BUTTER CHICKEN
Hotel restaurants can be bland and boring but My Favor8 Restaurant and Cocktail Bar at Mandela Rhodes Place is the exception.

The restaurant’s name My Favor8 (favourite) raises your expectations, for both the ambience and menu.

The imposing wire statue of Nelson Mandela that greets you at the door is a reminder that you’re at Mandela Rhodes Place, which itself has quite high standards.

The cocktail bar should be your first stop, before you sit down to enjoy your meal. My dining partner and I did just that and didn’t regret it.

On the cocktail menu are all the familiar drinks, but I was feeling adventurous and tried a rooibos cocktail. I wasn’t disappointed as the floral aromatics mixed with the spirit well.

It was also a great start to what was going to be a global food journey.

My Favor8 Restaurant serves global fusion cuisine so guests at Mandela Rhodes Place should be able to find a piece of home on the menu and locals will no doubt enjoy the choices on offer as well.

I did and I was very impressed with the vast selection, especially the Asian, Indian and Malay options from the kitchen.

From the Moroccan pasta to the lamb korma from India, the staff pride themselves on the authenticity of their dishes. Many of them are not South African - they have ties to the countries whose dishes are on the menu.

This pride is evident in the butter chicken dish, which was original and aromatic. I could taste that the chicken had been prepared separately and then added to the curry, which is a small but crucial part to making a success of the dish.

My dining partner opted for the exotic mango. The fruit was cut and butterflied so that the prawns could be sprinkled generously on the plate and on the fruit. I tried the sauce, and it was delicious.

BIRYANI

My favourite dish was the chicken biryani with flavoured basmati rice. This dish was served in all it’s traditional glory and was a true testament to the global fusion coming from the kitchen. It’s also the perfect dish to enjoy if you want to share food at the table in a group and everyone can taste and enjoy.

The dessert was the biggest surprise of the evening. A sizzling brownie - a decadent chocolate brownie, topped with vanilla ice cream and smothered in a chocolate sauce. The hot plate (and foil) it’s served on creates the sizzle and it’s the perfect winter dessert. The brownie is not too sweet and the warmth from the hot plate makes it even less sweet.

Overall, Favor8 is a great restaurant and cocktail bar. It would be quite a waste if only visitors to Cape Town tasted the great food, curries and biryani. It’s the perfect place for a date night or family dinner.

* My Favor8 Restaurant and Cocktail Bar is at 24 Wale Street, Cape Town. Open daily from 11am to late. Call 021 422 2014. Visit http://myfavor8restaurant.co.za/