Earlier this year I visited new South African restaurant Twiga, and had the best cheesecake of my life. 6 months later I was invited back to see how things had changed. As soon as we arrived owner Vanita greeted us warmly like long lost friends. She told me that things had changed a little since my last visit, including the chef. Her original head chef returned home due to a personal crisis and she now has French chef Gregory at the helm. Gregory being french wanted to inject his own flair and skills into the menu, so there is now a French and South African fusion going on. As well as offering their evening A La Carte menu, they now have a brunch menu too.
Since it was a Friday night, it was right down to business with a vodka lemonade. Using a dash of chef Gregory’s homemade lemongrass infused vodka it was a rather nice tipple. I’d be interested to see if they can make a complete cocktail list, as this one was right up my ally.
The menu is still fairly small, as they plan on having weekly specials to make use of in season produce. The bobotie is still there along with their fantastic lamb sausages. Gregory’s arrival has put quiche on the menu (8,500 per slice), and luckily for us they had three varieties available. I of course thought it churlish not to try them all There was a salmon and spinach quiche which the Fat Boyfriend devoured with gusto, a traditional bacon, and a Boerwors South African quiche. With a French chef in the kitchen I had high hopes for the quiche and wasn’t disappointed. The pastry was so rich and buttery. The bacon quiche was rich and satisfying, though the bacon was possibly a tad too thick for me. Surprisingly we both favoured the boerwors quiche of the three, the lamb sausages paired rather well with the egg and pastry. Who would have thought French-South African fusion would be such a great match. the quiche also came with salad and new potatoes, making it perfect for lunch or dinner.
The Lamb Chops (28,000) are still a star of the menu. Though the accompaniments have changed a little since my last visit. They are now served with a luxurious mashed potato, baked asparagus, and rich red wine sauce. The two succulent lamb chops were cooked to medium at my request, and were just as good as last time. The red wine sauce was so moreish I could have drank a pint of it! I just stopped short of licking the plate clean, but it was a close call.
Thankfully Vanita’s famous cheesecake (6,500) is still on the menu, along with a few new desserts showcased in a brand spanking new glass cabinet, or dessert showcase if you will. I thought it prudent to try a piece of Gregory’s chocolate tart (6,500) too. Beautifully made with a sweet pastry, and a rich chocolate throughout. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side it would have been just perfect.
As part of the new revamp they intend to start serving Sunday roast dinners, and I for one can’t wait. Reservations will be very necessary to get a a starter, plate of roast lamb or chicken served with all the usual accompaniments, and a dessert for 35,000. This will be a weekend event only so be sure to book your seat before they are all gone. I have a feeling this it’s going to be very popular indeed, as there really aren’t enough restaurants serving roast dinners in Korea.
Twiga is located on the 5th floor, 26-38 Noksapyeondae-ro, Itaewon, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong station and come out of exit 3. Walk across the cross walk so you are outside Suji’s Deli and go right and walk along the main road. Keep going straight until you see the over pass bridge and take the road turning left. Twiga is about halfway up the road on the right hand side, just opposite the Saudi Arabian Embassy. For more information or to make a reservation call 02-797-5011.