Love Thy Neighbour Foodie Event
Take two Greek brothers, add a Cypriot-born chef, one amazing location in the heart of Cape Town, throw in authentic waiters, beautiful branding, great interior design and what do you get… (drumroll please) LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR.
This post is long overdue, just like an actual visit to the hearty restaurant (I know, bad Annie!). Luckily, I was not punished for my tardiness, but instead, hand-picked to indulge in heavenly food and drinks with a group of foodies alike.
Chef Nick Charalambous, who had just returned from a trip to Cypres, was filled with fresh inspiration and ideas and when asked about his approach to the menu, they explained using only the freshest, seasonal produce from small farmers in and around Cape Town, is their approach. This mind-set makes me feel very warm and fuzzy inside. I mean, one should be celebrating what mother earth gives us, there is no room for frozen or refrigerator produce in my belly.
Now take everything he said, and imagine all of that on every single plate. Yes, THAT GOOD! From traditional dishes such as the Taramasalata and Saganaki, to the more creative inventions like the Ricotta dumplings - all dishes were absolutely on point, and absolutely no leftovers were
What impressed me the most on the day, was how simple produce and ingredients were brought to life almost seamlessly. And because I know and trust LTN’s values that are carefully weaved into everything they do, I even put my fussy-foodie peeves away, and happily embraced Mr. Anchovy. (Who by the way, transported me to a dreamy Greek beach where I ordered this dish every hour on the hour.)
Aubergine fries, again, something ordinary, done extraordinary. Accompanied by whipped feta cheese, date molasses and sesame sauce. (Your next snack addiction right here.)
Show me a proudly Afrikaans girl that would not be gêk over a fire-cooking feature in the courtyard. The Greeks apparently also treasured this simple way of cooking and at LTN the fires are at the heart of all their cooking. The fire-roasted cabbage was one of my favourite dishes of the day! Also, roasted olives, where have you been my whole life? Warm, juicy, soft with orange, oregano and garlic seasoning - so simple, so perfect.
Did you know that LTN, situated on 110 Bree Street adjacent to St James Church, is a heritage site? I believe some of you have pondered whether the old beer garden became a soup kitchen or religious institution… Let me tell you, the Greek gods are definitely smiling down on this unpretentious and cozy restaurant. Brother duo Johnny and Viron are hands-on, involved and dedicated to running a smooth sailing operation. The food takes center-stage and therefore the laid-back, casual service style works really well. The atmosphere is inviting and sophisticated, without being intimidating.
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but goodness gracious the Loukamdes with orange blossom syrup and hazelnut chocolate ushered my go-to cheese platter dessert to second place. WOW! This traditional Greek donut-like dessert was the perfect ending to a picture-perfect Greek feast.
All in all, a wonderful experience.
Love Thy Neighbour is a great venue for a special birthday or an impulsive early dinner.
One word: delicious!