Last Friday Wes Anderson, Mouse, Long Distance and of course The Princess joined me for dinner at The Roundhouse. The vibe here is that you pay according to how many courses you have. 3 courses is R330, 4 courses is R440 and R550 gets you 5 courses. You also have the option of pairing each course with a wine, or, if you are feeling super glamourous, pairing each course with a reserve wine. The main reason we had gathered though was because of the special they are currently running: 6 courses for R180.
Now, let's start with the service at The Roundhouse. For me, the best in the country. I have said before that part of eating out is the feeling of being hosted, and that is exactly how you feel here. We were greeted by Vanessa who had just returned from New York. She was brilliant throughout the evening, explaining complex dishes and even the reason why they were on the menu. The most impressive thing for me was the passion and pride which came through. It was very obvious that she believed in each dish and the quality of the food on offer. She was right too.
We kicked things off with an Amuse Bouche in the form of a lentil and smoked salmon soup. I wasn't mad about the texture, but the flavour combinations were good. For starters there was a choice between a potat0 and parsley puree, served with bone marrow and oxtail jus or a duck egg linguine. The pasta was a cheeky take on a classic carbonara sauce and was light and delicious. The bone marrow blew everyone away with its taste and presentation.
Gurnet featured as the fish option for mains, which was a refreshimg change to the normal fish we see everywhere. The other option was slow-cooked pork belly with an apple and rosemary sauce. I had been particularly taken by a dish on their regular menu and asked the chef if he could make it as my main, which he graciously did. Squid-ink tagliatelle with squid, tomato and chilli. I found the chilli to be almost non-existent but to be fair Vanessa had told us it wasn't very strong and we should ask for more if we wanted. The pork belly was a huge hit and arrived looking a lot more attractive than most versions I have seen.
As a palette-cleanser we were then brought strawberry sorbet which was good but not amazing. Dessert stole the show. One was a cake layered with peanut butter, banana and Felchlin chocolate. (Felchlin is a premium Swiss chocolate brand), served with chocolate ice cream and the other was a blood orange and gingerbread tart. Both were phenomenal.
Just when we thought we were done they brought out the bon bons. Honeyed popcorn, lime marshmallows and shortbread. A nice touch and a good way to finish things off.
While all this was going on we worked our way through a few bottles of Babylon's Peak Syrah, which I discoverd on a recent meander through the Riebeek Valley. It has leapfrogged a few others to officially become my favourite red wine...
So, all in all, The Roundhouse impressed the hell out of me. Unlike other specials where either quantity or quality is compromsed, this one is amazing. To put things in perspective if you went to the Spur and ordered a starter, a main and a dessert it would probably be about R140.
Get hold of them (The Roundhouse, not Spur)on 021 438-4347.
P.S. Did I mention the massive, rolling lawn and views across Camps Bay? No? I guess we take that for granted in Cape Town.