Mother City Fine Dining

Mother City Fine Dining

Rich and hearty winter fare at Twelve Apostles’ Azure

By Bianca Coleman

The Twelve Apostles Hotel And Spa occupies one of the most beautiful locations in Cape Town. With the mountain at the back and the ocean in front, your view is spectacular every single time.
The award-winning Azure restaurant faces west and the sea. Its interior decor picks up from this with cool and calming shades of blue, and is warmed by fireplaces on the wintry days when Mother Nature unleashes her wildness.

Our introduction to executive chef Christo Pretorius’s new seasonal menu began with welcoming flutes of Môreson Solitaire brut NV MCC on the outside deck, where we basked in the gentler, but still warm sunshine we get at this time of the year. Moving to our table inside, boards with an array of gorgeously delicious breads were served with flavoured butters and pate. The corn bread is a must, low carbs be damned.
The first course set the high standard for the meal: a soft poached egg on toasted brioche with potato and chive vichyssoise, complemented by earthy, woody shimeji mushrooms and smoked bacon. Oh my word, this was heavenly.

Next up was baby calamari risotto – crispy tentacles with creamed cauliflower, pickled sultanas, and parmesan crumbs. A rich traditional Japanese tentsuyu broth is poured at the table. The dish is garnished with pretty pink and green watermelon radish.
When Pretorius described the main course he threw out phrases like “brined for 24 hours”, “braised for 12 hours” and “six hours in the oven.” This is a lot of love for the beef short rib, which is presented with beef tartare, confit leeks (sous vide in the beef fat), parsnip puree, baby onions and bone marrow jus. It’s a wonderfully rich and hearty dish for winter.
There was just enough space to finish with the Taste Of The Caribbean dessert, which pulls together flavours of lime, coconut and passion fruit with textures of mousse, sorbet, and cake, delicately decorated with gold leaf, white chocolate, and edible flowers. It is art on a plate, and on the palate.
The Twelve Apostles Hotel And Spa is situated on Victoria Street, Camps Bay. For reservations, call 021 437 9255; or send an email to reservations1@12apostles.co.za.
The Twelve Apostles hosts regular events. In winter, the perfect date night is the Dinner & Movie combination, which combines a three-course meal in Azure followed by a film show in the hotel’s intimate 16-seater cinema. The cost is R475 a person.

The set menu includes the baby calamari risotto with tentsuyu broth, crispy tentacles, creamed cauliflower, pickled sultanas and parmesan crumbs as a starter; followed by Red Carnation Hotel Collection Founder and President Bea Tollman’s famous Cape Malay chicken curry – slightly sweet and spicy, served with star-aniseed basmati rice, sambals, warm butter roti and a poppadum; or barbecued pork belly with black pudding, burnt apple puree, charred corn, spring onion and sherry prune jus. A sustainable fish of the day is also available, served with brioche crust, poached mussels, baby bok choy, braised celery, wakame and dashi broth.
Creative vegetarian dishes include salt baked beetroot salad with beetroot mousse, pickled golden beet, beetroot and vanilla vinaigrette, balsamic gel and citrus marinated mozzarella; and sweet potato gnocchi with burnt apple puree, charred corn salad, spring onion, maple velouté and dehydrated apple crisp.

Dessert is served in the cinema – vanilla crème brûlée, or strawberry mille feuille with strawberry pudding, white chocolate and strawberry sorbet. Treats don’t end there however, as the movie is accompanied by plenty of snacks, including the obligatory popcorn, sweets and a rich hot chocolate or milkshake of the day.
The movie schedule changes every month and includes three dinner screenings daily, at 5.30pm, 8.30pm and 10.30pm. To book call 021 437 9029; or email restaurants@12apostles.co.za.
On Wednesday, July 27, nature lovers can join The Cape Leopard Trust and Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa for a three-course dinner and presentation uncovering the ground-breaking leopard and predator research currently underway. Tickets are R535 a person, with R100 of that donated to the wildlife initiative.

The Twelve Apostles and its sister property Bushmans Kloof, both part of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, have been longstanding supporters of the Cape Leopard Trust. The Trust has a number of ongoing leopard and predator research projects in the Cape and a dynamic environmental education project. It advocates the protection of leopards and other predators in their natural environments and to enable this, promotes the need for conservation of ecosystems.

* Bookings are essential. Contact restaurant reservations on 021 437 9029; or restaurants@12apostles.co.za.