Banana Biltong Dessert at Towers Restaurant

I left Towers Restaurant so full that it’s literally taken me this long to digest the food and write this post! 😉 But really, I was so spoilt at their private media event where 10 of us were treated to Executive Chef Henrico Grobbelaar’s latest menu. I sat with Leanne Johnson-Robson (Sales & Marketing Manager), Greg Sparke (Director of Operations) and opposite Nina from Easy Cooking, who is SUCH a lovely person, it became like a dinner for two! Thanks for the great experience Nina 🙂

Across the meal, there were some really fun and new ideas with a lot of technique used to create colourful and flavour filled dishes. Here’s what was on the menu:

Starters at Tower Restaurant

The evening began with 3 flavoured butters and some golden toast. I think at this point, you’re stick of hearing about my love of bread and butter so I’ll just stop here. The picture can do all the talking:

Course 1: Cardamom Orange Cured Salmon

Avocado, wasabi mayonnaise, peanuts, pickled cucumber, roe vinaigrette were the main pillars of this dish. Not being a seafood fan, I was surprised by the delicate flavours, with the orange segments being the surprise of the dish. The wasabi mayonnaise was awesome, I’d love to have this on a smoked dish! 

Course 2: Tuna/Springbok Titaki 

Sweet corn relish, guacamole, cilantro vinaigrette and – tuna! BUT, because the chef heard that I don’t eat seafood, he mixed it up for me and I’m SO happy he did. Here I have springbok in the tuna’s place and the dish was still delicious. I LOVE the presentation and it was fun having corn “dressed up” in Mexican flavours, it was really delicious.

Course 3: Prawn risotto

Prawn tail, Parmesan, tomato, cilantro, chorizo – again, no prawn for me because I don’t eat seafood, but I still loved this vegetarian dish. Chef was not messing around with the Parmesan risotto, which was rich, creamy with a touch of crunch from the Parmesan “biscuits”. I wouldn’t have minded it a TOUCH loser, but set against the earthiness of the rainbow carrots, it was still divine. I love risotto, I really do – especially when it’s cooked well, yum!

Mains at Tower Restaurant

There is a fish of the day, but we skipped straight to the lamb.

Course 4: Lamb Loin

Lamb shoulder tagine, smoked chickpeas, butternut gremolata, tahini emulsion. This is my favourite kind of dish. Meats cooked a few ways, textures that range from smooth to crunchy, perfectly cooked meat and an exquisite sauce, there’s not much more I can ask for. In this dish, the surprising inclusion of tahini emulsion seems SO obvious to pair with lamb, yet I’d never seen it anywhere else before and it makes perfect sense! Chickpeas and lamb! GREAT idea and it tasted so wonderful to have a smooth, subtle puree against soft, tender medallions meat. Delicious.

The smoked chickpeas also added a new angle to the dish which again worked really well. And, of course, I’ll never complain about a crunchy deep-fried meat croquet of some kind! The vegetable puree added a touch of lightness to the dish. 

Desserts at Tower Restaurant

Course 5: Caramelised Banana

Main pillars in this dish include milk, crumble, skin, salted caramel ice cream, savoury fudge toffee and macadamia nut grate. I’m not a big raw banana fan but LOVE cooked banana. Toffee, chocolate, fudge, caramel is where my heart lies so this dish may have been the dish of the day for me. And the surprise element? BANANA BILTONG!

No, it didn’t have biltong seasoning, but chef had dried it out and it was really something new as it was still in its skin. Sliced to about 2mm, it was sweet, chewy and a great edition to the plate – you could also snap it easily which didn’t make it too difficult to eat.

The salted caramel ice cream was to die for and chef even gave us a pot of the salted caramel to take home, SPOILT! It was DIVINE! I LOVED the blocks of banana as well as the macadamia nut grate – fun, original and delicious.

Course 6: Layered Dark Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate crumble, cinnamon frozen cream, blue berry gel, vanilla meringue. This dessert was more like a chocolate cake and honestly at this point I was ready to order an Uber large to get me and my tummy home! What a FEAST!

A Note About the Service

I must also add a note about the service on the night, which was fantastic. I thought I could eat all the seafood dishes but as soon as Leanne picked up that I was struggling, she notified the kitchen. I’ve realised that this is what good hospitality is about. I know there are customers that will complain come high or hell water, but there are often people like myself who don’t want to be an imposition so we ‘make it work’ and actually, it does affect our experience. So thank you for that.

Our server was also great, the hostesses at reception as well as the door men. They are friendly, smart but not cheesy. The staff at the Marriott definitely up the game of hotel staff in Cape Town.

Thank You For Having Me Towers!

My only criticism of the experience would be the plating. Some just worked better than others. For example, the circle of corn, LOVE it! Looks amazing, eats well. Not such a successful plate up would be the salmon. I just feel a few of the elements are too far apart on the plate, just needed to be a little more collected.

If you’re looking to go somewhere a bit different, head to Towers Restaurant at the Marriott Hotel in Century City. Have a drink in the David Kramer private lounge or on their incredible terrace swimming pool balcony, followed by dinner at Tower’s Restaurant.

Thank you SO much to the Tower’s Restaurant team for having me. It was a fantastic evening and if I had to pick 3 dishes to have again they would be the 1) Lamb/Springbok and Corn, Risotto (I’m a sucker!) and the Banana Dessert – all exciting visually, in flavours and in taste. YUM! Thank you also for the delicious take away:

Chef Henrico, Leanne, Greg & Me

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