I have been to La Mouette many times. I return to La Mouette time and time again because of the incredible food, the gorgeous wine, the great value and the faultless service. I have been meaning to review La Mouette many times but always catch them at the end of a tasting menu. I think this tasting menu has a little more running time but I can’t be sure. If the tasting menu has finished this review can highlight the incredible caliber and quality of the food and the serious value for money.
The winter tasting at La Mouette is six courses for R195, with wine for R335. This is a seriously unbeatable tasting menu – I haven’t been able to find another Cape Town restaurant prices even close to the La Mouette menu.
Before the tasting menu even started they brought the bread. I am an absolute terror – because I will quite happily eat all the bread I can get my hands on. I would give up all the sweet things in the world for a great slice of bread. So when meals start with bread I struggle to restrain myself. And La Mouette always serves the most wonderful bread! Today is was a light fluffy bread with Parmesan on top, fluffy light vetkoek and little rounds of rye bread. To add even more to the beautiful bread was fresh butter, a creamy garlicy thick cream and a mushroom pate. It was all incredible!
I have never liked vetkoek before finding it incredible oily – but some how this vetkoek was perfectly light and delicious. The mushroom pate was smooth and wonderfully moreish. This alone should be included as one of the six courses!!
And only then did the tasting menu start! The menu started with mushroom soup with Parmesan hazelnut crust, cheese and truffle croquette and mushroom jelly. I love this method of serving soup! The dish arrived as a simple round of all the beautiful components and then the warm mushroom soup is poured of the components. The soup was incredible! The meaty wild mushrooms, the crispy Parmesan hazelnut crust and the squishy mushroom jelly perfectly complimented the soup. My favourite was the little creamy truffle croquette which was crispy and the truffle oil was amazing with the mushroom soup. I have now decided that I no longer want toast with soup- but dainty little truffle croquettes!
Next up was beetroot salad with goat’s cheese, candied walnuts, beetroot ravioli, sumac, hazelnut dressing. The mushroom soup was very rich and filling – so the fresh, light salad was the perfect course to follow. It was wonderful to see all the beautifully coloured beetroots! I love the sweet subtle flavour of the golden beetroot! The beetroot and goats cheese was a fantastic pairing as the beetroot was sharp and tart and the goats cheese smooth and creamy. I’m going to make a tart soon filled with golden beetroots and goat cheese!
For the third course we had a choice either the duck granola with duck parfait, raisin puree, rainbow carrots, hazelnuts and granola crumble or cured hake with salt baked potatoes, leek ash, mussels, sea foam, leek and potato sauce.
Normally we always order one of each and swap to be able to taste the entire menu but we simple couldn’t resist the duck! We made a great decision as the duck was delicious and we didn’t want to share half!
The duck parfait was a little like a foie gras as it was incredibly creamy and rich. The smooth sweet parfait worked well with the slightly salty duck granola. The entire dish was delicious and I was very tempted to lick the plate!
Fourth course was also two options. This time we did order the both! This is the Jerusalem artichoke macaroni cheese with a truffle dressing, artichoke puree, crisps and rocket. I thought this would be the loser of the two but it turned out to be my favourite! I am obsessed with truffle oil – so the truffle dressing on the macaroni cheese had me smiling! The artichoke crisps was a good contrast to an otherwise very soft dish.
The second option of the fourth course was a lamb shoulder and ragout with mustard mash, smoked aubergine puree, olive caramel and pickled onion. This was the favourite of my other two lunch companions. The lamb shoulder was perfectly tender but had less subtle flavours than the Jerusalem artichoke macaroni cheese. I loved the aubergine puree especially with the gorgeous mustard mash.
Dessert was a parsnip sponge served with honey and thyme ice cream, carrot and blood orange gel. This is very uncool of me because I’m going against all foodie trends but I like my desserts to be sweet. I’m not crazy about this trend of savoury desserts or vegetable desserts. The parsnip sponge was wonderfully light but the parsnip flavour didn’t blow my mind. The honey and thyme ice cream had sadly set badly and was full of icicles which took away any of its flavour. We mentioned it to the waitress who quickly brought us little dishes of a new batch of ice cream. This time round the ice cream was incredible smooth and the sweet honey paired well with the savoury thyme. I could easily eat a few scoops of this ice cream!
To finish was a beautiful platter of chocolate petit fours. The petite fours included a chocolate macaron, a little cinnamon and sugar dusted doughnut, a choc chip cookie, a chocolate swiss roll and a little chocolate Italian kiss.
I loved this platter and each bite was more exciting than the next! La Mouette makes incredible macarons which are often included in their tasting menus. My favourite of the flavours are their salted caramel macarons!
The little doughnut was incredible light and not oily at all. The choc chip cookie was so simple but so buttery and chocolately that is was probably my favourite of the five! The chocolate swiss roll was creamy and rich. And the little Italian kiss was the perfect sweet finish.
We chose the tasting menu with the wine pairing which was really wonderful and well thought out. My favourite pairing was the Parsnip sponge with the Thelema 2010 Vin de Hel’Muscat Late Harvest. The wine pairing pushed the cost up by R140 – almost the price of the food pairing! This can make the tasting menu a little more pricy. If you’re looking to splurge but are still constrained by a budget order the tasting menu without the wine and order a glass or two of wine off the menu. You will have a wonderful dining experience wine or no wine!
So the next time you’re looking for some fine dining in the Mother City I would highly recommend a booking at La Mouette!
- Location: 78 Regent Road, Sea Point
- Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 6:00 – 10.30 pm and Sunday 12.00 -3:00 pm
- Contact details: 021 433 0856
Booking is essential!