Cape Flair … food with the nuances of seductive spiciness

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At the Table Bay Hotel’s Conservatory Restaurant, a superb venue overlooking the boating bustle of the working harbour and the soaring face of Table Mountain, food plays as important a role and our resident Executive Chef, Dallas Orr has always believed, “it is not enough to simply provide your guests with good food; you must do more than that.  You must entertain them and make them feel welcome and appreciated.”

“With the introduction of our Cape Flair Menu,” Orr emphasises, “we hope to take our international and local guests on a journey of aroma and flavour.  This is not about the fiery hot Indian curries; it’s a subtle blending of aromatic spices that makes the Cape Malay dishes so fascinating.”  Orr’s “fresh is best” motto continues in his latest menu. Produce comes in daily from the markets, is prepared immediately and is ready to serve the same day.  He has also put together a young and enthusiastic team, specifically chosen to head this menu, and the excitement in the kitchen is palpable.

The Conservatory Restaurant’s Cape Flair Menu creates a taste explosion for your taste buds! Orr has created typical Malay-inspired dishes (like curry, which is served even on hot days as it’s believed to help cool the body).  Our starters menu is a culinary delight with a classic homemade West Coast crab samoosa served on a salad of cherry tomatoes, red pearl onions and rocket, and an egg mimosa aioli or a Penaied (family of) prawn skewer marinated in masala aromatics served with celeriac and crème fraiche slaw and frizzled onion.  There’s a baby spinach and rocket salad served with succulent chicken tikka strips, carrot, roma tomato, cucumber and toasted cashew nuts.

For main courses, there are a selection of authentic Cape Malay curries like the chicken which is slow cooked in aromatic spices served with wilted spinach and dhal makani (a smooth creamy butter gravy of black lentils and beans).  There’s fried kabeljou in red spiced batter or pan fried kingklip served with pilaf rice baked with wild mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and oven roasted bell peppers served with lemon caper butter sauce.  Perhaps the masala grilled beef fillet or rump steak served with sumo chips, wild mushroom stuffed baby gem squash, rocket and a turmeric béarnaise sauce will tempt your taste buds.

Dessert is a sublime old fashioned South African milk tart made with an amarula anglaise and served with cinnamon condensed milk ice cream.

Malay cookery is about culinary magic and expertise where the outstanding characteristics are the free, almost heroic use of spices and aromatic flavourings, the prolonged steady, but slow application of moist heat to all meat dishes, and the skilful blending of many diverse constituents into a combination that still holds the essential goodness of each.

Enjoy a little bit of South Africa.

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