WITHIN months of opening last year, Foxcroft Restaurant & Bakery Constantia won the Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year. It was pretty damn good then; it’s even better now. Chef Glen Williams has launched a new menu with which he told us he is “much happier”. It reflects incredible skill and creativity and this young man never ceases to amaze.
Let us begin.
The current lunch menu special comprises breads and butters, your choice of two tapas, one main course, and a dessert for R295 a person. This runs until August 31, after which the price will be R395.
Something I always appreciate in any restaurant at any level is knowledgeable service. Wendy, who looked after us, knew all the intricate details of every dish, expanding fully on the menu descriptions. This is staff training at its best, and essential to the dining experience.
There are six tapas from which to choose, with Oysters Martini and a charcuterie platter to share as separately priced items. All the meats are cured right there on the premises, in an enticing room set in the centre of the restaurant (see featured image, by Claire Gunn Photography). We began with flutes of Steenberg bubbly and four oysters topped with balls of tart apple, green olive purée and vermouth jelly. Just to give it that extra little flavour kick, Wendy squeezed a droplet of fennel-infused gin on top.
For the sake of brevity, the following dishes will be described as per the menu so bear in mind there are probably about six more complementary flavours and techniques going on with each plate. Our tapas were cured Franschhoek trout with fermented radish, avocado and horseradish, and Belnori goat’s cheese with toasted rye and smoked onion chutney for my friend Honeybun; I had pork cheek topped with airy crackling, accompanied by pickled octopus, tamarind purée, pineapple and coriander dressing, followed by a 64°C hen’s egg with black pudding, crispy pancetta and smoked apple. A pork broth was poured over it at the table and from a meal with so many outstanding moments, this was one of the highlights.
Glen sent out one extra tapas – chicken liver parfait with a medley of mushroom styles (including mushroom butter for the slice of toasted brioche), rhubarb and onion.
Moving on to main courses, I had chicken (confit thigh, for me the best part of the bird) with veal sweetbreads and crispy capers. The malt vinegar and caper velouté cut the richness of the meat perfectly. Honeybun had slow cooked lamb, braised and formed into a roulade with creamed kale, nettle purée, and an intense tang from a dab of whisky mustard.
Honey and I subscribe to the “order something different and taste each other’s food” method of eating out. She ordered the Boerenkaas dessert – done three ways – and I picked the guava filled with lime cheesecake, tipsy tart, coconut and guava ice cream. We began eating, swopped plates, and laughed with delight when we realised we both preferred the other’s pudding. The cheese was exactly what I like, for my savoury palate.
It was a meal filled with many emotional foodie moments, as we marvelled at the way flavours and textures are combined to enhance each other, and the painstakingly beautiful presentation. I urge you to visit post haste. Foxcroft ticks all the boxes. And don’t leave without something from the bakery – those buttery French pastries are exquisite.
Foxcroft is at Shop 8, High Constantia Centre, Groot Constantia Road, Constantia. Telephone 021 202 3304. For more information, click here.
PHOTO CREDIT (featured image): CLAIRE GUNN PHOTOGRAPHY
FOOD IMAGES: BIANCA COLEMAN