Hidden away at the top of Bree Street, alongside Culture Club and Bacon on Bree, Little Saint is a welcoming and intimate dinner venue with one wall lined with a functional vertical garden supplying herbs and leaves to the kitchen, and the other stripped back to its 200 year-old stone and hung with paintings to make it feel like an extension of the owners’ home.
The Story behind Little Saint
Chef Santi Louzán grew up in Galicia, northwest Spain. His family were farmers and fishermen. The food they ate was local, fresh and pesticide-free – real food. It’s that ethos he aims to recapture at Little Saint, growing relationships with small local suppliers (Harvest of Hope and Usana among them) and using the skills accumulated over 15 years working at an impressive array of UK restaurants and earning Michelin stars. The result is dishes that are deceptively simple, full of fresh flavours and beautifully plated.
The catalyst that brought him and his South African wife, Dominique, to Cape Town last year, was his brush with diabetes, brought on by the stress and unhealthy lifestyle of building up a London estate agency with his brother. Food healed him and reawakened his creativity as a chef, inspiring a vision of what he wanted in his own restaurant. “It’s all about clean, real food. We’re not about one particular diet, Banting or Paleo, we’re a mixture. I focus on quality ingredients and use a lot of good fats.”
The short chalkboard menu changes often, reflecting the seasons. After sipping a teacup of delicate chicken consomme as an amuse-bouche, my starter is a really beautiful winter salad: rolls of courgettes with air-dried ham, fresh micro leaves, a base of pumpkin purée and nut dressing adding warmth to subtle flavours. In contrast, the sweet potato patatas bravas with chorizo and garlic mayo is a taste explosion: winter comfort food packing an unapologetic punch. Our mains of incredibly tender fillet steak set off by tapenade and a Béarnaise, and crispy crackling on triple-cooked pork belly with a bed of perfectly simple leeks and carrots, encapsulates Santi’s philosophy with every delicious mouthful.
This is food that remembers where it came from, and tastes superbly of what it is.
021 422 1135
Words: Kit Heathcock | Images: Kit Heathcock and Supplied