Mondiall Restaurant, Cape Town
'Elegant, sophisticated, lovers of food, princes and paupers dining side by side'
Elegant, sophisticated, lovers of food, princes and paupers dining side by side” is Patrick Symington’s dreamy explanation of his new venture with business partner and highly decorated, Relais & Châteaux Grand chef and executive Chef at The Collection by Liz McGrath, Peter Templehof.
Set in the original (and now unrecognizable) Green Dolphin Jazz Restaurant location in the V&A Waterfront, the restaurant underwent a complete revamp – having been opened up so that it seems to be wrapped from head to tail in breathtaking views of Table Mountain. Just outside is the yellow frame of an initiative by Cape Town Design Capital 2014 which frames the natural design which makes this city so unique.
The partners met fortuitously when they were in competition over renting this stunning location, and luckily decided to have coffee together – the rest is Mondiall.
“Expectations are high when you have one of the most talented chefs in the land as a partner.” Patrick is honest about this, and the few teething problems they had as season time hit them before some of their suppliers hit the final nail. They have settled now, regrouped and had time to train their talented staff – many of them ex La Colombe.
From the wooden, rustic-chic deck with small trees dividing tables and lounging sections – a hint of Asoka on Kloof Street from yesteryear when Patrick owned it – to the simple, sophisticated elegance of the interiors which match Peter’s food, the scene is set spectacularly for one Cape Town’s hottest dining destinations.
The partners have chosen to use a team that Patrick has worked with before – architect Ali Kemali (Kemali Architecture and Design) and Simon Fraser, founder of Earthcote Paints (Simon Fraser Design & Consulting).
The result is fantastic, and apart from the beauty of the building, the restaurant definitely pays homage to the extraordinary natural beauty of Cape Town.
Patrick, with a twinkle in his eye, looks at the bar with sudden inspiration, “We need a wall of bottles behind the bar for visual impact and colour!” “Those flowers on the bar need to be more rounded.” These surges of inspiration are why Suzanne Taylor, ex La Colombe, says that the details are at the next level at Mondiall. The bar, by the way, serves the most delicious, fresh and unique cocktails.
With Patrick’s passion and creativity front of house, you can only imagine how ‘next level’ the kitchen is under the guidance of Peter Templehoff and head chef Oliver Cattermole (ex Le Franschhoek Hotel and Dash/Queen Victoria Hotel). Peter designed the menu, but apparently he is more than happy to step in and assist Oli when the restaurants packs in its capacity of around 180 people.
Peter says that the first selection of dishes chosen for the opening of Mondiall, are timeless classics. ‘They are my favourite things to eat, as well as to cook. I wanted to rediscover these dishes; I wanted to see them with new eyes and wanted to interpret them with different ingredients and new combinations – without losing their essence.’
‘Taking perfect dishes and tweaking them a little here and there, to give them a fresh look in order for them to have a little more relevance for today’s diner, was a challenge.
Oliver, Jodie and I put our heads down, did the research and development and have come up with a menu that I am very proud of… and I am sure there will be something for everyone on it!’
There is also an opportunity for a more intimate dining experience with Peter or Oli at the chefs’ table upstairs. This has minimum booking for 12 people and a 5 course meal will cost around R450 (with wine R750) per person.
They have kept the costs relatively reasonable with mains starting at R72 and endingwith the most expensive dish costing R345. The famed Umami Ketchup Cheeseburger made from Wagyu beef is under a R100 and breakfast costs from as little as R22.
Interestingly, you will see dates on the menu next to the list of classic dishes showing when they were first invented – as Peter said, these are classics with masterful twists.
Mondiall meaning ‘of this world’ is certainly a world I’d like to frequent very often, whether it is a Saturday morning brunch on the sun-filled deck or a dinner of Grilled Sirloin Café de Paris in an elegant yet relaxed setting. Mondiall is bound to establish itself as one of the more popular eateries, with not only seasonal tourists but also hardened locals looking for a treat.
Beautiful food in a breathtaking setting