Last week I enjoyed the special Heritage Day lunch at pop-up SŸN restaurant on Bree Street, and after the lunch I heard the first details of the permanent fine-dining restaurant opening on 1 November, to be called Exhibit A. The restaurant will be located on the 3rd floor of the Villa 47 building at 47 Bree Street. Yesterday I returned to the restaurant to hear more details from the chefs about their new 46-seater restaurant.
I asked the chefs the following questions:
1. Q Why the name Exhibit A?
2. Q Which changes will be made decor wise?
The restaurant walls will be freshened up with a new green colour, called Mantis Verde. Its ceiling will be almost completely cladded with boards, in the same green. Lighting will be attached as spotlights from the new ceiling. Chairs and banquettes will be reupholstered in a cream/light brown. The wooden chair frames and table tops will be stained dark, to appear almost black. The open plan kitchen will be altered, to create serving hatches as one enters as well as on the side, inside the restaurant. A type of Chef’s Table will be set up as one enters the restaurant, closest to the kitchen.
Frameworks is doing the interior design.
3. Q Tell me more about your wine list?
A good selection of fine French wines is being sourced via a top importer. The chefs have selected a number of local wine estates, buying the wines from these directly, to keep the wine prices reasonable, by not working through a third-party with add-on fees.
Glassware is by Riedel, Spiegelau, and Zwiesel, allowing the best glass per cultivar to produce the ultimate appreciation of each of their wines offered,
4. Q What about staff uniforms?
New uniforms are being designed for the chefs and the waitron staff. Chef Rikku described these as looking ‘formal and professional’.
Following an international trend, chefs are most likely to present most of the dishes to diners.
5. Q Tell me more about your new Proudly South African Tasting Menu?
The Tasting Menu offering will be 4 course and 7 course set menus for Lunch, at R550 (R900 with wine or mixology pairing) and R890 (R1300 with wine or mixology pairing), respectively. For dinner the options offered are a 7 course Tasting Menu (R890, or R1300 with a wine or mixology pairing), and a 12 course Tasting Menu, at R1600, or R2200 for a premium wine pairing, or R3600 for a champagne pairing. Should a patron request a special imported ingredient, a seven day notice period is required, and this will be priced to meet the patrons’ specification.
The Tasting Menu will be Proudly South African with an international twist, in its design and use of ingredients, with a few exceptions, if an ingredient is not available locally. While not yet wanting to give away all the dishes designed for the Tasting Menus, Chef Rikku did suggest that some of the Heritage Day dishes will appear on the Tasting Menus (see the link above). These dishes include the Smoked snoek vetkoek, the potato parsley fossils taster, the Holy Smoke edible cigar, and the scallop dish, each of these already having been worked on to replace imported ingredients with local ones, where possible, There will be some magic in the dishes too, not only in their design and taste, but also in their presentation, as we have become accustomed to from Chefs Rikku and Warwick.
For the first time in our country two chefs who worked for Chef Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck in Bray will be working in the same local Cape Town kitchen, Pastry Chef Chris Morrison, alongside Chef Rikku, who worked at the Michelin-star The Fat Duck as well as The French Laundry.
The ceramics for the dishes have been created by Three Potters and a Painter, one of the most creative ceramic studios in our country, based in Stellenbosch.
6. Q What is happening to the SŸN name?
Chef Rikku explained that the SŸN Group has been established, which consists of Exhibit A so far. The SŸN Group has more culinary adventures developing in the future, each of which will carry a separate name.
7. Q What about the music mix?
Chef Rikku was frank about the playlist, in that it is still work in progress.
Exhibit A, 3rd floor, 47 Bree Street, Cape Town. Cell 060 392 2234. Website under construction. Instagram: @exhibit_a_by_syn
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein