La Tete

Yes, brains on toast.

It’s the very first thing that catches your eye as you peruse La Tête Restaurant’s menu and it’s absolutely no joke. Chef Giles Edwards doesn’t just stray off the proverbial beaten path at La Tête, he turns around and gives it the finger with his unorthodox menu!

Brains La Tete

The nose-to-tail dining revolution

The concept is simple and, moreover, a desperately needed paradigm shift in the way society views food. It’s called “nose-to-tail” dining and it means that the entire animal, literally from nose to tail, makes it to our plate; not just the popular cuts of meat we’ve become comfortable and familiar with. To illustrate, La Tête’s menu features such intriguing dishes as brains on toast, crispy pig’s tails, baked trotter (pig’s feet), and grilled ox heart.

La Tete

Aside from the fact that these meats – organs – bear serious merit as food (and are exquisitely prepared at La Tête), the philosophy underlining nose-to-tail dining is that nothing goes to waste. It’s an environmentally conscious philosophy and one that Chef Giles aims to drive home with his unconventional menu. Let’s face it: popular media and societal influences have convinced us that nobody eats brains, perhaps with the exception of zombies. And you’d have to be barbaric to eat an animal’s heart. Even liver is, to many people, “totally gross”. Yet we heartily tuck into beef steak, lamb chops, pork belly, and chicken breasts, legs, and wings.

La Tete

It’s environmentally unconscious to waste meat that is more than just edible but actually delicious and healthy. I for one think that heart is a beautiful meat and boasts a flavor that few other cuts of meat can rival. Having said this, La Tête Restaurant’s menu isn’t only an ode to entrails; it also features a plethora of other, slightly less controversial dishes, such as fish soup, roast quail, crispy pig cheek, and gurnard, as well as dishes even the fussiest of eaters would happily order, including hake, roast lamb rack, and several delectable vegetarian options.

La TeteHolding hands with local farmers and the Harvest of Hope

La Tête’s menu changes every single day depending on what local ingredients are available and in season. Chef Giles maintains fantastic relationships with local farmers and fishermen who will personally call him up should they, for example, have a fresh batch of brains, a catch of gurnard, or a harvest of celeriac. Using whatever’s fresh and available, Chef Giles concocts delicious dishes to add to that evening’s menu.

La Tête also supports an agricultural initiative called the “Harvest of Hope”, a community garden located in the Cape Flats. This initiative aims to facilitate the direct and personal delivery of fresh, locally grown produce to Cape Town’s restaurants, which, in so many ways, is better than ordering expensive ingredients from overseas. Why buy from foreign farms when we have such a bounty of local agricultural projects and farms that could use our support?

Rickety Bridge

Blazing new trails

I’ve never tried brains before and, truth be told, even I suffered from a serious spell of prejudice doubt prior to tucking into La Tête’s signature dish of lamb’s brains on toast. However, I found it tender and tasty, along with all the other oddities my partner and I tried that night. La Tête, without a doubt, offers diners an incredible experience and a totally fresh, much-needed perspective on food. All praise goes to Chef Giles Edwards and his team for having the guts, heart, and brains to blaze this new trail in Cape Town’s culinary scene and for having made such a roaring success of it!

We can’t wait to see what’ll be on offer on their coming Summer menu.

La Tête is open for lunch from Tuesday to Friday and for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday.

Phone: 021 418 1299
Address: 17 Bree Street, Cape Town
Website: www.latete.co.za