I’ve been to Paradise, but I’ve never been to Blues… That’s quite a statement coming from someone who eats out in Cape Town for a living. It’s not that I have given the Camps Bay restaurant a wide berth on purpose, I’ve just never really had the urge to go based on the negative reviews I’ve seen over the past few years (they’ve tended to outnumber the positive) - particularly when it comes to their food.
I was invited there last week for a food and wine pairing series, this time with with Zorgvliet wines. Says Cathy Martson, Food24’s wine editor: "Neil Moorhouse is passionate about his Cabernet Franc – he was at our recent Twitter tasting and believes it has a big future in SA. For all that he loves it, his money is actually on a blend of Cab Franc Merlot which he claims will be this country’s stand out wine for the future. Remember where you heard it first!"
I was very pleasantly surprised by the interior of Blues. Comfortable chairs, clean white beach house vibe - ideal for their location. Not a difficult look to pull off, but they have done it really well. I suggest you go and enjoy it if you haven’t been in the last two years.
The menu on the night was especially prepared for us by Blues’ flamboyant chef Morne Botha. He kicked off the evening's tasting with a platter of beef carpaccio, seared tuna loin and smoked crocodile (which tasted like ham… with a slightly stronger flavour, not necessarily tastier). I wasn’t that impressed with the overall presentation of the starter.
The main really wowed me, although it could have been served a little bit hotter. Oxtail and ostrich neck slow cooked in red wine and tomato till it falls off the bone, stuffed in giant calamari tubes grilled in garlic and thyme. Sensational!
The dessert was a mini Swiss roll with “Kaapsche Klonge”, orange and chocolate custard, and Earl Grey and rooibos jelly. Delicious flavours, but the cake was a little too dry for me.
I think Morne has a wonderful approach to his cooking with some enticing and original combinations and a fabulous attitude - but the niggly bits left me thinking that there might be room for some improvement.
I need to mention the magnificent open-plan kitchen. Huge, impressive, clean and serene. Far more interesting to ogle than The Cape Town Aquarium.
So, a thoroughly enjoyable evening. I like Blues. It’s a lovely restaurant in the most perfect location. I’d like to know it’s living up to its full potential.
So, if you’ve eaten there lately… tell us about it below.