It was just over a year ago when an exciting new concept opened on Church Street in the CBD. The opening saw young talented chef, Ash Heeger, team up with David Cope, from Publik Wine, and Andy Fenner, of Frankie Fenner Meat Merchant fame, to bring Cape Town a trifecta of great food and wine in one space.
In the space of under 12 months, the subterranean eatery, butchery & wine bar has become a local favourite. Ash Heeger’s focus on producing charcoal-cooked fare has seen her restaurant feature top lists of where to eat in the Cape Town CBD. But as we know, the foodie scene in the Mother City is a rapidly-evolving one, a scene that requires both chefs and restauranteurs to constantly provide unique and imaginative cuisine – or risk being shunned. Having said that, this is where ASH Restaurant has stepped up to the plate, now entering its second year of operation – with some new changes.
Having recently re-opened following a week of renovations, there are some updates. Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants is no longer at this location but instead have relocated to the Gardens Centre. This means that the focus is now solely on Ash’s food and David’s wine – a complimentary match that many should already be familiar with – which is now enhanced. One-third of the shop, where the butchery used to be, has been reclaimed for additional seating, improving the setting and allowing for a larger crowd to fill the space.
The most exciting change is definitely in the eating. Ash’s menu has evolved gracefully. Although beefy classics remain in the form of various cuts, now scribed on the wall above the kitchen, there are some new features which impressed. There isn’t as much emphasis on meat as before, with a number of rousing new dishes on offer. Think mushroom parfait, topped with vinaigrette-drizzled salad leaves, on a bed of garlic buchu-charred sourdough bread; roasted quail with chestnut cream, baked celeriac and a poached quail egg; raw linefish served with house-made cream cheese, pickled ginger and ponzu dressing; an amuse bouche of a leek & sweet potato soup served in an egg-shell, and a stinging nettle porridge served with hake. These dishes serve as a reminder that we’re in the presence of a great young chef, her style developing into something not seen in Cape Town before. Of course, there is still meat on the menu.
Let us not forget the wine. Having a reputable wine bar in the mix means excellent wine pairing for all dishes served.
Visit ASH Restaurant this winter for the same lively atmosphere Capetonians have become accustomed to, but now with a few well-crafted tweaks in place which has made dining here better than ever.
Where 81 Church St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
When 4pm – 10pm Monday – Saturday. Closed Sundays.
Contact +27 21 424 7204