With its enviable rooftop position and polished aesthetic, FYN is the realisation of a decades-long dream; Peter Tempelhoff’s answer to gourmands’ insatiable search for the epitome of culinary je ne sais quoi. But people will certainly want to define it. Fine dining aficionados who think they’ve seen it all may think again after visiting this landmark Cape Town establishment.
Tempelhoff has enlisted two of the best operators in the business as his partners. Running the show are executive chef Ashley Moss (Tempelhoff’s former head chef at Greenhouse) and general manager Jennifer Hugé (former La Colombe general manager). Together with Tempelhoff and a team of passionate caring staff, they’re wired to exceed the expectations of every diner.
Expect a completely different kind of fine dining experience though, where the lines between kitchen and restaurant are blurred. Chefs stand shoulder to shoulder in the generously proportioned, immaculately designed open-plan kitchen, providing diners – particularly those fortunate enough to be seated at the The Kitchen Counter (FYN’s version of the Chef’s Table) – with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culinary production unfolding in front of them.
What’s more, in addition to the world-class cuisine and bespoke interior design by Studio A, FYN – the Afrikaans word for fine (“I also like to think of it as the better half of the word Fynbos,” says Peter…), showcases unrivalled views of Lion’s Head and Table Mountain from its rooftop position.
Tempelhoff says FYN is an urban restaurant for people who don’t have a lot of time, offering “a menu with as much flavour and texture in a shortened version as you would expect in a long tasting menu”, served in the Japanese kaiseki tradition.
With dishes such roast quail with barbecued eel, tea preserved pear, parsnip and shiso gracing the pages of the extraordinary menu, diners can expect the unexpected. “Simple in execution, but a dish that hits all the right notes – it’s incredibly balanced and very delicious,” says Tempelhoff.
The FYN Canapés from Bento are also delicious; expect a fantastic mix of freshness and richness in each bite. The crispy and chewy rice with white fish, aged soy and wasabi furikake is a real example of just that. The daikon expressed in four different ways: ‘Shio koji pickled daikon, gardenia fruit daikon, cherry blossom salted daikon, three-year daikon’; is another dish Tempelhoff feels will win over foodies. “It’s an amazing exploration of texture, flavour and umami- even if you don’t like radish, you will enjoy this experience.”
Downtown and sky-high, FYN promises to set a new culinary benchmark for gourmands in the Mother City.
Tuesday – Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday)
Lunch 12pm – 2pm
Dinner: 6pm – 8.30pm
Reservations via: www.fynrestaurant.com
New Year’s Eve: ‘The Experience’ launches on New Year’s Eve – Tempelhoff and Moss’ bold new approach to the classic tasting menu. Booking essential.
Architecture: by Flux Architects
Interior design: Studio A
Address: 5th Floor, Speaker’s Corner building, 37 Parliament Street, Cape Town
About the building:
The historic Speakers’ Corner is located on the corner of Church Square and Parliament Street in the heart of the CBD. It consists of two heritage buildings; the three-story Church Square building, erected in 1898 and the five-story Parliament Street building, erected in 1928. The buildings formed Speaker’s Corner, designed by the firm of Parker & Forsyth. The two buildings were linked in 1967 and renamed Creative House. The Speakers’ Corner building has been sensitively restored by Urban Lime to offer businesses a unique creative office space, layered with history reflected in its design. The interior spaces, designed by InHouse, Robert Sherwood Design and James Milborrow Projects, include features such as original timber floors, exposed brick walls, fireplaces and large windows or balconies.
Photography by: Bruce Tuck