A ‘Fyn’ Dining Experience Amid COVID-19September 3, 2020 -Cape Nature
Written by our Experience Specialist, Sarah-Jane Sheard
After a recent visit to Fyn, one of Cape Town’s top fine dining restaurants, I am super thrilled with the prospects of Cape Town’s restaurant scene going forward amid COVID-19. It was my first restaurant visit since lockdown and as a result, I was slightly apprehensive on how things would pan out. For those of you who don’t know, Fyn is a stylish and warm 60-seater space, co-owned by chef Peter Templehoff (ex-head chef of the Greenhouse), Jennifer Hugh (manager & sommelier) and executive chef Ashley Moss – a skilled and confident threesome.
This being my second visit to Fyn, the excitement was brewing to enter the beautiful space once more. Perched on the fifth floor of a commercial block right in the city centre, the restaurant boasts magnificent views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. The decor & food is African inspired, with an underlying Japanese aesthetic. When entering the restaurant your eyes are immediately drawn to the ceiling, where thousands of poplar-discs are strung on ropes masking the double volume height of the restaurant. Guests are made to feel part of the whole experience at Fyn as the kitchen sits in the centre of the restaurant, blurring the boundaries between the kitchen and guests.
Stylish dividers separate each table for your own safety and also create a more private dining experience
My first impressions on arrival
On arrival in the lower lobby, you are greeted by a friendly doorman who takes your temperature. Once you have your result you are required to provide your contact details and fill out a quick COVID questionnaire on your phone (this is done by scanning a QR code to open the webpage). Once completed, we took the lift to the fifth floor where we were greeted by the manager, Jennifer Hugh who gave us a very warm welcome. After taking our jackets, we were asked to sanitize our hands (hand sanitizer foot pumps are located at the entrance of the restaurant) and we were then shown to our table. We had reserved counter seats so that we could watch the chefs in action – always a highlight!
COVID screens have been placed to separate the kitchen staff from guests seated at the counter. The screens are transparent, stylish and unassuming (made by Guideline Design). For normal restaurant seating, incredibly stylish dividers have also been installed to separate each table. This has the effect of making your dining experience slightly more private.
Guests are required to wear masks on arrival and departure whilst staff are required to wear masks throughout.
Oudtshoorn ostrich egg custard with local black truffle, shiitake and bacon.
My dining experience
The actual dining experience felt incredibly normal apart from scanning a QR code for the drinks and food menus. QR codes allow guests to quickly access and peruse menus online from the safety of their own phone or tablet rather than touching a menu that other customers may have handled. The service was world-class and we felt our waiter did not skip a beat. Jennifer checked on us regularly ensuring we felt comfortable throughout our dining experience, without being too intrusive. We opted for the ‘Dinner Experience Menu’ which had changed since my last visit (there are pescatarian, vegan, vegetarian and shorter ‘tasting’ menu options as well). To say I was blown away is a complete understatement! A delicious combination of tastes, flavours, textures and styles. My favourite dish being the Oudtshoorn ostrich egg custard, local black truffle, shiitake and bacon…indescribably delicious!
Being a Friday night, the restaurant was buzzing with a crowd of families, young professionals and couples. They were running at their restricted full capacity and the private dining room upstairs was also in use (this is a lovely option if you are a larger group wanting some privacy). Laughter and chatter filled the restaurant all evening making it obvious that guests were thoroughly enjoying an evening out and about rather than being at home. Let’s be honest, it has been a while!
With the curfew still in place, we were warned on arrival that we needed to be out of the restaurant at 09h45 PM sharp (we got our bill at 09h30 PM). We felt there was more than enough time for the full menu experience and we were not rushed at all.
Ocean trout nigiri, basil, wasabi wakame dressing, daikon, soba, carrot, sancho & chili, coriander, romesco, oryx, honey pickled spekboom, ancient African teff grain, tempura dune spinach, smoked snoek dipping broth
Fyn has definitely created a COVID-19 safe environment for their guests in a creative and unassuming manner. Now open for safe sitdown dining from Wednesday to Saturday, lunch & dinner. *Fyn from HOME is still available to those who would prefer to dine in the comfort of their homes.
I will certainly be recommending Fyn as a MUST-DO dining experience for African Lynx guests.
Myself & Don. If you look closely, the QR barcode for the menu is shown in the bottom left corner.