Homespun (ˈhəʊmspʌn) adjective 1. Simple and rustic. 2. Made at home.
As a Northern Suburbanite, I spend the majority of my free time scouring Durbanville, Bellville and Table View for “good” restaurants, my better half in tow.
When I first ate at “Homespun by Matt” in 2014, it was around the time we featured it on our hottest new restaurants list. It was one of the busiest restaurants in Cape Town that winter, flaunting a four-week waiting list. I recently returned to Homespun for dinner while compiling my shortlist of northern suburb gems (subscribe to our newsletter to see it first!), only to have my affirmation confirmed that Homespun is the best restaurant in the northern ’burbs. And according to user ratings on TripAdvisor, number two in Cape Town (at the time of writing), outranking fine-dining starlets, such as La Colombe, Greenhouse, La Mouette and even The Test Kitchen. (But TripAdvisor ranking is a story for another day…)
Rustic fine dining
An unpretentious atmosphere greets you along with the team of upbeat, professional staff. Their curiously relaxed attitude towards each other is palpable, and later confirmed by their keenness to spend their only off day, Sundays, together.
The space is small. Cosy. Meandering copper pipe lights add warmth to the dark walls on the one side of the room, while on the opposite side, French-style mirrors hang against white-washed facebrick. Victorian candle holders dramatise the plain tables and wicker chairs, so do the candlelit chandeliers overhead. All very romantic. We later find out that the paper stars hanging from the open-beamed roof, as well as the hovering glass-domed plants in the bathroom, were crafted by the staff.
Once seated, the smell of rosemary on our wooden place setting stirs the appetite. So does the 850-ml wine glass. Cutlery is stored in a beaded container on each table to avoid from the pretence of “which utensil do I use for the soup?”. Water for the table is served in antique bourbon bottles. It’s time to dine.
The theatre of the interiors is carried through to the mesmerising presentation of the cocktails and the food. But it’s not all show. Every bit tastes as good as it looks.
Inspired by years spent in the kitchen of his father’s restaurant as a teenager, owner Matt Schreuder draws from his global travels and the expertise of his talented chef, Waheeb Abrahams, to create what he calls “new and unique dining experiences”.
To start, I braved the crocodile carpaccio on a bed of rocket, puffed barley, avocado purée, white cheddar anglaise and caramelised onions (R85). My dinner companion had beef tataki, served with caramelised white onion purée, pickled ginger, crispy fried onions and wasabi-infused kewpie mayo (R75).
The braised sticky pork belly fell to pieces at the touch of my knife, complemented with lentil and pork cheek ragout, carrot and citrus purée, aubergine tempura and Ayran (R135). The Asian-style tempura duck was the highlight of the evening and also Matt’s favourite dish on the menu, served with Cape Malay-inspired vermicelli (typically served as part of a traditional Cape Malay dessert), chipotle aioli, exotic mushrooms and coriander foam (R135). Tip: Do opt for the recommended wine pairing, La Brie chardonnay.
Naturally, we had to order the Valrhona blonde fondant (R80) – because it’s on our list of the best desserts in Cape Town. As moreish as the fondant was, the Gorgonzola-and-fig gelato (R35) is an innovation in its own right, and a refreshing departure from the standard cheese board.
The value for money Matt and his team are able to offer has me excited about fine-dining again. See the full à la carte menu.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 6pm – 11
Contact 021 556 2824
Where to find it Homespun, Porterfield Road, Table View (opposite Catch 22 & Domino’s Pizza)