The Commissary – Exciting, no nonsense dining in CT

The Commissary is a new, exciting approach to pared down, no nonsense, dinner-only dining. It’s under the care of rock star restaurant duo, Chef Wesley Randles and Simon Widdison, and under the mentorship of Luke Dale Roberts, set to shift Cape Town’s cuisine scene.

As if The Test Kitchen, The Pot Luck Club and The Shortmarket Club aren’t enough to keep Luke Dale Roberts and his highly competent crews on their toes, the opening of another cutting edge eatery is sure to set both local and international food wires alight. The Commissary opens its doors on November 1st and is a new pared down, food market-esque concept that The Shortmarket Club Chef and co-founders Wesley Randles and Simon Widdison and their team will head up six evenings a week.

A commissary is a basic provisions store which you’ll find in the army, hospitals and prisons – and while we definitely won’t be serving prison fare, we’re taking things back to basics in a big way with our new dining venture”, says Wesley.

“I’ve had the idea in my head for a while – a space where people can come and enjoy seriously approachable, affordable food with big, unapologetic flavours”, says Wesley, who together with front-of-house talent Simon Widdison has made a name for The Shortmarket Club in just two years of operation.

The Commissary will be under the same roof as its sibling inner-city eatery.

I wanted to create something that really epitomises getting back to basics – it’s a no reservations restaurant, there’ll be communal tables in an open plan space, there’ll be music playing and a busy atmosphere. We’ll be serving food on eco-friendly, disposable plates and the most basic cutlery – it’s a cool, no frills atmosphere with small plate, flavourful food taking centre-stage”, he says.

The news of The Commissary comes in days after the announcement that another new concept fine dining destination, care of the growing Dale Roberts restaurant empire opens this October. Salsify, at historical landmark The Roundhouse in Camps Bay, will open with Chef Ryan Cole at the helm and promises to be a boundary-pushing, sensory fine dining experience.

As with Salsify, The Commissary venture is a partnership with multi award winning Chef Luke Dale Roberts acting as mentor and advisory partner and with Wesley, Simon and their team operating the rest of the business.

Over the years I’ve realised that one of the things that really motivates me is helping team members reach their potential and find their own way – getting to play a part in that journey is so exciting.” Wesley came to me with the idea a while ago and I loved it – it’s a back-to-basics approach to food which really resonates with me and everything I love about food and I couldn’t think of anyone more driven and committed than Wesley to make it work”, says Luke of his 29-year-old mentee.

With space for just 45 diners at a time and a busy, convivial atmosphere, The Commissary aspires to hit a gap in the ever changing Cape Town restaurant market. It’s a fast-paced eatery perfect for 21st century diners with things to do and places to be. The design of the space by the business’ design director, Sandalene Dale Roberts, taps into this busy atmosphere too.

I wanted to really ramp up the space with colour, it’s the kind of concept that allows for it. Food markets have taken the world by storm and we also wanted to reflect that style of dining and entertainment – you’ll find communal tables with built-in lazy Susans and I’ve also designed chairs that have been printed with pattern and colour”, says Sandalene. She explains that the look and feel of The Commissary doesn’t reflect a specific look and feel: “We’re wanting to encompass a mood we’re seeing everywhere where quirky, interesting details are partnered with great food”.

Expect a small-plate menu, big and bold flavours and a street food influence. Attention to detail, the use of the very best ingredients and a focus on flavour first remain cornerstones for this eatery. “Everything else that’s added is a layer”, says Wesley. The wine list will also be small and carefully crafted.

For local foodies, this concept is a thrilling one and there’s no doubt that getting a spot in this cutting edge new dining destination is going to be a hot seat indeed.

 

88 Shortmarket Street

Dinner, Monday to Saturday from 5PM to 10:30PM.

(27) (21) 422 2902 / info@theshortmarketclub.co.za

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The best food for the winter chills

Edith Sitwell said: “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home.”

Here are a couple of places where you will feel at home this winter:

Constantia Glen

Enhance your winter wine tasting experience at Constantia Glen and tuck into a trio of delicious homemade soups. These hearty treats, on offer until the end of August, are a good reason to visit this picturesque boutique wine estate.

Available as single servings or as a trio of smaller portions, visitors can indulge in Constantia Glen’s famous traditional Austrian Beef Goulash soup, French onion soup with croûte au fromage, or delicious roasted Butternut & Sage soup, all served with crispy, freshly baked bread.

Each of these soups can be partnered perfectly with Constantia Glen’s elegant cool climate wines. Add an additional mouth-watering platter of cheese and charcuterie to your experience and enjoy the wonderful winter vineyard views.

The soups are available at R95 per single serving, or R100 for the trio. Wines are available by the glass from R70 if you want to linger over lunch for a laidback afternoon.

The Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa

During the chilly season from 18h30, the hotel’s Island Café is offering bottomless soup – a sensational selection of gourmet soups served with freshly baked artisan bread (gluten free and vegetarian options are available) that will fill and warm you up and get your cheeks glowing.

The cost is R95 per adult and R45 for children under the age of 11, making it an affordable and perfect option for families.

Bookings are essential.

The Shortmarket Club

Chef Wesley Randles continues his modern interpretations of classics created from ingredients with impeccable provenance. His menu boasts some exciting new dishes, such as a starter of Fig Leaf baked Ricotta with Creamy Gorgonzola, Wild Honey and Lemon, which he describes as “comfort food at its best”. Another starter of Raw Fig and Smoked Burnt Aubergine, Roasted Hazelnuts and Bitter Leaves hits all the right notes.

Winter also heralds the appearance of venison on the menu. The Springbok and Quince makes the most of seasonal ingredients and it’s complemented perfectly with a jus of locally produced Caperitif and intensely satisfying smoked bone marrow. Meanwhile, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will approve of the spiced tandoori cauliflower served with a vibrant peanut and lemongrass sambal that will bring some warmth to the Cape’s cold winter months.

The three-course Prix Fixe Winter Lunch Menu at The Shortmarket Club is priced at R280 per person, or R380 per person including a carafe of wine. It is available at lunchtime only, Monday to Saturday, until the end of September 2018.

Waverley Hills

Matching the landscape, chef Francois du Toit has set his own inspiration aflame in the kitchen and produced an enticing food and wine pairing menu that will have you linger for longer this winter.

Guests can expect to see dishes like Wild Mushrooms served with Parmesan Custard Cream and a whisper of Truffle paired with the Waverley Hills Chardonnay and Prawns fried with Spiced Paprika, Garlic and Parsley served with Fresh Ciabatta, paired with the Waverley Hill Cabernet Sauvignon.

The five-course food and wine pairing menu is available until the end of Spring 2018 and is priced at R395.00 per person. Reservations are required a week in advance.

BOSJES Kombuis

This dreamy winter destination is now offering their very own “First Thursdays” special in the months of June and August, giving guests the chance to celebrate chilly evenings with BOSJES’ winter curry nights on the first Thursday of each month. This special allows diners to feast on a selection of three curries served with sambals, naan, rotis, rice and dessert at R280 per person.

Contact eat@bosjes.co.za to book or call 023 004 0496.

BOSJES will be closed in July.

The Pot Luck Club

This winter sees the return of The Pot Luck Club‘s Lucky Lunch menu. Presented bento-style, lunch is served in small handmade bowls and wooden boards, and provides a feast for the eyes and taste buds.

The menu is subject to change without notice, due to seasonal availability and chef’s inspiration and is available for lunch until 31 August 2018. The offering consists of 6 items and is priced at R295 per person.

Bookings are open one month in advance and they are open from Monday to Saturday with lunch between 12:30 – 14:30 and dinner between 18:00 – 22:30. They are open on Sundays from 11h00 – 15h00.

The Pot Luck Club’s annual winter break is from the 23rd July 2018 to 5th August 2018 and it re-opens for dinner from 6 August.