Situated on Hout Street next door to Savoy Cabbage is a new little wine bar and bistro, Bouchon. It’s a collaboration between Dorrance Wines and the owners of La Boheme & Engruna restaurants in Sea Point. It’s been open for 2 weeks and I had a chance to pop in and try it out last night. It’s only open Monday to Friday from 4pm until late.
It’s a lovely space, small but big enough to get a nice vibe going. It can seat maybe 30 people and it’s already popular so I recommend booking. As you enter the space, the open kitchen and bar are on the left and the tables are all to the right. At the end is a glass wall which separates the restaurant from the winery. Being able to see the wine barrels through the glass adds to the authentic feel of the place. The decor is an interesting combination of old and new. Raw brick, exposed wooden ceiling beams and a few vintage elements are juxtapositioned against modern, almost industrial elements such as the steel chairs, black walls and Edison bulbs. It’s a pity there is no outside area, which would be super popular in summer especially.
The food is focused on tapas. There were 15 available the night I was there, and just 3 mains for those that feel they really need a big plate of food. I love eating tapas style and having experienced the tapas at La Boheme I knew they would be good. I was not disappointed. We ordered the caprese salad (R52.50) which was lovely, made with good quality mozzarella cheese. Luckily the olive oil on the tables is good quality, local oil so I recommend you drizzle some over and add a crack of salt and pepper. the prawns with coriander pesto (3 for R72.50) were perfectly cooked and a lovely flavour that had me sucking the shells to get the last of it. Not sure they really need the pesto to be honest. The tuna crudo with sesame & coriander (R62.50) was lovely and fresh. The beef tataki (R58.50) was a favourite dish for us. The meat was cooked perfectly rare in the well balanced dish. Not sure why all the prices have to end with 50c, I find it quite strange. The last dish I tried was the bacon & rabbit ballotine (R58.50) which was tasty but quite rich. I don’t think it needs the bacon. Rabbit is a flavourful, even rich, meat despite being lean and the addition of the salty and fatty bacon makes it just a little too rich for my taste. Perhaps it was not the right thing to order with the other dishes we chose being so much lighter.
I thought the wine list would be focused Dorrance wines but there is actually a broad selection of well chosen wines at fairly reasonable prices. We enjoyed a Mulderbosch chenin for R150. There are quite a few international wines on the list for those with a curious palate. The selection of non-wine options is very limited, but they will be offering a short list of cocktails in the near future.
Service was keen, friendly and helpful. The tapas were brought out in batches rather than all at once which I didn’t mind as I like my food hot.
I had a great meal and I love the space, I think it’s a great new addition. We need more wine bars, especially since French Toast closed. I recommend you check it out.
See the rest of my photos here. Unfortunately all just taken with my cellphone.
Bouchon Wine Bar & Bistro
95 Hout Street, Cape Town
Tel: 021 422 0695