Situated right next door to the Alphen hotel, Blanko makes it to the top of our list for its delicious menu and ambience. It’s not often that you have two stages to a dinner – a well-lit bar/drinks area with a comfy couches or stools for pre-dinner chats and of course a main restaurant seating area, warm and cozy – so cozy that we were told one of the hotel visitors was incredibly satisfied with his meal, that he gave in to the itis by transforming the seats into his resting bed, we blame it on the fireplace.
Make sure you ask the manager for the wine list, whose attentiveness and pro-knowledge of the wine makes had us beyond impressed before we could even try the menu. The popular winter menu offers a wide array of dishes, catering to the carnivorous steak lover or those who prefer their dishes green. Starters include bolognese arancini, smoked tomato and my personal favourite, spinach & ricotta gnocchi, which was so beautifully presented, I hesitated to dig in immediately –yes, my food looked like a work of art and tasted like one too.
If you were like us and fancied something hearty, a classic sirloin basted in pepper sauce may be your go-to, not forgetting the veg alternative, of course, a savoury beets and goat’s cheese ravioli, a delicious choice for even the pickiest of eaters. Before one has put down their fork, the kind waiter is there to tempt you with the decadent selection of melt-in your-mouth desserts. You can choose from an orange crème brûlée, warm pear & macadamia toffee slice or the much sought after warm chocolate fudge pudding – which we immediately gravitated towards and finished until the last teaspoon bite.
At R240 for a full 3 course meal for a full on experience, it is no wonder that Blanko is a favourite amongst city dwellers. Like many of the Kove collection restaurants, dining at Blanko is a true multi-sensory experience – background music included, we may have heard some our favourite jazz melodies playing– definitely not a bad way to spend a cool Saturday night. Winter menu ends on the 30th of August. Make your booking at https://www.blanko.co.za
A bit of a departure from the more formal dinner setting, contemporary restaurant and bar, The 41 is located right along the buzzing Camp’s Bay strip making it the most natural choice for a boozy dinner with friends.
We are immediately drawn in by the youthful atmosphere of establishment, with its dark minimal interior, Instagram worthy velvet chairs befitting with the slight up-beat music slightly drowned out by the sounds of conversation. When it comes to food, you might be a little stressed not knowing what to pick: the restaurant specializes in Mediterranean food, seafood, pizza and sushi meaning that you can basically have whatever you want – the winter menu is no exception.
To start, we chose calamari with a creamy pesto sauce on a crispy potato nest which disappeared off of our plaits as quickly as it was served to us. There is no shortage of staff meaning our food was prepared with care by their experienced chefs, which is always welcome in a bustling part of the city where one usually waits close to 45 minutes for a meal. As mentioned, the the menu boasts quite a selection of gourmet and simpler food options but The 41 is renowned for their burgers and because we were ready to dig in, this seemed like the best option and a great switch from the seafood starter.
After a few minutes of mulling over what to 3 cheese burger which has a slight twist; the gorgonzola, cheddar and mozzarella is melted over a beefy patty and tucked in between The 41 black bun, a healthy addition in case you’re feeling a little guilty. Absolutely delicious though. Complete your dining experience with a warm cup of slowly brewed coffee, if you prefer a digestive and make sure you get a glimpse of the sunset before the sun sets over the ocean, depending on where you sit – golden hour is the most picturesque time of the day for those pre-food cocktail photos, which are equally as delicious as they look. Treat yourself! To make a booking visit http://www.the41.co.za/.