Mondiall Kitchen & Bar in Cape Town

The V&A Waterfront welcomes Peter Tempelhoff’s worldly new restaurant

Progressive Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef Peter Tempelhoff has made a career out of moving forward. With his famed Winelands restaurant, The Greenhouse, which was recently voted fourth best in South Africa, this kitchen king has propelled himself to the forefront of a competitive food scene. But now, with Mondiall, a highly anticipated new eatery and bar that he opened with global restaurateur Patrick Symington at the V&A Waterfront in late November 2013, he is intent on going back.

Back into the past, that is, to rediscover, reinterpret and pay homage to those much-loved everyday culinary classics that have stood the ultimate test of time.

“There’s something special about all of these great dishes that have been on menus around the world for hundreds of years,” says the renowned local food guru. “So, the restaurant is about understanding why they came about, where they came from and how to make them better.”

Needless to say, Peter and his team (Oliver Cattermole of Le Franschhoek Hotel fame is head chef) inject the old with the new, giving many of the items a contemporary spin so that the beautifully adorned brasserie-style haunt serves up, as Peter says, “not just burgers, but the best burgers, not just Caesar salad, but the best Caesar salad.”

Apart from greenery and an unusual umami cheeseburger, guests dining at Mondiall can expect to find options like Omelette Arnold Bennett on the breakfast menu; Asian-style Steak Tartar, Scattered Sushi, Ramen Noodles and Grilled Sirloin Café de Paris (the butter is crafted from 42 ingredients) in the broad lunch and dinner offering; and Cape Malva Pudding and Maple and Pecan Pie (made from Peter’s mother’s recipe) on the dessert list.

Though it boasts innovative twists and gourmand turns, the fare is also accessible and easy-going. In this way, the ideally located restaurant – it parades magnificent views of the harbour and Table Mountain – is, in Peter’s own words, “a place where princes can dine with paupers”.

And the interior of the large dock-side eatery reflects this concept perfectly: it’s both relaxed and rich with old-world elegance and it combines elements of the past with those of the present, just as the food does. Modern floor-to-ceiling glass doors wrap around the space and flood it with light, rugged screed walls and floors encase the inside area, a slender wooden wine rack reaches up to the roof and contemporary metal chandeliers dangle above reclaimed timber tables. Plus, there are three different sections with distinct feels to eat within: a serious, decidedly masculine central dining space, a more laidback outer ring and a casual open wooden deck with café-style seating.

It is the latter that offers the ideal perch for alfresco sundowners by the water’s edge, and the bar sells a wide assortment of cocktails (35 in total), wines, Champagnes, beers and liquors that are perfect for dusk-time drinking. Not to mention, the eatery also dishes up a range of tapas that go down a treat with any tipple.

Whether guests come for a dop or a dish though, Mondiall is the sort of spot that will easily and quickly whisk them away to another world, one that celebrates both a glorious Cape Town setting and all the classics of the culinary realm.

Tip: Mondiall also claims a trendy mezzanine level where patrons can book chef’s table evenings and private dinner parties. Groups of 10 or more can also request a special set menu (there are three different price options) with a choice of starters, mains and desserts.

The Bill: Prices are reasonable, especially considering that the restaurant’s located at the uber expensive V&A Waterfront. Breakfasts go for between R22 and R82; soups, salads and appetizers cost from R53 to R129; mains ring in between R72 and R345; and desserts are priced from R55 to R115.

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 9am – 10pm; Saturday – Sunday: 10am – 10pm

Alfred Mall (in old Green Dolphin location)| Quay Four | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 418 3003

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Read about another relatively recent addition to the V&A Waterfront, The Springbok Experience Rugby Museum.

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