Seven serves up a brand new dining experience in each week
George Jardine’s latest restaurant in Somerset West boasts an ever-changing à la carte menu, writes Kit Heathcock
Somerset West locals have something to celebrate – a new neighbourhood eatery that marries fine-dining expertise with an approachable à la carte menu. In the style of the French brasserie, it works just as well for a casual one-dish lunch as for a leisurely and convivial three-course dinner with friends.
Seven is the name, chosen for the co-incidence of it being George Jardine’s seventh restaurant in his chef’s career as well as its physical address. Tucked away off Main Street next to Proof wine bar at the Avenues Centre, Seven is something of a hidden gem, but word of mouth is already spreading and evenings are busy.
To liven up the rather linear space, there’s funky graphic art featuring lucky number 7, saturated colour on the walls, and an open kitchen.
Chef Brendan Thorncroft heads up the kitchen, having worked with George for seven years both at Jardine and Jordan Restaurants. His short à la carte menu changes weekly, keeping a few dishes that locals have already claimed as favourites, the generous thick Chalmar steak with luscious béarnaise sauce, and their signature mandarin and Grand Marnier souffle. Add a few oysters to start with and you have all the makings of a sumptuous feast even before you explore the menu further.
For starters when we visited, a beetroot cured salmon came with a rousing chorus of flavours – fruity beetroot puree, pickled blackberries and earthy broad bean pesto, the broad beans from a community vegetable garden project just up the road. I also loved the subtlety of the pressed chicken terrine starter, surrounded by all my favourite spring vegetables – asparagus, peas and artichoke puree.
Steamed hake with parsley was an unexpected delight: the parsley-rolled fish and potato dauphine on a fresh green gazpacho of cucumber, avo, zucchini, leeks, with dots of aioli and parsley mousse hidden among it for a dash of richness.
Generous portions leave you well satisfied and after the substantial Chalmar steak with chunky cut chips, indulging in dessert was pure greed. We shared the Grand Marnier souffle anyway: billowingly light it was served flambéed in liqueur at the table with ice cream subsiding into it, a fitting finale to an eminently satisfying lunch.
This article was originally published in the Sunday Times Neighbourhood: Property and Lifestyle guide. Visit Yourneighbourhood.co.za