Ever since my husband and I had dinner in Bizerca a few years ago, it is one of the top French restaurants in Cape Town, we have returned to it every time we are in town, which takes place once a year when we come to visit my in-laws. This year was no exception. We invited a few of my husband’s old university colleagues and although they live in Cape Town permanently, none of them had been to this restaurant before.
I’ve witnessed this phenomenon on several occasions. A friend of ours who lives in Hong Kong, came to visit Sydney and was telling us about sites and places we never seen or heard of before. And when the roles are reversed and we become the visitors, we amaze ours hosts with the stories of our discoveries about their city. It seems that tourists are keener to know about your hometown than the residents themselves.
But back to Bizerca. The history behind this award winning French bistro has an interesting twist. Its owners, a husband and wife, used to run a very successful restaurant in Sydney, of all places, until in 2007, the couple decided to return to Cape Town where Cyrilla was born.
On previous occasions we happened to be seated outdoors in the brick-paved backyard but for the eight of us, they sat us at a table inside. Contrary to the laid-back décor of the backyard, the indoor space looks very moody, its ambience highlighted by the stark contrast of black colour walls, white furniture with a pop of red table accessories. Oversized chandeliers hung above the tables, casting a soft glow over diners.The standard menu at Bizerca is authentic French classic fare, however, in true bistro fashion, charcoal boards scattered around the perimeter of the restaurant contain the daily specials. The fresh produce is delivered daily and sourced locally. On this particular night, my eye fell on a dish that was called "Celebration of a beetroot" - a skillfully executed medley of beetroot sorbet, beetroot mousse, beetroot jelly and pickled baby beetroot garnished with fresh micro herbs.
For my main course I chose a pan-seared venison with mango and cucumber salsa with herb emulsion. The meat was cooked to perfection, tender and juicy with a slight hint of game flavour.
As for for my dessert, I chose Crepes Suzette, an old time classic. Traditionally, the crepes are served flat or folded on a plate. At Bizerca, however, they serve it in a shape of a parcel filled with tied up by a thinly sliced orange peel and filled with hot boozy and delicious sauce and secured with a thinly sliced orange peel tied up in the knot and once you untie it, the sauce would ooze in to the plate releasing its enticing aromas for you to enjoy.
Each dish was prepared with the utmost attention to detail, the presentation was superb, the taste sublime, the company was lovely and we had an absolutely marvelous evening.
So, next time you are planning to visit this lovely city, make sure that you reserve a place at Bizerca.
And may I suggest, book it well in advance.