There are a lot of restaurants in Cape Town. But something I keep forgetting about is the ones tucked inside hotels.
These restaurants seem to be the gems only travellers get to experience. Or, of course, the local peeps in the know.
Liberty’s at the Double Tree by Hilton on the Upper East Side in Woodstock is just such a place.
I’m told that, for locals, it’s a firm favourite for its lunch experiences for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Christmas – and that these lunches book out months in advance. Better get booking!
But what about just normal dining?
I Love Foodies Does Liberty’s
Well, that’s exactly what this half of I Love Foodies went to explore.
You see, a few years back, Benike had a wonderful staycation at Double Tree and enjoyed a fantastic dinner at Liberty’s. I heard quite a bit about this fine dining adventure.
But, for me, Liberty’s was still untapped.
Now with Benike exploring all things London, I grabbed my friend Duane to join me for lunch at Liberty’s Restaurant.
The first thing that hits you when you arrive at Liberty’s is how pretty and opulent the restaurant is.
Even with its high ceilings, this beautiful space was surprisingly warm and cosy on the freezing cold winter’s day we decided to have lunch.
After a warm welcome, we were shown to our table by our lovely waitress, Tamarin, and browsed the menu. You’ll find a wonderful selection on the menu, ranging from fine dining to burgers and prego rolls.
Executive chef Simon Kemp recently added some new winter items, but, this being my first visit, everything on the menu was new to me.
A Sad Wine Affair
In contrast to the opulent space and the beautiful menu and its wonderfully intriguing offerings, the wine list wasn’t as exciting as I had expected.
Presented as a much-used print-out, with wines averaging around R45 a glass, the wine menu didn’t quite match the upmarket feel of Liberty’s or the high quality of the food we were about to enjoy.
Sadly, the glasses of wine we ended up choosing weren’t particularly good either.
But no more about wines. Let’s do food!
As a German, I firmly believe pork belly should be its own food group. If I see it on the menu, there’s a 99% chance I’ll just have to order it.
I said a silent prayer that Duane would choose something else so that I could go with the pork belly starter. My prayers were answered.
Duane picked the Fermented shiitake mushrooms with smoked & roasted aubergine purée, charred shallots, and pickled baby vegetables (R110).
This beautifully presented dish was as pretty as it was yummy. Duane particularly loved the aubergine purée and thought the mushrooms were “just perfect”.
The flavours complemented each other wonderfully and made this a must-order dish.
Sadly, the charred shallots were a bit on the underdone side. I’m not sure if it was a style choice or error, but either way, the raw onion taste in your mouth is not the best if you’re trying to savour the wonderful flavours of your meal.
Pork Belly Happiness
Now me (yay).
I ordered the Char Siu pork belly with marsala & spice poached pear, apple & ginger gel, and puffed crackling (R145).
Again, a beautifully presented and delicious starter.
The pork belly was flavourful but a bit on the dry side.
The poached pear worked so well with the pork belly, though, and I really loved this combination.
I had the same underdone charred shallot in my starter, but luckily the pork belly & poached pear combo had me so happy, all was forgiven.
This was a winning dish, and we were definitely off to a great start.
Moving On To Marvellous Mains
There were so many yummy-sounding options available as mains.
I mean, hello, Sticky bourbon BBQ ribs with rustic chips (R195). The Café du Paris grilled line fish with braised baby fennel, charred shallots, crisped capers, smoked aubergine purée, and tomato confit (R215) also sounded divine.
Choices, choices, choices.
Yummy Braised Beef
But, in the end, it was the Teriyaki braised beef short rib with roast sweet potato purée, cashew & sesame sukkah, and honeyed baby carrots (R205) that really caught my eye.
And, goodness, am I glad I picked this. I love-love-loved this main!!!
The generous piece of short rib was soft and oh-so-tasty! I even ended up taking some home and thoroughly enjoyed the rest for breakfast. And the honeyed carrots worked so well with the teriyaki short rib.
A total foodie match made in heaven.
I had terrible experiences being forced to eat sickly sweet bright green sweet potato mash in boarding school. Since then, I’ve avoided any type of puréed sweet potato … until lunch at Liberty’s! I’m happy that this purée was yummy, and I really enjoyed its subtle flavour. Yay!
Duane was looking for comfort food and picked the Spicy chicken penne with curry-infused cream, chicken, baby spinach, rosa tomatoes, and feta (R145).
He totally loved the creamy curry sauce and thought it was the perfect feel-good winter meal.
This was one of those “simple” dishes on the menu, the what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind.
To be honest, I’m always happy to see some normal menu items available – cos sometimes you just need that steak, pasta, or burger!
We were having a fantastic foodie adventure, and it was time to move on to desserts.
Cherish The Cheesecake
Duane definitely picked the perfect dessert. Yay!
The New York cheesecake with a biscuit base and lemon (R75) was an absolute winner.
Smooth and tart, this cheesecake was everything you want a cheesecake to be. I may have picked a few mouthfuls …
I also really liked the addition of fresh strawberries. The only negative, I’d say, was the rather unnecessary heavy dusting of icing sugar.
To Panna Cotta Or Not
Although I usually don’t get a dessert – flat white for the win – I decided to try the Madagascan vanilla and yoghurt panna cotta with lemon curd, almond & white chocolate sable, and fresh berries (R75).
This was one of those gorgeous desserts that was a bit of a letdown on the taste side. The lemon curd was far too sweet and overpowered by the tasty but much too firm panna cotta. The fresh strawberries helped neutralise the sweetness a bit, but, ultimately, I had no more than a few bites.
Panna cotta is one of my favourite desserts, and I really wanted to love this one. Alas.
A Few Final Thoughts
Dining at Liberty’s really was wonderful.
The starters and mains were top-notch. Each flavour had earned its place, and every ingredient mattered.
Without a doubt, a lot of thought had gone into every single dish. Beautifully presented and delicious, I was a very happy foodie indeed. Hats off, Chef Simon! I would order all these dishes again in a heartbeat.
And the dessert, well … Did I pick a bad dessert day? Was the world telling me to stick to flat whites? I don’t know.
But on a serious note, there was nothing “wrong” with my dessert per se. It was just nowhere close to the quality of everything we had experienced before. And if you’re off to such a great start, that’s kind of how you’d like to finish too.
So, Liberty’s? Yup, definitely worth a visit … and maybe check out those special event lunches too!
A huge thank you to Lindsay at Liberty’s for inviting I Love Foodies to review. We look forward to visiting again soon.
Contact Liberty’s Restaurant At Double Tree By Hilton
If you wanna try this gorgeous restaurant for lunch, dinner, or a special occasion, we’d recommend getting a booking ahead of time.
You’ll find all the details below.
Address: Double Tree by Hilton Cape Town at 31 Brickfield Road, Woodstock
Call: +27 21 404 0570
Article Date: August 2022
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