For the first time Chef Seelan Sundoo has opened his own restaurant, after having been used by investors and operators in the past to be their front man, but not getting the recognition from them for the following he has, which I observed when I was invited to enjoy lunch at Seelan Restaurant & Bar at Quay 5 in the V&A Waterfront yesterday. Seelan Restaurant & Bar reflects the past connections of Seelan as chef at the Grand Café and La Perla, but his Shimmy Beach Club and Reserve Brasserie past are not visible.
Seelan worked as Head Chef at La Perla in Sea Point for many years, and he has employed eight staff from La Perla. One cannot help but feel that one is in La Perla, with the smart white tuxedo jackets which the male-only waiters wear. Seelan was attracted to The Grand Camps Bay, which he headed up, with Justin Paul Jansen at his side. Justin displayed his knack of attracting patrons to the restaurants, remembering their names and faces, and offering excellent service. The woven cane chairs in the outside section of Seelan remind one of The Grand. Justin was offered the opportunity to open The Reserve on St George’s Mall, and Seelan moved to The Grand on the Beach. Justin later called in Seelan to open the Reserve Brasserie, and to be its Chef. When The Reserve closed down, Justin went to New York, and Seelan started up the Shimmy Beach Club as co-owner, being its front person. It being time to move on, Seelan made the long overdue decision to open his own Mediterranean style restaurant. Justin said that Seelan is a ‘man of taste and class’, and that Shimmy Beach Club did not suit his style. Continue reading →