House, cottage, tennis court, gym, pool + incredible views at an excellent special
A table with a view of the bay
The Atlantic Grill at The Table Bay Hotel offers a culinary journey
As of 1 August 2012, dinner duties at the Table Bay Hotel have been taken over by Conservatory Restaurant, and the Atlantic Grill has been transformed into a banquet hall available for hire for celebratory luanches, presentations, lunches and dinners (it seats a max of 120 people).
- Read more about the Conservatory Restaurant
“I want my guests to feel that they have gone on a culinary journey. Their expectations exceeded and that the food has emotionally touched them,” says Dallas Orr, executive chef.
With passion like that you can imagine that dinner here is a seriously focused affair. But, it wouldn’t be a hotel dining experience if we didn’t have an aperitif in the bar first.
Think wood panels, polished copper, and maritime elegance in the sophisticated setting of The Union Bar. Sit at the long mahogany bar or at a more intimate table for two. We decide on the former and order classic gin martinis; I mean really, what else would we drink here?
“I believe a happy chef cooks happy food”
The face of hotel dining is changing. Traditionally a thankless task serviced by a merry-go-round of chefs. Not so anymore, well, in the five-star realm at least. This kind of high volume cooking at a fine dining level would be impossible to accomplish without a dedicated leader at the helm.
Dallas Orr is one such chef. “I’m extremely passionate about my career; I live, breath, and sleep food. I’m not about the glitz and glamour; occasionally I get to do interviews and TV shoots, but at the end of the day I want to be in the kitchen doing my thing. I believe a happy chef cooks happy food.”
Settling into our table by the window, the sun kisses the bay, leaking a deep red into the blue as it sinks below. There’s such a feeling of timeless elegance here, thick carpets hush footsteps, and the décor is grand yet comfortable.
Speaking of grand, the bread service is the most decadent we’ve ever experienced. A beaming waiter wheels over a trolley stacked with breads, oils, pestos and pâtés. We pile lashings of flavoured butter onto hot bread, next is pumpkin seed pesto, and we smear buttery roasted garlic like a spread.
We’ve come on the first night of the new menu. For starters we try a tuna tartar and panko-crusted calamari. My main course is an indulgent affair of squid ink lasagne sheets loosely layered with poached seafood and langoustine cream.
“The cuisine best describes my interpretation of classic with a modern look,” says Dallas. “I use local produce, and keep it fresh, and I don’t over complicate the food.”
Rise and shine
The last time I came to this grandiose hotel it was for breakfast and my goodness nothing has compared since: poached crayfish tail curled around creamy scrambled eggs, topped with Beluga caviar and scented with black truffle. Fit for a queen of the sea.
But it’s not just the â la carte menu that’s fabled; the breakfast buffet will make you weak at the knees. Picture a spread of sushi and oysters, tables groaning with fresh fruit, cured meats and expensive cheese.
“It is not easy to create the best breakfast in Cape Town,” says Dallas. “We flavour our own yoghurts, cure meat as well as fish, and we have a new waffle and pancake station, which fills the restaurant with a yummy smell; all fresh and made to order.”
“With about 250 items on the buffet, you’ll easily find something you love to eat.”
Make it your local
Cape Town’s hotels are not just for the traveller. No, they’re for the locals too, whereas some restaurants are ‘here today and gone tomorrow’ hotels often have longevity, and with that comes a sense of history.
When Dallas is asked why Capetonians should dine at his restaurant he says: “Don’t be fooled, just because Atlantic Grill is in a five-star hotel, our prices are value-for-money compared to some of the other Waterfront restaurants. The produce is fresh, hand-selected and cooked to perfection. Capetonians are missing out big time.”
By Malu Lambert
*The restaurant is only open for dinner service commencing at 7pm, and is closed on Mondays and Sundays, and on these days the more casual Conservatory restaurant opens.
This five-star hotel boasts with its location, and timeless style, keen to stay here?