The main floor is at the heart of Mondiall, with Tempelhoff’s kitchen flowing naturally into the central dining area to allow direct interaction at all times. The use of black leather, antiqued mirrors and herringbone pattern textile in this part of the building references back to the glamorous ‘old ways’, while showcasing a confident contemporary reinterpretation – much like Tempelhoff’s cuisine. The Mezzanine floor meanwhile features a Chef’s Table for up to 20 guests which, with the aid of shutters especially imported from a demolished plantation in Argentina, can be transformed into an exclusive private dining area. The outer layer of the restaurant makes use of back to back banquet style seating, using tobacco colour leather, light herringbone and a lightly tanned timber, while the long bar area extends onto a wrap-around deck with café style seating to make the best of glorious summer weather.
Set in a breath-taking setting, parading magnificent views of the harbour and Table Mountain, a stunning venue.
Our round wooden table was neat and the furnishings comfortable. The cutlery and crockery were perfectly matched and appropriate for fine dining with a practical utility value. The service was good and not intrusive. A waiter brought a board of freshly baked bread with a crispy crust, a small dish of hummus and a tablet of butter.
The wine list was good - adequate but not vast and well selected wines. We ordered a carafe of Vondeling Sauvignon Blanc and the combination blend of Boschendal's Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It would have been nice to have had these wines chilled. Instead we ordered some ice and added the ice to our glasses of wine - something that no good wine lover would do, but it was all we could do to cool it down - and the wine stood up to the adulteration.
My first course was Seafood Ceviche. It was beautifully served, a great presentation and a delight to eat, consisting of a multitude of flavours. I identified the calamari, mussels and other raw fish. The dressing was tart and the blending of flavours was good with the added flavour of the sesame seed biscuits on the side. The Boschendal blend added to my enjoyment and was a good pairing with the food.
The others had a Caesar Salad which was with fresh ingredients and very tasty. The egg (reminiscent of a scotch egg), was a nice touch. It was nice and soft with a runny yolk. The Waldorff Salad looked good but was over salted.
My main course was trout (Paisson du Jour). Again the eye appeal was good. I turned the fish over leaving the skin. It was a bit too dry and would have been better if it were hot. I also would have liked a slice of lemon as I had in my previous dish. I thought to myself that the wine was warm and the fish was cold. It should have been the other way around.
The other diners ordered Ramen Noodles, Fish & Chips and a Gourmet Hamburger and Chips.
The Ramen Noodles consisted of seared tuna, bok choy and mushrooms in a broth with the noodles. This was served in a nicely shaped deep bowl accompanied by chop sticks. It was very different, good - but not wow. The tuna was lovely but the noodles had a strange flavouring.
The old fashioned Fish & Chips was a nice piece of Hake and chips which came in a nice shiny copper pan. It really looked good and was enjoyed. The Gourmet Hamburger was served with a plentiful amount of golden brown chips and looked great.
I decided against ordering a dessert and ordered a decaffeinated coffee. I was thrilled to get it, not in the usual cup or mug but a beautiful glass of coffee on a nice plate. The coffee was beyond my expectations. It came to the table hot, good looking and very tasty (a great blend of coffee). This and the wine I ordered was the best part of my meal, although I did enjoy the Seafood Ceviche (but it was a bit small).
The others ordered Earl Grey Tea, which came in a nice metal Asian type tea pot, and a Cappuccino, which was also served in a thick beautifully shaped glass - looked and tasted good.
Overall the service was good and the restaurant was surprisingly quite empty for a Saturday night.
So, here's my rating out of 5 stars -
1. Pushing culinary boundaries; tantalizing taste buds - **** 4 stars
2. Gourmet menus with luxury ingredients - *** 3 stars
3. Appetising, fresh and flavourful food - *** 3 stars
4. Ambiance - *** 3 stars
5. Hospitality - ** 2 stars