DINNER WITH A VIEW AT THE FOUR SEASONS THE WESTCLIFF HOTEL
Having been closed for an extensive period of time, Four Seasons The Westcliff Hotel reopened with a new owner, a refreshed facade and a classic contemporary feel, including a few new gastronomic destinations, one of which is a restaurant with a supreme location: View. The Sandton Times set off to experience the cuisine of Chef Dirk Gieselmann, former executive chef of three-Michelin-starred French restaurant L’Auberge de l’ill.
It’s been on the ‘To Do List’ for a while and a dinner at View at the Four Seasons The Westcliff Hotel is the perfect reason to go see what the revamped hotel looks like. Not all too much has changed, and yet it has. The iconic village setting against the hill with golf carts shuttling guests up and through the streets of Four Seasons The Westcliff Hotel remains, except for a big glass elevator, destined for Flames (an elevated eatery open for breakfast, lunch and dinner) and the actual hotel rooms themselves, that have taken on a contemporary and clean look.
The main attraction for the night is View, the restaurant next to the famous Polo Lounge at Four Seasons The Westcliff Hotel, where an aura of simplicity and sophistication enchants the bar area on arrival. Takunda in a distinct Four Seasons The Westcliff Hotel grey suit takes care of some pre-dinner drinks and a comfortable spot at the bar. Anura Pinotage in hand, set to soft jazz music, the bar starts filling up with some notable names.
The table is ready and Takunda leads the way. The dinner menu, is set out as a 3-course or 4-course experience with or without a wine pairing. Prepare to spend around R690 up to R1290 per person depending on your selection. First off, it’s a fabulous selection of fresh rolls with two divine butters – one infused with mustard seeds and the other with lemon. There’s no way not to ask for another helping.
With such a distinct variety of fresh bread for the table, it is hard to say no, needless to say, ask for a second one. Even the German guests at the next table asked for another dip in the basket.
As an hors d’œuvre, Chef Dirk Gieselman sends out a Puccini Mushroom soup with a Parmesan topping, served in such a way that it resembles a Cappuccino. A delicious start to an evening of culinary rapture.
The course salt and pepper served in elegant joint silver bowls, resembling a pod or leaf, with exquisite serving spoons, was an absolute favourite on the otherwise minimalist table setting.
For starters, it’s garden pea royale with seared langoustines in a light almond broth and crisp Parma ham stick. A deliciously creamy broth with a touch of the most distinguished of crustaceans, makes for a heavenly opener.
For mains, it’s an all-time personal favourite. Duck done in two ways – kroon duck roasted on the bone, with a small strudel of confit legs and dates with pistachio, safraned couscous and mild spice jus. Beautifully presented and equally as enjoyable, the juicy duck with crispy skin is delicious with a lite jus and countered by soft duck meat in crispy pastry.
The third course is a classic cheese board with a selection of local and imported premium cheeses matched with some grapes, walnut bread and preserves. A cheese lovers treat!
To close a decadent evening of beautiful dishes, the dark chocolate pastilla with caramelized mango and tahitian vanilla ice cream is an exquisite finish. The dark chocolate oozes out of the creme-brulee like-crust, blending with the sweet fruit and creamy ice-cream as only a dessert lover can appreciate.
The few hours of dinner theatre are over and its time to grab a golf cart back to the parking at the entrance to the Four Seasons The Westcliff Hotel. A walk down the hill, back to the car would probably have been better for the waistline, but a little tempting indulgence never hurt anyone too much.