After many years working in various kitchens all over the world, the last thing husband and wife team Luke and Katie Wonnacott wanted to do was open a restaurant. Once back in Cape Town, the talented chef duo were not quite ready to leave the delightful world of food behind them so instead, they decided to create the delightfully different Table Seven. The multi-purpose food venue in Salt River brings together elements of casual and fine dining, a chefs table experience, and a catering company to offer diners something oh-so-special.
Perhaps the coolest thing about Table Seven is that the whole space is open plan. It’s just a room with a kitchen and a beautiful, 20-seater wooden table. Decorated with furniture, art and crockery from artisans across Africa, the Table Seven space offers a blank canvas to host almost any event you can dream up. The homey, but minimalist space gives dinners uninterrupted views of the chefs at work in the kitchen and is ideal for everything from a chefs table experience and cooking demonstrations to special events like birthday parties, engagement celebrations, and perhaps even a small, intimate wedding.
Of course, it also helps that the space is filled with incredible food prepared by Luke Wonnacott and his team. I was first introduced to Luke’s simple yet elegant cooking style at the launch of Cape Town’s The Mess Resturant in 2016. Back then I said The Mess was one of my favourite new eateries of the year and it was all because of Luke’s inspired cooking. The talented chef has a way of packing oodles of flavour into seemingly simple dishes while also making them look like they belong in a fine dining restaurant.
After helping launch The Mess as the chef patron back in 2016, Luke moved onto a different kind of foodie space at Table Seven. A little less restaurant, a little more theatrical, Table Seven is the type of place where foodies will feel right at home. Here you can simply while away the hours as you watch the chefs at work, cooking up all sorts of delicious eats and treats for those lucky enough to watch them work.
If you’ve got something to celebrate I highly recommend booking a chef’s table experience at Table Seven. I was lucky enough to get a seat at a recent Chef’s Table experience and was blown away by the food and overall vibe of this incredible little space. Our lunchtime feast started with a lightly smoked Luderitz oyster served with watercress pesto, seaweed granita and oyster jelly followed by a bread course of oven-fresh baguettes served with olives, sardines, chorizo piperade, and duck rillette red with pickled beetroot, almonds & cranberries. The chorizo piperade was pure heaven and I’m officially starting a campaign to get Luke to bottle the stuff and sell it to me so I can smother it on everything I eat from now on.
Other highlights from the meal included a butternut, goats cheese & sun-dried tomato ravioli with salsa verde and pickled waterblommetjies as well as the main course of saffron and orange glazed lamb shoulder accompanied by whole roasted cauliflower with nori, cashew nut, caper and sultana beurre noisette. Pairing the ravioli with pickled waterblommetjies was an inspired choice and the whole roasted cauliflower that accompanied the lamb was so good it made me forget that cauliflower is pretty much the most boring vegetable ever (when cooked by newbs like me, of course).
The meal came to a delicious end with a morish Blueberry tart and hot-out-the-oven madeleines. The delicately sweet, fluffy madeleines were such a hit they couldn’t get them out of the oven fast enough for us to stuff them down our pie holes. Once again, Luke and his team were able to take a simple mini sponge cake and turn it into a taste sensation of note. In fact, these little baked delights perfectly summed up the menu prepared for us on the day — wonderfully simple flavours, elegant in construction, and oh-so-surprising!
Our meal was accompanied by delicious wines supplied by Publik wine and gin & tonics up by local gin distillery Hope on Hopkins. If you love unique, boutique wines then make sure you check out Publik for some incredible off-the-beaten-track stuff that will make your inner wine geek shriek with excitement.
Table Seven is available for private dining and events but if you don’t have 20 friends who are willing to book out the place with you, the great news is the spot is also open for lunch during the week! Table Seven is open during the day, Monday to Friday offering a dish of the day lunch and few deli items priced at around R65/R75 per dish. Some of the options on the menu so far have included items like Polenta and Lemon Crumbed Chicken Schnitzel with shaved fennel and potato salad, buttermilk mustard dressing (R75) and Fresh Pasta Fettuccine with sauce vierge (R70).
Find Table Seven at The Salt Orchard, Unit C5, Corner of Briar and Yew Street, Salt River, Cape Town. For more information check out their website here.