Cape Town restaurants are working hard to reinvent their offerings to suit the new narrative. It certainly hasn’t put a damper on South Africa’s number 1 restaurant, La Colombe.
If you have dined at either of their fine establishments, you know the entire experience is all theatre – lights, camera and action – from the moment you enter. The entire evening can easily be compared to a finely-tuned dance, the choreography between the kitchen and service is meticulous and every step leads you into another realm of food extravagance.
A girl can but dream about the return. In the meantime, their dance card has been transformed to bring a little lockdown love to your very own dining table. It might not be the Pasodoble, but in light of lockdown, even the two-step or the side-sway is better than nothing.
The meal arrives in a cardboard box, and a little jig follows the lifting of the lid. My only need was the signature Tuna “La Colombe” with umami broth. Rich and sexy flavours take the lead, and you are left wanting more until you aggressively fight the can for the every last bit of broth. La Colombe is not the kind of place where you can lick your fingers or turn the can upside down and enjoy that very last drip, but in your home, you absolutely can and should.
Only the main course needs to be reheated, and it is as simple as placing in the oven. The other dishes are already plated in the recyclable containers. It goes to show that when it comes to genius plating, even cardboard can be turned into fine-dining. It’s more about the art than it is about the utensils.
After a quick heat in the oven, the brioche was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The yellowtail sashimi with slangetjies was clearly inspired by the best of the Cape fresh produce and finished off with a twist of Asian Thai broth. It is a close contender to the Tuna La Colombe.
The Kalamansi palate cleaner was a refreshingly cool shot of a tart lemon and orange concoction. Perfect for before the big event which was the Karoo Lamb dish. My plating was nothing to smile about, but it made absolutely no difference to the exquisitely prepared lamb which was cooked to absolute perfection. Most dishes don’t travel well, but the quality ingredients and slick preparation made it to the final destination in perfect nick.
The smoked Stanford and quince on crackers followed, and dessert was the strawberry and bergamot posset which meticulously ended the meal.
An enchanting little tree created with micro herbs and two coffee macarons accompanied the meal. It came with a tag that said plant me, which I have. Every time I look at it in my small garden, I will be reminded of a meal that added a ray of sunshine to a period in my life when light and love were the dearest currency. If one meal can add happiness to your life right now, make sure you order this. It is particularly special if you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or these days: life.
Until we are back in person, the lockdown meals were enjoyed and every bite treasured. The end deserved a loud round of applause and a standing ovation. Encore!
The La Colombe Dine-In Experience is available from Tuesday, 26 May 2020 at R750 per person and includes:
Sweet potato pan d’epi, pork butter, olives and garlic
Tuna “La Colombe”, umami broth
Foie gras and rhubarb, brioche
Yellowtail, slangetjies, Thai coconut broth
Kalamansi palate cleanser
Karoo lamb, salsa verde, Jerusalem artichoke, rib jus
Smoked Stanford, quince, oat crackers
Strawberry and bergamot posset
After Eight, coffee macaron
Delivery costs R75 and is available within a 12km radius of central Constantia, between 4pm – 7pm, seven days a week. Limited experiences are available each evening, orders can be placed through Dineplan here: https://bit.ly/LaColombeDineIn
* The team follows the strictest hygiene measures set out by the Department of Health, and all deliveries are carried out by restaurant staff, allowing hygiene standards to be carefully maintained and monitored.