Entering the unassuming monochromatic space
I was expecting simple dishes with very little frills, foams nor fuss.
I had heard that La Tête, translated “The Head” was being ushered in as a French inspired nose to tail styled eatery.
Fitting given that Chef Giles Edwards had spent the better of 10 years in the similarly styled spots, from an initial stint at 1 Lombard Street to St John Restaurant – Fergus Henderson’s famed dining venue in Clerkenwell, London and in 2013 in the midst of Safari with brother James Edwards the duo decided this is a culinary concept they wish to conceive back home, in the Cape.
Moving to Decemebr 2016, a month in, we were seated at a table for two, four short stemmed “wine glasses” lay lined up to be lapped with what was an impressive local wine list that offered a fair amount of glass servings and of course the bottled offerings too.
Cultivars are curated from across the Winelands to include wines from the likes of Alheit Flotsam & Jetsam, Crystallum Peter Max to boutique Bordeaux’s by Nico van der Merwe.
As with the simplistic decor the menu, which changes per seating, is plainly printed on paper with a selection of starters that varied from “brave” choices such as pigs tails with aioli to classics such as (muscles white wine and garlic) moules mariniere to the french as well as the crispy pork cheek and chicory. True to its description.
A dish I dashingly devoured, rich pork umami fatty flavours were cut with tart capers, the surprise crunch of crisp crackling made this dish absolutely more-ish and the cheeky chicory made me imagine it was a salad and thus couldn’t be considered too much pig, considering the pig tails that were just ravenously finished moments prior.
The table along side us chose a similar style of eating, meandering the menu by ordering numerous plates as they gained faith in the dishes, James suggestions and of course the talent that was Giles respect for every morsel of meat, fish or farm fresh vegetable that garnished each boastfully branded piece of custom crockery.
Mains were meatier with offerings of Lamb’s liver with bulbess roasted garlic and charred pearl onions, peas and smokey lardons of bacon and green list Gurnard with Chard and Anchovy.
Simply plated from what I saw as the plate past by. The fish selection changes often, as it should, depending on what the fisherman message Chef Giles with in the morning.
We knew this and as his (Chef Giles) brother James worked the room both educating guests on the concept and conception as well as the obligatory “are you enjoying your meal”
A rhetorical question I felt given the manner in which we Frisbee-d the stark, scrap-less plates with not a single morsel nor reminiscence of what once was, much like the carcasses that come in through these doors. Gingerly worked into dishes that would make any pig, cattle or vegetable farmer proud used top to tail, nothing going to waste.
La Tete and it’s Family run team are welcomed addition to a food society that is surrounded by over complicated concoctions. I revel in the chefs passion for and respect for his business and proud plates. I can not wait to return.
Opening Times: Tuesday – Saturday for Lunch and Dinner
La Tete | 17 Bree Street, Next To True Italic | Contact +27 21 418 1299