Situated on Sea Point’s ever-growing Golden Mile, Chef Damien Dafel’s Dahlia on Regent combines the best of local and international flavours.
As you walk along Sea Point’s bustling Regent Road you can get lost between the decor stores, boutiques and endless eateries. Your eyes might even miss the tiny spot hidden between My Sugar and Three Wise Monkeys, but don’t be fooled – what looks to be just another brick in the Sea Point wall is, in fact, an innovative new dining experience with out-of-this-world ratings.
This bustling addition to the Golden Mile is the brainchild of Damian Dafel, a young yet experienced chef from KwaZulu-Natal. After working at some of Cape Town’s top establishments (La Colombe, Foxcroft, La Tête and Overture) as well as at Gleneagles, a Scottish icon, Damien decided it was time to put his own spin on dining. The result? A 30-seater restaurant serving internationally inspired cuisine through a South African lens – with a focus on locally sourced, high-quality ingredients, of course.
It’s a personal affair – Damien is involved in every level of the dining experience, putting his heart and soul into every dish and often coming out to explain the menu and talk to patrons.
Changing regularly according to what is in season and on top of his mind, the menu gives a glimpse into an entire world of cuisine – Thai, Japanese, Italian – but with a South African focus. Think mushroom risotto served with a boerenkaas and truffle toastie, koeksister waffles, pap en vleis with a Cape Malay carrot purée, or a Thai green mussel pot served with amagwinyas (South African deep-fried bread).
It’s exciting, it’s innovative and brings that local flair without losing the global appeal of elements like kimchi and labneh. Small-plate dining allows for a little nibble of everything (something we have no doubt you’ll appreciate when you see other dishes) and makes it perfect for a sharing meal between couples or friends. We’re dying to try the cheffed-up fish and chips, which features a pommes anna-style chip made from thinly sliced baked layers, and crispy beer-battered fish!
The winelist is small with three by-the-carafe choices, two of which are Ken Forrester wines, leaning more towards a perfectly curated but simple pairing option. The bottle listing is slightly more varied – featuring local favourites from Oak Valley, Rijks and Paul Cluver.
Sounds blooming marvellous to us!
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