Remember this day. The day you were browsing through a couple of blogs and stumbled across Cape Town's hottest new bar/restaurant THREE AND A HALF MONTHS BEFORE IT OPENED. How could this be? Let me explain.
On Monday night I was invited for dinner to crit a sample menu for a new restaurant set to open on the 1st of June. The place is going to be called Dear Me and sounded interesting. Situated just off Long Street and Greenmarket Square in the building that used to have that really weird Russian champagne/oyster/caviar bar in it, I was intrigued. (I think it was called Sobeit back then.) Anyway, Dear Me is to be set on three levels and promises a lunch menu focusing on light, healthy meals, a more substantial dinner menu, private dining areas/function rooms and my favourite...a rooftop bar with awesome views. Sound good? Thought so.
Back to dinner. Amazing. Eight of us enjoyed a six course meal, talking music, art, food and wine (not in that dry, poncy way that is so common with pretentious "foodies" but more in a way that showed just how passionate the owners are.) The courses we had were reflective of how chef Vanessa (previously of Cassia) sees the food being served and were all excellent. There was a definite style to her food, as she tried - and succeeded - to produce healthy food that was still interesting. As regular readers of this blog will know, I'm a huge believer that this is possible and anyone who disagrees would certainly have been proven wrong had they been there on Monday. We sampled tomato consumme with fresh petit pois and basil, a chicory, couscous and pomegranate salad, sauteed wild mushrooms with asparagus and truffle oil, vanilla scented quail and more. We even had a semillon sorbet which was an unusual and brillant palette cleanser.
Speaking to the Dear Me team, it is obvious that they have put a strong emphasis on design and decor elements. This is often a worry for me, as the actual food doesn't get the attention it should. That wasn't the case on Monday though and I reckon if they produce this level of food when they open they'll be fine. Better than fine actually. Watch this space.