As much as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, a lot of us do and sometimes you miss out on something great. Funnily enough, restaurants do it too. You think they’re a certain kind of cuisine, but are really completely different – like Jackal and Hide – while it looks like a bar from the outside, sure to serve pub grub, it actually has an experimental SA-based contemporary menu.
I’ll try everything with big words in the description.
So off I went to Jackal & Hide to try out their Monday night special: two main courses for R140 – but obviously I needed to try a little bit more.
First off, we had taster portions of a few of their starters. Tenderstem Broccoli (R45) in an orange and sesame tempura served with soya mayo kicked off the night. The broccoli was perfectly cooked and the tempura was delish. It tasted like broccoli, rather than just something covered in tempura.
The Duck Spring Rolls (R65) with Shitake mushrooms, red wine reduction and herb cream cheese. The rich duck, earthy mushrooms, sweet reduction, creamy and salty cream cheese and crispy spring roll worked beautifully together.
Very cute Shepard’s Pie Beignets (R55) served with light pea puree and lamb jus was a real treat. They’re pretty much round versions of the original. The mince was moist but still crunchy.
And finally, my favourite starter was the Braised Oxtail (R60) which was ABSOLUTELY divine. The slow-cooked oxtail, removed it from the bone, then rolled it, crumbed it and fried it – served with parsnip puree, parsnip chips, oxtail jus and a tomato and chilli jam. This was the most stunning starter, and a really interesting take on serving traditional ingredients.
For the mains, my friend had the Fish of the Day (R125 but R70 on Monday) served with smoked brinjal, olive tapenade, roast tomato, yogurt cubes then drizzled with a basil oil. The fish, although not pretty, was delicious and cooked to perfection. All the flavours worked brilliantly together, and I especially liked the smoked brinjal. The yogurt cubes, weren’t cubes though, they were dollops – which I preferred. I often find that food is put into shapes and foams and “caviar” and this and that for no reason other than to say that it is.
I had the stunning 250g Sirloin (R135 but R70 on Monday) served with baby veg, caramelised onion puree, jus and an almond foam. The steak was amazing and they listened when I said, “I like it rare, very rare”. The veg were great, the puree added a lovely sweetness and the almond foam was – well, you know how I feel about foams.
Finally, we shared the Strawberry and Passion Fruit Profiterole (R55) or éclair was a great ending to a great meal. The profiterole itself was dotted with chunks of sweet white chocolate, with passion fruit custard between the two, then topped with a light vanilla ice cream and blue berries. It was everything I wanted it to be.
Their menu may read a little on the pretentious side, but at least they are trying new things and having fun – and I will take interesting, different food any day, over a restaurant stuck in a rut. The view, the great staff, the great specials and the vaaaibe (Durban accent) make it a great addition to the Cape Town restaurant scene.
PS: Having a party? Ask them for platters of their starters. Very affordable.
PPS: They make a mean Bloody Mary, but when they offer to grind pepper into it for you, let them – or you’ll end up looking like this fool:
Directions to Jackal & Hide
108 Kloof Street
021 424 1020