I recently had the opportunity to dine at the Bombay Brasserie at the majestic Taj Cape Town in the heart of the city bowl. An added pleasure was that one of my oldest friends, who spends an enormous amount of time traveling, was able to dine with me.
The Taj Hotel is known for its opulence and stepping through the front door one is confronted with beautiful marble, rich rugs and crafted furnishings. Take a turn to the right and you arrive at the door of the Bombay Brasserie, the flagship restaurant of this prestigious hotel.
Step through the door and you embark on a culinary journey. In our case we were to travel through five courses accompanied by a wine pairing.
We were shown to our very comfortable chairs, serviettes placed on our laps and an order taken for aperitifs. I then had a chance to take in the ambiance of the restaurant. The ceilings are high, the décor opulent and the lighting subdued. The waiters and management were attentive and the dinners relaxed and content. Fine dining at its best.
True friendship is a wonderful thing. Having not seen my dinner partner for many years, we were still able to pick up where we left off. Best of all we discovered that we were both gastronomes and spent much time discussing each delicious dish.
Fine dinning at the Bombay Brasserie
As one would expect, our journey began with an appetiser. Served in large dish with a small bowl, the apricot and potato tikka cakes came with a sweet tamarind chutney. This small, light and smooth dish with hidden flavours was accompanied by an equally light wine – Terra Del Capo 2017 Pinot Grigio.
The soup, of roasted corn, was one of the best I have ever tasted and, surprisingly and delightfully, was filled with turmeric popcorn. A Dorrance Kama Chenin Blanc with its light, spicy tones refreshed the palette after each sip.
The starter, to my mind, was the best of the courses and I will happily return to the Taj Hotel just to order the basil tulsi prawns and steak of Norwegian salmon.
At this point we realised that we were riding a crescendo of taste as each dish had become more spicy on the pallet and heavier in the mouth.
Both the prawns and the salmon were fresh, deeply marinated and perfectly cooked to preserve their unique taste and texture. The flavours were heavenly and with a freshly squeezed lemon I found myself savouring each mouthful.
The Groote Post 2017 Reisling in accompaniment was fruity and full and complimented the fresh, almost sea salty taste of the dish.
At this point we were served a lemon sorbet pallet cleanser. It was a spectacle all on its own. The beautifully crafted bowl was placed before us emitting clouds of cold steam!
I ordered my main course spicy hot. It arrived in an array of small bowls that soon had our table enveloped in a heady array of aromas.
The aromatic lamb saffron curry and hot chicken masala were accompanied by basmati rice and fresh naan bread. Also served were sautéed spinach and a black lentil and kidney bean stew. The spinach was incredible. I placed a forkful in my mouth and just savoured the taste with my eyes closed!
The accompanying wine was a Paul Wallace Black Dog Malbec 2016. Full and silky smooth on the palette with strong berry flavours, it rounded off this course to perfection.
We both sat back in chairs after mopping up the last of the curry with our naan bread and heaved deep sighs of contentment.
We had reached the climax of the evening and sat in quiet contemplation. Comfortable as only good friends can be in an otherwise awkward silence.
A delicious Boplass Cape Tawny Port accompanied desert. The desert platter was a meal on its own with fresh fruit , fennel seed biscotti, baked yogurt, a ball of gulab jamun and malai khulfi ice cream. Even with a full tummy, how does one say no to this?
Well, have recalled our days of reckless abandon as kids, we threw caution to the wind and cleared our dessert platters.
What a delightful evening. With our friendship renewed and another wonderful memory to share we thanked waiter, wine steward and matre d and departed the Bombay Brasserie in total happiness.
Thank you too, to executive chef David Tilly and his team of assistants.