After Jacob and I took a brief rest in the afternoon, we headed into town for a “sundowner,” aka: cocktail at sunset. We went to the Radisson Blu hotel on the waterfront, and it was perfect. The deck of the bar is literally right on the water, so we enjoyed our drinks to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. We got there right before sunset so we got to enjoy a fantastic canvas of colors as the evening wore on.
After we finished our drinks, we headed to our dining destination for the evening. We ate at the Roundhouse restaurant, which is located up on the cliffs in Camps Bay, which is another ocean side neighborhood that is just a bit south of downtown Cape Town. Getting there was a little bit interesting. It was dark, and driving in these neighborhoods got a little bit nerve wracking as we were up in the hills, the roads are super narrow and twisty, and I had no idea where I was going and was relying on a questionable at best GPS. Basically it’s like driving up in the Hollywood hills without any lights and less guardrails.
When we got close to the restaurant, the GPS had us turn onto a road named Roundhouse road, and there was a street sign, so it seemed promising. However, this road was not paved and was directing us into a heavily wooded forest area, with no signs of lights or life to be seen. Confession time: A) Sometimes I can get a *little* dramatic, and B) I am afraid of the dark. I have always been and always will be. It CREEPS ME OUT. So, as we were driving I was absolutely certain that the GPS had decided to turn against us and was leading us into certain, Deliverance/Blair Witch style death. Fortunately, my totally legitimate fears turned out to be unfounded, and the road did eventually lead us right to the restaurant.
The Roundhouse is an old house that once was owned by a navy admiral back in the 18th century, and from there it turned into a hotel and then a restaurant. The service is super fancy impeccable French service, to the point that there was someone waiting with a flashlight to escort us from our car to the restaurant. Somebody was always there to open a door or pull out my chair for me, and we were never left wanting for anything. It was definitely a little intense, but nice for a once in a while experience.
The food was amazing, French with a couple of modern twists. I would like to apologize ahead of time. I was EXHAUSTED at dinner, to the point where I was falling asleep between courses and had to run to the bathroom to do jumping jacks to wake myself up. I know. Classy. Because of the state I was in, I did not think to grab a menu or write anything down, so I’m going to have to relate what we ate to you from memory, which is going to be sketchy at best. I am disappointed in myself. But oh well.
We had 3 courses, and there were 2 amuse bouche plates with a petits fours plate at the end as well. That’s a lot of food. The first amuse was a cauliflower cream piped on a tiny little cheese biscuit, which was lovely. And I love cauliflower, which may be weird, but I will eat cauliflower anything, which meant it was a good way to start the meal. After we ordered our wine (and again, apologies, I have absolutely no recollection of what we drank) we got our second mini-course, “fish and chips.” It was basically a potato chip with a fish foam/paste/cream thing, and appropriate garnishes. Fun.
For our first course we had a potato and onion “risotto” with a soft poached farm egg. I love eggs on and in everything, and I love nothing more than breaking yolk into a dish and turning it into the most delicious sauce. This course was exactly what I wanted it to be. Our other dish was representative of the ocean, which meant there was some kind of fish in there. I do not remember what kind of fish this was, but it was firm and white and delicious. The component that made the dish, however, was the pickled mussel. OMG I love pickled things but who knew how delicious pickled seafood could be. There was also some kind of cream and foam, and all combined the dish really did taste like the beach. It was wonderful.
For our second course, our first dish was pork neck, with a traditional accompaniment of South African samp. Samp is basically broken down dried corn that is cooked to the consistency of a thick polenta, and usually served with some kind of sour milk, as it was here. I love pork everything, and the neck was perfectly tender. The richness of the samp and the acidity from the milk made for a perfect complement. Our other dish was venison tenderloin. I love venison to death, and the meat was cooked perfectly. I mean, we’re in South Africa, they really do know how to treat meat.
For dessert we had 2 more dishes. First was the chocolate dish, which was chocolate in 6 different textures. It was definitely intense, and for a girl that has moved away from chocolate in the past few years (I know, it’s been a tough separation), it was a bit too much. However, the other dessert made my life complete. It was a passion fruit soufflé, which is in my top favorite desserts of all time. The first one I ever had was at Vong in Chicago with my mom, and it changed my life. This one was equally as delectable, and was also served with a yogurt sorbet which cut some of the tartness of the fruit. YUM.
I had also downed a double espresso so that I could keep myself awake on the drive home, which I did manage to accomplish. But I promise you, I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.