Tucked away from the busy streets of the CBD, CHEFS is home to a unique concept and dining experience. Opening it’s doors from Monday to Friday for lunch service and then again for dinner service, this establishment first opened about 2 years ago and has quickly grown up the ranks to being a well respected institution for outstanding food.
Upon arrival you are quickly made aware of the fact that there are no waiters or waitresses. This is due to the fact that there are only Chefs on duty. You are still met with smiling faces and excited staff that are passionate about what they do. Head Chef, Jenny Ward is no stranger to the Cape Town food scene and has led this ship since the opening of it’s doors.
The exposed concrete walls, wooden tables and metal chairs offer a distinctive look and feel to the restaurant. Once seated, an iPad is brought over to your table with the hugely uncomplicated menu. Each day Chef Jenny and her team bring you three perfected speciality dishes. There are three main criteria on the menu; a light option (for those with a smaller appetite,) a meat option (for those wanting something more indulgent,) and a veg option (for the non-meat eaters.)
One perfectly crafted dessert is made fresh daily and offered on the menu. The drinks (which are usually flavoured cordials or iced teas) are also made in house, as is all the sauces and accompaniments on your canteen style tray.
I love the idea of an open show kitchen, being able to see into the galley as the chefs make and plate up your food is a true art form. Watching as a symphony of chefs dance around one another, each adding their sauce or side dish to the final tray. A team that works together so fluidly is definitely the back bone of a well run kitchen.
Each dish is deconstructed into several integral parts on the tray. Each meal gets a sauce, a starch, a source of protein, salad etc. On this particular day one of my best friends Josie accompanied me to lunch for a classic girls day out and we were absolutely spoilt for choice. We eventually decided on the following:
Rosemary and Burnt Butter Chicken; served with triple cooked chips, a side salad of summer leaves, toasted seeds, apple, feta and a buttermilk dressing, with a chilli salsa and whipped yoghurt mayonnaise.
Seared Beef Carpaccio; served with a pickled pear and green herb mayonnaise, a side salad of rocket, pecan nuts and locally sourced parmesan while finished off with lavash, a salsa verde and root vegetable crisps.
We also sipped on the homemade cordial of the day which was orange and lime…delicious!!!
After an incredible meal we couldn’t help but end the afternoon off with the daily speciality dessert. After all, we needed to satisfy the sweet tooth just a little bit.
The dessert of the day was a smokey vanilla creme brûlée, served with marinated raspberries and an almond biscuit.
CHEFS is a well respected and well loved institution and I am incredibly proud of the two year journey that Chef Jenny and her team have taken. When they first opened their doors, the food was out of this world and today they have surpassed that bench mark. Never compromising on flavour, creativity and locally homemade ingredients.
Monday – Friday
12:00-15:00pm (lunch service)
17:30-20:30pm (dinner service)
NO BYO / Maximum of 6
Address: 81 St Johns Street, Gardens Cape Town
Although I was invited to review the establishment, all the views and opinions in this blog post are 100% my own. All the photography was taken for the sole purpose of this blog post.