Foie gras is torture, it's inhumane, it's ... heavenly. All my reservations flood away as I tuck into my fifth course at Cube Tasting Kitchen.
I spotted the Christmas pudding potage course in the middle of what should have been the main courses, alongside kudu, quail and seafood. Strangely, it works. It was, as my friend put it, Christmas in my mouth. The combination of foie gras and a purée of golden raisins and amaranth pops is as surprising as it is delicious.
The Christmas pudding is also one of chef-patron Dario d’Angeli’s favourite elements on the new menu, a rich and indulgent feast of 11 courses.
“We always try to theme our menus. Once, we did colours of the spectrum,” he said.
Cube opened in 2011 and is a small, intimate space that can host up to 30 people. The kitchen is open plan, allowing you to see the chefs at work. When a course leaves the kitchen so does the chef, explaining the dish to the table before allowing you to experience it for yourself.
A course called “olive oil” took us all by surprise when it arrived at the table and turned out to be olive-oil ice cream augmented by rocket, tomato and little onion beads that exploded with intense flavour. Other courses delighted with spring onion foam, asparagus jelly, hazelnut butter and spicy ginger candy.
But never fear — all this doesn’t mean you’ll be going home hungry. The richness of the main courses means that soon you’ll feel as satisfied as if you’d just finished a full Christmas lunch. Also, D’Angeli will not let you leave without filling you up on seconds of the game course if you’re still feeling peckish.
“I really just hope people will walk away feeling they have had a good meal and that it was good value for money. Hopefully, the three hours spent at Cube provided an interesting diversion from their daily slog,” he said.
Cube Tasting Kitchen is at Parknorth Heights, 17 Fourth Avenue, Parktown North. Dinners from Tuesdays to Saturdays at R550 per person; bring your own alcohol — there’s no corkage. Call 082 422 8158 or email [email protected]