Cape Town is a real foodie heaven. There’s such a variety of top-quality restaurants it’s hard to choose where to go out to eat some days. As problems go, it’s certainly a good one!
It does mean that standards are incredibly high and competition steep. So when a new establishment opens to universal praise there’s only one thing to do – go and try it out – and quickly. So we headed into the centre of the city, expectations high.
FYN is a bright, modern space with funky decor and a bustling open kitchen. It’s the new baby of renowned chef Peter Tempelhoff.
What’s on the menu
FYN offers a tasting menu – so no anxious decision making, just relax and watch an incredible food story unfold. The menu has a strong Japanese influence with a healthy injection of South Africanism using great local ingredients.
First up were the canapés from Bento. Delicately beautiful little morsels to tickle the taste buds and awaken the appetite – and in a clever and unexpected way.
The miso soup was presented as a bubble in a teaspoon which melted in the mouth.
The perfectly grilled octopus was tender and tasty and served skewered with daikon and wonderfully savoury ink mayonnaise.
From this vibrant red platter we enjoyed the incredible sweet and creamy combination of shishito pepper and goat’s cheese and a Karoo lamb samosa served with lemon attar and coconut yoghurt. Decidedly a samosa in a class of its own.
After canapés came the bread course. It’s officially called furikake idombolo, bone marrow coal. Any wiser? Well, furikake is a Japanese seasoning which is sprinkled on top of dishes – this time the bread – which is a steamed South African bread called idombolo. How’s that for fusion? The buns were soft and warm and sweet – just perfect with the unique butter.
And what butter! It’s made from bone marrow, rolled in mushroom ash and served atop a little burner which melts it in front of you at the table. We dipped our beautiful bread into the indulgent mix with glee! Never has bread and butter tasted so good!
A trayful of delectable dishes
And now for my favourite part of the meal. The Kaiseki Tray literally made me squeal with delight when it was placed in front of me. Four dishes of pure delight (and a palate cleanser) all beautifully presented.
The squid ramen was something of an optical illusion. It looked like a bowl of noodles until, on biting into it, you realised the noodles were made of squid…somehow. All served with a rich, rounded broth.
The rice smoked duck breast was perfectly pink and melt-in-the-mouth and served with fermented pear (a surprisingly yum flavour match) and a delicate portion of liver cremeux (like a foie gras parfait).
And then for the best sushi ever – well a deconstructed kind of sushi with incredible fresh tuna, topped with a robata blue prawn on a bed of Ishikawa rice (a lot of rice is grown in the fertile fields of Ishikawa) and the most amazing mayo. My mouth is watering just thinking about the fabulous flavours and textures all in one bowl.
In the top right corner below you can see the truffle chawanmushi. We are learning a lot of new words today! Chawanmushi is a Japanese egg custard and here it’s infused with truffles. Oh my word, it’s truly heaven in a bowl.
You can also see the little palate cleanser of daikon and cucumber to nibble on between dishes.
Wow! What a sensational experience that was. Such cleverly conceived of dishes where all the flavours worked together perfectly and there were plenty of delightful surprises along the way.
Like the palate cleanser. Little bowls of fragrant flowers and herbs were frozen at the table with liquid nitrogen so we could crush them with our miniature pestles. They were then topped with the most delicious celery sorbet. I was so absorbed by the whole process I forgot to take pictures…sorry – here are the flowers at least.
And there’s more…
A final savoury course of grass fed beef fillet served with a green bean ‘risotto’, roast tomatillo, parsley root and wakame jus. A risotto made from beans – with the exact texture of risotto -amazing. The fillet was tender and packed with flavour, the perfect conclusion to the parade of wonderful dishes.
The pudding selection was three dishes on another tray – Madagascan chocolate, salted Japanese plum and fennel ice cream; blackberries, yuzu and coconut and nectarine, rooibos and ginger. The chocolate and ice cream dishes were particularly tasty.
I loved FYN. It’s a real spectacle, the service is great, there are plenty of unique dishes to enjoy – and, most importantly, everything is incredibly delicious. Another fab addition to Cape Town’s world-class restaurantland.
Today’s price point
Okay, so a visit to FYN is not a budget option…your food is going to cost you R950. Which is quite a lot in South African terms. Having said that, you are getting a truly amazing meal here and if you’re a visitor from the UK (which obviously I am), it is a mere £51.
Wine starts from R280 (£15) a bottle.
FYN is on the 5th Floor, Speakers Corner, 37 Parliament Street, Cape Town.