Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Supper at Lily's Mouille Point

Something for Everyone
Mouille Point beachfront has suddenly been populated by several smart looking restaurants, those that should be on Sea Point's promenade but are not (and there is a long history there). We were invited to Lily's to try out the food last week. It is on the corner of a new block that has taken the place of the old Newport Deli. Lily is the name of Paul Kovenski's young daughter. The Kove Collection also owns Pepenero next door and La Belle Bistro and Bakery in the same road, as well as the Alphen and several other Cape Town restaurants. They do not yet have a wine licence, so you do need to Bring Your Own. Phone first though, in case the licence has been granted. Or you can order wine from Pepenero, but you need to run two bills
The inside is airy and light during the day, with pull back windows to the terrace which is also enclosed with a roll-down protection on windy or inclement days. This all opens up for fine summer days. However, the lighting at night is less than perfect, we keep re-iterating that seeing your food is half of the pleasure of eating, and If the lighting is bad and you are peering at your plate in a gloom, it is not a great experience. John's camera works very well in low light, so the pictures do not show how dark it actually was
The starter menu also has a vegetarian section. Prices are not shy. One of the reviews we read said they served the "the Best Mac and Cheese" the writer had ever had in her life." It is not something you find on a restaurant menu often. There is also a Buddha Bowl on offer (very trendy at the moment). It is easy to make a choice, many choices are very familiar
Brought to the table are toast and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip. A good way to use up bread at the end of the day? Much of the food is scattered with marigold petals, edible yes, necessary, no. We brought along a bottle of Rhebokskloof 2010 Semillon. This would be our wine of the week if any were still available; sadly they no longer make it. We bought this wine two years ago at a very reduced price on the farm and how it has grown in depth, flavour and enjoyment. Absolutely superb; it shows how well South African white wines can age
The Carpaccio! Biltong served with parmesan cheese, avocado mousse, olive oil and balsamic. John said it was not hard like biltong, but not soft like a good raw beef Carpaccio would be. There was no sign of the parmesan, was it incorporated with the avocado? More marigold petals and micro herbs
Lynne ordered the calamari, about 5 baby squid (polpetti), very tender, with a fresh tomato and feta salsa in the centre, on warm mashed potato and surrounded by a basil oil. Good flavour, but we were puzzled at the addition of mash on a starter? It does make it seem like a main course and it rather jars with the raw tomato
The Mains Menu has lots of familiar choices, nothing out of your comfort zone. This should appeal to the Sea Point market. Perhaps our sophisticated summer tourists might want something with a more local flavour? For our main course we brought along a bottle of the Laborie Shiraz, such a well matched wine for our two choices.
The Lamb Popsicles. Lynne was expecting just the lamb meat on the bone with all the fat removed, so it looks like a popsicle or lollypop. The chops came 'fully clothed' with the fat on. The lamb was very good, well seasoned and perfectly cooked, but we did pass a message to the chef that she needs to really crisp up the fat. Served with crushed new potatoes, a few crushed black olives and more of those marigold petals. The dish could do with a vegetable, or two....
John ordered the Duck confit leg served on mash, with peas and a briefly seared lettuce. And marigolds. Good flavours but this dish needs a gravy, as it is a bit dry. We passed the message to the chef and she said she thanked us. These two dishes show how times and tastes have changed and inflation has struck. Who would have thought confit duck would be substantially less expensive than three lamb chops?
The Dessert Menu
Much against our wills (OK, we let them twist our arms just slightly) we had dessert. John was persuaded to go with his predilections and order the Death by Chocolate. Lynne went against hers and ordered something with a coffee flavour because it came with something wickedly chocolate
Well you need to know, this is the biggest and best chocolate lava cake (AKA chocolate fondant) currently being served in Cape Town. Head there before they take it off the menu. It was ample enough for us both to share. Loads of rich dark lava chocolate pour out of the sponge dome which is only 1 cm thick. The Espresso coffee ice cream was enjoyed by those who like coffee flavours. It is supposed to come with a salted caramel, but no sign of any. More petals though...
The Death by Chocolate has all three levels of chocolate. The dark chocolate is in the pastry tart base and the crumb. The tart shell is filled with a white chocolate mousse, topped with caramel, then a pour of melted milk chocolate and it is topped by a white chocolate ice cream and caramel popcorn. Smaller than it looks. John was disappointed, as he prefers dark chocolate. You might not be, as it certainly has it all
The other menus. They also do breakfasts but don't take booking for breakfast at weekends. The chef is Amber Deetleef, who has worked for the Kove group for several years. Dean Parker the Manager and our gentle waitress was Karen. We had a very pleasant evening. There were two invited bloggers having a meal at the next table, Dax Villanueva and Sam Linsell
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