Passion is at the heart of this superb dining concept that’s been simmering in the recesses of chef Peter Tempelhoff’s mind for the past 22 years. And it shows. Not a stone has been left unturned at this warm and sophisticated 60-seater space, which he co-owns with Jennifer Hugé (general manager) and Ashley Moss (executive chef) – a dynamic and assured threesome.
The menu (and decor) is African-inspired, with an overarching Japanese aesthetic, making for an utterly seductive (and delicious) combination of tastes, flavours, textures and styles.
Blurred lines (hey, hey, hey)
The interiors are urban(e) and up-to-the-minute, with the kitchen in the centre of the space. Says head chef Ashley (who worked with Peter at Greenhouse for four years): “We’ve blurred the lines between kitchen and restaurant… we want diners to feel part of the whole experience.” Peter adds: “We welcome diners to come into the kitchen, interact with the chefs, and watch what we’re doing.”
Condensed kaiseki menu
FYN’s fast-paced innercity location informs the condensed kaiseki-style menu. “I wanted to build an urban restaurant for the city,” explains Peter, “where busy people who don’t have a lot of time, still get to experience the full gamut of flavours and textures in a condensed, abridged five-course menu.” Bravo! We hope this signals an end to long, drawn-out menus everywhere.
For those who don’t know him, Peter Tempelhoff is famously the chef behind Greenhouse, the consistently superb, award-winning hotel restaurant in the Constantia Valley. Known for celebrating local ingredients and championing sustainability, Peter is a maestro when it comes to enhancing natural flavours and, with Ashley, they magically elevate ingredients, without swamping them and over-accessorising.
Each course yields a hit of flavour, so lingering and seductive, you never want it to end. Until the next one arrives…
The wine pairings, courtesy of Jennifer (who spent 17 years at La Colombe as sommelier and manager), are some of the most original we have ever tasted. Her care, passion and attention to detail enhance every mouthful. One of the many highlights of our meal was sipping bubbly from a coupe. So chic! So now!
FYN has a distinct Lower Manhattan feel. Perched on the fifth floor of a commercial block, with sky-high views of Table Mountain to the left of us, and Lion’s Head to the right, we could’ve been stuck in the middle of a Stealers Wheel song! But we weren’t; we were at FYN – undoubtedly one of the most exciting epicurean experiences in the Mother City right now.
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