I have a foodie bucket list. Its kind of like a wish list of where to eat. Its mostly in my head but lately I’ve been able to tick a few things off this list. One of those on the list items very near to the top followed by mental exclamation marks was the Chef’s Warehouse on Bree Street run and owned by the cooking genius that is Liam Tomlin.
I had seen many many instagram pictures from some cool foodie people – and the jealousy…. well the jealousy was getting to boiling point. Luckily I was taken on a hot date to Chef’s Warehouse and the jealousy subsided. But only briefly because once you dine at Chef’s Warehouse you will always want to return. I’m not joking. I would have lunch here every day if it were possible.
We started with some lovely wine and beer. The wine is fairly priced by the bottle but my dinner buyer was sticking to their great beer selection- so I had two pricy single glasses of wine.
The deal with Chef’s Warehouse is that you sit down for dinner, you order the tapas for two and you eat what they bring you. And what beautiful food they bring you! Its also kind of brilliant as I can spend twenty minutes mental debating the pros and cons of a menu with the poor waiter failing many times to get an order out of me. The tapas for two is R260 and is made up of 8 individual tapas.
Vietnamese duck spring rolls were a serious favourite of ours. I have been to Vietnam, I have done a cooking course in Vietnam and have eaten many many Vietnamese spring rolls. This is the first Vietnamese spring roll I have even liked – and I didn’t just like it. I absolutely loved this spring roll – It was actually my favourite of the tapas platter. The rice wrappers were incredible soft. The inside was fresh with lovely ingredients and creamy rich Japanese mayonnaise which really brought a richness and decadence to the spring roll. The flavour combination was really quite something. The rice wrappers were incredible soft too. This was a serious winner!
The duck pancakes were another big success of the platter. The pancakes were incredibly light and savoury with the sweet and tender duck with crunchy spring onions. This was a fantastic pairing which could have been improved by even more of the sticky sweet sauce served with the duck! When your platter arrives try be strategic – some things retain heat better than others. Hint: risotto holds heat, pancakes will go cold.
And the gorgeous flavours continue! Next we had the lightly battered calamari with sweet acidic pineapple and some kind of pineapple acha. The calamari was perfectly cooked and wonderfully crispy. I would never have served pineapple with calamari – but since trying this combination I will be replicating it for summer lunches to come!
The sweetcorn risotto was incredible. It was pure butter and cream and all things delicious! The sweetcorn was so wonderfully sweet and buttery – kind of like a buttered popcorn flavour. Amazing! We fought for every spoonful. I’ve been told that Liam Tomlin has a reputation for his incredibly risottos and I’m going to have to agree with the reputation.
Next was a tiny dish of tuna, guacamole and a sweet glaze. The tuna was like butter – so rich and so tender. I would have swapped the guacamole for more tuna though!
These were the most tender beef satay kebabs served with crispy onions and a creamy peanutty sauce. I could not believe how well cooked these kebabs were! What I’d do for this recipe!!
These were my least favourite of the eight dishes. On the left are the veal Stroganoff meatballs served with white rice and gherkins. These were really very boring meatballs – just solid tightly packed meatballs with minimal flavour or texture.
The last dish was a polenta served with lamb tongue which was incredibly rich and oily. The polenta was delicious and creamy but the tongue was so fatty it put me off the dish.
And even though we were mighty full we could not resist the dessert! We ordered the lemon posset with raspberry coulis and fresh raspberries for R40 and some kind of deconstructed apple crumble kind of thing. The lemon posset was wonderfully smooth and tart and was perfectly balanced with the sweet raspberry coulis that was poured on top. The apple dessert was served with skinny apple chips, an apple jelly, apple sorbet and a light mouse like cream of apples and lots of cinnamon. I’m not a big cinnamon fan so this dessert was not for me.
But that lemon posset! I would be back for that alone!!
We had an incredible dinner at Chef’s Warehouse – we were blown away by the intricate and well balanced dishes, the decadent desserts and the quick service. I can’t wait to go back for another visit to a new favourite on Bree Street!
- Location: 92 Bree Street, Cape Town
- Opening times: Monday to Friday has Lunch from 12:00pm til 15:00pm and Tapas from 16:00pm til 20:00pm. Saturday serves Tapas from 12:00pm til 14:30pm
- Contact details: 021 422 01 28
Note – They don’t take bookings so make sure to arrive for an early dinner to secure a table for dinner.