This Saturday I was lucky enough to be invited to experience a taste of the French Riviera at Café Royale right here in Cape Town and boy was I in for a treat!!!
We have reviewed Café Royale before and they had a very solid menu. So, hearing that they have a new chef with his very own creations got me quite excited. Paolo February – the new chef at Café Royale – is Namibian born but has trained a little bit all over the world and a lot in South Africa. He even took the time out of his busy day to tell us a bit about himself and his cooking style. Coming from a traditional French cooking background he turns out to be a good match for Café Royale.
He is a little nervous while talking to us on this stunning winter day in Cape Town but we manage to make him feel comfortable soon enough. With his slight Australian accent (he has cooked for the Australian ambassador in the middle east for quite some time) he tells us that his style for the new menu is simple with a twist. This means that he takes traditional French meals but uses different ingredients or he presents them in a new way.
“The new menu is designed to bring back the simplicity in cuisine and to enhance the power of each gastronomic element on the plate,”
he continues to explain. “With the smaller portion sizes, I have found that I am able to bring out a more intense flavour in each of our fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
We are excited to go ahead and try. Paolo leaves us to linger over the menu and we chose the Goats Cheeses Tartlets as starter. The dish is served promptly by our waiter Steve who was genuinely the best waiter I had in a while. I take some pictures but my friend Seema starts to dig in and she distracts me with her sounds of delight. As I get to try I am amazed by myself. They are an absolute must try and come with wild mushroom and heirloom tomatoes. The portion is quite sizable and if you are not very hungry this meal can easily serve as your main.
We move on to Trout and Melanzani and both of us were very happy with our choice. My vegetarian companion loves Melanzani and has high standards since eating it in Italy almost all the time. I am a big fan of fish and was mesmerized by my glass plate that beautifully carried the smoked trout. If you are more in the mood for meat you will not be disappointed either. Winter warmers such as Grilled Lamb with Harissa, Beef Fillet with baby beets or the Confit Duck with barley risotto, smoked corn, semi-dried tomato and parsley are available.
It took some time for us to be able to eat anything else and poor Steve had to check three times but eventually we managed to order desert. The Red Espresso Crème Brule and some Chocolate Fondant made our afternoon perfect, both presented and cooked to perfection.
The prices are reasonable considering the quality of the food but they are on the upper scale. They vary between R 75 – R 135. However, this is money well spend!
Are you hungry yet? Well Café Royale is located on the ground floor of the five-star Cape Royale Luxury Hotel in Green Point, CBD and is open for lunch between 12:00 to 15:00 and 15:00 to 23:00 for dinner. For more information, please visit their website. To book a reservation at Café Royale contact 021 430 0500. We will definitely be back!