The culinary journey of Chef Luke Dale Roberts is undeniably thrilling. After all, not many chefs can claim to have helmed South Africa’s top-ranked restaurant (multiple times), earning a spot on the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. His new venture, Salon, now encapsulates these invaluable experiences into an intimate, Gatsby-esque setting, providing guests with an unforgettable global gastronomic adventure.
Upon arrival, guests receive a map hinting at the culinary voyage about to unfold. They can then choose between the nine-course “Journey” or the five-course “Explorer.” Thanks to Dale’s development head chef, Carla Schulze, the force behind Salon’s kitchen, tantalizing Eastern flavors like Singaporean chili and Korean beef “Kalbi” tempt those eager to peek ahead. The finale, inspired by South Africa, offers a delightful journey through cream and coffee.
Nestled in an exclusive area upstairs at the Hyatt Hotel, Urchin is a chic new restaurant. Chef Gerard van Staden’s dishes reflect the vibrancy of the nearby Bo-Kaap houses. During our visit, the sultry guitar skills of a local performer added an intimate touch. Urchin not only offers a signature menu and chef’s specials but also themed dinners.
Chef Gerard’s love for seafood permeates the menu, with subtle Eastern flavors emerging from his time spent in the Orient. While my foodie companions eagerly indulged in his seafood platter, the hero dish for me was the signature duck plate, paired with bok choy, tofu candy, and grilled watermelon, served with crispy rice cakes. Chocolate enthusiasts won’t resist the flourless chocolate tart with hazelnut praline, caramelized hazelnuts, berry coulis, and cardamom ice cream.
If you ask me about some of the most unforgettable nights in Cape Town, a few undoubtedly involve time spent at Harringtons. From meticulously crafted cocktails to moments on the dance floor, it’s both unassuming and profoundly local. Lately, I’ve been enjoying the Wednesday night wine feasts – a delightful pairing of local vineyards with the kitchen’s creations.
Mantra Café, Camps Bay
Along Camps Bay’s picture-perfect beach, countless glamorous yet trendy restaurants line up. Amidst the chain eateries and fashionable model hangouts, Mantra Café, a family-run restaurant, stands out as a warm and genuine gem.
The place is lush with luxurious vegetation, draping from the ceiling and adorning various tables, creating a sense of dining in a chic garden. Be sure to book in advance and request a sunset table on the balcony (if in doubt, just ask for Jared’s favorite). It’s my go-to restaurant for family outings, and perhaps a date or two, especially when the pork ribs and chocolate mousse are on offer.