Our long-awaited return to La Mouette

At last, the time has come. Time to revisit one of our favourite restaurants of last year – La Mouette in Sea Point. We gathered together a group of friends who hadn’t been there before and booked a table in the lovely courtyard.

La Mouette opened in 2010 and is the baby of English chef Henry Vigar who has cooked in London, Australia and France. It’s housed in a beautiful building in the centre of Sea Point that once belonged to the mayor of Cape Town and is named after the abundant seagulls that buzz around the Sea Point sky. The contemporary brassiere-style menu has strong French influences.

The food is quite simply wonderful! I love taking people there for the first time and watching their faces as they take their first mouthfuls. It’s like I’ve let them in on some amazing secret.

My beautiful plate of carpaccio came with the perfect combo of additions. The grilled onions were crispy, the mayo lusciously rich and the dainty little pickled mushrooms fabulous – the best plate of carpaccio ever, maybe?

carpaccio
Beef carpaccio with wasabi mayo, grilled spring onion, pickled mushrooms and tamarind dressing

Salt and pepper prawns temptingly displayed on the board, how clever to make chorizo popcorn.

prawns
Salt and pepper prawns with shaved radish, chorizo popcorn and sweetcorn puree

Before my first visit to La Mouette I’d heard about their legendary cheese and truffle croquettes from various sources and they more than lived up to my expectations when I tried them. So I convinced a couple of our party that they simply had to have them. Beautifully crunchy croquettes with a silken, flavoursome filling – seriously, each mouthful elicits a moan of delight.

croquettes
Cheese and truffle croquettes with roasted garlic ailoi

The crayfish ravioli had Christa in ecstasies with its rich fishy tastes and light textures and foam.

ravioli
Crayfish ravioli with cucumber, ginger and lobster oil

From an amazingly satisfying set of starters we moved on excitedly to our mains. Starting with a plate of Moroccan style lamb presented in two different ways.Such an amazing depth of flavour.

lamb
Moroccan-style lamb confit shoulder, crispy pastilla, tabbouleh, smoked aubergine puree and tomato harissa

The bouillabaisse was presented as a bowlful of freshly cooked fish and the broth was poured over at the table. Presentation is key at La Mouette with each dish served like it’s a work of art…which it is really.

boullabaise
Bouillabaisse with tomato, mussels, prawns, linefish and alioli

The local Franschhoek trout was pink and luscious and served on a beautifully light potato salad. Wonderful when combined with the flavours of peas and mint. Has to be the winner of the prettiest dish of the evening.

trout
Franschhoek trout fillet with lightly smoked potato salad, pea puree and mint

Regular readers of this blog have no doubt noticed that I don’t often feature desserts. Apologies for that – it’s partly because I’m not a huge pudding eater myself but mainly because everyone is so full by the time it gets around to that stage that we simply have to pass. Not tonight. These puddings are too stunning to miss out on. Starting with what is basically a deconstructed lemon meringue pie with a contemporary twist. How lovely does this look?

lemon meringue
Lemon meringue pie, lemon curd, marshmallows, shortbread, lemon grass and lime leaf ice cream

And then on to my favourite dessert of all time…seriously. Gin and tonic on a plate. So clever.

ginandtonic
Gin and tonic – tonic jelly, gin syrup and lime ice cream

How I loved our return  to La Mouette, and the good news is that it’s just around the corner from where we’re staying so I might even get to try everything on the menu this year! Especially as I still have a lot of friends who have never been there. There’s no doubt that this is a secret that needs to be shared!

La Mouette is at 78 Regent Road, Sea Point.

266 Comments

  1. Mmmmm…..looks scrumptious, like the Idea of Gin and Tonic dessert, we have been enjoying our G and T’s on holiday, we were having temperatures 45 deg!!

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