Capetonian night owls will know The Reserve in the heart of the city as a popular spot to enjoy a night cap or two. As a member of The World’s Finest Clubs, it offers guests a lively atmosphere with its plush, flamboyant interiors that include bright pops of colour and quirky decor.
In contrast, the latest addition to this establishment – The Reserve Brasserie – gives way to a more low-key ambience, perfect for fine dining before a night out. This recently opened restaurant, with its high ceilings and tall pillars stretching up to the roof, has a distinctly different feel to its counterpart next door. Its opulent furnishings are the result of a dramatic overhaul by fashion and interior designer, Gavin Rajah. The venue, with its classic chandeliers, use of indoor greenery and comfortable booth seating, has a glamorous, old-school ring to it, but still retains an easy-going mood that makes you feel right at home. ‘The interior approach was to create an intimate atmosphere which entrenched the location as something that is a rare find in the city. The basis of the inspiration was to create a ‘secret garden’ inside this building that had an old world feeling’, says Gavin.
Enhancing its special quality is the fact that there is so much sentiment and history attached to the building. Both The Reserve and The Reserve Brasserie occupy one of the oldest buildings on Adderley Street – the Standard Bank building in former years – which gives the locale much of its personality as remnants from the original structure are still visible.
The menu at the Reserve Brasserie caters to every taste with renowned chef Seelan Sundoo at the helm. Influenced by his extensive travels, the dishes are an eclectic mix with an overarching Mediterranean theme. The selection ranges from oven pan pizzas and beautiful salads, to fresh fish and other seafood dishes, pastas, exquisite cuts of red meat, and the most decadent desserts. The ‘marshmallow mountain’ with its crunchy exterior and soft, gooey inside is just one example that demonstrates their memorable approach to food.
Text: Kim Grové