If you’ve ever had a meal that truly had the power to shift your perspective on food, the art of cooking and creative usage of ingredients – a meal at La Colombe, in Cape Town, would be the one to do just that. A remarkable dining establishment tucked into a mountainside in the wine-making suburb of Constantia. Chefs Scot Kirton, James Gaag and Andre Steyn work together to bring South Africa’s incredible ingredients together in dishes that will shock and impress even the most jaded foodie.
Of course, the setting of Constantia, with views over the restaurant’s own gardens and vineyards beyond, is impressive. On sunny and warm days, the restaurant offers inside and outside dining – with exceptional service. The menu for lunch is best enjoyed at the chef’s whim and accompanied by a strictly South African wine pairing. I indulged in lunch here, an eight-course dance of flavors and visual stimulation so impressive, I was left with my jaw on the ground.
The meal started with ceramic quail eggs served in “nest”, stuffed with an egg custard. A bread course with warm lamb drippings, puree and other juices for dipping.
South African Kingklip fish with roasted vegetables, and, my favorite, the La Colombe tuna – served in an actual La Colombe branded tuna can. The edible flowers on top, revealed when the can was opened at the table, were a beautiful touch. Each glass of wine poured at the table was fantastic – and took me on a journey on South Africa’s wine offerings from vineyard to vineyard in regions like Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.
After lunch and dessert, petit fours were accompanied by a pot of fresh mint tea from the garden. Service at La Colombe was stellar and the ambiance memorable. I didn’t want to leave. You cannot miss this experience when in Cape Town.