Ah, how Equilibrio loves to eat, drink and discover new spots. Last weekend “Little” had a sleepover at her cousins’ and this was a perfect time for hubby and me to have a date night. He’d heard of the new restaurant, Basalt at The Peech Boutique Hotel, and we decide to pay it a visit.
The new chef at The Peech, Chef Freddie Dias, sounded very interesting. Freddie has vast local and international experience. He spent several years as protégé of Luke Dale Roberts at a restaurant we love, The Pot Luck Club, in Cape Town. But the Basalt menu also clearly shows evidence of his time spent cooking in some of the world’s finest (some Michelin starred) restaurants in Lisbon, Mexico, France and the UK.
Ambience: Dark and cosy (3/5)
Food & Drinks: Fine dining with a global twist (4/5)
Service: Brilliant (5/5)
Overall: A great dinner spot with friends or for a special occasion
The unassuming entrance to Basalt at The Peech Boutique Hotel opens up into a long, narrow room. The charcoal panelled walls give it a cosy but sightly cave-like feel, and while the one wall is all glass, one wouldn’t really notice since Basalt is only open in the evening. We were there on a rainy night, so perhaps the windows are opened on other nights. The bar at the end of the room is the focal point.
FOOD & DRINKS
Chef Freddie’s menu has something for everyone – seafood, vegetarian and meat – but all with a twist. Our starters were the Ajo Blanco (white peaches with heirloom tomatoes and Jasmin vinaigrette) and the Tuna Tataki with Habanero salsa. Both incredible but particularly my husband’s Ajo Blanco. It was creamy and crunchy, sweet but tangy, simply delicious! The dish of the night.
We missed the Artisan Bread at first so ordered it as a pallet cleanser between the starter and mains. We loved the yummy, sweet roasted garlic!
For mains, we had the Ten-a-day Vegetable Risotto and the Mexican Inspired Pork Belly. Both also excellent. My risotto is perfectly cooked (hard to achieve) and with delicate flavours – probably a little too delicate for my taste, I would’ve loved a bit more punch. Hubby’s main was the complete opposite. The came with a kick-the-door-in spicey black sauce (Ricarda Negra) that exploded in the mouth. He was gushing about it all the way home.
Basalt has a small but well-selected wine list, we had the David Aristagos white blend with our meal.
We had some cocktails on arrival which were nothing to write home about. We’ll skip these next time or start with some bubbles.
We arrived during a rainstorm, soaked, and the staff promptly ran off to get us towels to dry off. It’s these little gestures that make a real difference in one’s experience.
The service was simply impeccable. Friendly but not imposing, knowledgable but not snooty, fast but not rushed.
I don’t think I’ve ever had better service at a restaurant, anywhere!
The menu is likely to change often, but this was Chef Freddie’s menu on the night.
Open Tues – Sat, dinner only
The Peech Boutique Hotel
61 North Street,
tel:+27 11 537 9797
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