This is not just any meal, but six fine courses of the food of the man who in my opinion is the finest chef working at the Cape at the moment. Peter Tempelhoff can put as much flavour in one tiny sliver of food as some chefs cannot quite manage to get in an entire hog on the spit. His modest, softspoken demeanour belies a skill that few chefs possess, even at this level, and quite frankly it was the Dom Pérignon that was having to hold up to the excellence of almost every morsel that was sent out.
It takes The Greenhouse at the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel in lush Constantia to cap three years of rediscovering the restaurants of my old home town. Strange how much things change in just a few years. Restaurants come and go, and you find that many have gone. Of those that remain, few are the same. And even at hotelier supreme Lix McGrath’s fine property, I find that much is changed.
Rawdon’s Matjiesfontein Christmas night dinners were legendary, with tatty decorations trimming the dining room, eccentric candle-holders, and the entire staff parading in from the kitchen, snaking between the tables while singing “We will make you fishers of men”, with one holding aloft an enormous flaming Christmas pudding. Rawdon was also an inveterate practical joker, known to arrange sausages and potatoes on his dinner plate with none-too-subtle suggestion and then call a waitress over to clear his plate.