Named after Queen Victoria’s beloved first dog, a King Charles Spaniel, Dash Restaurant and Bar knows how to mix elegance with a touch of frivolity. And now it is embracing modern culinary trends courtesy of a new chef: Albert Bronkhorst.
Dash Restaurant and Bar’s new menu exudes elegance
‘One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.’ These are the famous words of English writer Virginia Woolf. An ethos that is upheld by Bronkhorst. Under his expert guidance, new menus have been developed that encapsulate a unique and elegant approach to fine dining. While his dishes retain South African elements, Bronkhorst has incorporated hints of classic French, English and Asian flavours in the menu offerings. He has further woven his trademark of ‘novel flavour combinations’ through these creations. Brought together, these elements mean that patrons can look forward to a memorable experience in a regal setting.
On a balmy Saturday evening – perfect for lazing at the V&A Waterfront – we went to taste the culinary delights on offer. We settled down at a cosy table, nestled against a window looking out towards the Silo Hotel. We were eager to indulge in Dash Restaurant’s new tasting menu. Comprising seven courses, each paired with excellent wine from Creation Wines in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley outside Hermanus, the menu anticipates a feast, and the food does not disappoint.
Four courses fit for a queen
As we took our seats, freshly baked bread with flavour-filled butters arrived at our table. Our glasses were filled with a Creation Reserve Pinot Noir and our first starter (there are three!) of mushroom port soup quickly assuaged our hunger pangs. Earthy, warm and a pleasure for the eyes and the stomach, it set the bar high … and it only got higher. My only wish was that I had more bread to soak up the soup drippings.
A slightly sweeter treat of candied beetroot tarte tatin quickly replaced our empty bowls. Salted honeycomb and a subtle goat’s cheese mousse cleansed the palate in preparation for possibly my favourite dish of the night: seared prawns with corn bisque puree, salty nori, burnt corn and coconut spuma. As a lover of seafood and Asian flavours, I found it hard not to fall in love with the starter instantly.
After a palate cleanser of apricot sorbet, mains consisted of seared salmon with saffron mash and a choice between chermoula lamb Wellington and rooibos smoked risotto. Salmon is always a favourite, but the saffron mash was sublime. While the lamb was delicate and packed with flavour, the risotto was slightly too rich to be the fifth course of the meal. (If it had been my second or third dish, I would have found it utterly delectable.)
There’s always room for dessert
And, finally, it was dessert time. I had been eyeing the chocolate gelee mousse for a while – savouring it in my imagination – and it was better than I could have expected. Rich, dark and moist, it was a chocolate-lover’s treat. Mixed berry sorbet and macerated berries provided relief from the decadent dish and the Creation Reserve Merlot offered perfect balance. To bring us out of our chocolate reverie, a cheese board crowded with local cheeses, preserves, biscuits and fruit graced the table.
At only R1150 per person with wine pairing, and R650 per person without, the menu created by chef Bronkhurst will leave you filled to the brim and reeling from a host of fabulous flavours. And, to keep patrons thoroughly entertained, a display of artworks by renowned local artists enhance the restaurant’s air of sophistication. For an indulgent night out, Dash Restaurant and Bar is one not to miss.