New York flavors on the Cape
Claim to fame: Young duo from opposite sides of the planet, side-by-side at the stove
Reason to go: New-American modern cuisine paired with simple South African ingredients
To look out for: Tribal sardine chips, we won’t reveal more Easy to miss, in a food-free, side street-area of the city’s center, you stumble across the softest,
Easy to miss, in a food-free, side street-area of the city’s center, you stumble across the softest, pretties pink double doors set in roughly plastered charcoal walls. Stepping inside the small sassy space you’ll soon discover where the coolest of cool food aficionados hang out. Co-owners and co-chefs, local boy Cornel Mostert and New Yorker Cynthia Rivera found friendship in Manhattan and conjured a sweet plan to bring some modern American flavors to Cape Town. It was a close call, an initial toss-up between the Big Apple and the Mother City. Cape Town won! A minute restaurant space is best kitted out with a few simple brush strokes and minimalistic furnishings, and certainly no flappy, to-the-floor linen tablecloths; getting this precision perfect is another achievement
A minute restaurant space is best kitted out with a few simple brush strokes and minimalistic furnishings, and certainly no flappy, to-the-floor linen tablecloths; getting this precision perfect is another achievement altogether. M&P got it spot-on and their interior genius can be seen splashed over the pages of this city’s top glossy décor- and gourmet magazines. In its simplicity you find layers of deep meaning and interest, which is beautifully matched to the food. A brief menu presents sharing plates then cleverly has you ordering seconds once you’ve tasted and shared the first round. Presentation is so simple your initial impression is one of slight confusion. A raised eyebrow perhaps…and then you tuck into sublime flavors and terrific textures that literally knock your trendy socks off. Smoked onion dip is pooled in a shallow bowl, dusted with dried porcini and stabbed with rows of see-through potato crisps. Oysters here are roasted and dressed with a heady horseradish emulsion. Seriously simple but far from simple on the palate is gooey burrata balls with black garlic and soured cucumber. A definite share is the plate-size seared ribeye topped with an addictive tumble of anchovy crumbs and pickled onion like nothing you’ve had before. Curiously clever flavor plays happen with dishes like beef tartare, n’duja, scallion and masa, as well as pan-kissed sea bass with soubise and sea lettuce. M&P offers a terrific take on “tea-ramisu” made with lapsang souchong and sea salt. Allow a little time for the kitchen to make you a clafoutis with Chantilly cream and black lime. Through the bar you get a slither-strip glance of working chefs beyond; a gentle reminder that the skillful, simple execution of such complex, creative dishes
Through the bar you get a slither-strip glance of working chefs beyond; a gentle reminder that the skillful, simple execution of such complex, creative dishes is produced by a happy buzzing baby team in a kitchen the size of a postage stamp. A small, very limited yet polished wine-list of lovely local offerings proves that M&P is certainly food focused.