The Westin Cape Town is one of the Mother City’s premier hotels. A favourite for tourists hoping to immerse themselves in the city’s beating pulse, it has everything you’d expect from a five-star hotel, including gourmet fare.
So I was surprised when walking into Thirty7 Restaurant to find it not bursting at the seams. Headed by chef Stephen Mandes, 2014 winner of the Ultimate Braai Master, it should be a jewel in Cape Town’s foodie crown. So why aren’t guests champing at the bit to reserve tables?
With a menu to rival award-winning restaurants, and service to boot, it ticks the right boxes. But Thirty7 Restaurant is in a conundrum of sorts. Previously, ON19, The Westin’s flagship restaurant, was situated on the hotel’s rooftop. Its breathtaking views was one of the reasons most guests visited. The restaurant’s philosophy of sustainably sourced, freshly prepared dishes is also what got it on the map.
Sadly, it closed in October last year. Thirty7 Restaurant is trying to emulate ON19’s ethos and uncomplicated menu. It gets this right, and probably even perfects its predecessor’s shortcomings. But it doesn’t have the view. Don’t let this deter you. The open-plan seating area overlooking the show kitchen provides ample entertainment.
Hotel restaurants are a dime a dozen, but finding a restaurant that gets the balance right in filling the brief and staying true to itself is rare. That’s why Thirty7 Restaurant has staying power. What Chef Mandes has done is eliminate the pretentiousness of fine dining and present a menu that is uncomplicated yet beautiful.
I recommend the wood-fired beetroot salad (small plates) and the local catch (main plates). If you have room for dessert, ask for the banoffee ice cream, which isn’t on the menu, but I’m sure they’ll make allowances – that’s how dedicated their staff are.
Address: The Westin Cape Town, Convention Square, Cape Town
Average price of meal: R160
Overall rating: 4/5