Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lunch at Borage

Although we are busy, we wanted to try this new restaurant in town, of which we have had good reports. Chef Frank Marks worked at La Colombe, The Test Kitchen, Pot Luck Club and Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, so he has a good pedigree! The restaurant is on The Hans Strydom Avenue face of the new blue Portside skyscraper which fills the block bounded by Buitengracht, Bree, Mechau and Hans Strydom. We had a lovely meal and hope to go back soon

Their signage is inside, above the restaurant Pass
They do need some signage outside, as it is difficult to spot from the road. We both walked almost right around the building to find it
Simple, clean, rather industrial decor doesn't disappoint
They haven’t yet been granted their wine licence and so they didn’t mind us bringing along something good from our cellar: Bouchard Finlayson’s Kaaimansgat 2009 Chardonnay, nicely matured, smooth as silk, with great body and so good with food
The simple lunch menu. R145 for two course, add others and you pay the menu price
Head Chef Frank Marks and Sous Chef Steve at the pass
We like the open kitchen concept, and this is another quiet disciplined kitchen with everyone knowing what to do and getting on with it
We both had the same starter. Beautifully prepared gravadlax salmon, topped with rich cream cheese, pickled beetroot, a soft and slightly sweet lemon curd and the best idea ever, slivers of preserved lemon – one to be copied soon. Lynne now wants to make gravadlax again. Neither of us is very enchanted by pickled beetroot but this so worked with the dish which needed a kick of something earthy and acid to contrast with the salmon and the curd. Wish the rocket had been more peppery, but good rocket is so hard to find in the Cape
No Banting today. Reading the menu, Lynne figured this dish would be Asian influenced and she was right. Such memories of London Asian food. It was al dente linguine with tender pork in a sweet soy, 5 spice(?), ginger and garlic sauce (and probably much more) with peanuts and bean sprouts for texture, spring onion shreds and sugar snap peas. Absolutely moreish
John had the deconstructed “Coq au Vin” on tagliatelle which looked quite dry but wasn’t at all. The noodles had soaked up the wine sauce and the chicken was moist and tender
We took photos of another dish that a friend of ours, who was there, ate. These are the fishcakes, which he said are super
and John found a slice of the lemon tart waiting on the pass for a customer and took a photo. If you have a sweet tooth, this looks like something to try
Sara, the Danish waitress, was charming and very efficient
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

We quote from the Borage website: "Tucked away in the chic Portside Tower, Cape Town’s tallest building- Borage is the latest upmarket brasserie to introduce fine-dining excellence to breakfast and lunch.

Entrepreneur Christian Vaatz and head chef Frank Marks, teamed to establish an avant-garde eatery reflecting Cape Town’s innovative, multi-cultural and cosmopolitan style. Frank is a protégé of Luke Dale-Roberts, and has refined his craft in 4 of the world’s top hundred restaurants including Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.

Frank harnessed his inner culinary skills at Silwood Cooking School, after which he worked at La Colombe for 2 years, followed by a stint at The Test Kitchen under the guidance of Luke Dale-Roberts.  Thereafter, he went to London to work for Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck and at Dinner By Heston.  Frank returned to South Africa to work for the Pot Luck Club and The Test Kitchen before opening his own restaurant.

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