‘Japanese-influenced, Cape-celebrated cuisine’
Speaker’s Corner may be renamed culinary corner and the only tablecloth in sight may be the white cloud over Table Mountain. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the ceiling, where 6000 poplar-wood discs resembling jellyfish are strung on ropes, creating a feeling of intimacy in the open space. Settle into your leather banquette or take a ringside seat at the counter to watch chefs Peter Tempelhoff and Ashley Moss and team in the open kitchen, working in sync and serenity. What a show.
After canapés from a bento box which could include a piquant miso soup, and a Karoo-lamb samoosa with lemon atchar and coconut yoghurt, dip your French bread into bone marrow coal melting over flame. The kaiseki tray, like Japanese tapas, is an array of small dishes that in a traditional kaiseki experience would be individually served one after the other. The squid ramen, simple yet tantalizing in tang, will make you bravely enquire whether it is polite to drink out of the bowl. The impala tataki with miso cream and tempura shiso is a stalwart on the ever-evolving menu. For sweet kaiseki – perhaps nectarine, Rooibos and ginger or a Madagascan chocolate with salted Japanese plum and fennel ice cream, and the blueberries with yuzu and coconut. The tastes of Japan and the southern tip of Africa are juxtaposed with aplomb.
“There is a similarity between Japanese and African culture – look at the beads, rope, wood and stone, these elements in nature exist in both. We are doing food that I want to eat. I like the flavours, the simplicity – low carbs, low fat and healthier,” says Peter.
The way of service is different – little bowls and lots of interaction – guests are encouraged to pick up dishes and to feel the food. Service is world-class, the attentive and knowledgeable staff do not miss a beat, thanks to inspired leadership from third member of the trio, Jennifer Hugé.
Add the wine flight or order from the carefully crafted wine list. Five is a magic number for the Japanese. Try Fyn’s fifth floor, five-star epicurean experience.
“The secret of Japanese food lies in umami, the flavour punch – diners leave not stuffed, but satisfied,” Chef Peter Tempelhoff.
Address: 5th Floor, Speakers Corner, 37 Parliament Street, Cape Town City Centre, 8000
Contact: 021 286 2733