Dash Restaurant & Bar is part of the Queen Victoria Hotel in Cape Town’s high-end Victoria & Albert Waterfront. For the most part, the waterfront caters to a distinctly affluent audience. This is where the well-heeled come to stay, shop and dine. As such, there are several world class hotels, shopping centres and restaurants to accommodate the needs of those who are used to nothing less than the very best. And Dash Restaurant certainly falls into that category.
Dash Restaurant is actually named after Queen Victoria’s favourite dog, but you would never guess that from the opulent interior. The ambiance at Dash is one of sophistication and refinement. Contemporary light fittings cast soft lighting over the comfy creamy leather chairs. The use of marble, glass and large dark mirrors gives a chic twist to the elegant space. Large tasteful paintings with an African inspiration add splashes of colour to the restaurant interior.
It is an intimate and exclusive setting, only seating 36 guests. The panoramic views are impossible to beat: the bustling waterfront and Cape Town’s iconic table mountain provide an entrancing sight, whether you are at the bar or seated in the restaurant.
The bar is an enticing space where diners can enjoy a drink before being seated at their table. The bar stools line the bar that is royal purple – of course. The extensive mirrors and double-sided fireplace add to the glamour of the location. You can sip on a glass of the finest wine or one of many single-malt whiskies on offer as you drink in the views. And then it’s time to sample the cuisine.
Under the expert guidance of Executive Chef Craig Paterson, you know that you are in for a treat. His passion and creativity is echoed in Executive Sous Chef Jamie Lee Dempster’s skills. The menu changes regularly, usually every few weeks, in accordance with what fresh local produce is in season and available. The cuisine is influenced by classic French cooking, but with a distinctly modern interpretation. These delectable dishes are always presented with a characteristic sense of drama and flair. The passion, knowledge and creativity of the chefs is clearly evident in the incredible menu that promises uncompromised flavour.
Although Dash is most popular for breakfast and dinner, I ended up having lunch there. But I was delighted to discover that the lunch menu delivers the same subtle balance and combination of flavours and textures. My starter was a fresh and flavourful honey roasted butternut and mozzarella salad with toasted pumpkin seeds and pine nuts. I followed this with the most incredibly delicious crisp prawn bruschetta with crustacean aioli, wild rocket and fresh avocado pear. However, the real star of the show was my dessert: a vanilla crème brûlée with poached black cherries. It was hands down the best crème brûlée I’ve ever had.
As one would expect in a restaurant of this calibre, it is not just the food but also the service that stands out. The staff were professional and attentive, anticipating our needs. The chef was also on top form, offering advice regarding our menu choices.
Dash restaurant is certainly well worth a visit. For the ultimate ambiance, it’s worth visiting on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings when an expert pianist tinkles the ivories on a sleek black baby grand piano for your enjoyment. It’s the very definition of elegance and refinement.