I first ate at KGS in January and left feeling deeply disturbed – for once in my life, I couldn’t eat everything that I wanted because the space in my stomach was not enough; the flavours were too magnanimous, I was full after my starter. I let the team down. I made a mental note to tackle the menu again and this time cease to eat for 3 days prior to my visit. It didn’t help, again my tastebuds were beaten into submission and I didn’t have space for anymore food.
However, the defeat is a yummy pill to swallow.
Here’s what transpired on round 2….
KGS is Japanese (if the name didn’t already spell it out for you), beautifully modern and pristine from the outside. The interior is a harmonious blend of bamboo, soft lighting and snug tables. It’s owned by Scott Wood and it was voted the best Asian restaurant by Eat Out in 2014 – they are currently running a great menu special.
The Winter Special is R170pp which includes a glass of wine and 3 courses. As far as specials go in Cape Town, this is one of the best. It’s filling. It doesn’t look like a scaled down version of the usual menu options and you don’t need to order anything else to compensate (even though I did because I have a thing for Tempura). The options on the menu are:
First course – Miso soup with mushrooms, tofu and seaweed | Warmed Scallops | Tuna Tartare
Second course – Rice with special fish | Sauteed noodles with prawns | Sauteed West Coast mussels
Dessert – Black sesame seed ice cream
As you would expect from Japanese cuisine, there is precision, the presence of serious amounts of umami and simplistic ingredients that have been combined in such a way that an explosion of flavours happens.
The warmed scallops were my choice and aside from looking beautiful, they were succulent and incredibly moreish. The tuna tartare was Mr H’s choice, served alongside crispy noodles; the combination of textures and the freshness of the fish was a rounded success.
The special fish is a dish of rice topped with Kingklip and gently steamed Bok Choy. It’s therapy in a bowl. This is soul food at its very best and it’s one of KGS’s best sellers. The softness of the Kingklip with the slight crunch of the green vegetables, the touch of acidity from the rice vinegar with the sweetness of the rice itself – brilliant matches. Addictive matches.
Mr H had the prawns and noodles and it’s generous size meant for a very content partner.
The dishes are held together by generous amounts of sesame oil and are seasoned liberally with something other than salt and pepper…maybe it’s the lemon that they tell you squeeze over their SEXY Tempura which is probably the best delicately battered vegetable dish on the continent; crunchy, non-greasy and the perfect combination of salt, sweet and umami (It’s not on the special menu but I had to order a plate).
Then came dessert, a single scoop of creamy, nutty ice cream that managed to be both light and notably superb for those with a sweet-tooth.
For drinks, KGS makes killer cocktails – a lot of them have Gin in them which makes me very happy – and whilst their wine list is small, it’s concise and well picked for the food on offer.
So, have I sold it to you yet? I know I’ll be back….I’m currently in the process of finding out how much Tempura I would need to cover my entire body.