Salty sea air is said to stimulate the appetite, but chef Christo Pretorius’ gorgeous culinary creations hardly need the boost. Simply breathtakingly beautiful food served in such a stunning setting must rate as one of the top Cape Town fine dining experiences.
For the new Winter Menu, Azure’s executive chef Christo introduces an indulgent new à la carte with great seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes, and has refreshed his popular Tasting Menus.
Pretorius is one of the brightest stars of the local culinary scene, and has been instrumental in securing Azure’s place on the prestigious American Express® Platinum Fine Dining Awards list for four years running.
Proud of his South African heritage, Christo rates sustainability and sourcing top-class seasonal, local ingredients high among his priorities, whilst keeping up with the latest international trends. Appropriately given its location overlooking the Atlantic ocean, fish and seafood are some Azure’s specialities. As a SASSI (Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) Trailblazer, Chef Pretorius and his team follow SASSI’s best practice guidelines for sustainable seafood, supporting responsible fisheries and the many local communities which rely on healthy ecosystems to provide them with their livelihoods.
Seafood also stars in the Winter 2016 Menu. Think starters like Baby Calamari Risotto with tentsuyu broth, crispy tentacles, creamed cauliflower, pickled sultanas and parmesan crumbs (R125), or Cured Farmed Trout Mi-Cuit – smoked trout consommé, horseradish cream, pickled spring onion, watercress and soybeans (R130). The Hen’s Egg on Toast is a clever play on a classic, featuring soft poached egg, toasted brioche, potato and chive vichyssoise, shimeji mushrooms and smoked bacon (R110). A superb vegetarian starter serves up Salt Baked Beetroot Salad with beetroot mousse, pickled golden beet, beetroot and vanilla vinaigrette, balsamic gel and citrus marinated mozzarella (R125).
The Sustainable Fish of the Day presents a main course highlight; it is served with brioche crust, poached mussels, baby bok choy, braised celery, wakame and dashi broth (R225). Roast Chicken Breast is accompanied by crispy chicken wing, liver parfait, salt baked celeriac, baby gem and toasted almond cream (R215); while meat lovers can tuck into Braised Beef Short Rib with beef tartare, confit leek, parsnip puree, baby onions and a rich bone marrow jus (R265). Vegetarian main is Sweet Potato Gnocchi with burnt apple puree, charred corn salad, spring onion, maple velouté and dehydrated apple crisp (R170).
Desserts are nothing short of sensational, bringing visual delight and sensory thrills. Sweets include whimsically named Walk in The Forest – wild mint pudding, truffle sorbet, forest berry consommé and chocolate soil (R105); Tropical – mango mousse, milk chocolate cremeux, hazelnut sponge, kiwi sorbet and coconut whipped ganache (R95); and Strawberry Mille-Feuille with strawberry pudding, white chocolate, and strawberry sorbet (R85).
Azure’ famous, exclusive Tasting Menus are available only if an entire table orders it, and there are 3 choices: Chef Christo’s Menu (five courses, R675), the innovative Taste of the Sea (four courses, R700) for Pescetarians, or Taste of the Earth (four courses, R460) for vegetarians.
Chef Christo ‘I want my guests to sit in Azure and look at the breathtaking view, smell the ocean, enjoy the thoughtful service and sample some of our delicious dishes. The goal is for them to leave with amazing memories from their dining experience with us.’
With menus and a location like Azure’s, I’d say he’s pretty much guaranteed 100% success in his ambition!