When you step off the street and walk through the doors of Coco Safar, you can feel the energy change shape. It feels like you’ve time traveled to an international destination, and the food lives up to the ambiance.
With luxurious properties popping up all around it, it makes perfect sense to open an emporium of this calibre smack bang in the middle.
I’ve been there before and my first experience was intriguing enough to make me want to try out their new Prix Fixe dinner menu.
I was astounded by the transformation from day into night, it was almost as though you stepped into a completely different restaurant. Curtains drape over the windows that overlook the streets creating a more intimate atmosphere.
The dinner menu is limited, and the concept is to showcase beautifully presented seasonal ingredients which are mostly gluten free, vegetarian and vegan. There are no meat options for starters which is not necessarily a negative aspect, but if there is one thing to consider about carnivores, it’s that they are not keen on veggies, regardless of how it is prepared.
I ordered the Roasted Cauliflower Steak with a leek veloutè, and oat and olive oil crumble, it was deliciously warm and aromatic but was let down by the cauliflower being a little too raw, which made it difficult to cut and harder to chew. The sauce was luxurious and made up for the tough main ingredient. The bites of chili in the crumble worked well in the crumble. Other starters included a Foragers Salad and Boule Feta (a feta mouse, mushroom caponata, leeks and croutons).
My main course was the Bass Curry, it is the one to try on the menu. A delicately grilled piece of succulent Bass, with the skin perfectly crisp on the outside, is served in a Thai curry sauce, with rice noodles and chopped vegetables. The sauce has a bite to it, but it is tempered by the noodles and veggies. It is a gluten-free meal and worth every last morsel even if it wasn’t. Other options include Smoked Brisket, Pumpkin Risotto, Ostrich Lasagne, Mutton Casserole and Mushroom Gyoza.
Dessert was a masterpiece, as are all the dessert offerings at Coco Safar. I would place them as one of the 5 best dessert offerings in the Mother City. Their sweet tooth menu is well thought of, incredibly constructed and includes unions of flavours that you wouldn’t generally expect on one plate.
I ordered the Tropical, which is a sticky rice pudding presented in a chocolate twill which created a little basket for the pudding. It was accompanied by vanilla ice cream and a passion and pink pepper mango puree. There was texture, taste and an exotic flavouring unlike any other dessert. Even if you’re not a huge fan of sticky rice, you should try it, the dish just might change your mind. The other option for dessert is Botanical, which is a olive oil ganache, mint panna cotta on a sponge with apple and lemon thyme ice cream.
The drinks menu at Coco Safar is as unique as their dessert table, you can opt for a tea pairing with each course or choose from their limited wine menu. And just when you thought dessert was the curtain closer, you are swept away to the coffee emporium and regaled with knowledge of coffee culture – then treated to a coffee of your choice with affogato, which is an Italian coffee based dessert. It is the perfect finale to a good meal.
Cost: A 3-course will cost R495 and 2-course costs R395
Contact: 021 433 1336
Address: 277 Main Road, Artem Centre(Previously Adelphi Center)
Pictures: Nidha Narrandes