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Did your last dining experience suck or was it fabulous?

We eat out a lot and so far we haven't found any "Real People" reviews to tell us what's good and what's not. We pay our hard earned money for meals at restaurants and we demand good food and good service.

It is our mission to report and update our dining experiences so that you never have to endure crap food or crap service again.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pepénero, Cape Town

Over the weekend, The Queen of F***in Everything, Mr. B, & I had a hungerin’ for something GOOD. It was Saturday nite in Cape Town, and Mr. B was at the helm, no matter how much he protested – the way we saw it, his city, his recommendation, his butt if we were disappointed!! Pressure was on.

After calling around (last minute as usual) we exasperatedly said “Just take us somewhere where the food’s decent and the service is good.

Right off the main road in Mouille Point, in a buzzing little enclave of restaurants, Pepénero was our destination. We were out to eat fairly early for Cape Town – 730 pm – and took our pick of the outside seating - 2 chairs and bench seating, with heaters in close proximity for the refreshingly cool evening sea breeze.
Mr. B ordered a bottle of Haute Cabrière Chardonnay Pinor Noir, and we started off our evening.

Lemme say right now, the service we received from John, our waiter, was excellent - hands down the best service I have EVER had in Cape Town – attentive, knowledgeable, without being overly familiar – absolutely impeccable. When we needed recommendations he was there and when he wasn’t needed he was a mere nod away.

For appetizers, we ordered Scallops, Steamed fresh mussels, & Eggplant (Aubergine). A bread server came by the table, delivering a slice of bread each, with oil & balsamic to dip – perfect size- not too big to put us off the appetizers, light, & very tasty. 15 minutes later, they arrived - perfect timing. By this time we had polished off half our bottle of wine - over fantastic conversation.

Good scallops are a rare breed and it was a sheer delight to devour these beautiful mollusks. The mussels were fresh – cooked in a classic white wine, garlic, and parsley sauce – perfectly tender, no grit in any bite, and delicious. Mr. B gobbled down his aubergines, so we’ll safely assume they rocked…Thanx B (your Mom will be proud of you).

We rapidly moved on to mains - Queen of F***in Everything, needed sleep urgently… it wasn’t our bad company. John took our order of Tagliata (fillet, grilled and sliced, topped with olive oil and rosemary) & pan-seared, roasted duck topped with a leek reduction. The Tagliata ROCKED, the duck was a tad bit overcooked. OK, so maybe that’s why I had a crown on my tooth replaced earlier this week.

It’s always an indication that a restaurant is very sure of itself, its service, & its kitchen staff when, if a meal is not up to scratch, it’s removed without a huge song-and-dance. Without hesitation, the duck was whisked away – kinda like the South Easter knocks you off your feet on the Foreshore. We asked for a recommendation from John – he suggested the Stuffed Chicken Supreme with goats cheese, spinach and garlic ….. O mi GAWD was it fabulous. I swear I am gonna call my next child John.

I’m not sure whether it was the ocean breeze (who knew that seaweed could smell so hectic), the excellent service, or the fabulous company, but we had to get another bottle of wine - the Warwick Professor Black Sauvignon Blanc. It was at this point The Queen alerted us that the restaurant was starting to fill up and that Mr.B and I should try and lower our voices.

It was time to bring the eating part of the night to an end (read Party Time) and there’s no other way to end off a good meal than with dessert. OMIGOSH!!!! The Crème Brulèe was BANGIN’ – not too sweet, silky smooth, and exactly right flavor – really, it kicked butt. I normally check out a place’s Crème Brulée when I see it, and, man this was SO worth it

I unselfishly whipped out my credit card for a “kaching” – the check for 3, with 2 bottles of wine AND dessert was R 1000, $ 125, € 82 and £63. Our Dear John was handsomely rewarded for our nights pleasure.

The evening was absolutely outstanding. Our only wish before venturing out to dinner was decent food and good service and the Pepènero experience far exceeded our expectations.

FOOD 7/10 SERVICE 8/10    AMBIENCE 8/10 PRICE $$$


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yfeder said...

Re: the blog
you wrote for Pepénero, Cape Town restaurant.Being a food writer for 21 years and having spent 16 years before that as a pro chef, I want to say you have
"broken the code" on food writing: that was a fantastic review in the sense that it was written with an accuracy
and a rhythm found only in the best food writing. I imagine it will now flow like water for you.
If I hadn't shifted to the trade press I'd say come freelance for me. But you could get a food writing job anywhere
now I imagine. Just keep cranking them out at that level of quality, my friend and brother.
Love ya,

noodle said...

That food sounds amazing!