There are no traditional menus here, and no traditional waitrons either. What makes Chefs unique in a highly competitive restaurant industry is not only their classy, simple, and bold approach to food, but the innovative, pared down dining experience they offer.
The outside is stark white and adorned with a bright blue “Chefs” banner – the only indicator that something intriguing lies within. The inside is contemporary and minimal, ensuring the food and open-plan kitchen are the stars of the show.
Orders are placed upon entering via an iPad station set up at the welcome counter. Patrons browse the daily items presented on the iPads, and then pay before taking a seat in simple metal chairs in front of slim pine tables. From here it’s easy to gawk in fascination at the fine-dining style professionals at work on the other side of the restaurant, where the kitchen hums rhythmically with calm and concentration.
The menu changes daily and consists of three main meals, and one dessert. A limited selection of wine and beer are available, as well as a Chefs homemade beverage, which happened to be a refreshing plum and elderflower concoction when I visited. Once settled, our food arrived incredibly quickly and was presented on large metal trays with dips and troughs for food placement. Think canteen cool, with a sophisticated twist.
I opted for the pulled aubergine, fennel, and tomato salad, which came with satisfyingly crunchy crisp breads, parsley pesto, and a side salad of olives and feta, which I found to be an odd and unnecessary addition. Overall my dish was packed with flavour, but for me a little tart and over dressed. The heavily marinated olives didn’t offer any respite either. Besides this, all the ingredients were well cooked and prepared. I particularly adored how soft and velvety the aubergine was.
My dining partner ordered the BBQ lamb cutlets, which came with “straw chips,” mint tzatziki, chilli salsa, lemon preserve mayo, and a chopped baby greens salad. The lamb was exceptionally well cooked to a tender medium doneness, and the barbeque sauce was lip-smackingly moreish. The third menu item available on the day was a tempura prawn and asian slaw combination, which proved to be a very popular choice, and evoked in me a furious feeling of envy.
Chefs offers patrons fine dining style food on-the-go, which is a unique concept in Cape Town. There’s no need to browse long menus, and attempt to decipher among the jaron what exactly each item consists of. The food at Chefs is simple, but well prepared, bold in flavour, fresh, and elegant. Chefs is open Monday to Friday, 12pm – 8pm for fast but sophisticated weekday lunches and dinners.