Face-to-tail eating at the bottom-end of Cape Town’s busiest food strip
Claim to fame: No waste approach on every level, from endives to entrails
Reason to go: Seven-day brined crispy pigs tails
To look out for: Daily menu changes paired with a short list of SA’s best wines
Brave bellies head for the Foreshore to find this simple eatery housed in a 1930’s Art Deco building at the bottom-end of Cape Town’s busiest Bree Street restaurant strip. A culinary dream of two brothers, Giles and James Edwards comes to fruition after a decade of training in the UK. Seven sweet years was spent working under the global great nose-to-tail king Fergus Henderson at St John in London, who’s food philosophy and whole-animal celebration approach inspired the brothers to bring this love to South African shores.
A scant space with zero atmosphere hits hard when stepping into this space. Barren black and white interiors, artless walls, concrete floors punctuated with rows of cloth-free tables and punitive, cushion-free chairs. Clever though, very clever as one is left to simply focus on the food that unfolds. The menu changes daily and not only celebrates delicious dishes made with the entire animal, it’s also known to offer some of the most spectacular vegetarian fare; a clever plot to broaden the dining patrons beyond the steadfast carnivore. Be it fish, meat or vegetables, the emphasis here is on using every part of the ingredient. Kick off with their signature pigs tails, brined for seven days for full flavor development, crumbed and fried, and served with aioli. Vegetarians should opt for the sea-shore picked samphire, cucumber and shaved fennel dressed lightly and finished with capers for a salty sting. Be brave and order the rolled crispy pigs face; the pigs head is deboned, flesh removed, brine-bathed for a week, braised until tender and roasted in the oven. What Giles calls a real celebration dish; the Rolls Royce of bacon. Ox-heart is thinly sliced, marinated in balsamic vinegar and tossed with beets and rocket. Nearby West Coast mussels are steamed and wok-tossed with crispy bacon and buttered leeks, they’re served on top of a wedge of local artisanal sourdough toast for sauce-mopping.
Comfort desserts are next-level and twisted into unexpected yet familiar pleasures like ice cream sandwiches fashioned out of a light-as-air profiterole, sliced and wedged with ice cream, then drowned in chocolate sauce. Lemon pudding is served with shortbread for deep dipping. If you can’t fit them in, order and take home their baked-while-you wait honey and butter madeleines.
The wine-list is carefully chosen with Edward brothers’ heart-strings love for local wines, it’s short but interesting and created with the dishes in mind to round off a memorable dining experience.