There’s a new kid in town. Step forward The Executive Club at the Westin Grand.
It’s probably not new at all actually, but it was new to us. And it has finally deposed that amazing 2007 meal at the Cape Grace’s One Waterfront from the prestigious top spot in my Best Meals I Have Eaten In Cape Town list.
As a choice for Mrs 6k’s [redacted]th birthday celebrations, I couldn’t have landed with my bum more firmly in the butter. When it comes to choosing awesome restaurants for big events, it seems that I officially rock.
So here’s how it happened. Read and learn.
Start by getting in touch with Shireen (021 412 9050) at the Westin Grand in Cape Town (that’s the “old” Arabella Sheraton above the CTICC). Book your table.
Arrive, park under the hotel and jump into a lift heading to the 19th floor. Don’t forget to collect envious glances from other elevator users who have to exit at other lesser floors, such as 3, 8 and 12.
Enter the restaurant through the thickest plate glass door ever; card-activated to keep the riff-raff out. Enjoy the dimmed lights, the intimate ambiance, the soft jazz and the beautiful night-time vista of downtown Cape Town:
Is that my Stadium in the distance? I think it is.
(Live webcam here)
Enjoy complimentary bubbly and a rather unusual prawn cocktail appetiser as the Maître d’ and chef appear and wish your wife happy birthday.
Delight in the starters: Carpaccio of Smoked Duck (mango chutney sorbet, masala vinaigrette) and Summer Squash Soup (home made ricotta and sage stuffed zucchini).
Unsurpisingly, it was me who had the duck – and wow – what a combination of textures, temperatures and flavours. Utterly superb.
Revel in (not literally) the tart raspberry sorbet as it cleanses your palate.
Be blown away by the mains: Study of Lamb (pulled lamb terrine and grilled loin with truffled pomme purée, and pan juices) and Norwegian Salmon (poached in smoked olive oil on burnt citrus endive, potato gnocchi and a white chocolate emulsion).
I cannot describe how tender the lamb and how rich and flavoursome the accompanying terrine were. And when joined by a damn fine Rupert & Rothschild Red Blend, well… I was in heaven.
Just remember that it’s not over yet. You still have that Hazlenut and Praline fondant with roasted banana ice cream to endure.
And that’s before they bring out a chocolate and mandarin mousse in a dark chocolate basket to wish your Mrs a happy birthday. Incredible.
And then, cringe with embarrassment when the entire bill (including all drinks) comes to R427, for a meal and an experience I would gladly have paid twice, three-times as much for.
It’s difficult being this good at being lucky at organising a special meal out.
And it was a toughie as to whether I should tell you about this place. I was hugely tempted to keep it all for myself, but then I imagined your poor little faces gazing up at me, blinking back tears, with that “we’re longing for somewhere that can give us an absolutely awesome meal for a very reasonable price” look in your big eyes,and I simply had to share.
But hey – let’s make this our little secret, ok?