I cannot recall the last time I frequented the V & A Waterfront after dark. As a Stellenbosch resident I tend to stick to my neighbourhood once the sun goes down. Therefore it was a welcome change to head to Mondiall for an out of the ordinary Wednesday dinner. The buzz of the Waterfront was so nostalgic, and brought back many memories for me of playing around the iconic flag pole and chasing seagulls, whislt my parents enjoyed a meal under the stars.
On this occasion I was not chasing seagulls but walking hand in hand with Tim, towards the brightly lit restaurant, Mondiall. We were warmly greeted, and with welcome relief entered into the warm and friendly eating house.
We chose our table for the evening and settled in for a culinary experience. Clark our waiter for the night, introduced himself and made us feel relaxed and at ease. Purusing the wine menu, Tim decided on the Iona Sauvignon Blanc 2016 & I went for the Delaire Graff Cab Franc / Rose 2016 , a firm favourite of mine. The wine list was extensive and well balanced, with lots of options to meet many peoples tastes.
After some time sipping on our wine and enjoying the beautiful yet relaxed environment, Tim and I came to an agreement of what dishes we would order as starters. Mondiall's signature Fish Tacos with chipotle mayo, pico de gailo and fresh coriander was choice number one, an enjoyable dish with some great favours and colour, although lacking a bit of a punch - some more zest and chilli, for me would've rounded the dish off well. Followed by the Roasted Cauliflower with cauliflower cream, parmesan, green pesto & sundried tomato, a perfect vegetarian option, with great textures & a pretty plate visually. Lastly the Smoked Pork Belly with apple puree, kimchi & sesame was our final choice for appetisers. I really enjoyed this dish! Pork cooked perfectly, packed with flavour and well balanced, I found it hard to share this dish with Tim.
Tim being the seafood lover that he is, chose to enjoy some Mussels before our mains arrived. Garlic, Lemongrass, ginger & coriander was the flavour profile served with crusty ciabatta. The mussels were steamed gracefully, nothing worse when something as delicate as a mussel is disrespected. Tim inhaled the warm broth and mussels, willingly.
Moving onto mains, we had some difficulty deciding on which fare to choose. When I eat out, as a rule of thumb, try and order items I would not cook at home, regularly. A practice taught to me by my Mom. Sticking to this, I selected the Organic Lamb Duo - lamb loins, braised lamb neck - shaved vegetables and a minted jus. The lamb neck was delightfully cooked, and fell apart perfectly. The loin I would've personally preferred pinker and as I am a mint addict when it comes to that combination with lamb, a bit more mint through the jus would've been ideal for me.
Our enthusiastic waiter, Clark - highly suggested we try a fish dish, as Tim was drawn to the lamb curry. Oven baked kingklip with a parsley crust and a bacon & butterbean ragout was the fish dish we elected. Vibrant and green, a lovely plated dish but not quite to my taste. Tim's first choice for mains, the Cape Malay Lamb Curry with poppadoms, pickled lemon, fragrant rice & ratia was heavenly, a dish he would be sure to order again.
Dessert, was again a hard choice to make. It is not often I eat out and find it difficult to make decisions, as I am a pretty habitual eater. With Mondiall's menu I was challenged, in a positive way!
I always love a bit of citrus to end off a meal, I am not a fan of overly sweet desserts therefore the lime meringue with coconut, almond and fresh strawberries suited my desire perfectly. Light and refreshing, my perfect dessert. Not many South Africans I know can stay away from a Peppermint Crisp dessert! This peppermint crisp parfait with shortbread crumb and caramel ticked all the boxes, light yet packing flavour - the perfect after dinner treat. Clark, our trusty waiter suggested we also sample, Mondiall's famous Nutella Cheesecake. Im not sure many people would say no to that. It was delectable, the honeycomb was perfect, not a trace of a bicarb taste and the tart berries rounded the dish off well. The texture of the cheesecake was soft and the chocolaty base was chewy and moreish.
Our evening at Mondiall was delightful, as we enjoyed the magnificent sound of Yemanya. Yemanya, the talented all-female music ensemble, which is the birthchild of classical pianist Marleze Smit, is a fusion of global, groovy classics with touches of African influences making their sound truly unique. They will be live every Wednesday from 19h00 for the duration of Winter. Be sure to book your table for a Wednesday night, the perfect way to get through the mid-week slump and be inspired by Yemanya's charming tunes & Mondiall's appetising menu.
MONDIALL KITCHEN & BAR
Alfred Mall, V&A Waterfront
Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: +27 21 418-3002
Tel: +27 21 418-3003
Open Daily 10:00 - 22:00