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May 13, 2022

Salsify at The Round House – Expect the unexpected

Located at the foot of Lions Head and with incredible views of the 12 Apostles and Camps Bay, award-winning Salsify at The Round House offers fine dining at its very best. When we visited, my wife and I were treated to The Chef’s Menu along with the Gem Series Wine Pairing which is the restaurant’s top offering.

After arriving, we were greeted by the manager who seated us at a window table offering sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and the 12 Apostles. We loved the breezy, casual atmosphere we found inside.

There are a couple of multi-course menus to choose from, all driven by the seasons and freshest ingredients available at the time. Chef Ryan, who started Salsify in 2018 and has owned it since 2020 grew up in a fishing household, and so artfully prepared seafood features in many of the courses.

Chef Ryan always knew he wanted to be a chef and began working part-time at The Vineyard Hotel where the fast pace, heat and banter had him hooked. He would work weekends and any free time he had, learning as much as he could. After matriculating, Ryan completed his qualification at the South African Chef’s Academy before heading to the UK for 4-years where he worked under 3 Michelin Star chefs, namely Tristan Welch, Phil Howard and Rob Weston. A visit back to Cape Town turned permanent when he was offered the sous chef position at La Motte in Franschhoek which is where he developed his love for the combination of food and wine. He was then recruited to join the team at The Test Kitchen (then ranked Eat Out’s number 1 restaurant and the 48th World’s 50 Best List). He soon moved into the head chef role and worked there for 4 years before opening Salsify.

While so many fine-dining restaurants rest heavily on a show of smoke domes, bubbles, fragrances and more, Chef Ryan allows the beauty of his fresh ingredients and the skill in preparing them to speak for themselves. At Salsify, you’ll find that sophisticated cooking paired with incredible wines is the main show.

The menu tries to be as inclusive as possible and also caters to vegetarians and pescatarians so that they too can enjoy the fresh flavours of the Cape.

Our menu started with a few appetizers including Yellow Tail Sashimi, Curry Poppadom, Snoek Pate with Citrus bubbles and beef on a horseradish cracker. This was followed by Cold Smoked Venison Tartare, Miso Egg yolk, Porcini Mousse and puffed sorghum accompanied by Radford Dales “A.D” Pinot Noir 2013.

Next, we were treated to Seared Tuna with sticky rice, Ponzu reduction and furikake, accompanied by Paul Cluver “Close Encounter” Riesling 2011.

The poached langoustine, chive gnocchi and truffle potato emulsion were paired with Alheit Vineyard’s ‘Cartology’ 2019.

Crisp, slow-cooked pork belly, apple and smoked celeriac was enjoyed alongside Sijnn Red 2009.

The Pan-roasted Linefish smoked snoek and apricot with potato curry leaf emulsion was perfectly paired with the Ken Forrester ‘FMC’ Chenin Blanc 2012 (Magnum).

Wagyu beef, parsnips and new season shallots were accompanied by Meerlust Rubicon 2013.

We finished up with Salsify’s 2 desserts, starting with the Raspberry, shiso and Rhubarb Granita with clotted cream and ended with the Plum Clafoutis, chamomile and honey with sheep’s milk ice cream which was paired alongside Klein Constantia ‘Vin de Constance’ 2018 (Magnum).

In total, we must have been at Salsify for around 3 hours, but never felt like we had overstayed our welcome. Most of the other guests were there for a similar amount of time. The team makes you feel at home as you feast your senses on spectacular food and wine in this picturesque location.

Overall, our entire experience was amazing. The easy-going atmosphere and breathtaking views were incredible, but it was the masterful food and wine pairing that really stole the show.

W: Salsify
E: Reservations
T: +27 21 010 6444

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Written by Shaun Stanley for Luxury Safari Magazine

Instagram / @luxurysafarimagazine

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