After opening its doors two years ago, the Luke Dale Roberts-owned Shortmarket Club is still one of the most buzzed-about eateries on Cape Town’s foodscape. And this winter, head chef Wesley Randles has devised an exceptional three-course prix fixe lunch menu – for R280 – that includes a host of unfathomably exquisite dishes – each one more delectable than the next.
Five’s a charm
Lunch starts with a beautiful bread course, followed by a show-stopping amuse bouche of springbok tartare with ponzu walnut dressing, which sets the tone for the next three courses: sambal matah tuna belly (tuna dressed in Asian flavours with sambals); perfectly grilled red roman with a tangy lemon and tarragon velouté and smoked mussel aïoli; and rhubarb crumble, served with pine-nut ice cream, mascarpone catalan, rusk and shortbread crumble. So, actually, if you include the generous bread board and the amuse bouche, you’re getting five courses – not three!
As always, service under the leadership of co-owner Simon Widdison is pitch-perfect, and the New York-style interiors, with the striking butterfly wall, never fail to elicit a gasp. (While our waitron Cornelius poured our Paul Cluver sauvignon blanc, he explained that Paul himself is a regular patron, and a fan of the prix fixe menu.)
Above and beyond So fresh and delicious was the tuna and red roman that we enquired where they were caught. The manager on the day informed us that they use an app, which allows them to get fresh, sustainable fish on an almost daily basis.
The prix fixe menu is such exceptional value – for the quality of food, portion sizes, setting and service – it’s arguably the best lunch (special) in town.