Surrounded by artists, creatives, cultural homes and the aura of rejuvenation is a quaint 18 seater dining table in the midst of the rustic,hippy, Woodstock-esque town of Observatory, Cape town. A sidewalk entrance is lit by a dated, almost train station styled light box, illuminating the state of being pleasantly lost in one’s thoughts; as if a day dream you arrive at a dining movement aptly named, Reverie-Social Table.
A simplistic space that encourages for just a moment, one meal setting, forget about whether you’ve hashtag-ed your last Instagram post correctly, replied to an email sent to you frankly at 07h00 or checked in on Facebook the moment you walk through the stained glass doors, missing the hand made kokedamas discreetly hanging in the corner window.
Reverie Social Table asks you to take the time to enjoy the produce, that has been gingerly farmed, cultivated and ever so slightly played with by Chef Julia Hattingh to create a time when meeting strangers, in person, chatting and liking adventures that they had been on, in the flesh was no longer so far fetched and was actually encouraged.
Greeted by a scrummy local port that kissed away the evening’s winter chill, a smiling waiter and a well needed hug from chef, owner, receptionist, accountant, financier and my personal friend behind Reverie Social Table, Julia (My Chef). I was ready to finally experience a culinary journey with an old friend, le plus one and few total strangers, what could be more suited for this hospitality hedonist.
The above, our first course, a table favorite was served with Timothy White a blend of Chenin/Sauvignon/Semillion/Viognier
Every week/season, Julia makes Du jour styled menus that as with all good restaurants, depends on season, what produce is best on that day and creates a dish that very often resembles a vague memory in the Chef’s history of travels in training for this very moment, day, space that she literally has built with blood, sweat and I imagine a lot of wine!
The 5 course menu changes as do the complimentary wines that are paired, perfectly with each of the dishes. Our evening glasses were filled with a varied array of Franschhoek wines from a boutique winery called Black Elephant vintners. A newly formed coalition between a few business boys and some wine makers.
Black Elephant Vintners was born out of synchronicity, fortuitous friendships and a love for wine. Kevin, Raymond and Jacques joined skill and grit in a real endeavor to bring fun into serious wine making and to demystify the wine making process to all enthusiasts.
By eliminating the pomp and pressure commonly associated with wine and applying their raw passion, they created a range of wines with unique character that appeals to different desires, tastes and occasions – wine for real people.
The wines are playful in many ways and the winemaker has found a way to produce perfectly pair-able(that’s not a word surely) food wine that stand with a dish rather than competes, or “balances the fat with acidity” as many other eateries will often try and achieve with their tasting menus.
Julia has a passion for the wines she uses, as with all ingredients at the table, so wine pairing comes with a sporadic back story to the wines, their origin and how the wines came about to being paired with each course-not a simple feat, yet executed really well.
Each of the dishes were deliciously simple yet interesting enough to have a table of strangers discussing how they liked certain elements of each plate, proving one doesn’t need validation from social media to enjoy a meal. With a quaff and a swirl, conversation with accountants, a chef from abroad and some one in human resources meant indulging in what aromas they picked up in each glass depending on the course, and how the plates elements made certain flavour profiles more pronounced. Isn’t this why we choose to dine out? Certainly is for me!
Plate to plate, pairing to pairing I loved the honest journey of the evening, creative enough to realize you were enjoying a night out yet familiar enough to feel you may very well just be at home surrounded by friends with your own private chef who joins you from time to time to ensure you’re enjoying her fare.
I can not recommend this casually sophisticated, i know, how is that even possible, dining space enough. For 5 wine paired (large) courses, complimentary sparkling water and an arrival drink R500.00.
Seating is limited to 18 people and your space is bookable and payable in advance online: HERE
They are also open for lunch with a few lighter options which range from R35.00-R70.00 depending whats on the board.