Food and wine pairings are nothing new to the discerning foodie. Taj Cape Town, however, is adding its signature flair to the affair by hosting a range of exclusive dining experiences this season for all to indulge in.Introduction

I recently attended one of Taj Cape Town’s food and wine pairings, hosted in the elegantly mysterious The Vault, adjacent to the hotel. I chose to attend the Creation Wines night, as I’ve only ever heard of this vineyard, and I was very keen to try a new range of wines. I was also very keen on the girl’s night out this invitation held, as we all know that dinner at the Taj Cape Town always promises to be a night to fondly remember in all its sparkling glory.

In a bid to offer locals and tourists alike a chance at fine dining in a magnificent venue this season, Taj Cape Town has graciously paired their extremely talented Executive Chef and all-round nice guy, David Tilly, to a few excellent vineyards, for a line-up that will have you chomping at the bit.The dinners cost R495 per person and includes a welcome drink and canapés, followed by a four-course dinner. Each food and wine pairing session has been designed for a maximum of 40 guests, which allows for a much more intimate experience in the candle-lit underbelly of The Vault. It also guarantees a chance to informally chat and cheers with the winemakers themselves as you feast on delicious offerings from Chef Tilly’s kitchen.

The series opened on 29 June 2019 with a stunning collaboration with La Motte Wines. I attended the Creation Wines pairing on 26 July.  Upcoming pairing sessions are taking place on 30 August (Paul Cluver), 13 September (Anthonij Rupert), 4 October (Tokara), 25 October (Klein Constantia), and on 15 November (Simonsig).


The experience

Built in the 1920’s as a walk-in bank vault for the African Banking Corporation, The Vault lends itself beautifully to this intimate celebration of food and wine. Bathed in candle light and tucked away from the busy city centre, this is where you can indulge in a few hours of excellent service, mouth-watering creations and a selection of delectable wines.

Our night started off with a welcoming Viognier Rosé 2019 from Creation wines, paired with a few gorgeous rounds of canapés. As the room started to fill, the excitement was tangible, and the hushed murmurs became ever so slightly more animated as the diners glimpsed the menu and the display of wines.After a few opening remarks and a run-down of the menu by Chef Tilly himself, corks were popped and plates made their way down into the vault. Our starter was seared tuna with tandoori pineapple, avocado and passion fruit, beautifully paired with Creation Wine’s deliciously young Sauvignon Blanc 2019.

The entrée of roasted beetroots, smoked goat milk and crispy pork belly stole my heart in its entirety. Paired with Creation Wine’s elegantly textured Reserve Chardonnay 2017, I was in my happiest of places. A quick scan of the room confirmed the exquisite pairing as I could only see broad smiles and glasses being clinked mid-air.

The main course was as superb as the Reserve Pinot Noir 2017 it was served with. Aged beef filet, potato and cheddar millefeuille, braised kohlrabi topped with a red wine jus, this was honestly a full sensory experience. Self-confessed experts at Pinot Noir, this interpretation by Creation Wines made a flawless dining companion for the layered creation of Chef Tilly.

After a Taj-trademarked showstopper palate cleanser (without giving too much away!) it was time for dessert: vanilla poached pear, cinnamon shortbread, dark chocolate sorbet and caramel sauce, paired with probably my most favourite wine of the night – Creation’s Syrah Grenache 2017. A sweet ending to a great night of conversation, laughter and culinary stories.


In conclusion

Once again, Taj Cape Town has managed to turn the ordinary into something extra-ordinary with a sprinkle of magic on top. With these creative food and wine pairing events, they say goodbye to old, tired and conventional assumptions about food and wine, and invite you to play with your food and be surprised by the unusual flavour combinations. They are pushing the boundaries with their innovative dishes, without losing their authentic and honest connections to good, local food and wine.

A delightful evening that I would strongly recommend you book for soon!

Due to limited seating available for these dinners, it is highly recommended that bookings are made early to avoid disappointment.

To make a booking, call 021 819 2000 or email