Being in the Mother City is an occasion in itself, and one would go amiss not to have lunch or dinner at one of many fine restaurants that Cape Town has to offer. As far as choices go it is really tough, one would need deep pockets, a healthy appetite and lots of time to enjoy all the fine eateries this awesome town has to offer (yes, ok, I admit, I'm am biased, it is my home town!).
After pondering for a a week or two I decided to visit Azure at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa (the Twelve Apostles name being eponymous with the mountain range that the hotel calls its back garden) . Previous visits are fondly remembered for first class service and world class dining. Throw in the fantastic views of spectacular Atlantic sunsets from the Leopard Lounge balcony while enjoying a pre-dinner drink the place becomes a venue worthy of legends.
Unfortunately the weather decided to turn foul, as only Cape Town weather can be on occasion, so the drinks and view was out of the question. The weather did however add to the cosy atmosphere at Azure. We were warmly welcomed when we arrived, our coats promptly deposited on the antique coat stand and seated in the sumptuously decorated dining room. The staff was as ever very friendly, knowledgeable and non-intrusive throughout the whole evening.
Gregory Mutambe, the sommelier kicked-off the evening with a couple of interesting recommendations from local vineyards. I ended up deciding on Jordan's "The Whole Nine Yards", an excellent example of top class Cape chardonnay; it is definitely a bucket-list wine and well worth trying on your next visit to Cape Town.
The Azure restaurant menu is seasonal and we were lucky to be some of the first diners to sample the Autumn menu. Chef Christo Pretorius and his team dedicated the season to the founder of the hotel group, Beatrice Tollman. A number of Beatrices' favourite dishes and recipes feature on the autumn menu. If one wants to try a bit of everything Chef Christo has also put together a couple of tasting menu's - if decision making is not your strong suite.
Both my gorgeous date and I opted to skip starters and dive right in for the main course. Now, do not get me wrong, as tempting as some dishes like the 12A Bouillabaisse or the Prawn Dahl looked, I could not wait to try the Char Sui Pork. The teriyaki glazed pork belly was served with carrot and ginger puree and pickled daikon, accompanied by a smother of star anise jus. The meat was expertly cooked, melt-in-the-mouth stuff! The fusion of flavours and textures was incredible, and everything worked incredibly well together. The competition for this dish has not been conceived yet.
Desert did not disappoint either, and consisted of a traditional vanilla créme bruleé served in a long "boat" plate, and chocolate mousse. The chocolate mousse dish was any chocoholic's heaven on a plate, the mousse was served with a frozen espresso bombé and rock candy - there are tears in my eyes and my mouth is watering as I write this.
The evening ended all too soon, excellent company underwritten by a fantastic meal made for a memorable event. If you do travel to Cape Town this summer (and do not be put off by the winter weather, even if it is bad the mother City is still very good), make sure to visit Azure and book a table before you go.