It’s only been open for eight months and already Cheyne’s on Hout Bay Main Road has a steady and passionate following. What started as a small restaurant seating only 20 has expanded to accommodate nearly 60, but chef and owner Cheyne Morrisby still turns away casual diners every night (we booked more than a week in advance). The Pan-Pacific menu offers contemporary dishes with interesting combinations and delicious flavours.
The staff are knowledgeable and courteous and readily offer explanations and advice on the menu – and the service is quick and efficient. The menu is separated into four self-explanatory headings: Sea, Land, Earth and Sweet. Vegetarians and pescetarians are catered for in spades.
The delicious Asian-style tapas menu offers dishes like Chilli Salt Squid with red-eye mayo, smoked salt and shichimi (a seven-spiced pepper) for R45; Tiger Prawn Taco with cucumber, mint and spring onions for R55; and our favourites of the evening: Tobiko Beef and Seaweed Carpaccio with pickled ginger and enoki mushrooms for R65 and Baby Back Ribs with black sesame and tamarind caramel for R55.
Portions, although not overly large, are recommended to share, so everyone gets a taste. We ordered eight dishes for three of us, ending our meal with Cheyne’s sublime dessert: 70% Dark Chocolate, with citrus textures, miso butterscotch and black sesame brittle for R50. This alone is worth going back for… and soon!
Don’t expect a fine-dining ambience – the building previously housed Seaweeds, a swimwear boutique, but the quirky paintings on the walls (all for sale) add to the homely atmosphere. The wine list is varied and not overly priced.