The reservation was made, the confirmation call came at midday, and at 20:23 I finally arrived, late as usual. My less than impressed boyfriend was already sitting at the table waiting for me, and I didn’t even have a pen or paper to write anything down. (Eventually I did though)
In a perfect Camps bay style cliche, our waiter was some guy that used to sleep with one of my friends, mildly amusing. Okay so we finally settle in and get to ordering drinks, the wine list starts off by explaining in great detail that the restaurant is all about the wine. The list carries on by giving you a blow by blow summary from 1991 (if I remember correctly) up to the present on the kind of harvest every year had and what the conditions where like in that particular year.
Now before I get into the night, I just have to mention the event that set the undertone for the entire experience. While John and I were picking at the wine list, I couldn’t help but noticing a hive of activity in one corner of the restaurant, paramedics were swarming around an elderly gentleman, whilst the rest of the restaurant just carried on as if it were a normal occurance for the man at the table next to you, to be going into cardiac arrest. I am no innocent, and will admit that eventhough I sort of saw what was going on, I still asked David “What is that bloody beeping noise?” It was the noise from the machine that was saving Mr. Unknown’s life, it was annoying me. The epitomy of pretension… ahhh Camps bay. (Kinda”let them eat cake” vibe.)
Back to the wine! I order a sauvignon blanc, asking the waiter to recommend one that is not wooded, and end up with a crisp light wine from Spier, nice. My friend John arrives, right on cue being quite the wine expert, I have another tool in my new found reviewing artillery.
The interior is not as fabulous as I expected (although David liked it), but I did like the fake plant “growing” up the pillar next to the table. The seating is well appointed making every table feel private, also there are cool “booths” with beautiful wooden butterfy mobiles suspended over the table.
This one is for the girls, for some reason women always want to know “What does the bathroom look like?” well here it is, the entrance to the bathroom is gorgeous, reminiscent of the scene in American beauty when Mena Suvari is lying in roses, framed by velvety red roses, with a panel of white roses in the middle. What was really funny though is that you can see yourself side-on, sitting on the loo in the smoke mirror panel, and it immediately made me think “I so shouldn’t have had dessert!”
On to the starters, we decided to go with the prawns and the mussels. The prawns where tasty, they made them in a variety of three seasonings, garlic butter, mustard and peri peri, the nice thing about the prawns was that they were already out of the shell so you could just eat them, what a lekker lazy delight. The mussels stole the starter show though, the white wine sauce they make is so aromatic, just super, just beautiful and yum yum yum. (But when we asked the runner for some bread to lap up the sauce, we got asked “How many slices?… Huh? What? That really made us laugh.)
I was not surprised by the menu, especially after I heard that The Kove is in-fact a sister restaurant to Bungalow, Paranga and Pepenero, they all have kind of the same feel, almost like the macdonalds chain of the fine dinning experience in Cape Town. One thing that did catch my eye was the Chateau briand, a dish rarely seen on a menu in Cape Town, and also well priced for a 500g fillet.
I ended up having the fillet Bearnaise, the meat was very tender melt in you mouth mmmmm… tarragon, yum. John had the fillet Bordelaise, a marrow based red wine sauce, but not particularly spectacular. David had a rump, plain and simple, a little dry not great (a little over cooked). Which made me think that without the sauce, mine probably would also have been dry and boring, I just have such a love affair with Bearnaise sauce, love could be blind.
The wine we ended up having with dinner was a Thelema Merlot 2004, very chocolaty, very plush and perfect with the food! But what a fight to get it out of them, we originally ordered a Meerlust 2004 merlot, our dim waiter brought us the 2005, thinking we wouldn’t notice, but the clever cookie I am I remembered their cultivar year thingie at the front of the menu and remembered wondering why 2005 was such a shitty year for wine, so I told him that that was not what we ordered, and asked to speak with their sommelier… They are supposedly a wine restaurant, bla bla, but they don’t even have a sommelier, I thought that was very weird.
The sweet stuff though was seriously, seriously out of this universe! Les desserts étaient superbes! John had something like orange flavoured cream cookies, Dave had the chocolate ice cream with rich Lindt chocolate sauce, and I had the crown of creation, three flavours of panna cotta, chocolate, pistachio, and vanilla pod, plus I hi jacked half of David’s chocolate sauce.
The service was prompt, the waiters eager and helpful but uninformed, all but one. The music set the mood of having dinner in an elevator.
All in all, the deserts, wine and the company were the best things about the night. Yet another Camps bay restaurant is characteristically abusing unassuming tourists and presenting another plastic platform for the wealthy folk to have a public pissing contest. Our bill came to an astounding R1200.00 for three people. Our mistake, I for one will probably not be going there again.