(preamble follows. skip to the actual review)
I had a bit of a busy week last week, so I left my Crack Prep a little late. However, by the Wednesday I had fixed a cool sounding place. It didn’t look promising, though: only little bits of scattered info over the web.
I tried calling on Wednesday, but no dice. I tried again on Thursday, but still no dice (not even a D4).
So I went to the actual location on Friday morning.
Outdoor decor still there, but very much Not A Restaurant. More of a student digs laundry. Thing.
So, Friday afternoon I started a new fork of research and settled on the lovely looking, friend-recommended, mostly Thai, Kitima.
They were fully booked. Gah!
Not that surprising, calling at 6pm on a Friday night for a 7pm table, but still: gah!
Research prong three lead to Salt at the Ambassador Hotel., which I booked with no problems.
Disaster averted – huzzah!
The Actual Review
We had a bit of an adventure finding the place (not very clearly marked (at night) from the Camps Bay side, and the GPS thingy had it in the wrong place), but initial impressions were good. Very shiny hotel, and the restaurant was decked out very nicely, and not very hotel-restaurant-like at all (unlike some places, *stares at Myoga*). It felt like a proper restaurant, rather than something tacked on to the hotel.
One wall of the restaurant is floor-to-ceiling windows offering a fantastic view. Alas, not so much for us, since we arrived just past dusk. Note to self: go there for lunch.
The waiter passed the water test with flying colours, although he needed a bit of a nudge for refills.
Bonus points for decanting the bottle of red we had with us: classy.
I had the slightly clever idea of writing stuff down this time, so as not to forget what we all had.
Steve: partially de boned herb stuffed quail with a fricassee of crayfish, corn & shimeji mushrooms
Jo: terrine game and foie gras with sauce gribiche, apple chutney & toasted Challah
Jess: rillette of pork with apple puree & bagel chip
Eck: rillette of pork with apple puree & bagel chip
All were excellent. That is all. :)
Steve: springbok loin with creamy white cabbage, confit potato and cherry jus
Jo: selection of cape fish & shellfish with a tomato & saffron broth & rouille toast
Jess: confit duck leg with miso broth, wilted greens and crisp coriander dressed salad
Eck: deboned lamb neck with a herb crust , creamy barley, baby onion & a reduced braising liquid
Every dish was great, but I was particularly fond of my bokkie: perfectly pink.
Jo’s soupy affair was lovely and delicate, and Jess’s Asian-y duck was cracking.
A partially shared affair. The table had:
dark chocolate fondant with port syrup & mint ice cream
tonka bean tiramisu parfait serve with espresso espuma & tuille.
The choccy managed to be rich and tasty without being thick and hard-going, like dark C desserts can often be, and the mint ice cream was lovely.
Espresso espuma: funny looking, but tasty.
Scores on the doors
Overall, an excellent experience – consistently high quality food in a very pleasant environment.
I will try to mark “hard.”
Atmosphere: 8 / 10 (Reminded me a bit of Ginja. A bit trendy, but no pretentious with it).
Staff: 7 / 10 (Polite, pleasant, smart)
Service: 6 / 10 (Professional, but a little inattentive)
Food: 9 / 10 (The food was in the nouveau style, but the portions were quite generous – win!)
Value for money: 8 / 10 (On a par with other places with similar offerings, but bigger bang for your buck)