This country village also offers good food, excellent wine + lots of history
Sentir Tapas and Spirit Space Takes Centre Stage in Long Street
Sentir, a new Long Street speakeasy gives you loads of flavour with their signature tapas and exclusive imported drinks
Sentir Tapas and Spirit Space is not just any restaurant – you get exclusivity in the form of carefully selected spirits and delicious tapas made from the freshest ingredients in the heart of Cape Town. The selection of tapas have a unique twist to give you a taste sensation across the flavour spectrum, from salty to spicy, sweet, sour, bitter and umami (savoury).
Sentir was opened in mid-November 2017 by best friends Rickma Coxon and Ciska Rossouw, who met in high school. Both have an infectious passion for food, with Ciska being an avid baker (she also happens to the head baker and co-owner of Loaves on Long), with a flair for creating small plates of eats, while Rickma is a lawyer-turned-passionate-restauranter.
It’s all in the eats
We were salivating just looking at Sentir’s menu, which uses only the best and most fresh ingredients for their delectable tapas. A firm favourite with guests is the potato gnocchi – it’s made with broadbeans, tomato, charred baby onions and salami. The taste is an infusion of tomatoey goodness and a wholesome home-cooked meal. Other popular items are:
- Marinated prawn crystal roll: Cucumber, carrot and bell pepper served with aioli and spicy dressing.
- Curried lentils: Cured duck breast prosciutto, ginger, pickled carrot, radish and Sichuan pepper paper.
- Beef tartare: Toasted sesame and scallion served with salted crispy rice noodles, quail egg yolk and pear puree.
- Fresh oysters: Cucumber, shallots and watermelon foam.
Head chef Ciska cures her own prosciutto and makes her own aioli, adding a personal – and super tasty – touch to select pieces. Both Rickma and Ciska believe in using superior ingredients for their dishes as a way of ensuring every meal is tasty and of a high quality. For now the menu is designed for summer, but as the seasons evolve so will the menu – we’re already looking forward to their winter menu! Ultimately, the savvy minds behind Sentir would like the menu to change every week… but all in good time.
Take a sip
“I went out to curate the drinks to give people a taste they won’t get somewhere else” says Rickma about the exclusivity of their drinks menu. There’s imported gin, South African wine only meant for international export, and an array of spirits and cocktails. Interestingly, this speakeasy’s range of exclusive drinks are priced exactly the same in each brand category. What this means is that whatever brand of whisky you opt for, for example, they’re all the same price.
It’s all in the looks
Rickma and Ciska put as much effort and thought into the aesthetic of the space as they did with the menu. In fact, the two handled the entire renovation of the space themselves and Rickma designed every aspect of the interior and hand-picked every piece herself. “I wanted something a little more sophisticated for here. I chose colours and furniture my husband would not let me have at home!” she laughs. She for opted rich and dark colours, that manage to also look and feel as natural as possible. Because each piece of furniture and every decor item was curated for the space, it happens that almost everything is a conversation starter – an interesting talking point with a story behind it. One of the most talked about pieces is the bar, which is made of African Kiaat wood.
Together, the two bring you great food, amazing service and an even better vibe. Rickma says: “Every single person who has walked in here has said when they left, they love the culture and they love the vibe. Our very open, welcoming culture.”
Note: Urban High Tea is one of their signature specials. You and your friends are invited to a three-hour tea party but rather than tea you’ll be enjoying bottomless cocktails out of tea cups! And instead of cucumber sandwiches, you get street food towers. This is a space where girls can just be girls. You don’t have to dress up and you can come in your tattoos. The only rule is NO TEA. Prices range between R300/p and R400/p. Note that this is a ladies-only event.
Tip: When you order a drink or food, you will receive a complimentary slice of melba toast with honey butter, honey comb and aioli.
The Bill: Dinner: R50 – R90 per plate
Opening Times: Wednesday to Friday, 4pm – 10pm and Saturday, 4pm – 11pm
33 Long Street | Cape Town
By: Lauren Snyders, Image credit: Ian du Toit
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