On this cold, gray PNW day, I’m dreaming of our time in South Africa and, even moreso, now that Ryan and I have embarked on the RP Diet, we’re dreaming of delicious food. I think I mentioned it a while back, but Ryan and I decided to make reservations at Belly of the Beast, one of Cape Town’s best tasting menu restaurants. Truth be told, we’d originally hoped to get reservations at The Test Kitchen, but their wait list is miles long and, frankly, we’re glad in the end that we got reservations at Belly of the Beast instead.
For those unfamiliar with tasting menus, a tasting menu is a collection of several dishes – usually between 5 and 6 – served by a restaurant as a single meal. Tasting menu restaurants are one of the biggest things in the culinary world right now because they offer you a really unique journey through a meal. Belly of the Beast is no exception. Located in Cape Town city center, this 20-seater restaurant led by Chef Anouchka Horn and Neil Swart delights visitors for both lunch and dinner. It’s a nose-to-tail eatery known for using only fresh locally-sourced seasonal ingredients, as well as sustainably farmed animals.
For a while, Ryan and I were eating meat-free, but I actually felt as though I had less energy than usual, so we added it back, which made for an even more amazing dining experience. That being said, if you are a vegetarian, there are meat-free dishes, and they’re nothing short of extraordinary. But, down to the nitty gritty. For dinner reservations, guests are required to pay a 50% deposit of R299.50 ($20.79). For those of us in the US, that’s a deal! Most tasting menus here in Seattle average $240 per person. We also chose to do the food & drink pairing once there, a deal in which the culinary team hand-picks drinks to go with your meal. Two words: worth it. We paid R998 all in ($70) per person.
If you don’t love foodie pictures, I highly recommend you scroll on, because here we go…
Our meal was six courses, and it consisted of the following:
Appetizer (bonus) – fresh mussels
Kabous #2 (eggplant on fresh bread) with vin du saison beer
Venison medallions with creation rose
Locally-caught hake with gruner veltliner
Greenfield’s beef tongue with spider pig grenache
Pap & vleis (cornmeal with meat) with doolhof pinotage
Desconstructed baked Alaska with Paul Cluver Elgin
You guys, I say without a doubt in my mind, this was the best meal we’ve had in our entire lives. Not one course was less than extraordinary. Each meal had a depth of flavor that we didn’t know existed, and the meal was extraordinary from start to finish – service included. If you’re looking for something delicious, this is it. Cape Town’s best tasting menu list is long, but Belly of the Beast is right up there at the top, and if you’re looking for something that’s just a cut above the rest (pun intended), this is it.