I’m a long standing fan of Cheyne’s food – from his original namesake spot, Cheyne’s, in Houtbay to the wonderful Shio in De Waterkant. I love following him on instagram to see what new and exciting dishes he is creating. And a few weeks back he announced his ten dish Kaiseki experience at R350 per person. Kaiseki is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. From my googl’ing around I understand that it is more than that – it is an expression of a chef’s skill and always includes certain elements such as an appetiser served with sake, sashimi, a grilled dish and a few more. It is considered haute cuisine in Japanese culture. So you can definitely expect a culinary adventure!

If you’re interested- this is an interesting article by CNN travel on the Kaiseki experience.

According to Instagram, Shio will be offering the Kaiseki experience until Saturday the 27th of October – which means you best be quick if you’d like to try it! Hopefully he will be back with another ten dish menu for summer with more exciting dishes! I promise to keep you posted!

Round One:

One of the ten dishes is a cocktail and I absolutely love that! We started with the Rumsaki with ginger and lemongrass sour. This was fresh, tart and super refreshing for a sunshiny day!

This was partnered with the tuna tartare donburi taco with roasted sesame, pickled ginger, spring onion and house ginger ponzu. This little tuna taco was sensational and I could definitely have eaten many of these! The gorgeous quality tuna with the pickled ginger and ponzu was one of my favourite flavour combinations of the day.

Round Two:

Next up was the most delicious yellowtail sashimi, liquid kimchi, lime pickle, wasabi oil, coconut gel and crispy onions. Cheyne seriously knocked it out the park with both these raw fish dishes. The flavour pairings were just incredible. The yellowtail sashimi with that creamy coconut gel, the heat from the kimchi and wasabi oil and zest from the limes was just brilliant.

This round also included the pickled seaweed, ohitashi spinach, sesame, yakaniku and house furikake. I am not a seaweed fan – as soon as my ramen arrives I pull it out the bowl and pop it in Jono’s bowl. This dish was never going to be a favourite for me. However, I loved the spinach and all the other flavours. And Jono enjoyed this dish so please ignore me!

Round Three

This round was the largest with three beautiful dishes. We had Tokyo beef, roasted shiitake, gochujang cream, black caviar and nori dust skewers. XO soba noodles, house furikake, crispy chicken skin, toasted peanuts and lime. And a crispy duck wonton, tamarind, date, ginger, garlic and Vietnamese micro salad.

On my previous visits to Shio I have ALWAYS ordered the wontons. It is one of my must orders and they are always fantastic. The crispy duck wonton with the stick sweet date filling was as good as expected. The soba noodles with crispy chicken skin and toasted peanuts were fresh, light and delicious. And was definitely improved with a generous squeeze of lime! The Tokyo beef with shiitake and gochujang cream is another Shio classic dish and a favourite of ours. They were tender and packed with flavour.

Round Four

This round was the grilled aubergine, miso, mirin and sake. These were two smokey, slightly bitter aubergine “medallions” with lovely umami flavours. And the forbidden risotto of Japanese black rice, hot and sour dashi cream, hake tempura and truffle nori dust chip. The risotto dish is similar to Shio’s original risotto but unfortunately lacked the flavours of the original. I thought the risotto needed salt or lime or soya sauce or something to lift the flavour profile. And the hake tempura on its own was lovely – but got a little soggy with the risotto.

A friend and I were chatting about the menu on Instagram. We had both loved the experience but not enjoyed this dish. Cheyne actually caught our comments and replied that the menu is a work in progress and will look into another dish to replace the risotto. I really love that he is paying attention, listening to feedback and learning alongside us.

Dessert with Shio

Dessert was a 60% dark chocolate, poached nashi pear gel, cashew praline, white chocolate and toasted sesame ice cream. The dark chocolate ganache/mousse story was super decadent and delicious! It was fun to pick out the other flavours- coconut, cashew, pear and mix them into spoons of chocolate. I also loooved the white chocolate and sesame ice cream.

We had such a wonderful lunch at Shio’s and I would highly recommend a visit. It was lovely to sit down and have all the dishes chosen for you! The only thing we needed to chose was the wine- and that’s pretty easy! And R350 for ten dishes is reasonable for such a lovely lunch.

We unfortunately didn’t have great service the day of our visit. I think our waitress was new and very inexperienced. And I think with the menu only being launched a day or two before they hadn’t quite worked out the flow. I did chat to Cheyne about this and he was concerned to hear the feedback and took it very seriously. I would like to add that we have always had great service in the past – finding the waitstaff to be friendly and very knowledgeable. So I am going to knock it off to a once off experience but I couldn’t write an honest review without including it.

DETAILS

  • Location: The Grey Hotel, 49 Napier Street, De Waterkant
  • Opening times: Monday to Saturday from 12pm til 3pm and 6pm til 10pm
  • Contact details: 021 421 1106 or their website

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