Summer in Cape Town is for beaching, gorging on fruit, and maybe nibbling on a coupl’a lettuce leaves – that heat! But the season for dining till your tummy aches is winter. Food specials abound, and if you’re not getting out and feasting for at least two months straight, you’re “Cape-Towning” wrong.
Of all winter specials in Cape Town, The Stack’s has to be one of the most impressive. Three courses for R235?! It’s daylight robbery. As in, you’d be holding them up. You could opt for two courses at R195, but why?? Best of all, unlike most restaurants who offer unmissable specials ONLY during the week, The Stack allows you to take advantage of them Monday to Saturday for lunch, or Monday to Thursday for dinner. So you have an opportunity for a languid Saturday afternoon affair.
If you haven’t visited The Stack yet, I urge you to use this special as an excuse to get there. Stat. The building is basically a huge mansion whose rooms have been decorated by someone who seems to be a ridiculously stylish Vogue editor, erring on the just-edgy-enough side of avant garde. Or something like that. The decor is eclectic, but also cosmopolitan, and locally aware. The walls of the bar and brasserie, of which were the only rooms I got to see, are adorned with some of the most gorgeous, but simultaneously thought-provoking art I’ve seen. The Stack also has a members only bar and lounge situated upstairs.
I began my lunch with a cocktail in the bar. Mainly because its dark teal walls and Barney purple bar stools drew me in. I requested the most popular drink, and was presented with both a cocktail and a show. The Rose-Lipt Maiden was mixed and smoked under a dome in front of my very eyes. Watching the bartender create it felt like watching an alchemist at work. And the magic was transferred to my palate, with the subtle and refreshing combination of rose liqueur, cranberry, and citrus making for the perfect pre-lunch perk.
With taste buds primed I moved into the brasserie where my first course of trout gravadlax served with roasted beets and avocado mousse was tiny in portion but mighty in flavour. The accompanying complimentary breads with fresh butter were endlessly delightful. When is a well-made carb not? Being that I’m transitioning to a more plant-based diet, I’m obviously hyper aware of the vegetarian and vegan options offered by regular restaurants. There were two available on The Stack’s menu.
I went with the mushroom and lentil cassoulet, which sounded a little more inspired than the aubergine stack. Quick note, don’t forget to browse the plats du jour on the other side of the menu! If I had spotted the mussels before placing my order I definitely would’ve gone with those. I’m still partial to the occasional bowl of crustaceans.
The cassoulet was so darn tasty, and offered a hearty depth of flavour not usually expected from meat free dishes. My favourite part were the well caramelised panfried mushrooms, which offered so much uber umami. My fiancé ordered the steak frites, which was tender, succulent, and cooked to perfection. The béarnaise was expertly crafted too.
Having ordered a fairly light starter and main, I was ready to give dessert my all. And that I did with a cereal-sized bowl of creme brûlée which was served with a giant ogre finger for a short bread biscuit. My fiancé’s chocolate pot was far smaller, but it had to be considering how very rich it was. By the end of the meal, I was bursting at the seams. Purely due to dessert! What a way to finish.
To book your winter special dining experience at The Stack, make a booking quickly and easily online.