12 Jun, 2015
It was Wednesday evening, the worst of the working week was behind us. Hump night twinned with pay day makes for double trouble and every reason to head downtown. The front room of Charcoal was peppered with couples who all seemed to be happy about getting over the midweek hump and were settling into some seriously fine dining. The tempting wine list had provided bountiful quaffing opportunities and the patrons were taking full advantage. Uber apps at the ready.
Relatively new to the Cape Town dining scene, Charcoal neatly ticks the date night box. Quiet but not hushed, the ambiance encourages intimacy. Romantic but not cheesy, it oozes style and taste. Pricy but not over priced, it says treat-night not splurge night. Impressive but not flashy, it is the perfect choice to make sure that there is a second and a third rendezvous. The food however is what closes the deal. If you have a fondness for flesh, I dare you to try to make the decision between the rare roasted waygu rump, grilled matured ribeye steak or beef fillet. They are equally packed with superlatives. Do not rely on the side dishes to help you through this conundrum because if like me you are a potato freak, things are only going to get trickier. Potato bake or rustic fries and potato dauphinoise if you opt for the ostrich fillet medallions. Impossible and impossibly good. The seared tuna with avocado, lime, chilli salsa, cherry tomato, olive, anchovy and rocket made me believe in extra sensory perception. How could all my favourite ingredients appear in one menu and in one dish? It will be a supreme effort to return and not order this dish. But return we must to have the grilled kudu loin in red wine sauce, octopus salad with grilled mango, lemon, pimento, olive oil and pomegranate and of course the hand cut fries with rosemary and and coarse salt.
Hump night, pay day, second date, just go and eat.
50 New Church Street , Gardens, Cape Town
021 422 3232
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