Sunday, February 12, 2012
On the eve of our departure - we are inbound - I am forced to choose a picture. I have so many. In a week we have done so much, and then there are all the pictures from before Ellen arrived, too.
One picture. So I close my eyes and click my touchpad and it is the bread and fig salad from Oep ve Koep. I am still thinking about what we ate. Not because it was earth shatteringly original but refreshingly familiar. Because of how it felt to eat it. Because of the sense that this was real food. Honest food. Prepared by someone with not only a gift of creativity and interpretation, but the gift of restraint; an open and receptive and curious mind and palate. Someone who listens and interprets. It does not feel like emulation. There is no trying: I am lucky to have eaten at La Colombe while visiting Cape Town - it is a lovely place. But the plates are awash in blood, sweat and tears. The food is overwrought. Let there be 12 techniques and ingredients in one dish. It is exhausting and it falls short, not always, but often. And let's not even talk about the price tag.
Kobus gets it right. His charming staff of two get it right. Whoever decorated the courtyard gets it right
I like his starters best of all. So, the fig salad. Another post, there will be another course.
And somewhere I'll fit in penguins and flowers and sea roads and mountains and water and braais and gardens in the sand and razor wire and a few other things.