- Fabio Marcato
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you accepted an invitation without giving it much thought? Well, we recently found ouselves in a similar predicament (yet, again 🤪).
A colleague of a friend (both also working remotely in South Africa for the winter) invited us to her birthday celebration at a restaurant on the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, simply named Pier. Without putting much thought into it, we accepted the invitation, expecting it would be a casual get-together. However, as we started to get ready for the occasion, we discovered that the restaurant was an upscale, pseudo-Michelin one that even required a booking to be done 2 months in advance, plus a deposit of 2000 rand (more than 100 euros).
A Gourmet Adventure: Tasting Unique Flavors at a High-End Restaurant with 5 Stars Service
During our dining experience, we were offered a choice between the chef's menu and a pairing menu, which included a different wine with each dish. However, we decided to opt for only two bottles of wine (one white and one red) as we thought the pairing menu would be too much alcohol for our own good. Fortunately, none of us had any food allergies, so we were able to try every dish. The staff provided detailed explanations of each dish, and some were even prepared in front of us, adding to the entertainment value of the dinner. Frankly, I found the preparation of the dishes to be more interesting than the dishes themselves. The chefs also seemed to be obsessed with topping each dish with some type of foam, whether that be MCC (champagne) or broccoli (actually delicious). While some of the ingredients may be rare in this region, they can be easily found in upscale European supermarkets. I loved the fact that there's a fixed menu where you can discuss dishes, your favorites and least favorites with the other diners, but it doesn't need to be overly sophisticated or expensive to have fun.
They love a champagne foam at this restaurant
Fullness vs. Taste: Striking a Balance in Restaurant Dining
Initially, we felt a little worried for the bill to come. Ryan even snuck off to the bathroom to send a life-line to our friend to do an immediate transfer into our struggling bank accounts (made possible by Vivid), but as the night went on, I realized that it was a truly memorable experience. We got to try out different dishes that we would have never had the chance to try otherwise. The staff was very professional, coupled with the beautiful view of the harbor, made the night even more special. If we had known the restaurant's nature beforehand, we might have declined the invitation, fearing that it was out of our budget. However, by accepting the invitation, we not only had a great time, but we also got to meet a new friend.
A Conclusion about this Super Random Fine-Dining Experience
Although I felt quite full from the variety of ingredients and textures in the meal, I cannot recall the taste of most of the dishes. And just the next day, Ryan and I had an equally satisfying and flavorful dinner the at a restaurant in the harbor area called Cause and Effect, with a fish plater for 2 for a reasonable price of 15 euros (in contrast to the 3000 rand or 150 euros each at Pier for the whole dinner).
While I'm glad I tried this dining experience, it's not quite my style. When it comes to food, I might prefer quantity over quality, and the greasier the better 🤭.
The much more memorable dinner at Cause and Effect