A new boutique guest house called Purple Rayn launched in Cecelia forest of Constantia not too long ago and it may surprise you. I know you may be thinking fancy picket fences and greenery for days with some ancient building that the settlers lived in. Nope, think huge multi-story modern house with a twist. Purple Rayn’s décor is inspired by phantom of the opera; you’ll find the owners dresses framed and hanging on the walls, I kid you not. They have a spa, two restaurants, function venue and a sushi and cocktail bar.

We were invited to the Phantom Taste room to try the Asian-influenced menu created by executive chef Warren Carney. Previously working at Madame Zingare and Kloof Street House, travelling around the world and experimenting with different flavours, you can tell Warren knew exactly what he was doing when he created this outstanding menu. It’s more of a tapas style menu which is changed quite regularly. I am vegetarian and it catered well to me.

For the cold plate starter we had a Japenese style bread and mayo dish. Comprised of an egg yolk, truffle and parmesan dip with micro greens with a slice of bread. You need to mix the egg into the dish making it a mayonnaise.  It was delightful, an unusual dish but brilliant, priced at R45, it’s definitely worth it. The flavours are crispy and tangy, I could use with some more!

My next dish was beautifully finessed with white asparagus; truffle; teriyaki onion and a gohan cracker. It may not look that appetizing but it was my favourite dish of the evening which costs R75. It’s a unique burst of flavours that work so well together. The gohan cracker adds a bit of crunchy saltiness and the truffle adds richness but just the right amounts!

The following cold dish for the other guests was Ostrich dish and I was presented with a watermelon dish. Hardly looking like watermelon, it looks more like sashimi, this dish surprised me in a good way. I loved the refreshing watermelon with soy sauce and the soft melt in your mouth goats cheese along with the sesame see cracker. The combination of flavours worked amazingly well.

Sushi can be hit or miss in general but the bean curd vegetarian sushi I was served was mouth-watering. Fresh ingredients with hints of carrot; mayo and truffle mushroom I could not be happier. My mouth is salivating just thinking about it.

The hot dish made up of smoked aubergine was not to my liking, I always find smoked vegetables to be too intense for me. It may just be my own taste buds but the guest I took along did enjoy her quail dish. It was served with mortar dish with a delicious ginger, cucumber, pickled daikon and salmon roe for you to mix up. I may have eaten this mix unknowingly oops!

Indian cuisine has to be my favourite of all time, after all it’s what I known my whole life. The next hot plate was a sweet and sour chickpea dhall and paratha(R55) with raita or an Indian yoghurt mix with cucumber mix was tasty but I expect my curry to be abit more spicy. The flavours worked really well but I am just a Durban gal when it comes to my curry; it needs to be hot and spicy.

Next up I had a miso dashi ramen noodle dish with shitake, wakame, charred corn, spring onion and egg (R75). As a ramen lover, I have to admit it was average, not the best ramen I’ve had but not that bad either.For dessert we had a trio selection of ginger honeycomb cheesecake; white chocolate ice cream with miso sesame and orange; and coconut passion fruit, mango and raspberry panna cotta (R65) each. My favourite was the coconut panna cotta because it was refreshing after all that glorious food! I am not a cheesecake person, I like my cake sweet not cheesy. But they were all alright I think the other dishes prior to this blew me away a bit more.

We finished off with a chocolate and wine pairing which I think is available at the rooftop bar. Overall, I enjoyed the food and the décor may astonish you out but it’s worth it for the freakily amazing food. If you are looking for something different, check out Purple Rayn in Constantia – https://purplerayn.co.za/.