The Alphen Hotel is one of my favourite places in the Southern Suburbs. Their hotel is my favourite of 2016. I love the breakfasts at La Belle and now I am a huge fan of Blanko. Blanko has replaced 5 Rooms with a more bright, light and open dining option.
I enjoyed the food at 5 Rooms but I always found it a little dark and intimidating. Blanko is now filled with bright whites, great art and a more casual vibe. And I am a big fan! We joined them for an amazing Sunday lunch and I haven’t stopped talking about them!
We started with stuzzichini which our waiter described as light snacks to enjoy with our cocktails whilst perusing the menu. Google tells me it is the Southern Italian equivalent of antipasti (which means “to pick”), a series of small dishes served, usually, at the bar. So my waiter was not too far off! Once we ordered our stuzzichini we needed cocktails to go with it!
We really enjoyed snacking on the house pickled baby vegetables and fried green olives with roasted garlic.
For starters we opted for the calamari and the mussels. My grilled calamari was served with a beautiful parsley, garlic, green chilli and lemon sauce. This was a really stand out dish and I loved the slight heat the green chilli brought to the dish.
The mussels were served with a shallot, garlic, thyme, lemon and cream sauce. Again this was a sensational dish and we made full use of the gorgeous creamy sauce by soaking it up with extra bread brought to the table!
Jono opted for the lamb shank which was slowly braised in red wine.
For main course I could not resist the balsamic fillet tagliata which came highly recommended by our waiter. This was served with tomato confit, rocket and parmesan pesto and a balsamic reduction. This was a simple dish executed beautifully.
My star dish of the lunch was the tart with chocolate, salted caramel, hazelnuts and ricotta. This dish was beautifully presented and tasted just as fantastic! The thick layer of salted caramel with the rich chocolate and crunchy hazelnuts was sensational!
Jono enjoyed the tiramisu which is a mascarpone, coffee and chocolate based dessert. I don’t like coffee so am not a great person to review but he loved it and it was certainly gooey and moist!
On the drinks side we started with two fantastic cocktails. I enjoyed their grapefruit and mint G&T with tanquery gin, grapefruit, mint leaves, cane sugar and tonic water. I could definitely get behind drinking more of these this summer! Jono went with the spiced pear bellini with vodka, fresh pear, pear liqueur, spiced syrup and sparkling wine. The bellini tasted like christmas in a glass!
We then moved on to an amazing bottle of the Meerlust Chardonnay. Our waiter was incredibly well trained and knowledgeable and was comfortable making food and wine recommendations.
I would just like to talk about the menu pricing. I have heard from other guests that they found the menu to be very expensive. There are definitely expensive dishes – with the fillets between R195- R205 and the sole and seabass at R205 and R200 each. However, you can find a large choice of pizzas and pastas. The pastas are between R75 and R120 and the pizza are between R70 and R120. You can definitely have a really expensive luxury dining experience but there are certainly other affordable and delicious choices too! I personally am dying to go back to try the wild mushroom orzo with goat’s milk cheese and parmesan at R115.
- Location: Alphen Boutique Hotel, Alphen Drive, Constantia
- Opening times: Open all week from 10am til 12:30am
- Contact details: