Working toward a ‘summer bod’ will have to wait. Mondiall is taking winter seriously with the introduction of an experienced new Executive Chef. While the brasserie-style of the restaurant remains the same, Chef Riaan brings with him a fresh injection of international flair and flavours into the menu.
Mondiall opened its doors in December 2014 in the space local jazz lovers will remember being previously occupied by The Green Dolphin jazz club (its claim to fame was that Madiba gave one of his first post-prison speeches on its steps).
Riaan enjoyed a two-year stint as Executive Chef at Raffles Beijing, and I found that this really came out in his new menu at Mondiall. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that the fare is Asian-influenced, but there is an Eastern nuance in the presentation and the coming together of flavours.
The free-range roasted lamb loin, served medium to well on the rib bone with a gremolata coating and fine vegetable ratatouille, is going to be a popular winter choice.
For those of you who are banting, Chef Riaan has taken your low-carb needs into consideration. I’d recommend trying the pasture-raised coq au vin with a side of cauliflower mash as an excellent banting-friendly, winter comfort food option.
Every good meal has to start with a well-thought-out appetiser. If, like me, you’re not part of the Banting micro-population of Cape Town, then Mondiall’s game fish tacos are just the thing. The affair of tuna, pico de gallo, chipotle sauce (my favourite!) and guacamole on a soft flour tortilla is something I’d visit time and time again for.
Launching alongside the winter menu is the new afternoon menu, available daily from 4–6:30 pm. It features a variety of tapas (including smoked snoek paté, olive tapenade, and ostrich parfait) as well as appetisers and a short selection of mains.
The new menu, along with fireplace and fibre-optic speed WiFi, is going to make Mondiall a reliable dining option for the cooler weather. In Mondiall, owner Patrick Symington has managed to strike a delicate balance between upscale dining and being after-work drinks friendly.
Photography Claire Gunn