Friends were visiting from Mpumalanga last week and invited me to join them for dinner at Jardine. Included on the S. Pellegrino Worlds Best 100 Restaurants list for 2009, dining at Jardine is not something to be missed. Owner and Executive Chef George has worked all over the world and since opening Jardine in 2006 has established the restaurant into one of the leading fine dining restaurants this country has to offer …
Situated at 185 Bree Street (on the corner of Bree and Bloem) in Cape Town Central, Jardine is located in a building that over the past century has also been home to a butchery, chocolatier, jewellery shop, radio station and most recently Cape Towns branch of the Church of Scientology! After renovations, the restaurant now seats 70 covers upstairs (some on a wrap around balcony) and the ground level of the restaurant serves as a bar area – perfect for enjoying a pre dinner cocktail or an ABF before heading home!
The menu at Jardine offers either the á la carte option or alternatively one can choose the chef’s signature five course menu. The five course menu is prepared by George and his team using products sourced from the market that day. Although the portions are smaller than normal, they are big enough to allow the customer to enjoy and savour the flavours and presentation of the five courses.
We opted for the á la carte option and every course was delicious. I started with an avocado and organic fennel bulb salad topped with crispy pork belly, followed by the best ribeye steak I’ve ever eaten. The steak was accompanied with cauliflower and porcini mushrooms and finished off the meal with a to die for vanilla soufflé flambéed with Grand Marnier.
My companions enjoyed mussels served steamed with coconut milk, ginger and lemongrass and Saldanha Blue Bay oysters. For main they tried the Fraserburg lamb and the Fort Beaufort springbok leg. Both also concluded the meal with the vanilla soufflé!
The service at Jardine is impeccable – attentive but not overly so. The atmosphere at the restaurant is great – small enough that the service is good and the waiting time for courses is not too long but big enough to feel the buzz of the place.
I really enjoyed Jardine and will make a point of returning.
Jardine Restaurant – 185 Bree Street, Cape Town Central, Cape Town
Telephone: +27 (0)21 424-5640