Updated: May 7, 2020
"There is no love sincerer than the love of food."
- George Bernard Shaw
I have been dreaming of visiting La Colombe my whole life. Growing up, my ouma would tell me about the best restaurant in South Africa and how there is a one year waiting list to get in - basically only the rich and famous could dine there. It’s safe to say that either things have changed, or - as per usual - my ouma has a unique way of telling a story (read: over the top, hyperbolic)... And people wonder where I get it from. I've even kept the Financial Mail excerpt from February 2016 that she sent me where the move to Silvermist is very clearly marked and Scot Kirton and Luke Dale-Roberts' working relationship, and aim to make the number one restaurant, is heavily emphasized.
Each year, I sit and and watch the La Colombe creations on their Instagram account, hoping that a day will come where I can finally visit this fine establishment. Winter specials come and go, but for some reason, it was never convenient with my schedule, or the days I would be free are fully booked. I watched another winter special pass this year, and was sort of broken-hearted that I might leave Cape Town, never once having visited La Colombe.
I’m not entirely sure how, but I have two e-mail addresses signed up with the La Colombe group’s newsletters and on 19 August my heart was filled with joy as I received multiple e-mails about their Spring Lunch Special. Now the hard work began: trying to find a day and time that would work for my brother and me. He’s my companion on any dining trips. A monthly “treat yo’ self” has become a tradition now that we’re living in the same province after 5 years. And at last - the day arrived where we both had a free afternoon! My ouma might have been onto something with the waiting list... it took me three years to finally get here!
The fairytale begins the moment you enter the Silvermist gates - a long, dwindling road with scenic views of Cape Town’s mountains meanders to the top of the estate, where the restaurant is nestled.
On arrival, there is a delicate little ball that is to be placed in your mouth whole and then broken - which delivered a delish, sweet citrus palate cleanser. Our table is situated next to the large windows for a perfect garden view, and allowing just enough sunlight to pour through and create a wonderfully cheerful atmosphere. The Spring Lunch Special is be beautifully presented to us on a handwritten menu.
The marlin hidden in the garden, between bright flowers is the perfect ode to welcome the spring season. Fresh, flavorful and fragrant are just the beginning of describing this delicate fine-dining experience.
From the unconventional bread-course dipped in bone marrow, to finally being able to open and consume the infamous La Colombe tuna tin - no detail, great or small, was left unthought of. Each element to each dish is perfectly crafted and positioned - almost so perfect that you don’t want to destroy the masterpiece created in the kitchen.
The service is impeccable. From wine recommendations, to patience when I was scanning the wines on Vivino, and even offering to take photos of us. A small thing to note - which doesn’t happen in many South African restaurants - is that plates are only cleared once everyone has finished eating. It just shows how this fine dining establishment has its name inked into the pages of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
The elements of nature that made an appearance were an absolute treat. Special mention for the show-stopping naartjie sorbet palate cleanser that spilled waves of cool dry ice over the table.
The meal ends like a novel that brings you back to the exact point you started at - we’re reunited with the garden displaying dainty rooibos macarons and a speckled egg filled with popping candy.
It felt like I was immersed in a fairytale, and it is definitely one story I wished would never end. It is impossible not to be in love with food, or the artistry that goes into it, after spending the afternoon here, and it was bitter-sweet having to drag myself away from our table and back to reality. My food fantasy continued a few second more as I collected the home made After Eight diner mint in a beautiful origami bird.
Thank you to La Colombe for one of the most memorable and magical meals and past-times I have ever experienced. It was an absolute dream come true to dine at this legendary establishment. Now, I just need to find a way to get my ouma to Cape Town so that I can bring her for the experience she’s been telling me about my whole life. I just hope she’s not too disappointed that there isn't a one year waiting list.
La Colombe Spring Lunch Special
R 545 per person | 7-courses
Monday to Sunday - Lunch only Valid until 30 November 2019 Including public holidays
Book online: https://www.lacolombe.co.za/book-online?ss_source=sscampaigns&ss_campaign_id=5d5aaf24d567495adc8da16c&ss_email_id=5d5ab43bb624c33e6934f71b&ss_campaign_name=Spring+Lunch+Special&ss_campaign_sent_date=2019-08-19T14%3A38%3A13Z