The Shortmarket Club in Cape Town, led by the ever-inventive Wesley Randles is offering a generous three-course ‘autumn to spring’ prix fixe lunch menu and an introduction to some smart young winemakers from the Swartland.

The daily spread will be determined by available supplies but if menu items on launch day were anything to go by, at R280 this is unbelievable value for fine dining money.

From the two starter options I chose the perfectly balanced, spicy ‘Sumac crusted tuna’ with preserved summer tomatoes, saffron XO and burned baba ghanoush, followed by the ‘Oxtail ragù pasta’ main with fennel, burnt butter and parmesan (Listed as R270 as a main plate menu item). Suitably hearty for a winter’s day, Randles plays with this old-school dish, presenting the pasta as a light ruffled sheet atop its rich, meaty sauce. Dessert was a tough choice and although the ‘Persimmon and rhubarb crumble’ was totally scrumptious, I found it a bit heavy after the well-portioned courses that preceded it. I also experienced crème brûlée envy when my neighbour’s arrived. Appropriately named ‘For the love of baked cream’, Randles performs the final caramel firing at the table.

For an extra R80 you get a sizable carafe of limited edition wine to accompany your meal. With luncheons at this rate, who needs a business expense account?

8 Shortmarket St, Cape Town City Centre. +27(0)214472874. theshortmarketclub.co.za

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