After discovering this hideaway Chef Wesley Randles, general manager Simon Widdison, world-renowned chef Luke Dale Roberts and his wife Sandalene teamed up to transform the dark space, an old nightclub with no windows, tucked away in a side street off busy Bree. The décor is impressive and unique, and the New York clubby feel comforting, but it’s not all about how it looks.
“I never plan the aesthetics first, food has to sound good, and rather taste good than look good. It’s all about creating components that will be great together. It takes time to refine a dish and to work it through,” says Wesley.
“Every ingredient must be traceable, I get fish fresh from the fishermen daily, not from a middle man. We don’t buy just one species, we take his entire catch of the day and serve as many portions of each fish as we can.” Don’t be surprised if as service starts there are still dedicated suppliers delivering their bounty – like beautiful porcini mushrooms. These, an hour later, hero a dish that delights with simple plating and ample flavour. When figs are in season expect unpretentious yet remarkable dishes like fresh fig with aubergine purée or baked ricotta in a fig leaf with Gorgonzola sauce. “I want diners to leave and say, ‘Wow, that was delicious’. I am not trying to fool taste buds. They may also talk about a combination of ingredients that they have not tried and go home and actually try it.” The menu continually evolves with the seasons.
Finishing dishes table-side from elegant trolleys adds to the ‘theatre’ of the occasion, elevating simple to spectacular, giving value for money in experience. Here impressive, elegant simplicity reflects a confident and accomplished chef.
Look out for The Commissary next door.
“Food must first sound delicious in my head.” Chef Wesley Randles
Address: 88 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, 8000
Phone: 021 447 2874