I stumbled across La Colombe when reading the Eat Out Guide 2018. According to Eat Out, La Colombe is listed as the 7th best restaurant in South Africa. It is also positioned amongst the top restaurants in the world and is known internationally for the quality and innovation of food.
Winter Fine Dining:
Winter is one of the best times to try out some of the fine dining restaurants in Cape Town. Many of them offer a winter menu, for a reduced price, you can sample some of the finest food in the world. To celebrate a good friends birthday, who happens to be a foodie, we took the opportunity to try La Colombe’s winter special.
Location, Location, Location:
The estate lies within the Table Mountain National Park. Nestled in the Constantia Nek area, high on the slopes of the Constantiaberg mountains, surrounded by wine valley, is where you find the Silvermist Estate.
First Impressions Last:
Our experience started in the estate car park when we arrived. The exceptional friendly security guard, opening our car door for us and directing us to the entrance was, as it was our first visit to the estate. Stepping in at reception, my reservation was confirmed, and I was swept away to the entrance hall for a small surprise. Guest are invited to pick a palette cleanser from a little ‘enchanted forest’. This was a small sign of the theatrical dining experience we were going to have. The white chocolate palette cleanser, bursting with lychee, cleanses the palette and awakens your taste buds.
La Colombe Simplicity:
Stepping into the main dining area, the area is light and open. The space is divided into 2 areas, the main dining area and a smaller section with large glass windows to allow uninterrupted views of the vineyard below and the mountains beyond. The dining room has simple décor, which does not compete or detract from the star, the food! We were seated in the main dining area, but we had views into the vineyards from where we were seated.
Winter Tasting Menu at La Colombe:
After our waiter introduced himself, he explained the lunch menu and our options. We could choose four tasting plates from the menu.
Complimentary course: The bread arrived with a stylist flair, with a side serving of green moss, continuing with the enchanted theme. It consisted of warm sourdough bread, pork flavoured lard and hand-churned butter.
One of La Colombe’s signature dishes, is the Tuna La Colombe, came highly recommended. This light dish, is served in a custom La Colombe tuna can, is peeled back to reveal bite size chunks of seared yellowfin tuna. The ‘Alice in Wonderland’ offering in an umami broth with avocado, sesame and shiitake. The tuna was as soft as butter and melted in your mouth and the flavours were energetic and complimentary. I loved this dish so much, I could have gladly had this for all my courses.
Another beautifully presented dish. A Mozambican prawn served with kerala style sweetbreads, a snoek dressing, coriander and just enough small dollops of sweet potato not to weigh this dish down. I loved the combination of flavours, textures and portions, all complimenting and not overpowering the prawn.
A palette cleanser consisting of lemongrass, ginger, pomelo and kalamansi. This dish took us by surprise. We were completely wowed by this palate cleanser, served in enchanted forest with a bed of flowing dry ice. Everything from the presentation, flavours and small finishing details, created a theatrical dining experience and transports you to an enchanted world for a few minutes.
Cauliflower risotto. This creamy risotto was al dente and cooked to perfection. It was accompanied by marinated burrata, salsa verde and winter vegetables. I really enjoyed this creamy risotto and brought to live with intense flavours and fresh herbs.
The final course, Plate 4:
The final course and pièce de résistance, was desert. I chose the roasted namelaka, pineapple, chamomile, sesame and honeycomb, which was a desert with white chocolate. I was hesitant when I heard this desert contained white chocolate, as I normally don’t eat. Everything in this deconstructed dish, textures and flavours, worked so well.
All good things must come to an end:
We ended our meal and birthday celebrations with hot drinks, delectable truffles and biscuits. Andiswa and I had an experience that changed the way we look at food. It was fresh, original, innovative, playful and swept us off our feet. We arrived at 12h30pm and were the last to leave at 4pm. I can see why foodies across the globe head here and keep coming back when they visit Cape Town.
Passion made visible:
The staff at La Colombe are exceptional and well trained. The service they provide is what adds to an unrivalled dining experience. They appeared to be quite passionate about the brand and were very knowledgeable. We could ask any staff member for details on any of the dishes and they answered without hesitation. They knew when to assist and when to give you space.
Would I go back to La Colombe?
Absolutely yes! We visited La Colombe on the last day before they closed for renovations. They have since reopened after a short winter break. I am keen to go back to see the new interiors and try the new menu! The Winter Special Menu is R465 per person and runs until 31 August 2018. It is valid for weekday lunches only.
We will have to choose our next dining experience wisely, as it will be a tall order to meet this experience. Until next time. Adventure awaits!