Keenwä restaurant, at the beginning of the fanwalk in Cape Town’s buzzing CBD, serves great food in a fashionable yet comfortable environment. The menu is kept small in a bid to make every meal a knockout. From ceviche to tacu tacu and ribs Keenwä serves the best Peruvian recipes sometimes adapted slightly for the context and local taste.
Peruvian food is so much more than the hot new food trend. Apart from being the sizzling new cuisine of the moment it is absolutely delicious and super healthy.
Pisco Bar, upstairs from Keenwa, is a cocktail bar and party venue. Spoil yourself with the house cocktail, Peru’s famous Pisco Sour, and nibble on a tapas or two.
- Nov 13, 2014
We have been recruiting unsuspecting members of the public to help us decide changes to our lunchtime menu. We have been luring them with half-price meals. Then we have been loosening their lips with half-price drinks. After that we monitor and mine the sounds and opinions shared by these innocent bystanders to help decide which dishes stay and which ones go.
All the while, the chef has been sweating under the challenge of creating a different fabulous meal every day for a possible place on the new menu. Friday November 14 is the final day of the chef’s challenge. A little birdie told me that he will be doing something wonderful with calamari.
As for the other dishes, I am hoping the sliders (three mini burgers – one Peruvian, one South African and one Mexican) makes the final cut. Oh and the fresh fish on a bed of sweet potato purée with escabeche sauce … and the chicken breast stuffed with basil pesto … and the cabbage and mince parcels … what a surprise that was!
Next week we will hope to launch the new menu or at least a shortlist as a combination of your efforts and ours. We will be continuing our lunchtime half-price specials in a sustained effort to tie the public to the machine that sets the menu and the pace at Keenwä.
So go on! Do your bit! Join us for our chef’s specials and half-price meals between 12.30 and 2pm Tuesday to Friday next week (18-21 November). Wash that down with half-price drinks between 2 and 2.30pm.
Lunch is served Tuesday-Friday 12.30-3pm; bookings and more info on 021 4192633.
- Nov 11, 2014
La Belle Pique
Gigi La Chanteuse
For R295 you will get a glass of Kumala wine, a 2-course dinner and a veritable buffet of decadent song and dance that will satiate your every appetite.
Booking essential on 021 4192633.
- Nov 10, 2014
Our second Dinner in the Dark was a great night, better in some ways than the first one, not as great in other ways. Practice is good, but the first one was always going to be like the First Kiss. Talking about kisses, at least one couple totally took advantage of the darkness. Good on them, grab any opportunity, I say.
Other favourite moments of the night were provided by the two young backpackers (at least one of them American) who weren’t expecting to dine in the dark. They had wandered in off the street and grabbed the one table left vacant by a no-show.
They acted like blind madmen throughout, in fits of hysterics and making a sensational mess on their table. When it came to writing down what they thought they had eaten they wrote a mini-travelogue of everything that had happened to them since they arrived in South Africa. Not a mention of food or drink. (I guess I had set myself up for this by emphasizing that people write down “everything they remembered!”)
We were slightly better prepared for the evening. As usual we had use finely calibrated machinery and the purest of science to mix the best ingredients: food, alcohol, love and good humour.
Take the inclusion of Pilsner Urquell, for example. (PS Who knew that SAB had this crafty little number up their sleeve?) With its robust flavour, Pilsner Urquell was such a great partner for the tacu tacu (rice and beans) and ribs, and had a lot of people calling out into the darkness for more.
Few of the guests seemed to know that Czechoslovakia is the Republic of Fabulous Beer. (Fortunately one of the guests was from the Czech Republic.)
It took a big hitter of a vino to stand up to the Urquell. Fortunately, we were totally prepared for this too and wheeled out the Jacobsdal Pinotage. Another name that is not that widely known, Jacobsdal ticks so many boxes. It is produced on a small farm using traditional methods, using only natural yeast. Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm! More please!
These nights are largely about discovery and surprise, but we couldn’t resist sneaking in Pongracz, not only because it is such a delicious pairing with the ceviche and lychee (celychee?) in pastry cups. Quite a number of people knew our house bubbly straight away.
Talking about dishes of the house, we finished off with a shot of Pisco Sour, which never fails to impress, and a scoop of lucuma ice-cream, which has to be the sweetest treat of an ice-cream.
- Nov 09, 2014
- Nov 04, 2014
Expanding on the classic food and wine pairing, we have taken a selection of the most delectable streetfood dishes and paired them with Kumala wines. We will be serving diners in the restaurant, in Pisco Bar and at tables outside.
On the carts (… but off the charts):
Ceviche, Quinoa-coated prawn skewers, chorizo and chicken skewers, Corn on the cob, Chicharonne (pork sandwich), Rocotos (pepperdews stuffed with mince), Pork spare ribs, Tacu Tacu (rice and bean patties), Picarones (sweet potato and butternut donut), Alfajores (caramel shortbread)
Sauvignon-Semillon, Chenin-chardonnay, Chardonnay, Cab-shiraz, Shiraz, Zenith red blend, Medium sweet white
As you might have guessed, there really is nothing pedestrian about Peruvian streetfood!
Whether you feel like a nibble or a full-on feast there will be something for you this Saturday …
Call 021 4192633 to book your table for a casual afternoon and evening of snacking and sipping street-style.
- Sep 30, 2014
The pairing lunch that precedes food and wine pairings at Keenwä got off to a rocky start when De Wet Viljoen, Neethlingshof winemaker, missed the tasting event because of some nonsense about international visitors and a multi-million dollar auction.
Xavier, fulfilling the requirements of being gorgeous, amusing and a dedicated wino, helped us choose the menu while sticking to his strong policy of advising clients, “Yes, listen to the experts and do lots of research but trust YOUR gut.”
We had already decided on the basics of the menu when De Wet, a tame lion of a man, strolled in and put his stamp on proceedings. He agreed with most decisions Xavier had guided us to, with one audacious suggestion: that we turn things upside down and serve the dessert wine as a welcome drink.
We had planned to serve the estate’s chenin blanc with a few mouthfuls of our signature pesque de quinoa (quinoa and spinach risotto) to kick the evening off. A genius plan, we thought, but we were quick and happy to concede that De Wet’s idea of putting the sweet deliciousness of the Maria upfront with the pesque was another stroke of genius.
De Wet gave his stamp of approval to the rest of the menu and pairing as planned with Xavier.
After the pesque and Maria guests can expect:
2 Ceviche and lychee in pastry cups
with a glass of the farm’s knockout white 6 Flowers
And then a little twist suggested by Xavier, essentially giving diners our short-list (2 wines, 2 courses) and leaving the ultimate choice of the better pairing up to them …
Two glasses of red served side by side (Malbec and Cabernet Merlot) with two courses in succession:
4 Stir-fried red and white cabbage with ginger and pork medallions, and
5 Tacu tacu (rice and beans) and honey-basted pork ribs
It may not be a household name on these shores, but once tasted Gewürztraminer isn’t easily forgotten. It’s tremendously fragrant, with a flamboyant aroma that recalls roses, lychees and spices.
We were determined to get the Wild Cat, Caracul, on to the menu but couldn’t find a decent and worthy sparring partner for it so we decided to provide a glass to those Wild Cats who like to stay on after our wine pairings, purring and play-fighting. This blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 20% Malbec, 14% Cabernet Franc is definitely on our Big Five list.
Thursday October 30: 6 courses paired with 6 wines and a glass of Caracal R350 a head.
Booking essential 021 4192633
Delicious, starring the Rougettes26Nov 2014- 8.30pm -