In a previously gastronomically untouched downtown area of the city, opened up one of the most exquisite restaurants the Cape Town culinary scene has had the pleasure of hosting. Sitting on the specially assembled 5th floor of an old silk factory built in the 1800’s perches Fyn Restaurant. Where Peter Templehof, Jennifer Hugé & Ashley Moss unite their vision, talent and passion.
Walking in and your breath is taken away; the interiors are outstanding – unique and ambitious yet not intimidating. On the contrary the ambiance exudes peace and certain air of calmness. Floor to ceiling windows encapsulating Table Mountain and Lions Head sit behind a sea of hanging wooded discs which spectacularly fill the upper section of the triple volume space.
It’s hard to say whether the interiors or flavours are more astounding, and would either be as sensational without the other? Yin and Yang of modern eating. The beauty of the ambiance combined with the art of the plating versus the stupendous flavour combinations and a daring gastronomical pilgrimage. When did eating evolve from being a mundane act of nutrition to advancing into a work of art that would be fitting in a modern gallery surrounded by the world’s finest artists.
The cuisine is described as Africanese – the refinement of Japanese cuisine is interpreted in a local context. South African flavours with a Japanese accent. Templehof was exhausted by long, timeous, weary tasting menus. So he wanted to cut down on the time without sacrificing the experience of taste! “People don’t have the time of attention span for long drawn out meals” he said.
A sample menu for you to drool over
CANAPÉS FROM BENTO
Daikon maki, su su, chili, sancho
Malay spiced guineafowl yakitori
Prawn crudo, dashi mayo, kelp spoon
Idombolo, bone marrow coal
Cape Malay squid “Somen” – OMG – this was my favoruite course! Incredible
Ishikawa rice, raw fish, white soya
Rice smoked duck breast, fermented pear,
Scallop, carrot, truffle
Grass fed beef fillet, green bean “risotto”, parsley root, umami jus, crispy sweetbread
White coffee crème brûlée
Madagascan chocolate, salted Japanese plum, fennel ice cream
Raspberries, yuzu, coconut
Menu – R975
Wine Flight – R595
They also offer plant based and pescatarian menus. And lunch is a less exuberant menu, cutting back on time spent without lessening the experience or deliciousness (Menu – R550, Wine Flight – R315).
With the Bento Box and Kaiseki Tray you are getting to taste as much as possible in a shorter time frame. The Bento box is a like a balanced and nutritious lunch box. The Kaiseki tray acts like a TV dinner on steroids, many flavour packed dishes on one tray. All in all you have technically had eleven courses! Every seasonal and locally sourced ingredient is honoured, respected and exists in harmony of each other. Balance is achieved visually and through texture and taste. The dining experience is an ode to Japan; its cuisine, its culture, the theatre on the plate and in the open plan kitchen and dining room.
Of course you can expect a phenomenal wine list & exceptional service to compliment the epicurean affair you are about to embark on. Jennifer Hugé, in 2016 was named the winner of the inaugural Eat Out John Psillos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Service. She has a warm welcoming prescence, an extrodinary and icisive attention to detail. Her incredible wine knowledge and flair for superb wine pairings takes The Fyn dining experience to an unprecidented level.
In Conclusion this is the most creative, beautiful tsumani of flavours and visually stimulating dining experience in Cape Town presently. It is no surprise under the power threesome that is Peter, Jen and Ashley; “Peter is the visionary, turning this dream into reality with 22 years of experience; Ash brings tattoos and grunt; and Jennifer marshals the troops to deliver service the way the french intended. Fearless, inquisitive and demanding, they promise to take you somewhere new.”