After a very long couple of weeks at work, we were given the opportunity to go and eat at Cynthia’s restaurant in Pretoria. Upon arrival we were greeted by friendly people and a really cool atmosphere, and were escorted to our reserved table.
First on our agenda was a bottle of wine, and Cynthia’s has a VAST selection of such things (they have a cellar!), ranging in price from around R80 up into the hundreds. We ordered the Asara Ebony 2005 from the menu (the actual bottle we received was a 2006, but no matter), which is a Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot blend. The flavour of this wine was fantastic, as could be seen by the rate that we went through it…
After our wine had arrived, one of the staff members approached us with the most mouthwatering description of the specials for the day. I have never salivated over a speech before, but hey, there’s a first time for everything…
For starters, I ordered the Venison Carpaccio from the standard menu. The waiter disappeared and we sat chatting. Soon enough, a different waiter appeared with our meals. Just when I was about to open my mouth to explain which dish went to who, the meals were placed in front of us in the order that we placed them, a big big thumbs up for the excellent service! The presentation was awesome, with three different meats, garnished with fresh strawberries, lemon and black pepper. This was by far one of the best carpaccio dishes I’ve had in my life, the flavours blended together to complete perfection.
For main course, I opted for one of the specials, black peppered sirloin drenched in a green pepper sauce, however I requested rump instead. The food arrived after a few minutes, yet again placed in front of each of us correctly before we had a chance to explain, so instead we just stared at each other in quiet bewilderment. Yet again, the presentation was outstanding, with separate veggies on the side (creamed spinach and pumpkin with cinnamon). The sides were divine, but were nothing compared to the steak. I asked for medium rare, which can be a quite a tall order at many places, but not at Cynthias. The steak I had should have been recorded as a world benchmark for medium rare!
Ah, dessert. Cynthia’s has a range of interesting desserts, including Crème Brûlée. This is unfortunate, as anyone who has been to dinner with me at a restaurant will know that if there is Crème Brûlée on the menu, everything else will be ignored entirely and I will order it. Cynthia’s was no different. The dessert arrived, yet again with the recurring theme of fresh strawberries (no complaints!). I always love when you can see that Crème Brûlée has been made there and then. The top layer of sugar was crisp and still piping hot (with some sugar as yet unmelted), while the texture of the cold filling was to die for. This was an awesome Crème Brûlée, and I would highly recommend it!
After dessert, it was time for a good brandy. The bar at Cynthia’s is well stocked, particularly in whiskys and brandys. I opted to stick with what I knew, and went for a KWV 10 year old served in a snifter. I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived and was being heated over steam! Inside the tumbler of boiling water heating the snifter, were 3 coffee beans. The airoma of these beans in the boiling water, combined with the fumes from the brandy, made for the most divine olfactive after-dinner drink.
I would highly recommend Cynthia’s for a great evening out. On the warmer nights, there is a deck / balcony where you can enjoy your meal in the open air. Their pricing is reasonable and the food is out of this world. All in all, our three course meal with drinks came to around R600, and was worth every cent.