Capetonians usually need a good reason to drive to suburban Noordhoek after hours. Now that Cafe Roux has revamped their decor and opened at night, they have one. The cheerful wine list offers limited choice alongside service often fitting the mould of a neighbourhood local, but the nights-only menu from chef Julian Gabriel delivers cosy brasserie creativity at good prices. This local-boy-done-good has cooked, gardened prolifically and dived for perlemoen as a child, so he’s intimately connected with produce, and knows how to use it. The small menu is inspired by what’s available – or what grows in co-owner Bernadette le Roux’s garden.
A classic recipe often has a Julian twist. Take SASSI endorsed mussels in a stock-laced cream sauce, livened by cured, hot-smoked bacon. The gentle smoking of both tomato and Parmesan also lifts a plain risotto, while ham hock terrine with home-made apple and quince chutney is nostalgic.
Chapman’s Peak Drive, Noordhoek, Cape Town. Call 021-789-2538; visit www.caferoux.co.za.