‘a few elements, done well’
Take refuge from busy Bree Street during the week for a glass of wine and plate (or few) of scrumptious fare in the welcoming bar. Be sure to admire the art showcasing four passports and the culinary inspiration of chef Liam Tomlin. Or commit to a full ‘tapas for two’ experience for lunch or dinner in the vibey restaurant. Either way, your appetite for innovative, delectable cuisine will be sated.
This is where Liam’s well-lauded Chefs’ Warehouse concept was born. Now, in the capable hands of chef Nando Cardoso, the offering has been tweaked and the initial canteen-feel elevated whilst Liam expands the operation from Barcelona to Ghana. In summer eat outdoors, take a casual seat at the bar or sit at the steel table opposite the open kitchen. Guests gather around the three communal tables in the main dining area to enjoy the warm ambience. A convivial buzz of conversation may halt abruptly when guests start to taste the array of dishes that come to the table in three waves, each more impressive than the last.
The vegetarian and vegan menus change weekly, the regular menu evolves constantly. “Our food is fun and basic, no frills and faffs, it is a few elements done well,” says Nando. There is an obvious respect for ingredients and suppliers, showcased in her diverse style – expect a variety that ranges from classics like a chicken ballotine, to an Indian curry. The pot stickers are a hit (dim sum features on the menu daily) and look out for the seared tuna with a sweet soya sauce, wasabi mayo and tempura seaweed, if light and piquant is your whim. The medley of mouthwatering dishes is ample for a healthy appetite, they tick all the boxes in terms of taste, temperature, texture and interest. Be sure to save space for dessert – the caramelized white chocolate mousse with a walnut tuile and dulcey-caramelized pears is heavenly, as are the perennial favourites that make regulars the order of the day.
Don’t miss the chef’s shop next door, an underground haven for cooks that sells top-quality tools from gleaming knives to a broad array of cookery books.
“There are lots of Asian-inspired dishes, but I don’t mix classic with Asian, I am more of a purist. I always respect ethnicity.” Chef Nando Cardoso
Address: 92 Bree Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000
Contact: 021 422 0128