Summer Night Tapas At Sentir

Sentir gin

I’m a big fan of hidden gems. You know, those tiny little spots no one knows about that serve the best food ever … And I’ve just discovered a new hidden gem that I’m assuming is only hidden for now since they just opened up. But since I want them to stick around for a while, I’ll tell all of you about them too.

The spot is called Sentir, and it’s situated right above Loaves on Long. You literally have to walk through Loaves on Long to access the staircase at the back. So it’s quite easy to miss this spot unless you specifically head there as a destination. Which is what it should be coz their food is just so darn good!

I visited Sentir with my friend Ester just over a week ago to enjoy some early dinner vibes. I’m glad we went early so we could catch the sunset. And so I could snap some well-lit pics before the sun disappeared (you’ll see the difference in pic quality once we hit dessert).

G&Ts have been my drink of choice lately, so I started off with a Blushed Gin (R65; Protea & Hibiscus Gin, pink tonic, cherry juice, and edible flowers), while Ester, gorgeous sports model that she is, stuck to water.

Sentir menu

Thoroughly unique menu

Sentir bread

The perfect taste to get started

We browsed through the menu while nibbling on some toasties with honey butter and aioli. Sentir has a pretty cool menu, which they’ve divided into six flavour profiles: Salty, Spicy, Umami, Bitter, Sour, and Sweet. This is a pretty unique way of menu division, and works particularly well for a tapas menu. Instead of choosing our own dishes, Chef Ciska Rossouw sent out a few of her recommended choices.

We started off with two wonderfully unique dishes, both of which ended up as my favourites of the night. The first was a portion of the Fresh Oysters (R90), served with cucumber, shallots, and watermelon foam. I generally dislike oysters that come with ‘stuff’ as I prefer them plain with lemon and lots of that sea flavour. But these watermelon ones were surprisingly delicious, and I dare say the first non-plain oysters I actually really enjoyed. The second dish was the Marinated Prawn Crystal Roll (R65), with cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, aioli, and spicy dressing. I’m a huge fan of rice paper rolls, and these were definitely delish.

Sentir oysters with watermelon

Fresh oysters with watermelon foam

Sentir prawn crystal rolls and fresh oysters

Marinated prawn crystal rolls and fresh oysters

Next up we enjoyed the Pickled & Flash Fried Sardines (R85), with red onion, roasted tomato, anchovy butter, and herbed crostini, and the Curried Lentils (R70) with cured duck breast ‘prosciutto’, ginger-pickled carrot, radish, and Sichuan pepper paper. The fish was lovely though I’m not generally the biggest fan of sardines. I’m also not a curry girl, but Ester absolutely loved that dish!

From there we moved on to the Beef Tartare (R90), served with toasted sesame and scallion, salted crispy rice noodles, quail egg yolk, and pear puree. I’m a big fan of well-made beef tartare, and this one was absolutely delicious! The flavours are super subtle and well-balanced, making this a very easy-eating dish (is that even a word?).

Next up was the Tomato & Aubergine Tartlet (R65) on crispy puff pastry with spiced tomato sauce and fried basil. A simple dish, but the puff pastry was lovely and added a lot of crunch and – surprisingly – flavour to this dish.

Sentir sardines

Sardines

Sentir curried lentils

Curried Lentils

Sentir beef tartare

Beef Tartare

Sentir tartlet

Tomato and aubergine tartlet

And then, last but certainly not least, it was time for dessert. Here we enjoyed the Dark Chocolate Pot De Crème (R65), with goji and cocao nib crumble, coffee granite, and burnt white chocolate mousse. It doesn’t look so great in the pic (I’ll blame the post-sunset lighting, but this was absolutely delicious. Perfect mix of sweet and bitter, which is great for someone like me.

The second dessert was the Blueberry & Buchu Consommé (R70), with toasted meringue, fresh blueberries, and blueberry macarons. I did suggest that the consommé and the meringue/macarons should be served on separate plates as the former made the latter two a little soggy (and there’s nothing I dislike more than soggy food), but the flavours themselves were exceptional. Ciska did confirm that they’re waiting on their bowls, so I’m looking forward to trying this dish again once they’ve arrived.

Sentir Dark Chocolate Pot De Crème

Dark Chocolate Pot De Crème

Sentir consommé

Blueberry and Buchu consommé

All in all, I’m super excited about Sentir. This is good food made really well. Exceptional quality, exceptional flavours, and surprisingly decent prices when considering what tapes normally go for. Four to five dishes are definitely enough for two people (ok, unless you’re a starving man, in which case you might need more), and all the tapas are priced between R50 – R90.

You’ll find Sentir above Loaves on Long at 33 Long Street. They’re open Wednesday to Saturday from 16:00 till 23:00. For more info, visit their Facebook page or their Instagram profile

Written by Benike Palfi
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Article Date: December 2017

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