Yesterday, 6 February 2018, I was invited to join in on Chef Marnus Scolly’s Summer Menu at Clico Restaurant. I was literally counting down the days till I could experience this because I always drive past Clico and think, ‘I should come here one day’, but life gets in the way, until yesterday.
From the security guard outside who helped me navigate my way into the restaurant, to the chef himself and the waiters — the reception at Clico is the best yet. It’s always amazing to walk into a place, genuinely feel so welcome and, although it is a boutique hotel and restaurant, feel right at home. Aside from the warm welcome, the colour scheme and decor of the overall hotel is so elegant. Full disclosure, I’m also definitely biased because it’s a similar colour scheme I’m busy putting together in my home (more on this in a later post, maybe). Basically, the homey vibes are deliberate and transcend from the parking lot, to the dining area, and the garden. Stunning.
After enjoying some bubbles in the garden area, we were led to our table to dive into the summer menu. Chef Marnus Scholly put together a gorgeous menu with impeccable reinventions of some classic meals we all die for. For starters, we were served Chilled Cucumber Soup. When I heard the name, I internally pulled the upside-down smiling emoji face, but oh sweet Lord my palate has never been so tantalised! It’s such a delicate and fine dish that I rolled my eyes back in sheer delight. Best part is, it’s so unexpectedly good! AND it comes with salmon, I die for salmon anyway, talk about fate right?
We moved on to the Pork Belly, my first pork belly experience in life was terrible so I always picture fat when I hear the name. However, this experience has certainly changed my impression about the dish, thanks the Chef Scholly’s take on it. Paired with the Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc, my standards on how pork should taste have levelled up.
I’ve always had a mild obsession with asparagus and I could never quite understand why. Needless to say, the times I’ve prepared it for myself were all put to shame when I tasted the chef’s Asparagus and Barley. I literally felt like I’d been living a lie, it was so good. Served with artichoke crème, pea, cucumber and mint — it’s a whole new world ladies and gentlemen!
Eating quail often feels like a moral hazard especially since I used to be vegetarian for reasons aligned to the guilt I feel at the thought of eating tiny birds. However, there was absolutely no guilt involved in devouring the confit Quail and mushroom ravioli served with beetroot, goat cheese, and port sauce. I know, I’m the worst former vegetarian under the sun but you should taste that quail, it’ divine. And the ravioli is a nice touch, lovely balance and bursting of flavours.
When it comes to lamb, I can easily forget it exists, doesn’t phase me much. BUT, I can’t quite stop thinking about the Braised Lamb in Caul fat. I’ve been thinking about it for an abnormal time anyone should think about food at all. The dish definitely had some other X factor to it that I can’t quite comprehend, that plus some lingering nostalgic flavours in there, brilliance on a plate.
For dessert, my all-time favourite part of any meal as you already know, we had… wait for it… we had flipping Lavender and Blue Berries. WHAT? Mind-Blown! We’re talking burnt butter and sage ice cream, served on cinnamon soil. I feel like as usual, I must mention that typically, I LOATHE cinnamon anything, but Chef Scholly’s cinnamon soil, I’m a little more than just good with it. The overall dessert — incredible. Although I have not been mentioning all the wine choices paired with the meals, they were phenomenal, HOWEVER the Nederburg Noble Late Harvest paired with this dessert, is a bottle I need in my home, NEED!
For the most part, I feel like the images here do more justice in articulating how amazing this summer menu is, but for a true description, you simply have to go experience it out for yourself. No really, you need to before summer ends. What’s better than fine dining at the house next door? Treat yourself and your loved ones at Clico Restaurant ASAP. While you’re at it, be sure to visit their website, like their Facebook page, and follow them on Instagram. Definitely show some love to Chef Scholly on Instagram, you haven’t lived till you’ve tasted his creations.