THE VERY SLEEK…..CAFÉ CHIC
Set in the trendy ‘borough’ of Oranjezicht…..Breda Street to be exact, nestled between the green, Spring foliage at the foot of Table Mountain …… lies a hidden gem, a hidden culinary gem, Cafe Chic.
Irish born and award winning Executive Chef and Owner, Conrad Gallagher runs this beautiful restaurant alongside his wife Candice.
As we step into Cafe Chic, the sleek interior and charming staff make us feel welcome and special, a sense of excitement and exhilaration of what’s to come washes over us.
We head to the bar area for a pre-dinner drink and hubby Garth orders each of us a Glen Fiddich 12 yr old Single Malt Whisky and he is impressed to see the veritable selection of Single Malt’s on offer.
The decor is cosy with an intense plum colour scheme and the lounge chairs are comfortable and deep, I suspect it would be hard to leave here after a few more Single Malt’s but alas after just the one, we are whisked away by the friendly hostess to our table.
In contrast to the bar area, the dining room has white walls and floors with fantastic art deco works and majestic chandeliers but is equally cosy. The dim light of candles, the gentle beat of contemporary music and the soft, comfortable chairs make this setting very romantic and inviting.
We decide to get some wine for the table and we settle on a trusty Beyerskloof Pinotage, Red Wine is a must for tonight as my man wants meat! The Wine list is not vast but more than sufficient with plenty of local options available.
Our well experienced and eloquent Waiter named Divine (yes, his real name) offered us some freshly baked bread for the table and I was thrilled at the selection: Guiness Bread (ah, the luck of the Irish), Sundried Tomato, Apricot and Curry and Health Loaf, carb heaven and with real butter – Banting Schmanting!
The bread course was pleasantly interrupted with a peculiar bowl / teapot arrival which turns out to be an amuse bouche of Cucumber Soup served with Salmon Rillette. The cucumber flavour so intense yet so subtle, slightly peppery but exquisitely balanced and juxtaposed to the creamy, salty salmon.
We were expecting our appetizer to arrive when instead Chef Conrad spoiled us with a Fresh Knysna Oyster with Ginger, Pear, Radish, Cucumber and Soy – creamy, salty and of the sea. Not a week ago my Husband told me he didn’t get the point of Oyster’s and after having this Oyster he was converted, need I say more ?
For an appetizer we decided to share the Truffle Gnocchi, Artichoke, Sundried Tomato, Basil Pesto, Summer Peas. The Gnocchi was wonderfully tender and paired with parmesan shavings they were the perfect little doughy blobs of heaven with a mild and delicate sauce, I definitely recommend this.
Once again, a non ordered plate and additional spoil by Chef Conrad arrived at the table: a portion of Kingklip, Tomato Zucchini Crust, Lemon Confit Cous Cous, Tomato, Coriander, what a treat – the Kingklip has a delectable mild and sweet flavour, firm dense flesh and large loose flakes. The Cous Cous is a revelation, the amount of flavour that has been absorbed is astonishing and the coriander rounds it out beautifully.
Then of course the Mains arrived and oooh weee did Hubby have a smile on his dial – he had selected for his main course: Beef Fillet, Beef Marrow Gratin, Duxelle Mushroom, Watercress, Truffle Hollandaise – a man’s man dish (which I was lucky to share – all in the name of research and review of course). We both agreed the fillet was up there in the Top 5 of Best Fillet’s we had ever eaten, the Bone Marrow was robustly seasoned with parmesan and herbs and the Duxelle Mushrooms was earthy, creamy and full of delicious onion and herb flavour – the entire dish seasoned to perfection. A MUST HAVE!!
For my main course, I selected Yellow Fin Tuna, Pea Puree, Casserole of Peas, Black Truffle Polenta and Beurre Blanc. The Tuna Steak is thick and juicy, lightly seared and seasoned perfectly. The Beurre Blanc sauce is creamy and tangy and compliments the fish beautifully. The peas were hearty but I felt that a nice Wasabi Mash, a little Asian kick might have paired better with the Tuna, however this was still a wonderfully composed dish.
Did we manage to squeeze in desert you ask ? Why, yes of course! How could we resist the sound of Warm Chocolate Fondant, Chocolate Brownie, Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Caramel Sauce and how glad I am that we didn’t. Warm soft ooey gooey centredness awaited us inside the Chocolate Fondant whilst the most luscious Salted Caramel Ice Cream did it’s best not to melt all it’s awesomeness away over a rich and indulgent Chocolate Brownie which rounded off this fantastic culinary adventure.
Just as no good thing is meant to last forever, it was time for us to hit the road and we bid farewell to the great staff, ambience and the warm and funny Chef Conrad Gallagher. We are sure to return as this is a special dining venue where the food is fantastic, the staff is world class and the surrounding is oh so…… Cafe Chic.
Phone: 021 465 7218
Dinner Mon to Sun 4.:30PM to 10:30PM
Lunch Friday 12:30pm – 2:30pm
Bar lounge Thur to Sat until 2 am
Closed all bank holidays
Note : A portion of our meal at Cafe Chic was complimentary – all views and images unless otherwise stated are my own
Source: The Food Buzz