Before I had even sat down to eat lunch at the renowned La Colombe restaurant on the Constantia Uitsig wine estate outside of Cape Town, I already had expectations. Consistently ranked as one of South Africa’s finest dining establishments, I was hoping for the best. Normally, I don’t go by those lists as I find many of them too political and often flawed.
But, upon entering the rustic, French-chic country cottage that houses the restaurant, I knew I was in for a treat. Our waitress introduced herself and said she would be guiding us through our options for lunch. She was literally the best waitress I’ve ever encountered in my life, both in service and demeanor. She started us off with a “welcome” from the chef which was presented in a glass fish bowl that depicted an “under the sea” edible scene – I about died over that. The appetizers and main courses followed, all of them with a different theme and artful fantasy presented on the plate. I especially loved the timing of the meal with appropriate breaks added-in to cleanse the palette with lemon sorbet and prepare you for the next course.
The entire meal took about three hours – I could have spent four or five and been just as comfortable. My favorite part, though, was the “jewelry box” of turkish delights, bonbons and candies presented with the check. I don’t care where you are in South Africa, even if it’s on safari in Kruger Park, fly to Cape Town for the day and head straight to La Colombe. No appreciative and detail-oriented foodie should be deprived of this experience.