A new chef is putting a fresh mark on this luxury South West staple.
Adam Robson Chew had previously taken things slow at Cape Lodge. The British chef – who clocked time at Michelin-starred kitchens before gaining local experience at the likes of Sydney’s Bentley Group and Oscillate Wildly – didn’t lead with a shock and awe approach to regime change when he was appointed in 2022. A year or so in, though, and change is very much apparent.
A formerly French-leaning kitchen has butter on ration, for example, and Asia is now the muse. Take an opening morsel of octopus with a lively satay sauce that demands mopping with excellent bread. Or a deep Skull Island prawn and shellfish broth, a literal eye opener. Beef cheek cooked overnight in masterstock is another mop-up moment. While mandarin brûlée with nasturtium pepper for dessert is spiced, fragrant, and as complex as its other menu counterparts.
Mandarin brûlée with nasturtium pepper for dessert is spiced, fragrant, and as complex as its other menu counterparts.
The room, which previously struggled for atmosphere, has been tackled, a partition erected to make the space more intimate. On a quiet night, service is in the lowly lit bar along the lakeside window. Gone are white tablecloths, in are solid wood tabletops. The music is now more pop than piped. And a by-the-glass wine list includes the likes of boutique producer LAS Vino, plus a discovery or two: marsanne-roussanne from local producer McHenry Hohnen, or pinot noir from under-the-radar Manjimup producer Lonely Shore. Call it a revelation, a revolution even. Either way it’s impressive.