Mondiall Kitchen & Bar, Cape Town
The restaurant scene in Cape Town is looking a little nervous. Competition has always been stiff in this city, known for some of the finest restaurants on the continent, but when a master chef decides to open a restaurant in the heart of the food and entertainment hub (the V&A Waterfront), then things get a little hotter in the kitchen, so to speak.
Late last year, Relais & Châteaux grand chef Peter Tempelhoff (he of The Greenhouse restaurant fame) joined up with international restaurateur Patrick Symington to launch Mondiall Kitchen & Bar. Tempelhoff knows the value of good people, and roped in Oliver Cattermole of Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa fame as part of the team. The food is a new spin on traditional best-loved meals and culinary classics, and is served in a contemporary brasserie setting with gorgeous views of the harbour.
We did a little Q&A with Tempelhoff to find out what makes Mondiall so popular ...
Why a restaurant at the V&A Waterfront? This is a departure from your other restaurants, based at hotels
I know, it does seem a little different to the five restaurants in The Collection ( The Collection by Liz McGrath) ... but that’s why it works and that’s why it makes sense – because it is so unlike the others. I love the V&A Waterfront ... I know that most locals would go if there was a reason to go. Mondiall K&B is away from the rat race of the mall and has the best views of the mountain in the area. Also, if you park strategically you can nip in for a bite and a drink and sneak out while avoiding the crowds.
How has Mondiall been received?
The local support has been phenomenal – we have been doing good numbers and have seen countless guests return. Cape Town was ready for a place like Mondiall Kitchen & Bar – simple food done well in a really cool environment with competitive prices.
Cape Town was ready for a place like Mondiall Kitchen & Bar – simple food done well in a really cool environment with competitive prices.
What is the food philosophy at Mondiall Kitchen & Bar?
Our summer and initial menu was a take on all my favourite brasserie-style dishes from around the world – we paid homage to the world’s great plates! Our autumn menu is more focused on tapas and small plates to celebrate the joy of sharing food with others, one of the most human things to do at mealtime. Part of this food philosophy, the philosophy of sharing, includes Mondiall K&B becoming the first restaurant in South Africa to join the Feedie revolution. Feedie is a foodie app with which diners take a photo of their meal and then download and share it with other Feedies, as well as with all their contacts. The restaurant that this picture was taken in then donates one meal for a child ... as simple as that! Feedie is a revolutionary way for food lovers to feed the four million underprivileged children in South Africa by doing what they do best – eating and sharing the experience! .
What should I try on the menu as a first-timer at Mondiall?
The fish tacos. We have had many people say they are the most authentic soft-shell tacos they have tasted outside of Mexico.
What do you offer that is different from other restaurants at the V&A Waterfront?
We have a very diverse menu with flavours from around the world. We have a small but amazing wine list with a great mix of classic South African labels and unique boutique wines, with nearly 40 by the glass (250ml carafe). We also have the Waterfront’s first ‘Chef's Table’, a private area that can seat up to 24.
Do you serve your own wine labels at the restaurant
Absolutely, we serve all my wines ... The Yardstick Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as the Marvelous range of blends: Blue, Red and Yellow. Paddy (my partner) and I personally tasted and decided on the entire list; each wine was chosen on merit and style. I am very proud of the wine list as there is something for everyone and the prices are very competitive.
Please tell us about the location?
There is no better site or space to do this type of restaurant. We have created three separate dining environments: the outer deck, where people can take in the sights and sounds of the waterfront and the mountain; the middle section, which is a little more café-style dining, where you still have great mountain views while dining inside; and the kitchen floor area, where you can see all the action in the kitchen while you eat.
Why should tourists dine at Mondiall?
Because it is unique in Cape Town. This city has many amazing restaurants and dining experiences, but this is the first time a restaurant like this has been seen where people can eat the food they crave (like burgers, fish and chips, tacos, crispy duck, steaks, tapas, Caesar salads etc ...) in a space that is so upbeat and happening. My sous chef very accurately described the food at Mondiall K&B as, 'The food that you always wanna eat but can’t find, because other places just don’t do it right!'
How will charity benefit from the Feedie programme?
As I mentioned before, Feedie is a platform where restaurant-goers can feed one of our underprivileged children while doing what they love doing (taking photos of dishes) ... and they don’t even need to open their wallets – we do that for them! Once this takes off in South Africa, which is only around the corner, it will benefit charity immeasurably!
Mondiall is open from Monday to Friday 9 am to 10pm; and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 10pm. It's best to book beforehand: +27 (0)21 418 3003.
Category: Food & Wine