by Matthew Sterne
on January 9, 2013
The new location is in Heritage Square just off Bree Street. Once the province of the Caveau wine bar, the courtyard is one of Cape Town’s quintessential quaffing spots.
The lingering smell of Dulux was in the air when I arrived with my parents on opening night. It was the last night of their holiday, so this was a bit of a gamble.
On our family holidays, afternoon naps (Happy Hour) succeed long boozy lunches and G&Ts by the beach replace museum tours. Our best intentions of cultural edification and sightseeing disappear as quickly as the first bottle of wine.
At first glance the wine list at Bizerca was a little limited and quite pricey, but I’m sure that was just an opening night constraint. We ordered the Raats Cabernet Franc which is actually the perfect partner for most dishes.
The menu oozes primordial, Gallic excess. Like a nosy truffle-pig I tasted everything at the table. Mopping up sauces that didn’t belong to me and stealing forkfuls with abandon. Think bone marrow, red wine reductions, hearty broths, lamb stews, tongue, truffles and porcini mushrooms. Chef Larent Deslandes’ signature dish is probably the braised pig trotters with seared scallops and truffle oil – this is a really good dish which is neatly presented – don’t fret about guilty Babe flashbacks.
Sourcing the best and freshest ingredients is crucial for Deslandes, as is their origin. Fresh fish is delivered daily, small local producers are staunchly supported, and the pork comes from happy/blissfully ignorant, acorn-fed pigs at Joostenberg farm. These are dishes that would have Asterix and Obelix guffawing with lip-smacking delight. Immaculately presented gastronomic savagery. But there are also dishes for the more missionary palates – fresh asparagus, succulent kingklip and a superb beef fillet.
Pudding is mandatory. There’s a Tarte Tatin that will leave you content to leave this mortal coil. And you won’t go wrong with the signature trio – tangy raspberry sorbet, chocolate lava pudding and white chocolate crème brulee.
All in all Bizerca was a gamble that paid off handsomely and the ideal place to spend the last night of our holiday. So if 9 course tasting menus aren’t your thing but you still enjoy great food and wine in a relaxed, vibey and sophisticated venue, then get to Bizerca. It’s a popular place, so be sure to book in advance.
Tel: +27 (0)21 423 8888
98 Shortmarket Street, Heritage Square, Cape Town.