This refreshingly uncluttered and airy space, is where city slickers can enjoy food that goes beyond the average city lunch grab.
The newest and tallest building in Cape Town – Portside, is a gleaming tower of glass and sits at the entrance to the CBD on the corner of Buitengracht Street. The ground level is occupied by a selection of restaurants and retail spaces, and in amongst these you will find Borage Bistro. This refreshingly uncluttered and airy space, is where city slickers can enjoy food that goes beyond the average city lunch grab.
Namibian-German Head Chef Frank Marks spent two years at the famous Fat Duck under the guidance of Heston Blumenthal. He brings this fine-dining experience to his own new venture Borage, named for his favourite herb (also known as the starflower).
The décor is contemporary and clean, which makes a change from the jumbled interiors often favoured by quirky Cape Town spots. It befits the venue, being that much of the traffic would be suited and booted office workers from the surrounding businesses. Borage’s continuously changing and seasonal menu offers meals with fine dining finesse, which can be fitted into a lunch break.
For lunch there is a changing specials menu, I opted for a pork collar dish, served with pommes dauphine, cabbage, tender stem broccoli and a wholegrain mustard sauce. The pork collar was extremely tender and flavoursome, and the pommes dauphine were absolutely feather light, with a crispy, golden outside and a smooth creamy inside. Positively melt-in-the-mouth. Although a big meal for lunch, it did not feel heavy or overdone and was in fact surprisingly light. The chicken pie, selected by my dining partner, was a crispy pastry basket, filled with tender chicken pieces, confit onions and juicy young carrots. The chicken was exceptionally moist, with flavour all the way through the meat – a feat in itself. The technique involved in the preparation of these meals resounded with every bite;
each component showed precision and purpose. It made a startling change from the usual lunch fare offered by most, and this makes it the perfect place to host clients for a smart business lunch.
The restaurant also serves breakfast and bakes all its own pastries onsite. There is also a monthly supper club, where the reigns of the kitchen are handed over to one of the sous chefs for the night. This lends itself to a wonderful learning experience, as well as a changing and unique menu each time.
It makes for a very pleasant break from the office during the week, and on weekends a sunny spot to watch the city go by while tucking into really well made food.
Visit Borage for a food experience beyond the ordinary. Expect beautifully plated food, full of delicate flavour and a subtlety that can only be achieved with fine-dining expertise.
Not your average lunch-time fare