Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Supper at Mondiall, V&A Waterfront

A friend visiting us from Europe took us out for dinner on Friday to Mondiall in the Waterfront which opened just before Christmas. Owned by Chef Peter Tempelhoff of the Cellars Hohenort, the resident chef is Oliver Cattermole (he was not on duty the night we were there)
This modern, smart and fairly industrial themed restaurant is situated in the building that used to be the Green Dolphin jazz club and is on the dockside at the end of the Victoria and Alfred Hotel building. 
Mid-century modern, comfortable dining chairs and slate tables without cloths keep the feeling informal and clean. If you sit inside you get a full view of the open kitchen with very busy industrious staff. We had really great and attentive service and met another young and going places sommelier, Elton Damon and our waiter, Scott Lewis

They also have a popular bar area and when the weather is good you can sit outside.
The fairly straightforward menu has something for everyone and the food is slightly more complex than the menu indicates. A three course menu worked out at approximately R330 per head, but we only had one bottle of wine, a superb Paul Cluver Chardonnay our host had bought, which we took with us and paid corkage, and two glasses of the house red, a shiraz from Vondeling, which was good and suited the food. Lynne’s main was a salad, so it is in the mid to getting pricey range for the Waterfront
Warm French bread, humus, good unsalted butter and flaked salt are brought to the table when you sit down and they were happy to serve us tap water, which we prefer. Our host had a bottle of sparkling mineral water.
Three wild oysters from the West Coast with a vinegar and shallot dressing
Peruvian inspired seafood ceviche was a very intriguing starter of salmon, calamari, mussels and another fish. It had great fresh tastes of the sea, enhanced by lime and tomato, sour cream panna cotta and tiny sesame wonton pastry triangles
Lynne opted for a large Caesar salad for her main course and was a little underwhelmed, as it had not much flavour apart from the few white anchovies and slices of parmesan cheese. Terrible soft ‘croutons’ need more attention and the poached egg was overcooked.
Our host said his Cape Malay curry was very good indeed, the best he has ever had. It was accompanied by a tomato and onion sambal and a rather interesting lime-flavoured sauce which, we think, was a dip for the poppadom.
John’s Café de Paris Sirloin Steak, ordered medium rare, was a little bit more done than that, but had very good flavour and was tender. The steak is not enormous at 300g (we prefer it to be that size, anyway) and is served with crisp French fries. If you want any vegetables or salad, they need to be ordered as extras on the menu, something we did not notice and it was not pointed out to us. It also normally comes with mushrooms, but John asked for them not to be served to him.
For a change, we could not resist dessert. Our host loved his small slice of the Maple and Pecan pie with bourbon syrup, blueberries and milk ice cream
Looking for a light dessert, Lynne ordered the delicious pineapple tart tatin with superb sticky lemongrass caramel sauce. We see from the menu that the ice cream was supposed to be a tonka bean flavoured, a fairly new and exciting flavour for us. Hmm, just creamy vanilla, but the tart was wonderful and the pastry very crisp
John ordered what looked like a Knickerbocker Glory, a kids layered delight of nut tablet, chocolate, strawberries, cream, ice cream and more chocolate, called the Mondiall Chocolate Sundae. His one complaint? The soup spoon which came with it was too broad to reach into the bottom of the glass, and could not scoop up the last of the delicious, gooey chocolate sauce and fruit syrup. The manager made a plan and got him a sundae spoon. You might need a bib if you are younger than a certain age... Or older.
How to serve an Espresso coffee so you know you have a correct measure! A little tricky in the glass though, as you need fireproof fingers if the coffee is as hot as it should be. Little biscuits to accompany.
Rating: Would we go back? Yes, for informal special occasions we might. It has a very easy vibe and we felt very relaxed. A large party of wine industry people whom we know arrived while we were there and they were having a ball. We calculate that the meal came to somewhere in the region of R1000 for the three of us, so fine dining prices. With a tip, that means the whole meal cost £54, €65 or US$88 at today’s rates (30th January 2014), for our overseas readers, good value if you are visiting Cape Town
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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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