In a city where exceptional quality is the order of the day, hotel restaurants like the Westin Executive Club have upped their game to offer less formality and more value for money.
It’s a Monday night and the restaurant is packed. It is not a sprawling space, which means with fewer tables it remains intimate. The view from the 19th floor of the Westin Cape Town is gobsmacking, with its backdrop of Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront. You are in the hub of Cape Town so it is best to arrive early to take in the sunset and enjoy happy hour canapés (from 5 – 7pm) before your meal. The clientele is more corporate but it’s not terribly formal. You could be anywhere in the world where modern fine dining is all about sophistication and good service. But surprisingly, for a five-star hotel, the two- (R210) and three-course (R260) options are good value.
Executive Club chef Johann Breedt, who started at the hotel as a breakfast chef and trained with Westin Grand Cape Town exec chef Grant Cullingworth, describes his current cooking style as “au courant”, which he qualifies as “a fashionable and groovy eating experience that is stylish and utilises modern cooking techniques and methods”. Johann’s theatrical flair comes through in the presentation of the food, which is deconstructed and creative on the plate.
It could just be that fine dining in Cape Town is superior, but on this particular evening everything was perfect: the pink sunset, the crisp glass of boutique wine and the food. We tried the meze platter and the marinated goat’s cheese croquettes. The meze included artichoke hearts, beetroot carpaccio, red wine chips, smoked tomato, pesto mousse, balsamic mushrooms and avocado pudding. We followed with the West Coast platter – crayfish, mussels, calamari – served with avocado marble and tomato biltong. The coconut, peanut and coriander crusted salmon trout with mint and banana chutney was heavenly.
Yes it’s a corporate hotel, but the panoramic views, the service and food make it a destination in itself. If you stay over, don’t miss the Superfoods initiative for breakfast. It’s an international health drive and items like spinach, apple and papaya juice are a big hit, although you will also find highlights like haddock Mornay and sweetcorn drop scones.
Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Physical Address: The Westin Cape Town, lower Long Street. Call 021-412-9999 or visit www.westincapetown.com.