Chefs Ware­house & Can­teen

Getaway (South Africa) - - Travel Bites -

When food-writ­ing col­leagues drop into town, this is one of the first places I take them. It’s not bound by a par­tic­u­lar cui­sine but de­fined by chef-pa­tron Liam Tom­lin’s per­fect tech­nique, and se­cur­ing a ta­ble is pos­si­ble if you un­der­stand the terms of en­gage­ment. They don’t take book­ings, the kitchen closes at 8pm, the menu is set and the ex­act of­fer­ing fi­nalised each morn­ing and served as trays of tapas for two (R560). In the case of small-plate eat­ing, I’m quite happy re­lin­quish­ing my free­dom of choice or else trust­ing a pro­fes­sional. The ex­pe­ri­ence is both con­vivial and care­fully con­sid­ered, with dishes ar­riv­ing in three dis­tinct waves that make sense as a be­gin­ning, mid­dle and end. Light­ing is bright,

seat­ing is com­mu­nal – in the form of low stools lin­ing long, nar­row ta­bles – and Liam’s cook­ing is con­sis­tently ex­cel­lent. When he owned Banc restau­rant in Syd­ney, the Syd­ney Morn­ing Herald Good Food Guide named it Restau­rant of the Year, and his kitchen was de­scribed as an in­cu­ba­tor for ta­lent. As far as the lo­cal culi­nary scene goes, Liam is one of our great­est as­sets, yet he has kept a rel­a­tively low pro­file. He never as­pired to build an em­pire but as he en­ables and in­flu­ences a new gen­er­a­tion of chefs, ‘The Tom­lin Ef­fect’ is in­evitable. And it ex­tends as far as the Kruger Park, where he’s work­ing with Sin­gita at the re­designed Le­bombo Lodge. Open week­days for lunch and din­ner (un­til 8pm), Satur­day for lunch only. 92 Bree Street, Cape Town CBD. 021-422-0128, chef­sware­

BE­LOW In­side Chefs Ware­house on Bree Street, where shelves are stocked with any­thing from rose petals to Korean chilli. RIGHT A tray of tapas at Chefs Ware­house. From top: car­rot risotto, oc­to­pus carpac­cio and rab­bit ter­rine with liver par­fait.

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