I am sitting here trying to wrap my head around why I have been holding off to write about Benguela. Sure I have been incredibly busy but usually I type up my experience with a restaurant or event quite quickly. Come to think of it, it must have been the overload of my senses. I say this in the most positive manner I can, as the experience was – quite frankly – mind blowing.
I had invited my colleague Stephanie who had been working just as dedicatedly as me and deserved a treat. Benguela on Main was exactly this: an absolute treat. Off course we knew this prior to the event as their lovely PR staff from Red Carpet Concepts (Kirsty Kirsten) had prepped us with teaser emails containing pictures of the food and a love to detail that was as much as a promise to us that we would have a great time.
Finally the day arrived and Stephanie and I made our way from Cape Town to Somerset West. We had been looking forward to the event for weeks and upon arrival eagerly entered the building. We were greeted in person by the amazing staff headed by Denis Garrett. the French Head Sommelier and the owner Penny Streeter (OBE – Yes, I have now met someone that earned the title “Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” – How about that?).
Benguela on Main(which is named after the Benguela Current) has been decorated entirely by Penny herself, which she originally did not want to, but I can tell you, she did an amazing job! The restaurant is modern and at the same time warm and beautiful. Lovely paintings and bronze figures from young artists have been chosen as well as a self-playing piano next to the fireplace which is greeting you with music from Titanic.
If that does not promise you fine dining, I don’t know what. I kept on picturing Leonardo DiCaprio joining us at any moment. In a Tuxedo off course!
Penny and the chef, Jean Delport, welcomed us and gave us a bit of background info about Benguela on Main and then we were seated to begin the feast, and what a feast it was!
The reason why I struggled to summarize the experience must have been the sheer amount of different sensations that my mind kept on being bombarded with. There was the beauty of the location, the lovely company (we were lucky enough to have Penny honour table), the attention to detail by Head Sommelier Denis in the choice of the accompanying wine to each every dish, the dishes themselves that actually should be called art and each and every one of the waiters (whose names I still remember!!!) who paid incredible attention to the guests needs.
And then, off course, there was the actual experience of tasting the food. We were promised a six course dinner, each accompanied by a selected wine but in fact it was an eight course tasting menu and I did not even mention the delicious breadbasket that was served right at the beginning as a course. All the dishes were an absolute treat. They were perfectly paired and always surprised us with a mix of delicious sauce and a crisp counterpart, freshness and divine aftertaste. It was incredible and if you have a special occasion coming up or just feel like you need a treat this is the place you must visit as soon as possible.
A MUST on every Foodies bucket list –Benguela on Main.
Have a look at the amazing pictures as they will be able to tell you more.