The venture of Greenhouse chefs Peter Tempelhoff and Ashley Moss, Cape Town eatery FYN has been creating quite a lot of buzz amongst foodies with its distinctive Manhattan-inspired feel and fusion of Japanese-inspired cuisine with South Africa’s indigenous fynbos vegetation. Living up to his reputation for creative fusion, Chef Tempelhoff planned a very special culinary journey and invited us to a very special dinner so we could experience his skills first hand. Our editor France Beyers, no stranger to the exceptional restaurants on offer in the Western Cape, found the experience to be a delightful standout in a market where the competition is world-class.
At last Cape Town has a challenger for the number one spot on the foodies list of restaurants. The dining experience at Fyn was undoubtedly one of the best I have had this year. The attention to detail and the friendly and exceptionally well-trained staff set the tone for an evening of gastronomic delight.
My husband is a passionate wine drinker and commented that the Sommelier, Donovon Ravell, was impressive in the way he engaged and enthusiastically shared his knowledge in an unintimidating way. “A well-thought-out complimentary wine pairing with some unknown and unexpected wines, all paired very successfully.”
As far as the food is concerned, this was the main event. You have three menus to choose from: a vegetarian menu, a Pescatarian menu and a regular menu. My husband decided to try the full, regular menu, and I had the Pescaterian menu. The four canapes were served with a glass of Saurwein 2019 Riesling: Daikon, spinach, chilli and Sancho roll, octopus yakitori on a skewer with mascarpone, smoked snoek hidden in an umeboshi bun. The best of the canape’s for me were the prawn Crudo, freshened up with a hint of naartjie and served on a seaweed stick. As you place the seaweed stick in your mouth, the saltiness ads a wonderful extra layer of taste to the rest of the flavours.
The bread service of Africa steamed bread (idombolo) and smokey charred onion butter melted over a flame in a copper pot, was absolutely irresistible.
The Kaiseki tray arrived, presented beautifully with 4 dishes, was served with Linda Karien blend 2017 and Kaapzicht Cinsaut. Tuna, avocado, smoked ginger and kolrabi sushi – Sea trout, delightfully tiny blocks of apple kalamansi and oyster leaf and a tempura spring onion added – layers of texture. Grilled aubergine in a featherlight crisp, charred beans, binchotan aioli and karoo truffle Fyn ferments and pickles to clean your palate in between bites. This was followed by the best palette cleanser, a zesty sorbet served with gin and Tonic.
My main course, was sea Bream served with smoke eel ravioli, baby leeks, star anise and onion done to perfection. As a pre-desert, we were served a cheese sandwich, a delicately creamy gorgonzola ice cream sandwich bite served with a glass of Lammershoek de swart strooi.
Then to finish off the delightful evening a trio of deserts served with a glass of Thelema late harvest. Strawberry sorbet with yuzo, yoghurt and hints of chamomile, a sticky bosveld pudding with amarula cream, hazelnuts and a light cocunut ice cream and fresh fruit with buchu.
All in all a perfect evening. And the best part is that although it seems like a lot of food and a lot of different tastes, I felt satisfied, but not completely overdone by the end of the meal. The layers of tastes and flavours all worked together, complemented one another, the food was light and flavourful rather than rich and filling. I would certainly recommend you try to get a booking before this one becomes the nr. one food destination in South Africa.