Josephine’s CookhousePosted: June 8, 2012
Let me start this post by saying I just love the buzz of a new restaurant that’s opened. The tweets, the reviews, the press releases, the new décor, and of course, it goes without saying- the food! There’s all the chitter-chatter of who, what, when where, how etc etc and if you’re a curious cat like myself, then we’re on the same page!
On Monday I had the opportunity to have dinner at Josephine’s Cookhouse. This new establishment has made its home at Josephine Mill (where Caveau used to be). It’s simple, unpretentious and homely, but with a classy ‘rustic’ edge. Although much of the décor hasn’t changed that much since Caveau operated in the building, it’s been softened a bit and almost looks less ‘cluttered’.
The French and Italian styled menu is rather small, which makes it much easier to order from. Starters include gorgeous regional dishes like baked semolina gnocchi which is out of this world (I hate using clichés like that but it really is!) Drizzled with an intense nutty brown butter and topped with a layer of parmesan and crispy fried sage- this was certainly a highlight.
Another starter which is sure to catch one’s eye, is the cauliflower cheese soufflé. Also heavenly rich and creamy with a definite cauliflower flavour. Perfect for a cold, rainy winter evening. Mains are a little bit tricky because there’s the option to go for pizza, pasta, or a selection of other meat dishes. Plus, there’s a separate specials menu that comes on a blackboard. It’s all a bit overwhelming. Especially if, like me, you want everything you see!
Luckily my dining partner is a big sharer and we opted to share everything, from start to finish. I love eating out like that because I get the chance to taste a little bit of everything. I’m the first to shove my plate in someone’s face with a loud, ‘you have to try this!’
First we sampled the gnocchi and soufflé and then decided to try the rib-eye off the specials menu. It came cooked to perfection with a handful of crispy chips (although the portion of chips could have been pumped up a bit, seeing as there was no garnish on the plate and no side vegetables etc.) I tasted a slice of pizza which had a lovely crispy base. The topping consisted of smoked mozzarella, anchovies and olives. It was extremely flavourful and I can see these being a massive hit on one of the many rugby days at Newlands.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to taste any pastas but I am certain that they are just as good. All the pizza bases and pasta’s are made fresh each day- after all, Stef says it’s ‘therapeutic’.
The dessert menu contains about 4 or 5 options but I was so full and chose rather to go with a coffee instead. Price-wise, the menu is reasonable and I would definitely go back. A great spot for a mid-week meal or a girly dinner with your BFF’s. (Did I tell you about the wine?!) Oh dear, I haven’t. Well you’ll just have to go and check it out for yourself.
And if it doesn’t suit your taste, I guess there’s always Spur across the road.
Boundry Road, Newlands
Tel: 021 712 1363
Oh, they have a website too but I think it needs a bit of work- doesn’t give one the right ‘look and feel‘ but that’s just a personal opinion.