When one hears the word “bistro” – hearty, full of flavour dishes come to mind. I even picture warm fires accompanied with a glass of red wine. That pretty much sums up Societi Bistro. Since 2003 (and a firm favorite amongst local Capetonians!) they have been offering a homely environment serving up delectable bistro-styled food made from the finest, locally-sourced, organic ingredients. They described their restaurant as more than cuisine – rather its a way of life – where guests take time to savor a meal and enjoy the company of family and friends.
Every season, Societi Bistro launches a new menu based on seasonal produce. I was privileged enough to be invited to the launch of their new winter menu. The winter menu will be available up until the end of August, so if you like the look of some of these dishes (Which I’m willing to bet money on will be the case!) then be sure to head to Societi Bistro sometime soon.
Interior of the restaurant (Picture taken from Societi Bistro website)
Before I dig into the ah-mazing food we tried, I’d like to take a special mention to the spectacular wine list Societi Bistro have on offer. They have over 50 wines on their menu, and every single wine is available by the glass. How incredible is that? If you’re like me and you like trying new wines but are nervous to try by the bottle incase you make a poor choice- then you’ll love this. And get this – they have wine from R18 per glass! When last did you see wine in Cape Town for R18 per glass?!
Societi Bistro Winter Menu
Starters are always a tough act because they set the tone for your meal. Well Societi Bistro don’t have to worry about that one because their starters knocked it out the park. My most standout dish was the the mushroom fettuccine with gorgonzola, crème fraîche, garlic and Grana Padano (R68). The creamy gorgonzola was so delicious with the mushrooms and garlic. I could easily order that dish as a main course!
The ravioli arrabiata with pomodoro, spinach, feta, olives, chilli and Grana Padano (R65) was also delectable! It had the perfect amount of chilli and the balance of saltiness coming through from the feta. I love anything tomato based (And I LOVE anything pasta!) so this dish was the perfect combination for me. The presentation of this dish was also so perfect – it looked so striking on the black plate.
I’m not personally a snails person, but they have snails on offer too. These are not your typical snails though! These are snails in a vetkoek ball with gorgonzola, oven-roasted garlic and lemon (R65). I will say that they were beautifully presented, but snails are just not my cup of tea.
Not pictured here (I think they were scoffed down too quickly!) was their bone marrow parsley and capers on a charred baguette. The flavour in the bone marrow combined with the capers was sublime!
Societi Bistro cater for every type of eater in their mains selection. Whether you’re a vegan, or are craving beef, chicken or pork- they have a dish for you. They have a great diversity in their mains offering. It was one of those situations where if you like all types of meats, you’re in trouble because you really won’t know what to choose. I’m definitely a lamb shank gal (and we had wine and a fire place, so lamb shank felt like a no brainer!) but when I took one look at the butter chicken curry (my other love in life!) I was smitten. The butter chicken is very reasonably priced at R87 and comes with the most delectable naan breads. I was seriously tempted to go into the kitchen and nick a few extras because I could have eaten a basket full. The butter chicken was perfectly flavored and spiced and the chicken was incredibly tender.
The butter chicken was absolutely delicious. Perfect flavours and I’m still dreaming about the naan!
Another showstopper was the Teriyaki Pulled Pork neck (R98) served with pancakes and salsa. I loved the teriyaki flavours in the pancake and the salsa was really good too. I’m usually boring and don’t always add salsa to my meals, but in this case I’m really glad I did because the combination was yum. It wasn’t too rich or overpowering, and was the type of dish that would leave you feeling very satisfied.
The presentation of the pulled pork dish was beautiful, and tasted incredible too!
For the carnivores out there they also serve fillet, sirloin and venison with a selection of sauces! They also have a vegan black bean hot pot with miso, coconut cream and basmati rice for vegans. I’m not vegan but it was really tasty!
Lamb Shank is the epitome of a hearty meal in my books. Mash, gravy paired with a glass of red wine. Bliss!
After our mains we were all pretty full but who doesn’t have space to squeeze in a little dessert? Societi Bistro have a selection of four desserts and each one hold their own. I’m definitely a cheesecake girl, so I naturally gravitated to that first. It was unbelievably creamy and smooth with a crispy crust. However the Creme brûlée came along and stole my heart. It was massive in portion size and so light! The vanilla taste came through so subtly. I’ll definitely be returning for another helping of that deliciousness!
It was a HUGE creme brulee and it stole my heart. TOO delish!
Also on offer is a delicious flourless chocolate cake as well as a lemon tart with a punch. If you love lemon flavors, you’ll devour this!
Some standout points of the afternoon for me were:
It was a spectacular meal but some of the things that stood out were:
- Their most comprehensive wine list and EVERYTHING is available by the glass. I’m not sure if I’ve seen that anywhere else before.
- The cozy setting. Fireplaces, wine and delicious food- what more could you ask for on a rainy day?
- The hearty portion sizes- the portions are very generous and you won’t go home wanting
- How knowledgeable the waitrons were on the wine list as well as the dishes and food pairing. I was asking loads of questions and each one was answered with enthusiasm and insight.
- That Butter Chicken – I’m going back for seconds!
- The sheer deliciousness of the puddings-I couldn’t pick a favorite as each one was equally yummy. I’m drooling just thinking about that Creme Brûlée!
So next time you’re in town and craving hearty food cooked to perfection, I think Societi Bistro should be your stop. Don’t go there in a rush though, you won’t be able to tear yourself away from the cosy fireplace and your delightful glass of red.