SALSIFY At The Roundhouse is putting the sexy back into Sunday lunches from this weekend, August 25. A bunch of us were invited for a preview and this is what happened.
The menu is flexible depending on the availability of ingredients and what can be foraged (some of the dish descriptions included mention of this, and the proximity from the restaurant on the slopes above Camps Bay where they were picked and plucked) so what we had could be different to what you get.
Chef Ryan Cole grew up in a fishing household and the Sunday lunch tradition was never a staple in the Cole family. “We never really had a family that was into Sunday lunches. My mother was also never really a good cook, so we more looked forward to the homemade Swiss roll,” he laughs.
What Ryan is doing now is less of a memory but more of a re-imagination, inspired by the notion of the perfect Sunday. “I want Salsify’s Sundays to be a call to gather, to laugh, to enjoy! It’s about celebrating friends, family, food, and unity,” he says. He also mentioned something about long, lazy afternoons and plenty of wine.
This was provided by sommelier Nash Kanyangarara, who bust open the magnums for the occasion (this is the standard pairing with each dish, by the way). I asked him why magnums? “There isn’t always the opportunity to open a big bottle, and as Ryan said, Sundays are for indulgence,” he answered. Wine ages better in magnums, he added. This extra treat makes sense because of the pairings, and it’s unlikely any of the wine will go to waste. Plus guests have the chance to taste something really special with every course.
We began with Kitchen Gifts, tiny treats of one mouthful each, the way an amuse bouche should be. The warm pumpkin corn bread with cinnamon butter was heavenly. The first course was pine needle gravadlax with powdered amasi, hot mustard and apple, paired with Spioenkop Virginity “Lady Chef” Riesling 2017.
Try to see the beef tartare through my eyes – I saw Jackson Pollock. It has a nasturtium emulsion and a black garlic Chelsea bun on the side, which was soft and warm and had me eyeing the other guests to see if they were eating theirs or it could be nabbed off their plate. The wine with this course is Momento Chenin Verdelho 2017. Next up was petit poussin (literally perfect) with roast chicken tea and bread sauce. Bread sauce! Something my granny always used to make for my granddad with his Sunday roast chicken, and which I’ve never encountered in a restaurant before. Obviously Ryan’s version is way more refined, but the nostalgia was there. For this one we moved onto the reds with Grangehurst Cabernet Merlot 2007.
Adi Badenhorst Family’s Red 2011 went with the final savoury course: lamb shoulder and loin with a lamb fat artichoke and sumac carrots, a surprising standout on the plate for being a simple accompaniment. The menu is set but if you have dietaries, you can let the restaurant know in advance. My friend, who has been moving closer and closer to being a vegetarian (although flexitarian is something she’ll claim from time to time), was thrilled with her meal, gleefully crying “sorry for you!” at the rest of us several times throughout.
I’m not a dessert person, at all, but oh my word, the first sweet course of lime leaf posset, lemongrass jelly and crumbled polenta cake had my eyes rolling back in my head in ecstasy. Truly one of the loveliest puddings I’ve ever had. There was a second one to try too – Ryan’s take on his favourite chocolate bar (Snickers) with apple mint frozen yoghurt. Sorry, but the lime one was better for me. They say your palate changes as you get older, so maybe that’s a reason. The chocolate dessert was paired with a rather nice Joostenburg NLH 2017.
But wait…it wasn’t quite over. With the teas and coffees arrived little silver caskets containing miniature macarons. Again, I’m not a fan, but these minuscule morsels were perfect for popping in the mouth. I’m sure no one will judge you if you scoop them all up at once. They might not talk to you on the drive home, but not judge.
Salsify At The Roundhouse is on Round House Road, Camps Bay (in the Glen). Bookings can be made by clicking here, for tables of two to eight guests. The Salsify Sunday Menu launches on Sunday, August, 25. The menu is R695 per person for the lunch with an additional R550 for the wine pairing option.
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PHOTO CREDIT: BIANCA COLEMAN ©