’m determined to use only the best and most seasonal produce I can source.” Anyone who has eaten here in the previous Harbour House incarnation will also notice that the predominantly white decor has been replaced with a palette of moody hues accented by wood, natural stone and lean-lined, Scandi-influenced furniture. The magnificent view of the Constantia Valley, however, remains. 

Pricing Eight-course set menu R820 per person (R1 150 with wine pairing)

Favourite dish Rare Karan beef seasoned with rooikrans coal oil and fermented chilli

Hout Bay Road, Hout Bay/Constantia

Constantianek.co.za

 

WORDS Steve Smith

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