Lunch extraordinaire at The Flagship

Lunch at The Flagship in Simonstown is possibly one of the best meals I have ever had. Picture breathtaking ocean views and a 5-course seafood menu expertly paired with fine wines. Now picture that with only 12 diners, at the chef’s private residence and you will start to get an idea of what The Flagship is all about. Now, that is a Chef’s Table if you have ever been to one!

The table is set

The table is set

Chef Duncan Doherty hails from Franschhoek (where his equally talented wife, Margot Janse, heads up the kitchen at Quartier Français) and took over the reins at The Flagship in November 2014 after the tragic and much too early passing of the founder of The Flagship, Chef Bruce Robertson. Chef Duncan is passionate not only about fine food, but also about where the food comes from. He sources only the finest ingredients; always sustainably produced and as far as possible within a 20km radius.

Chef Duncan working his magic. Note the notepad and half-drunk glass of bubbles; all part of being in the chef's home!

Chef Duncan working his magic. Note the notepad and half-drunk glass of bubbles; all part of being in the chef’s home!

One big table encourages interesting conversation between the guests that tend to be a mixture of local and international foodies, and Chef Duncan will make himself comfortable at the table as often as the kitchen schedule allows. Kicking off your shoes is encouraged, as is helping yourself from the liquor cabinet and chilling on the sofas or by the pool. I really cannot find words to explain how a fine dining experience can be so top-notch and homely at the same time, so I’m just going to post some pics that hopefully will illustrate it for me. Oh, and forgive me for not remembering any of the names of the fabulicious dishes… There was a lot of it, and also a fair bit of wine!

Homebaked bread with locally produced olive oil and the most amazing homemade seaweed spice mix

Homebaked bread with locally produced olive oil and the most amazing homemade seaweed spice mix

The first course had crab and crayfish, and the most amazing tomato cuvee

The first course had crab, crayfish and caviar, and tomato cuvee (I know, I also thought that was a term used for fine wine but trust me; tomatoes can be that good too)

The Flagship

Salmon dish coming up

Salmon dish coming up

Trio of salmon

Trio of salmon

Tuna many different ways, with awesome seaweed pasta

Tuna many different ways, with seaweed pasta

Quail egg in toast with tuna tartare

Quail egg in toast with tuna tartar

Taking a break to laze around between dishes is encouraged

Taking a break to laze around between dishes is encouraged

Local cheeses, including the most awesome goat's cheese I've had in a long time

Local cheeses, including the most amazing goat’s cheese I’ve had in a long time

Dessert ready to go out

Dessert ready to go out

Views from the lounge

Views from the lounge

Those who know me know that I am a Bathroom Snob; now how's a brandy station for a feature in the bathroom!?

Those of you that know me, know that I am a Bathroom Snob; now how’s a brandy station for a feature in the bathroom!?

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2 responses to “Lunch extraordinaire at The Flagship

  1. I was at the Flagship and had exactly the same lunch menu as you. The cuvée as well as other dishes were way too acidic and Duncan spoke way too much. The presentation was beautiful and the dessert was great. But keep in mind that he took over from Bruce Robertson when he passed away a few days after finding out he was ill. A lot of people who knew Bruce’s cuisine have been highly unimpressed with Duncan’s and so was I. Pretty much everything I’ve eaten in this country was better than the 5-course Flagship meal.

    • Hi Laura
      While I did not have the privilege to dine with Chef Bruce, I think we have to agree to disagree about Chef Duncan. I have been there twice in the past 3 months, and loved everything about the meal both times. I understand that Bruce’s chattiness is not for everyone, but to me it gives the experience personality and sets it apart from other fine dining restaurants.
      You must be one lucky girl that eats at fine places all the time if “everything you’ve eaten in this country was better than the 5-course Flagship meal” 😉

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