Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Lunch at The Silo Hotel's Granary Café

The Silo in the Waterfront is about to open its much publicised gallery, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) to the public. John heard about it on Cape Talk last week and we realised that we had not been to see the Silo Hotel or its restaurants, which are above the gallery. So, on a rare lovely, sunny and warm Champagne day this week, we made a booking. The Silo Hotel is part of the Royal Portfolio Group
Remnants of the once-working silo’s equipment have been retained
The Zeitz Gallery will be in the hollow tubes of the Silo. You can see the faceted glass walls of the hotel above. It has been a very brave and adventurous re-purposing of this historic building in the docks, which stored grain for export in years gone by, before the advent of containers and modern shipping methods
More remnants of the industrial heritage near the entrance
The hotel lobby has been shoehorned into this section of the building, and it works very well
Tall pillars, bright lights and lots of interesting art at reception
We had hoped to eat at the Silo’s Rooftop level restaurant, but it is only open for guests at the moment, so the only choice was the Granary Café. We had booked a table for 12 noon
The restaurant is on the 6th floor, and there is a gift shop in this reception area
Our charming and urbane waiter, Kabelo Musala, who hails from the kingdom of Lesotho. He really looked after us well
Tables next to the windows have lovely views out over Green Point, the mountain and the city. The table settings are simple, organic and uncluttered. The tables look purposefully "distressed" and suitably shabby chic. They have lovely bronzed copper tops with lots of character
They bring warm bread, one stuffed with black olives, the other coated with mixed seeds, good dark green olives in oil and some butter. A nice touch, part of the service and on the house
The starter menu is brief but concise. You do need to hear about the specials of the day; they certainly tempted us. Lynne was heading for the duck liver parfait until we heard that the soup of the day was artichoke with truffle. A done deal for both of us. The Executive Chef is Veronica Canha-Hibbert
How it arrives. In the bottom of the bowl are slivers of crisp fried onion, parmesan cheese, and herbs
Kabelo pours the soup
Our only complaint was that there didn't seem to be very much! it was actually sufficient. It was creamy, silky and lightly frothy, full of flavour and the additions added some texture. Some tiny, shy truffle notes
We each had a glass of Miles Mossop's Chenin Blanc, the Introduction 2016. R60 a glass. One of his first wines as an independent wine maker since he announced his departure from Tokara this year. He has had his own Miles Mossop wines for several years. Crisp, lively and full, it was a good match
The main course menu is also brief, but has a choice for most. John chose the Steak Frites with Béarnaise sauce, it was 200g of very tender fillet steak; Lynne ordered the Lamb Rump. There is also a Raw Bar, a Pasta menu and desserts. They do a fully inclusive Sunday lunch for R380 pp, not including wine or other beverages. Details here. http://www.theroyalportfolio.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/THE-GRANARY-CAFE-MENU_JUNE27.pdf
The lamb rump came pink as requested and was served with Dauphinoise potatoes, fresh asparagus, a creamy butternut puree and some pickled (?) baby beetroot. The lamb had very good flavour, but unfortunately was full of iron tendons and Lynne could not cut it, even with another knife. She managed to eat one of the pieces but could not get into the other two. Perhaps the butcher needs informing? The dish did need a jus
In contrast, John's fillet was meltingly tender and had very good flavour. He donated the mushrooms to Lynne and enjoyed the crisp fries, the Béarnaise and the accompanying salad very much
We ordered glasses of red wine to go with our mains. Lynne chose the Glenelly 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, R65 a glass and John a glass of the Beaumont 2014 Pinotage at R90 a glass. They do mark the bottles with the dates on which they were opened. The first Glenelly Lynne was offered to taste, had been opened on the 25th of June and was sadly showing lots of oxidation and age - were they testing us? We asked for a newer bottle and it was very acceptable. The Pinotage had been open for a few days, but it’s a wine which benefits from aging and was in excellent condition. We opted for no dessert and just had two good double espressos
The bill came to R801 and we added a 10% tip. They did make an adjustment for the lamb. Wines by the glass are pricy, but so are the bottles. It is a very good, very comprehensive wine list. They did charge for water as well
A modern chandelier hung above us and some faintly Asian looking gilt "action" art was on the wall. Are those toe or finger prints?
The eclectic modern decor is by Liz Biden, who designed the hotel interiors, and the restaurant follows in her style.  It feels very comfortable and relaxed. We liked the mixture of chair colours, fabrics and textures
The view of Signal Hill and Lions head, familiar to Lynne as she had a similar one from the 21st floor office when she worked in Safmarine PR
You walk out past the bar, where people were enjoying tea. No bookings required, they say. It looks delicious and costs R120 for Afternoon Tea. If you want the Royal Tea they need 24 hours warning and that costs R190 pp. Seems a good deal to us, if you have a sweet tooth or a celebration planned
We are not sure which one this is but it was certainly being enjoyed and admired
The Willaston Bar area
We asked and were taken up to the roof top. Nice views from the swimming pool, although there were no takers in our chilly winter
Good views of the Waterfront below, with the stadium behind
The Silo Rooftop bar is reserved for guests or is accessible to the public by prior reservation only
Definitely worth the view from the uppermost deck
The mountain presents itself
Wait for those summer days
Zeitz MOCCA's opening date, a much anticipated event
We popped across the square to the Lindt chocolate shop
Where you can take classes
Or choose from a huge array of their chocolates, many not available in other shops
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