Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Wild Fig - Cape Town, South Africa

Wild Fig
Liesbeek Avenue, Valkenberg Estate,
Mowbray, Cape Town, South Africa

www.thewildfig.co.za

The Wild Fig is situated next door to the Courtyard Hotel just outside Cape Town. For a vegetarian in South Africa, a restaurant with a single vegetarian option on its menu is a blessing, to find one with three options is not far off a miracle.

Because the hotel was a little way out of the town it gave me the chance to try a couple of the menu options as we visited the restaurant on a couple of occasions.

For starters I had the Deep Fried Camembert one evening and the Butternut Squash and Coconut soup on another. The Camembert was fied in a light beer batter with fig jelly and melba toast, and was very nice. The fig jelly was a nice change from the usual cranberry that you tend to get. The soup was just the right side of spicy and managed to walk the fine line of not being too bland due to the squash and being overly coconutty. It was a very nice start to the meal.

For the main course I had, on one evening, the Vegetarian Dolmades which consisted of braised cabbage leaves stuffed with saute├ęd aubergine, mushroom & basmatic rice, served with basil mayonnaise. It was presented realy nicely, and tasted great. It was also quite filling, although it still left room for the wonderful roast potatoes that accompanied every meal we had here.

On another evening I had the Thai Green Vegetable Curry. This was coconut milk infused with chilli, fried onions& poached with broccoli, baby corn & carrots and was divine. It wasn't too spicy and had was serverd in a large bowl with the accompanying rice on a separate plate. The ever present roasties were ideal for mopping up the last of the coconut sauce.

The dessert menu had a Creme Brulee on it, which was around a 7.5 on the scale. However, one of the desserts that we had recommended was Roasted Chilli Honey Nut Ice Cream Sandwich with chocolate sauce. This was almost worth the trip to SA itself. Chilli nuts sandwiched between two slabs of creamy ice-cream, just as it says. Wow! The chillies had a nice kick that was then cooled by the icecream and chocolate sauce. A fine dessert.

All of the dishes were well presented and the service was good. In fact, onone night the service was superb, with the waiter keeping the bar open late so we could sample some of their list of over 40 single malt scotches.

In short, if you're in Cape Town I recommend the Wild Fig.

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