‘where nature’s elements harmonise’
The drawcard of the Vineyard Hotel in the trendy suburb of Newlands is Myoga. Here executive chef Mike Basset established its reputation for creativity with a conscience, and chef Germaine Esau has maintained and elevated its reputation.
Germaine is playing beautifully with fresh and foraged ingredients, plating like a pro and pulling dishes together to create indelible food memories. The food landscape has changed for him in the last year, and his newfound confidence is evident on the plate. “There is less flamboyance, it is more about the product. If there is smoke and nitrogen, it is carefully thought-out theatre, not for the sake of it,” says Germaine. He is classically French-trained, so flawless technique will always be a foundation of his food. “The season guides us. We are serving the best produce, served at prime, cooked in the best way.” Dishes on the elements menu are linked to earth, wind, fire, water and aether (quintessence).
You will relish the detail on the plate and appreciate the thought that went into conceptualising it. From the confit carrot bao with coconut and nam jim emulsion, and delicious homemade breads to scallops; from avocado presented in a myriad of ways to venison cooked to perfection. Desserts will vie for your vote – would the light rendition of Pina Colada win, or the decadent chocolate dessert? It may be a tie. When this humble chef visits your table to passionately explain his dishes, ask him about his favourite dish devoured in down time with his wife and toddler. “Whole wheat toast with scrambled egg, tomato sauce (hopefully homemade?) and a good cup of coffee!”
Whilst they may have toned down the theatre by a touch, there is still intrigue and a wow factor if you are watching the kitchen at play, from your seat.
“Fewer elements, in harmony, makes sense.” Chef Germaine Esau
Address: 60 Colinton Road, Newlands, Cape Town, 7700
Contact: 021 657 4545