Destination: South Africa: Cape Town
On my recent trip to Cape Town, I didn’t get to try Carne, the latest venture of chef Giorgio Nava, but the restaurant is getting rave reviews from locals. Nava’s first venture, 95 Keerom, is still one of the most beloved spots in town for a great meal in a relaxed setting. Carne is an ode to all-things meat, much of it organic and raised on the chef’s Karoo farm. The menu, which is printed on butcher’s paper, also offers a wide variety of classic Italian dishes, though most applaud such local dishes as kudu tartare and black wildebeest filet.
One & Only restaurants
Cape Town’s newest five-star hotel, the One & Only Cape Town, scored not one but two celebrity chefs—Gordon Ramsay and Nobuyuki Matsuhisa—to head its restaurants, located on opposite sides of the soaring lobby. Maze, a two-story space with a glass-encased wine loft and a long polished-wood bar, is run by British star Gordon Ramsay (whose signature Ramsay is in London’s Claridge’s hotel). Like it’s namesake in London, Maze Cape Town will focus on a tapas-style menu (Jason Atherton, who oversees the kitchen, was the first British chef to train at celebrated El Bulli in Spain, so small-plate dining is his passion). The impressive wine cellar has 6,000 bottles and eighty percent are South African. Wine lovers who want to sample a wide range will be happy here: some one hundred bottles are served by the glass.
Across the buzzing bar and lobby, Nobu has a more serene dining room, with an upper-level sake bar and ground floor dining area with a sushi bar. The design is as sleek and contemporary as the master’s dishes; there’s a beautiful textured origami light fixture along the ceiling and dark ebony columns punctuate the space. The menu closely resembles the one of other Nobu outposts, most notably London and New York, but much of the fish is locally sourced and ultra-fresh. Locals have been raving about Nobu since it opened. Contemporary artist Paul du Toit says: “It is rare to experience new tastes as an adult, because you have tried most things. But at Nobu, it’s possible.”
Before dinner at either restaurant, stop by the satellite Goodman Gallery for frequently changing exhibitions, many of which feature up-and-coming South African artists.
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