If it’s good enough for our new president, it’s good enough for me.
Cyril Ramaphosa has been delighting the citizens of Cape Town since the events of last week – he’s been spotted jogging on the Sea Point Promenade, browsing at Exclusive Books, and dining at Belthazar in the V&A Waterfront.
We weren’t there on the same night, but ours was just as special; it was the one when the heavens opened in a welcome downpour and we were treated to a spectacular lightning show. When we arrived at dusk, the ominous clouds were already hanging over the harbour, flickering with the promise of more to come.
Belthazar has stunning views from its outside seating area – now under cover to protect it from the elements – including the harbour, the Cape Wheel, and Table Mountain. Inside, it is warm and cosy with a bar where you can sit while waiting for your table. The restaurant is famous for its extensive wine list, particularly the availability by the glass. The range is impressive, and the prices are quite steep; be prepared to pay upwards of R300 for a bottle of red. It’s not necessary to add “decent” to the description, because these are all top end wines. However, the sommelier on duty will be happy to recommend something within your budget, and he even gave me an excellent take-home tip of where to find a particular one I like at a very reasonable online price. On this occasion we shared a bottle of Mullineux Kloof Street Swartland Rouge, drunk from Riedel glassware.
If you’re only familiar with red wine glasses and white wine glasses, this range of varietal-specific glasses could seem a bit pretentious at first but take it from me – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Even if you know very little about the subject, you cannot fail to notice the superior quality, the fine stems, and the delightful little ring as you tap the glass and hold it to your ear.
While it serves a variety of dishes, Belthazar is first and foremost a steak restaurant. Our waiter brought out a huge platter of raw cuts, and explained each one to us before we made our final decision. Available in different weights to suit your appetite and with side orders and sauces as added extras, you’re looking at about R250 or more for your meal.
My friend had a basic sirloin with house basting and chips, while I opted for beautifully marbled ribeye with sweet potato fries and a chilli chocolate sauce. Carefully explaining my preference for medium-rare (a standard term), but more rare than medium – often a hit and miss request – paid off and the steak was exactly the way I like it. As busy as the restaurant was, our order came out the kitchen swiftly.
The only mistake was my own – the flavour of the steak was perfect just as it was and the sauce was not really needed. I suggest you add one only if you’re having a fillet, which is bland on its own and can always do with the extra help.
The meal was quietly classy, complemented by the courteous and intuitive service.
* Open daily for lunch and dinner, Belthazar is in the V&A Waterfront, Victoria Wharf, Shop No 153, Cape Town.
Call 021 421 3753 for reservations.
For more information, visit belthazar.co.za.
Mother City Fine Dining