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Dining thrills without the frills

by | Dec 10, 2012 | News | 0 comments

Brent Meersmanreports on award winning Bizerca Bistro’s move to Heritage Square

It is 6pm on a Saturday. Laurent Deslandes, a chef, and his wife Cyrillia, a restaurateur, look frazzled but cheerful. Clearly they’re old troopers.

It has been just three weeks since they moved into their new premises in Cape Town’s Heritage Square. Moving a restaurant is almost the same as setting up a new business. And, if that wasn’t stressful enough, things with the previous landlord ended on a sour note and lawyers were involved.

At their historic new premises, previously Caveau Restaurant, they have gone from 55 covers to 100. They’re open longer hours and still have to be up at 4am for the market.

The food remains of a high standard. I have eaten everything from pork hock pies to rabbit three ways and have never been let down.

Here are a few recommendations based on the current menu. Start with oysters and gooseberry relish and the raw Norwegian salmon, which has a rich mouth feel. It is marinated in soy, ginger and échalote dressing and is topped with goat cheese and a delicate salad. “I’m not a fusion food person,” says ­Deslandes, “but it works and it’s ­consistent.”

The chicken liver pâté is light and creamy, served with pork rillettes (an Anjou speciality) and a tart pear.

For mains, braised veal shoulder with mash, asparagus and baby onion is a good-sized portion. The veal almost peels itself off the bone.

The lamb stew à la Provençal is beautifully caramelised outside and has a herbaceous Karoo flavour.

For dessert, the apple tart with crème fraîche ice cream and honey syrup is a favourite. Finally, before you leave, check out the homemade jams. You might find apricot, rhubarb or even banana-chocolate.

Bistrot Bizerca, Heritage Square, 98 Shortmarket, Cape Town.  Tel: 021  418 0001

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Dining thrills without the frills | Arts and Culture | Food | Mail & Guardian.

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