I’d been interested in trying Dash for a long time; however it somehow dropped from my radar, despite having heard good things about the food. But on this Thursday night, it was finally the time to dine at Dash, situated in the Queen Victoria Hotel at the Waterfront. The hotel is located away from all the foot traffic passing through the Waterfront, in Portswood close. This keeps the restaurant tucked away, while still holding panoramic views of the Waterfront.
On first impressions alone the restaurant was very warming with a long, centred fire place cast in a ceiling-to-floor black marble frame. The restaurant is spacious, yet cosy with contemporary decor, which the photographs online didn’t show off – I was pleasantly surprised. The long bar stretches the width of the restaurant with a visibly impressive array of single malts, which lured my partner and I to our first drink, Laphroaig on the rocks.
As we took our seats at the dinner table, the Gregor Jenkins table that is, the attentive and highly professional level of service was evident – a necessary element for a sophisticated restaurant such as Dash.
The restaurant has a grey, black colour palette with stained black glass on the walls and dark wooden flooring. This, combined with the well-dimmed lighting, created a rich and elegant yet comfortable atmosphere, which was matched by a piano playing gently in the background. The tables were also fairly separate, successfully creating an intimate dining experience.
Before we ordered, we were served health bread with various seeds and honey mustard butter. We were off to a good start. I am still in awe of that bread and butter combination. The honey mustard butter was something I hadn’t come across despite the flavouring being an age old duo. The amuse bouche then flew out of the concealed kitchen revealing Dijon rare roast beef with Cajun spice, on solaria puree, topped with a port and bone marrow sauce, and sprinkled with crushed cashews. Yes it was as delicious as it sounds.
Wine service started off with a personal favourite, Springfield Wild Yeast Chardonnay. I ordered the beetroot cured salmon, and my partner the asparagus sprinkled with Parmesan snow, with beetroot pickled quail eggs. Both were incredibly tasty with bold flavour combinations, however the asparagus stole the show due to the quail eggs. The eggs were purple from the pickling process and were cooked to perfection. This dish was also accompanied with olive bread and a dollop of crème fraîche - it was vegetarian bliss.
For mains I ordered the beef fillet with spinach mash, and my partner ordered the lamb loin with pearl barley. I won this round. My fillet was a slightly stronger dish based on the rich flavour of the sauce and the creamy spinach mash. My dish also featured a myriad of colourful vegetables. It was like a garden party on my plate that made me completely ignore the honourary guest, the fillet, for the first few minutes. I accompanied my main with Classique, a Rupert and Rothschild red blend, which I’d definitely recommend.
Dessert I was most excited for, the chocolate fondant was calling, served with orange sorbet and sugar brittle. The combination of the tangy icy orange and the hot chocolate was superb. The other dessert we had was the coconut panna cotta, a lot lighter with softer flavouring, ideal if you’ve had a rich meal.
Dash felt like an untapped secret, hidden in a quiet lane in the Waterfront. It should be receiving far more attention as it is deserving of a spot up amongst the top Cape Town restaurants. It really is a place that fine-diners should visit especially if you’d like to flock away from the herd and enjoy a night uncluttered with noise and enjoy refined, quality dishes. If not for the food, go have a drink on the terrace – warmer nights are on their way.
Food24 was invited to Dash as guests.
- Ceili McGeever