A family celebration shortly before Christmas gave us the excuse to sample a highly acclaimed local restaurant. Roussouw’s restaurant guide describes it as, “a neighbourhood gem.”
Cargills, located in Station Road opposite the Rondebosch Metrorail Station, is a small and intimate restaurant catering to those seeking a superior dining experience. The décor is simple, uncluttered and elegant. A selection of artworks, many for sale, decks the walls. The lighting and colours are soft, creating a relaxed ambience. Its size and popularity with local residents makes reservations essential.
The way in which you are welcomed and shown to your table on arrival and the very professional service immediately tells you that this is not an ordinary restaurant but one that takes pride in providing a special experience in the art of fine dining. The menu is small but with enough variety to satisfy most discerning diners. Three of us selected the recommended Camembert in Phyllo pastry starter and one of us chose the back mushrooms. A Thelema Sauvignon Blanc, a favourite wine of ours and a recommended special, was chosen to complement the starters. Everyone agreed that the preparation, presentation and flavours of the starters were excellent.
The house speciality is their slow roasted duck. This was the choice of two of our party. I preferred the recommended special of the day, a beef fillet in a wine and bone marrow sauce. The fourth member of the party chose an ostrich fillet. A selection of roasted vegetables and potato croquettes were served with the main course. The cooking is traditional with a French influence; fresh top quality ingredients cooked with flair and subtlety. Carol’s roast duck was adjudged “the best I’ve had.” My fillet was perfectly cooked to a delicate, moist pink, as requested, and delightfully complemented by the subtle flavour of the sauce. Some of the ostrich was apparently not as tender as it should have been but it was well prepared and enjoyed. We were recommended another wine special to complement the main courses, a Diemersfontein Pinotage. This was not a wine I know and I am not normally a lover of Pinotage but having accepted the recommendation I was not disappointed. It is a superbly well-rounded wine, smooth as silk with a lovely fruity nose and a lingering chocolate and coffee after taste.
Throughout the evening the service was attentive but discreet and extremely professional. The cost for the four of us, including wines was R880,00. This is by no means cheap but considering that it included two bottles of top quality wine and four truly memorable meals I consider it excellent value.