As you may have gathered by now, we at I Love Foodies eat out a lot. Like a LOT. And most of these places are amazing, but every now and again, there is a restaurant we really, really, really want to go back to. But then life happens and we just don’t get the chance. So a little part of us silently hopes they invite us back, because then it’s official and technically work, and we have to find the time! One of those wonderful places is Foxcroft. And yes, they invited us back and we made time!
Benike and I lunched at Foxcroft early last year and loved every single second. From our perfect waiter, Mike, to the amazing food, the impeccable attention to detail and flavour, to the incredible wines our culinary adventure was paired with, Foxcroft was as close to perfect as is humanly (chef-ly?) possible. Now as Benike is currently exploring London, it means she left Cape Town’s foodie bests to me and whoever is lucky enough to join me. Benike is not liking this arrangement much and feels very left out, but alas, the foodie show goes on ☺. Sorry, Niki.
One of the things I love about Foxcroft is that it’s a little bit more laid back and chilled than its big sister restaurants La Colombe, La Petit Colombe (both of which we also love), and Protégé (who we have yet to meet). This means Foxcroft is just a little more accessible, a little more approachable to the average Jane, both financially and from a flavour perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I love the magic that the big sisters offer, but you can’t dine there once a month. At Foxcroft, though, you could …
The Spring Lunch Menu
Foxcroft is currently running a Spring Lunch Menu special till the end of November – so you better make a reservation ASAP – coz this one is pretty special indeed. In a nutshell, R345 gets you the Foxcroft bread dish, one cold tapas, one warm tapas, a main, and a dessert. Want wine? Go for the pairing at R595, which is totally worth it.
Lazy Sundays with Happy Fish
Anyway, as you may have figured out, Foxcroft invited us to try this special and, of course, we agreed. So, this last Sunday, I grabbed Ray and we set out for Foxcroft in Constantia. He’d never been there before and I was looking forward to the ‘See, told ya’ moment once he experienced it all.
We were one of the first people to arrive for Sunday lunch and so chose a table in the outside area, shaded by umbrellas. I quite like this part of the restaurant as it feels a bit like you’re having lunch in your garden. There is even a fish pond with some rather excitable fish. I’m pretty sure the mesh surrounding the pond is purely there to prevent the fish from jumping out, which they seem to attempt every now and again.
As all good things start with bubbles, Foxcroft promptly surprised us with some, the Steenberg Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc ones to be exact. Happiness. Werner, our amazing waiter, warmly welcomed us and explained the menu in detail. The thing about Foxcroft is that the staff there are incredible. From the menu to the wines, not only do they know their stuff inside out, but they also know it backwards and forwards. Many a restaurant could take a page from their book …
Bread, Bread, Glorious Bread
Of all the things at restaurants, the one thing I never touch is bread. Unless it’s at Foxcroft. We were presented with this beautiful crispy, plump, freshly baked herb focaccia in a little iron pot. Inside, it hid the most divine olive tapenade. For someone who likes neither bread nor olives, I could have eaten the entire thing. It was that good. A little bite of heaven.
For our first tapas dish, the cold one, Ray and I both decided on the carrot hummus. Cause, have you ever even heard of carrot hummus? Exactly. It was served with shaved carrot, roasted feta (I have decided all feta should now be roasted), Baharat, and a super crispy lavash to scoop it all up with. As a complete amateur in the spicy things department, this dish had quite a kick for me. But it was so good and different to anything I had ever tasted before. Ray loved the carrot hummus so much that I let him finish mine too. Coz I’m good that way. It was paired perfectly with the aromatic 2018 Oldenburg Viognier.
Foxcroft has recently replaced tuna on their menu with sailfish and really wanted us to try this as well, so we did. The sailfish came seared with salsa macha, whipped avo, jalapeno, and tostada. This is also a winner, especially if you love seafood. Paired with this, we had the Silwervis Smiley Chenin. A great pairing and two amazing wines I had never had before.
We both had set our mind on the Greedfields Beef Shin before looking at anything else. I honestly had no idea what to expect from this dish and when it arrived looking like a bowl of porridge, I was a little confused. And then I tasted it and time stood still. Seriously. I think neither Ray nor I spoke for the next 10 minutes.
The carrot hummus was amazing, but the beef shin? Out of this world. Succulent beef, covered with crispy polenta and smothered with the most divine rosemary velouté.
The wine paired with this became my favourite new discovery of the day. The Mullineux Kloof Street Rouge 2017 – 90% Syrah and small amounts of Cinsault, Carignan, Grenache, Tinta Barocca, and Mourvédre – make this wine quite unique. Red fruit aromas and hints of spice reminded me just a little of Christmas and made me a very happy foodie indeed. An absolute perfect pairing.
This was a tough choice between the pork and the lamb dishes. Luckily teamwork came into play and so Ray picked the lamb and I the pork, ‘cause honestly, can you even be friends with someone who doesn’t let you eat food from their plate?!
Let’s start with Ray’s dish. The Karoo lamb was made in two ways, each completely unique and oh so yummy, with shimeji mushrooms, spiced apricot, burnt onion, and sprinkled with buckwheat. It was a pretty awesome dish. This was paired perfectly with the robust 2014 Fable Mountain Night Sky.
But, I have to say, I loved my Oak Valley Pork even more. The crispy but soft pork was served with kimchi, charred cabbage, and sprinkled with a peanut crackling crumble. And it was incredible. As was the 2018 Thorne and Daughter Copper Pot Pinot Noir it was paired with. I generally like Pinot Noir, but this one is something special.
Dessert is another thing I usually skip, but I wouldn’t dream of skipping it at Foxcroft! Ray chose the malt cake, with caramelised banana, Kivavoa 50%, and malted milk, and said those malted flavours reminded him of childhood. A definite winner if you are looking for malty chocolatey goodness.
If you want something a bit lighter, my choice of dessert would be perfect. I went with the aptly named Yogurt. The yoghurt and vanilla panna cotta balanced the sweetness of the apple, litchi, elderflower, and geranium that made up the rest of the dessert. Panna cotta is a firm fave for me and this one is up there with the best I have ever had.
This dessert was interestingly paired with a Freshman Sauvignon Blanc but turns out the dessert actually contains this wine, so the pairing made perfect sense. It was a lighter touch than the Thelema Vin de Hel 2015 that paired with Ray’s dessert, which, of course, is also a great wine to end a meal on.
The Thelema Vin de Hel was the only wine I had had before, and it was such a pleasure to try so many new and amazing wines, especially paired with such good food. This is what makes Foxcroft wine pairings so unique. They find the special, little known wines from smaller vineyards and let them shine. I think that is pretty damn awesome!
As for the food, oh wow, Chef Glen, as always, hats off to you, Sir. I love how you bring flavours together, without overwhelming the guest with too many flavours and textures. There is only one way to describe it: Perfect.
As we ended our amazing lunch, I looked over at Ray knowingly and said, “See, told, ya” and he agreed. I’m afraid I have now ruined all other food for him. Oops.
Werner, Daine, the entire staff at Foxcroft and, of course, Chef Glen Foxcroft Williams, a huge thank you to you. You go above and beyond!
The Foxcroft Spring Lunch Menu is available until 15 December 2019 at R345 per person and R595 per person with the wine pairing (do this!). If you can’t make the Spring Menu, there are also the regular lunch and dinner menus and tasting menus to explore. Anything you have is guaranteed to be exceptional!
Address: Shop 8/9, High Constantia, Corner Groot Constantia Road and Constantia Main Road
Call:+27 21 202 3304
Article Date: November 2019
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