By Naushad Khan
City hotels are far more than just accommodation options for visitors or tourists. They offer so much for us locals in terms of restaurants, venues for private and corporate functions, spa facilities and more.
In Cape Town we are fortunate to have so many hotels in the 4 and 5 star range; in fact we have 19 5star properties in the city at present. So when I was invited to taste the winter menu at Towers Restaurant at the trendy African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel and Spa in Century City, I gladly accepted as I for one always maintain that dining at our top class hotels is always a treat.
They offer on-site parking and even valet parking in some cases that will take the eating-out experience a notch up. Their staff are well trained and their chefs also come from professional backgrounds.
African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel and Spa is fast earning its stripes as one of the trendiest hotels in the Mother City. With an urban chic design, double volume lobby and decor to match, you feel like a celebrity or VIP when you enter the large glass doors swung open by neatly uniformed staff.
But it is the Towers Restaurant’s winter menu that is the main attraction for my visit this time around. The restaurant is located on the ground floor and has an elegant and inviting feel. They are currently running a Towers Winter Indulgence menu with some pleasant surprises.
Our starters included amuse with mushroom veloute cappuccino, truffle oil, and crème fraiche and shitake wontons. Then came the surprise on the menu: the humble samoosa given a stylish 5-star makeover.
Served as part of a salad, the warm lentil, potato, chick pea and coriander samoosa was cleverly assembled with mixed baby salad leaves, raspberry and tomato vinaigrette. I thought that it was a fantastic reinvention of an all time favourite and one of my personal special treats. Even the term Bombay pie does not do this samoosa justice.
There were two options for the main course. The braised lamb shank served with butternut, potato puree and sweet tomato chilli chutney. The other option was a two oceans seafood potjie served with basmati rice and a mango salsa.
We always order different dishes and share so that we get to taste more items from the menu. In this instance, the lamb shank, with the meat virtually melting off the bone made for a hearty winter dinner. Although the seafood potjie had its moments, it did not live up to the expectation we had, or maybe it’s just that the shank was such a resoundingly gold medal contestant.
Desserts included a sweet potato butternut tart, chocolate coffee pudding and a selection of local cheeses served with konfyt. No medals for guessing which one I chose. I am sure I will one day become a chocolatier or even just a taster at Willy Wonkas.
* For more information visit www.africanpridehotels.com.