Dining Review: Reverie Social Table – Cape Town, South Africa
Ever since we discovered FLX Table and Mosquito Supper Club, it has kept me on my toes to keep finding these special dinner clubs. The feel is so different and creates a memorable experience. With COVID, these dinners have been unfortunately less “social” but these spots are trying their best to maintain the elements of the supper club. After a lot of digging (and I mean a lot), I found Reverie Social Table and in reading the reviews (deep internet digging for this one!) and the website, I had a feeling this could be the next FLX Table and Mosquito Supper Club to add to the collection of interactive dinners .
We were so excited to dine here! Upon arrival, we were immediately greeted by Chef Julia the owner of Reverie Social Table and poured a glass of Pulpit Rock Brink Family Sauvignon Blanc as a welcome drink. Chef Julia instructed us to relax and enjoy while dinner was being prepared. The converted house featured a large entryway where a long dining room table was situated, followed by a small kitchen with two staff members working hard, then a lavish library with an enormous wall map, and then an outdoor patio space as well.
In true social table fashion, we met the other four guests dining here this evening. They all knew each other which gave a bit of concern for the ability to connect over our meal but we instantly hit it off. One of the couples was from Johannesburg and the other was visiting South Africa as a long study abroad but the woman was originally from South Africa and the gentleman was from Norway. They seemed to all be around our age and drawn to good food, good wine, good company – that is what is so great about meals like this!
Before we knew it, the dinner was ready to begin. We took our seats around the table and prepared for our dining experience.
A bread service was already at the table to start off the night while our first course was en route.
Tandoori roasted cauliflower
If I saw this dish on a menu, I would have 100% absolutely skipped it. Tandoori roasted cauliflower and leek soup, toasted nuts with spices, curry leaves and coriander flowers – too many words in there I associate with “hurt me” level spices. But wow was I wrong! This was incredibly delicious – the cauliflower was prepared perfectly and was so flavorful. The soup was also a star of this dish – all the feels of why soup can be such an amazing meal. I passed on my coriander flowers to Kevin but the toasted nuts added great texture to the dish. I could not believe I was sitting here raving about this dish – so delicious and super creative.
Lucky Luke – Chenin Blanc with Viognier
The wine pairing was actually a wine Chef Julia created! Named after her dog Luke, this wine was an interesting combination of Chenin Blanc with Viognier with the addition of a gold hue due to prolonged skin contact. This made for a full and tasty wine – I hope Chef Julia has the opportunity to distribute this wine more broadly – another project smacked down by COVID. What a treat to try this one of a kind wine!
While I definitely missed what type of fish this was, I do know it was pan fried on top of a pancetta polenta with truffle pearls, wilted spinach, red wine jus with fish stock. No surprise here with all these ingredients that this dish was simply wonderful. That jus really pulled everything together and there were plenty of each component to have in every bite. My only suggestion was to make the portion size a bit smaller – this was only the second dish and I was already getting full!
2020 Opstal Cabernet Sauvignon and Cinsault Blend
An interesting choice to serve red wine with our fish course but that is why we love these dining experiences! Mix and match flavors that may not traditionally go together but are incredible nevertheless. Even though it was a Cabernet, the wine was surprisingly light and fruity so it paired very nicely with this dish.
What a beautiful color of the meat! This was the lamb dish – Karoo lamb romp, a kale leaf pocket with lamb shoulder and rib inside with a mushroom puree, roasted aubergines all covered in a reduced jus. A very rich dish with lamb three different ways and two different preparations both showcased tender lamb. I was so darn full that I could not finish this dish knowing there were two more left! I felt so bad for not finishing but these dishes had a lot on them – it was delicious I just needed another stomach.
2018 Strandveld Vineyard “The Navigator” – Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Viognier
This was a crowd favorite – fruit forward but tannic to cut through the meat in the dish, making this an excellent pairing. Chef Julia explained that this vineyard was located near Cape of Good Hope so definitely adding this as a stop whenever life brings us back to visit there.
Goodness, it is so infrequent I make the mistake of consuming all the food before I take a photo of it (camera eats first) but I definitely messed this one up – I do not even have a picture of the empty plate! Goes to show you that the social aspect of this meal clearly takes over, which is a great thing. Just did not happen. But you have to trust that this was so super yummy. The cheese was a washed rind cow’s milk cheese paired with four types of citrus including clementine and oranges, and a side of warm honey with chili’s. At least I took good notes about this cheese despite forgetting to take a photo!
In addition to the cheese, we were also presented with savory scones with rosemary white pepper and bay leaf – do worry, I remembered to take a photo of this one!
2015 Wilde Haf Elgin Valley Riesling
As you know from reading these dining reviews, we love a good Riesling and this one was unique for many reasons but it is also one that is no longer in production. I admire how Chef Julia is so willing to share these precious wines from her collection with us – just incredibly special.
Dessert with Chardonnay Black Elephant Vintners and Co Brut
I was clearly distracted towards the end of the night because I did not take any notes on dessert assure you, I was plenty fine on the wine front – I think we were just so consumed in the convivial nature of the night that the note and picture taking just took a backseat which sometimes is not a bad thing. I do recall the wine here was bubbly so I would not have had much to say anyway as I barely sipped it but this dessert – oh my goodness chocolate heaven. I could have easily eaten another one of these! On top was chocolate ice cream, layered then by a cookie crumble and then on the bottom was a custard. I am kicking myself as I do not recall the custard flavor but it was definitely something that made my head turn as it did not seem like the type of flavor you would find in a custard or dessert. What a wonderful way to end the evening!
I was beyond thrilled that my DESKRIB Discovery exceeded all expectations – I love digging to find these unique experiences that really make a trip special and so memorable. Unlike FLX Table and Mosquito Supper Club, we actually interacted with the other guests which really elevates the entire meal – the benefits of a social club. If you are in the Cape Town area or are visiting, I highly recommend making your way over to Chef Julia at Reverie Social Table and let her take you on a culinary adventure.