Tuesday, 22 October 2013

{Cape Town} The Roundhouse

It's been a little while since my last post and all I can do is offer my sincerest apologies for that. It seems the end of year panic has set in in both my work life and personal life. It feels as though our weekend in Cape Town was a lifetime ago! But never fear, I took pictures to document the experience (albeit with my iPhone - pardon the quality). This post also turned out a bit long, so hopefully that should make up for it!

The next part of our trip that I wanted to share with you is a very special evening my boyfriend and I spent at The Roundhouse. This restaurant sits on the slopes of Lion's Head, overlooking Camps Bay. The building has a long history and has been used for many purposes from a guardhouse for the Dutch East India Company in 1786 to a hunting lodge for Lord Somerset in the eighteen hundreds to the beautiful fine dining "epicurean" restaurant it is today. The Roundhouse follows a philosophy of exceptional hospitality, which is evident from you step foot on the path leading up to the restaurant doors. Our every need was catered for throughout the evening and the staff were professional, but friendly; happily explaining to us some of the culinary terms that were a bit beyond our comprehension.

We had booked the evening as a somewhat delayed celebration of our eight year anniversary. It was the perfect location for the celebration! Even our menu had been customised for us! We enjoyed an amazing four course meal with wine pairings. As each wine is served, the sommelier explains the wine flavours and the combination of that wine with the food course.

For the starter I had an organic vegetable salad with mushroom soil and herb emulsion. I know, I know...go to a restaurant like that and order a salad??? Yes, I did it. The salad was meticulously arranged such that every leaf seemed to have its own place. And it was the most delicious salad I'd ever had. The BF enjoyed the slow-cooked beef tongue with celeriac purée and whole-grain mustard. The tongue was cooked to perfection and melted in my mouth like butter!

Organic Vegetable Salad (above), Beef Tongue (below)

For the second course, I chose the salmon trout, mainly because it had aubergine in the description. I LOVE Aubergine! And although I am not a big fish eater, I really enjoyed this course. BF had the pan roasted panga and also enjoyed it. This was probably our least favourite course of the evening and we would have been more than happy to be served this as a meal. Which really says a lot about the standard of the food!

Salmon Trout (above), Panga (below)

Next up was the main course.I had a tough choice here with duck breast, my go-to option, on offer. I decided to opt for something adventurous and went for the venison loin. The meat was cooked to perfection and topped with a macadamia brulée that brought a very slight sweetness to the dish and complemented the meat perfectly. BF ordered the Charmar beef fillet with a white truffle pommes purée and a ruby port juice. If we went again I would definitely choose this as my main. Perfection. That's all I have to say!

Venison loin (above), Charmar fillet (below)

Dessert is always a tough choice for me. I wish there was a dessert option, similar to multiple choice tests, where you didn't have to choose options A, B, or C, but could rather select "D. All of the above"! Does anyone else feel the same?
We were advised by the maître d' that the banana soufflé was excellent, but should we wish to have it we should choose lighter meals for the other courses. Well, we didn't choose lighter meals for the first three courses, but nothing could keep me away from that soufflé. I brought stretch pants on the holiday for a reason! The banana soufflé is served with caramel ice-cream. Upon arrival of this dish at the table, the waitrons cut an x-shape in the middle of the soufflé and slip the ice-cream into the centre of the soufflé. At first I could help the slight tinge of devastation I felt at seeing that beautiful scoop of ice-cream fall into the hot soufflé, where it's fate would be a creamy puddle. I quickly got over that with my first mouthful. As the ice-cream melts, it almost soaks into the soufflé to create a heavenly caramel-banana flavour combination.

Banana Soufflé with Caramel Ice-cream

I was also very impressed when, at the end of the meal, there was some confusion over the bill. I queried this with one of the staff members who, without question, made the changes I had enquired after and brought another bill. I was blown away by the level of service that the staff provided that evening. I often wonder if the service is actually more important than the meal itself. At The Roundhouse I didn't have to choose, the level of both is outstanding and they really live up to their philosophy of exceptional hospitality.

If you are looking for a restaurant for a special occasion or a place to have a light meal and a few drinks at a beautiful setting, I would strongly recommend The Roundhouse and The Rumbullion. It's not just a meal. It's an experience.

  • The restaurant is pretty pricey, but had a winter food and wine paring special which put the prices more within our reach. Keep an eye on their blog for more specials, although it seems these are only available in the winter.
  • I booked a couple of weeks in advance and I would advise you do the same. Ask for a seat at the windows to ensure you don't miss out on the beautiful views (like we did).
  • In spring and summer, the Rumbullion Lawns open. This setting offers some of The Roundhouse experience, but with a more relaxed feel.
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