Thumbs Up/ Thumbs Down: Thumbs Up
Price Range: Avg. Price R90 (Dinner Menu)
Type: Trendy Brasserie serving high quality eats
Crowd: Mid 20’s – 50’s food lovers – keen for a treat
Day Of the Week: Thursday
Address: 165 Longmarket Street, CBD
Note: Dinner is only served on Thursday nights.
Dear Me, I would have to say has served me one of the top 3 most delicious meals I have eaten in Cape Town up to date. Without knowing the inner workings of the kitchen, I believe this quality food is produced by a single chef – Vanessa Marx if I am not mistaken – who obviously has a well refined pallet and knows what perfection on a plate looks like, so kudos to her.
Quality of the food aside, another stand out for me on the experience is the simplicity but at the same time, breadth of the menu. This is not a 4-sided, complex cacophony of starters, mains and desserts, but is rather a single, cleanly laid out A4 sheet, with a guide for those with all types of food requirments, allowing the customer to be able to tailor their perfect meal.
On the service side, I must admit, I had had a previous encounter with the waiter/ host of the evening “Sean” and so conversation extended far beyond simply what I would like to eat but rather ended up being a casual chat about life, partying and almost everything else – quite refreshing I have to say. I do hope that the experience I had on the service front is something which is shared by others as it makes the experience which is “going out for dinner” so much more than just the meal.
Another layer to this experience is the venue itself. Dear Me is situated in Longmarket street, which is a vibrant part of Cape Town, surrounded by backpackers, bars and live music venues. The energy which arises as a result of these venues, spills over in to all the surrounding businesses, of which Dear Me is normally no exception.
Unfortunately, on my visit, the restaurant was incredibly quiet and so were these surrounding venues. Had I been there with the intention of being entertained by those around me, I feel I would have not enjoyed the experience as much and possibly even been disappointed. It must be said though, that this cannot be blamed on Dear Me, this is just the temperamental nature of Cape Town nightlife. Thankfully I was there for a good dinner and good company, of which I had both.
I feel it is worth mentioning what other venues and attractions reside within the building in which Dear Me operates. The building contains 2 more levels, of which on the 2nd level, you will find an up-market restaurant “The White Room” which offers a sit-down 9 or 10-course tasting menu and on the 3rd floor, one of my favourite Cape Town bars, Tjing Tjing. I have a feeling that all three of these establishments have the same ownership and possibly use the same kitchen – genius.
Finally, it need be mentioned that Dear Me also do incredible breakfasts and lunches, for which I think they are even more popular, than their dinner service. I have never tried either of these experiences, but will certainly get around to doing so soon.
If you do go to Dear Me, go hungry, as you will not be disappointed. Potentially even pop up to Tjing Tjing after dinner for some warm-down drinks, just to finish off the experience.