food

Dom Perignon tasting menu at The Greenhouse


Having received in 2011 Eat Out’s prestigious Restaurant of the Year award, The Greenhouse restaurant at the Cellars Hohenort in Cape Town is known for offering its patrons an experience of unparalleled South African luxury and service. Again included on the 2012 list of the 10 best places to dine in the country, the Relais & Châteaux hotel’s natural progression, it would seem, would be to associate itself with the number one champagne in the world – Dom Perignon. And it’s done just that. HL was invited to join Relais & Châteaux and LVMH at The Greenhouse to try a new menu: Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Peter Tempelhoff has designed a tasting menu to embrace ‘the virtues of Dom Perignon’. Of course, when you’re dealing with Peter, you can safely raise your expectations as he’s unlikely to disappoint, and neither is a glass or two of Dom (as Pascal Asin, Moet Hennessy’s marketing director for Africa and the Middle East, said, his eyes crinkled at the edges with a smile, ‘It’s always the festive season at Dom Perignon.’) And disappoint this experience does not, with every glorious combination of flavours, textures, scents and temperatures equally as marvellous as the last. Each course is immaculately presented, which is something regular diners at The Greenhouse will be accustomed to. As this is a tasting menu, there is a focus on shared eating, so certain courses are served on one plate, intensifying the romance of this special food-drink adventure. At R3 200 (a price that can compete with the most expensive tasting menus in the world – but don’t forget you’re getting a bottle of Dom with it), the menu comes with a certain expectation, and after your waitron has poured the first glass of perfectly chilled champagne, you’re ready to get started. At the first course (or virtue), Precise, diners who are unsure of if it’s money well spent will be put at ease with the fantastic starter of langoustine, abalone and asparagus with goat’s butter hollandaise. The third course, Sensual, a crayfish custard and sweet corn mousse, is an accomplished flavour combination. It’s served with a room-temperature glass of champagne, really bringing the Pinot Noir notes to the foreground. The sixth and final course, Rhythmic, offers the wonderfully sweet, delightfully strange Camembert cheesecake. An experience like no other, this is going to be the flavour memory you’ll savour long after you’ve set your napkin on the table and sauntered out of the Greenhouse under the magical spell of Peter’s culinary genius and Dom Perignon. For more information, visit collectionmcgrath.com/cellars/. Text: Jessica Ross