Food24 Eats at... La Mouette

Cath Shone checks out Cape Town's hottest new restaurant.

by: Cath Shone | 31 May 2010

Seapoint is leading the restaurant revival in the form of the newly opened La Mouette.  Unlike the street front façade of the other restaurants you enter through a gate into a charming cobbled courtyard complete with trees and a fountain - and at once you enter the world of Gerrit Bruwer, Henry Vigar (celebrated London chef) and Mari Vermaak. Three friends who have made the restaurant that has inhabited their minds a reality.  

La Mouette is  French for Seagull.  I suppose if you go and check out a potential site to open your dream restaurant and a seagull craps on your head (twice), then that is a damned good sign that things are going to go your way. And so far as I can tell… they are.

The setting
La Mouette is located at 78 Regent Road in Seapoint – where the Carvery used to take up valuable space. A combination of talent and experience has pulled off a solid opening and it’s already being trumpeted as the place to go this winter.  3 dining rooms, 5 fireplaces and a cobblestoned courtyard have been transformed into an elegantly modern venue that will impress even the most captious of diners.

and service
Two important boxes – professionally ticked.  I enjoyed an outstanding tasting menu there paired with Jordan Wines. I do love a Jordan wine, but it was the food that I found most intriguing on the night. The combinations of ingredients and Henry’s flings with flavours are not at all tedious… as a lot of deconstructed dishes can tend to be.  But that was at the Chef's Table, so it was bound to be inspiring.

My initial impression was confirmed when I attended a birthday lunch for 40 people last Saturday. 40 starters came out within 15 minutes of placing the order, with waiters pouring jugs of French onion soup flamboyantly over each waiting garlic and emmenthal cheese croute. The mains arrived and every plate was as impressive in presentation and in quality as the last. The confit of duck with sautéed potatoes and red cabbage was the pick for me. You can see what else is on offer in our gallery.

For lunch they also serve tapas style starters like crisp baby calamari, sweet onion tart and truffle and cheese croquettes as well as the a la carte dinner menu which includes the likes of roast lamb rump, bouillabaisse and sweet corn risotto.

Desserts include the now famous deconstructed “Gin and Tonic” ice cream.  Tonic jelly, gin syrup and lime ice cream. Genius.

The wine
A pricey wine list at upwards of R200 a bottle for the good stuff, but you can pick up the very drinkable Villiera “down to earth” for R100 a bottle (white and red).

Price range
Starters R35
Lunch Mains R80
Dinner mains R115 (2 courses for R160, 3 for R210)
Desserts R35

Perfect for
An impressive performance from a newly opened restaurant, so I give it the thumbs up for a big birthday lunch in the courtyard.

Read more on: restaurant  |  food24 eats at  |  review  |  cath shone

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