When a special friend, born a Virgo, still a filly, requested the perfect place at which to celebrate her milestone birthday with local and European friends, I knew that only the best would do. Taking into consideration all items on her wish list, the sophisticated equestrian setting of one-plated restaurant Cavalli was first over the finish line. The setting is unrivalled; here you can catch the sunlight dancing off the dam below majestic mountains before feasting your eyes on talented chef Michael Deg and his team, hard at work.
From the minute the first amuse bouche landed on our table, everyone was entranced. Some of the men ordered the four-course set menu, which got rave reviews. I had the teriyaki-glazed local octopus and the lightly-cured, grilled line-caught hake with mussels, turnips waterblommetjies, gnocchi and chowder sauce. Both dishes were flawless. The birthday girl is a risotto fan, she loved every morsel of the smoked hake risotto with fresh peas, sous vide egg, bonito flakes and crispy nori. Halfway through the dish she announced that she was planning to return simply to have that again. The vegetarian risotto of cauliflower and chive was equally superb. As the sound of people enjoying themselves reached a delightful crescendo, the stallions at our table gave loud applause to the free-range Oak Valley pork belly, sumptuous and generous, and everyone complimented the Cavalli wines.
A congratulatory birthday plate accompanied the petit fours, bringing an unforgettable Sunday lunch and celebration to a fitting close.