Mondiall is the new restaurant in the ex Green Dolphin space in the Waterfront. It’s a partnership between Chef Peter Templehoff (Exec Chef of The Collection by Liz McGrath, including top 10 restaurant, The Greenhouse) and restaurateur Patrick Symington (Asoka). Head Chef is Oliver Cattermole (ex Le Franschhoek Hotel and Dash/Queen Victoria Hotel).
When the restaurant was still under construction I was invited to sample the Moët & Chandon brunch. I’ve reviewed that separately here.
I waited a few weeks for the restaurant to settle in and then returned to enjoy dinner there with a friend. It was interesting to see the place finished as it was just a shell when I was there previously.
In terms of design Mondiall captivates with visual and tactile references to a bygone era, much in the way of a classic European Brasserie. The natural flow of the space, combined with quality masculine materials and soft fabrics, brings out an understated elegance, creating a relaxed ambience that puts guests at ease as soon as they arrive.
– Ali Kemali, interior designer
The venue has different areas, each more suited to a different dining scenario. The main area in the middle houses the open kitchen and a bar. So this area will see the most activity, chefs cooking in the kitchen, waiters collecting food, barmen making drinks, etc. In other words, it’s the vibey part of the restaurant. The next section out is L shaped and has a larger bar on the one side and dining tables the other side. This section is a bit sheltered from the buzz and has a view outside towards the Cape Grace hotel, a good section for a quieter dinner. The 3rd section is the outside area. In front there are tables as well as couches, perfect for summer tapas and cocktails. Along the other side are smaller tables with a great view of the harbour and mountain, let’s call it the romantic strip. There is also a private dining section upstairs inside.
We started with a glass of bubbly (Graham Beck rosé – R45) at the bar inside and enjoyed the buzz. Watched the chefs in action and admired the decor elements. The double volume space creates quite an impression, especially with the ceiling high wine rack that has to be accessed with a ladder! The lighting in the evening is golden and soft, making for a very pleasant ambiance. We then moved to the 2nd section, protected from the buzz and exposed to the lovely view.
More photos of the venue available here.
Modern food today is based on dishes and flavours that have stood the test of time and are endeared the world over because they are simply delicious. Mondiall is a celebration of these treasured dishes.
– Peter Templehoff, exec chef
The menu is slightly more causal than one might expect, but with a broad offering. Casual diners could enjoy something as relaxed as the cheesburger & fries (R120). If you’re in the mood for spoiling yourself, you could opt for the seafood platter for 2 (R1400). To start, I had the seafood ceviche (R86) served with lime, sour cream panna cotta and a crispy sesame wonton. It was delicious, light, fresh and piquant as a ceviche should be. My dining partner ordered the soup du jour (R53) which on this day was a miso soup with creamed corn. It was absolutely delicious, but not very miso.
For mains we ordered ramen noodles with seared tuna, exotic mushrooms & green onion in a spiced broth (R132) and the potato & parmesan gnocchi with woodland mushrooms, semi dried tomatoes, rocket pesto and taleggio cheese (R125). We were both very pleased with out dishes, my dining partner thought the gnocchi was some of the best she has had and I loved the fresh flavours in my noodle dish.
For desserts we tried the maple & pecan pie (R68) served with milk ice cream and bourbon syrup, and the Cape Malva pudding (R55) served with buchu custard and salted apricot caramel ice cream. I was also tempted by the baked cheesecake (R62) and apple tart tatin (R60). My malva pudding was tasty but I would have liked it served hotter. I chatted to the chef and he said it should have been hotter.
The drinks menu offers a nice selection. Great to see some craft options such as beers from the Cape Brewing Company and Devil’s Peak. Also Inverroche gin, made in Stilbaai (yes, that’s correct, they are making gin using a still in Stilbaai). I’m very pleased to see that their bottled water offering is filtered tap water in reusable bottles. The wine list is quite extensive, offering several options for each cultivar, as well as blends. The cheapest white is R120, and cheapest red is R138. We spoiled ourselves with a bottle of Beaumont Hope Marguerite chenin (2012 – R322).
Service was great, even though we were a little bit around the corner. The waiter was competent and interactive. They use iPad minis to place your order directly into the system which speeds things up nicely.
Overall we were impressed with the experience. I’m keen to head back one balmy afternoon and sit on the deck with a cocktail in one hand and the other hand free to pick at the array of tapas I will order. I’m definitely going to be adding Mondiall to my list of best Waterfront restaurants.