I participated in the most recent Restaurant Week (22 October – 1 November 2015).  An annual event which sees participants able to try out various restaurants in participating cities at very reasonable prices.  Check out their website to find out more, but I shall be posting about the food and my experience of our evening at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel’s Planet Restaurant.

Our menu was a set 3 course menu.  With a few little amuse-bouche and friandise surprises thrown in.  The starter was Cold Smoked Kabeljou served with pickled cucumber, parfait, tartare and sour cream dollops topped with caviar.


Main course was Grilled Beef Sirloin served with charred potato, mushroom, cauliflower, braised oxtail and kale.


Dessert was a Coconut Lime Torte served with lime and white chocolate Bavarian cream, caramel and coconut sorbet.


The menu was superbly put together and the service was impeccable.  Our waiter provided the right amount of attention and entertainment as well as spaces between courses to leave our group to chat.  The amuse bouche were little pseudo sushi looking roll ups, one made with beetroot and cream cheese and the other with nori and a fishy filling of some sort.  I was too distracted by how pretty they looked to catch the fancy explanation. I do eat with my eyes!  And mouth and stomach!

The friandise consisted of raspberry jellies coated in sugar and dark chocolate truffles.  A very tasty accompaniment to our coffees.

Amuse BoucheFriandise

All guests agreed that the experience met every expectation and that we came away feeling wholly satisfied.  Both in terms of financial return on investment in relation to a pleased palate and satiated stomach.  Those 3 elements don’t always go together when it comes to food!

I would highly recommend that you get in on the action during Restaurant Week.  It gives you an opportunity to try something new and live a little La Vida Loca without breaking the bank.  Our meal was priced at R325 per person (excluding drinks).  There are more budget friendly options available through the other participating restaurants, but we wanted a treat.

Oh the tale of two Nelsons.  Our dinner discussion included pinpointing who the Mount Nelson was named for.  It was Lord Horatio Nelson incidentally.  And as dinner conversations can go, it then took a left turn to the song “The Seagulls Name Was Nelson”.  Which I was interested to find out, was a song by South African folk singing husband and wife duo, Des and Dawn Lindberg.  And even more interesting, the song was literally about a seagull named Nelson who had to be set free, but according to legend, folklore and Wikipedia, it was an analogy for THE Nelson who was incarcerated on Robben Island, across the sea from where the little boy had found the seagull Nelson in the song