I was recently invited to the restaurant dw eleven-13 to sample the latest, seasonal additions to their menu. My taste buds are still dancing! For those of you who aren’t familiar with the restaurant, they’re in the Dunkeld West Shopping Center, behind Fournos Bakery. The restaurant’s name is an acronym for Dunkeld west, shop number 11-13. This restaurant has been here for the past 10 years with Chef Marthinus being the creative genius behind each dish,
A few things that I love about this restaurant are;
- They use the Abalobi app which means they support sustainable farming, they empower farmers, fishermen, and entrepreneurs by buying directly from them, they also source fish not available via commercial fisheries.
- Dishes on the menu are changed regularly, based on seasonal availability and Chef Marthinus’ new ideas,
- They surprise me EVERY TIME I go there. How does Chef Marthinus think of these flavour combinations?
- The dishes are intricately artistic in appearance and they also pack a punch full of flavour.
- The staff are passionate about what they do and everyone is eager to help.
- dw eleven-13 isn’t just a restaurant, it’s an experience.
Let’s jump straight into the experience, shall we…
We started off the evening with a selection of snacks
This is what they looked like, I can tell you they were all scrumptious, with so much flavour, I enjoyed them all. Especially the chick-liver pate which looked like a little hedgehog.
We then moved on to the main tasting experience.
This dish was full of flavour and textures. The salmon was sensational, the curry paste was so flavoursome and the tempura on top with the coriander and mint added a lovely crunch, with a bite of freshness. I would definitely recommend trying this dish. I consumed the whole thing in seconds as the saltiness, sweetness, the crunch, they were a combination I’d never experienced before and I just wanted more!
When I first saw this dish, my immediate reaction was ‘Wow, that’s really green. Guys this was something else. An absolute out of body experience. The green spinach was salty and delicious, the gnocchi was light and crispy and very more-ish, the seeds were well toasted and crunchy and it all worked so well together, especially with the peachy Tuscan fresco. I added black truffle shavings to this dish, which comes at a R150 surcharge. It was SO worth it as it takes the dish to another level. If you’re going to have black truffle, have it at dw eleven-13, trust me.
This was my favourite dish. The jersey beef was so light and juicy, the roe was light and they pop in your mouth, there’s an element of tartness from the gherkins and it’s all held together with the quail egg yolk. The bloody mary worked so well with this dish and balanced the flavours so well. The beef tendons are not featured here as they came on the side and were devoured in 0,25 seconds. They were crunchy and delicious. I cannot explain this dish well enough to do it justice. This is a must-try!
For someone like me who eats out at least once a week, I’ve never been speechless before, this restaurant left me speechless. I cannot articulate how magnificent this food is.
Next up, we could choose between the carpenter (fish) or pork neck. I went with the carpenter. This was fresh, creamy and so well seasoned. I actually do not have words to describe the food guys, it’s an experience, you actually have to try it out for yourself. The aesthetically pleasing dish on the side was a potato latke, with a fish mayo, crispy fish skin, and deliciousness. I was so full at this point, but obviously, I ate the whole thing and left the restaurant looked 6 months pregnant, with my food baby.
Everyone knows, no matter how full you are, there is always room for dessert. I’ve never in my whole life tasted dessert like this before.
Ok, so this dish is red peppers on a bed of frozen goats cheese and honeycomb, with a scoop of guava sorbet on top. When I first tasted this I thought ‘Oh no, I don’t like it’. The peppers which were savoury, with the sweetness of the guava confused my taste buds and my brain, so I thought no, this one is not for me. Then I had another scoop and I thought ‘OK, it’s not so bad’, then I really started enjoying it. This dish truly took me on a flavour journey and it’s another MUST TRY! it was paired with a grapefruit passion drink.
This dish was interesting. The meringue was nice and sweet, while the blackcurrant was super tarte and it was well balanced by the iced vanilla espresso. It was the perfect way to end the evening.
In terms of ambiance, there’s a great atmosphere and feeling in the air as the staff are passionate about what they are doing, from the Maître d’ to the chefs, and you feel that come through. There was also an eclectic mix of people in the restaurant, older people on a date, families, colleagues, all races, and ages. It takes a very special menu to bring people from such different paths to come together over a meal.
I enjoyed this menu so much, I’m coming back again on my own dime, with Dr. bae to take up their lunchtime special. Please, do yourself a favor and try this menu. Each dish was better than the next and you’ve never tasted flavours like this before. You’ll also be supporting a local entrepreneur, so he can continue to make our taste buds dance.
A penny for your thoughts
dw offers a tasting menu, four-course menu, and lunch special menu. I went for one of the more pricier options in order to show a wider range.
The tasting menu I experienced above was R900 for the food
It’s R1125 non-alcoholic pairing which is what I had
R1375 wine and food pairing
R1500 whiskey and food pairing
Please note, if you do want the black truffle shavings there is a R150 surcharge
The tasting menu includes all teas and coffee.