| Everyday Luxury Travel Africa South Africa

La Colombe: One of Cape Town’s Favourite Restaurants

As much as you can do endless research into the best restaurants that a country offers, there’s nothing better than a recommendation from someone who you trust.

Ashleigh has become a firm friend during my first year of blogging and her blog Quintessentially Me is a fantastic source of information on travel, restaurants and clean eating. Ashleigh was born in Brighton but grew up in South Africa and was an absolute fount of knowledge while I was planning my trip. Her childhood best friend and fellow blogger, Sam is also a South African living in London. Though I’ve never met Sam, we share a huge passion for food and she was kind enough to write me an extensive list of foodie recommendations in and around Cape Town.

Ashleigh suggested that we try one of her favourite restaurants, La Colombe, once voted No.12 in the prestigious San Pellegrino Restaurant Awards. Actually it wasn’t only Ashleigh who recommended it, while we were in Cape Town, La Colombe was a name that kept coming up as a big favourite.

I made sure I booked well in advance for such a top notch restaurant and I was really looking forward to a spectacular lunch. However, on the day we ended up getting spectacularly lost and arriving nearly 40 minutes late, I was of course stressing about missing our reservation but the staff at La Colombe reassured me they wouldn’t give away our table and when we arrived they we so lovely and welcoming.

I was immediately struck by the gorgeous views….

 

 

Though the day was slightly overcast it was still beautifully warm and the cloud didn’t stop us enjoying the views of Constantia Valley in Hout Bay. Actually the reason that we got lost was our GPS was trying to direct us to La Colombe’s previous premises instead of the current location at the Silvermist Wine Estate at the top of Constantia Nek.

Sensing our stress built up from plenty of google mapping, route recalculations and phone calls, the lovely waiting staff quickly poured us a glass of wine and presented us with the menu.

 

First an amuse bouche of yellowfin tuna, ponzu citrus, ginger and yuzu, sweetly presently in a tuna can.

Mr S started with beef tataki with anchovy and parmesan dressing, poached quail’s egg, coriander mousse and black pepper puffs. The beef was cooked beautifully and it was so artfully presented.

My dish was also pretty as a picture: Alaskan snow crab served with yellowtail ceviche and cubes of umami jelly and avocado. It was the perfect light and refreshing dish for a slightly muggy day.

The beautiful creations are work of internationally acclaimed Head Chef, Scot Kirton. Starting with no training, in four years Scot worked his way up to sous chef at Haute Cabriere before working for Gordon Ramsay at The Savoy Grill for two years. In 2007, Scot became Sous Chef at La Colombe, under South Africa’s top chef Luke Dale Roberts. In 2010 Scot was handed the reins of La Colombe and became Head Chef, creating a menu of seasonal ingredients using cooking and techniques straight from the heart.

The innovation is clear, especially with the palate cleanser which arrived nestling among some pebbles. We quickly popped the cold balls of cocoa butter into our mouths and they exploded with a zesty liquid inside.

Despite clever amuse bouches, palate cleansers and white table clothes, the atmosphere at La Colombe is incredibly relaxed. The room itself is very simple so that the visual stunners are the view and the beautifully presented food.

I chose panfried kingklip served with caramelised cauliflower, bok choi, mussels, cashew and lemon crumble with salsa verde veloute. The menu is primarily classic French but the Asian influences introduced by Luke Dale Roberts are still prevalent. I found the resulting fusion produces very clean flavours that aren’t overpowered by creamy sauces or butter.

Mr S chose sous vide Karoo lamb loin with pickled aubergine, tomato puree and fondant potatoes. Once again both cooking and presentation were perfect. Scot is a big advocate of the sous vide cooking method in order to achieve a perfect tender and evenly cooked piece of meat.

Desserts were total star of the show:

Bitter chocolate with a velvety and creamy texture paired with perfectly tart raspberries cleverly prepared three ways (consomme, puree and pickle) and set against the sweeter straciatella ice cream.

Ginger curd served with cashew cake, mango sorbet, black sesame, kalamansi (a small citrus fruit) and buttermilk. I loved the way Scot combined the sweet and bitter ingredients to create different flavours notes resulting in puddings that weren’t overly sweet.

 

Petits fours of truffles and Turkish delight were presented beautifully in a wooden log lined with stones, mimicking the gorgeous natural environment of the valley and surrounding trees.

Our lunch at La Colombe was absolutely faultless; delicious and beautifully presented food, a relaxed environment and kind and attentive service.

Thank you, Ashleigh for such a fantastic recommendation.

La Colombe
Silvermist Wine Estate
Main Road
Constantia Nek
8001
South Africa

  • Ahhh Angie this looks incredible! Got lots of catching up to do on your SA adventures and I think my sick day in bed is the perfect day! Can't get over how good those desserts looks!

    Lauren xx
    The Lifestyle Diaries

    • I hope you enjoy the rest of the adventures. It's a beautiful dessert isn't it.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • It just all looks so incredibly beautiful! x

    • Works of art!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Angie your food photography is getting better and better with each post! I'm almost scared to read your blog first thing in the morning before brunch because it gives me such serious food envy haha. I'm loving the view and the tuna can-presentation — everything about La Colombe is so beautiful, it's enough to make me book a flight to Cape Town! x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • You should! You would photograph it beautifully!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Wonderfully presented! Looks so yummy!

    http://beautyfollower.blogspot.gr

  • La Colombe is incredible, isn't it? One of my friends actually works in the kitchen there, so I'll definitely pass this review along to her 🙂

    Stunning dishes and so beautifully presented – definitely need to go back on my eventual return to Cape Town!

    • Oh wow, that's amazing! Tell her thank you from me! I'd love to see a review from you.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Such beautiful scenery and food.
    xxx
    Lyndsey
    http://www.labeau.co.uk

    • Everything is perfection isn't it!

  • Lovely post as always Angie! I know some people don't like sous vide food, but I just love it – it ends up being so tender I find xx

    • Thanks lovely! Mr S certainly wasn't complaining!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • That little tuna can! I'm a sucker for cute stuff like that – I love it because it makes the meal an experience and very photogenic. It all looks so delicious and those views are just incredible! Love your photography here too.

    • Thank you so much lovely, I love those little twists and turns that turn a meal into an adventure!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Not sure if my previous comment went through or not – but I was saying that this gave me goosebumps! Made me long to be back. We are going again in May – it's just the best! xxxx

    • That's so lovely, thank you love…I'm so pleased you're going again soon!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Beautifully written Angie, I can almost taste the flavours!

    • Thank you lovely!

  • wow, this is what i call a very special dining experience! your photos are stunning and I love the descriptions. If I ever make it to Cape Town, this would be a must! x

    Miho @ Wander to Wonder

    • You must, make sure you book in advance and try not to be late 😉
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • What a gorgeous view from the restaurant. The food looks gorgeous as well, wonderfully presented.

    • It's like art, isn't it?

  • Wow, visually stunning and sounds like it tasted incredible too!!

  • Your food photography is looking incredible Angie – It may help that you have beautiful food to photograph too though! That view is impeccable. What a gorgeous stay.

    Katie <3

    • Thank you lovely. Mr S and I argue over who took each photo, I like the one of the dessert and I'm pretty sure I took it…
      Lots of love,
      Angie

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