THOSE who have fond memories of Le Med from its wild Parliament Street days were thrilled when the restaurant re- launched in Richmond Hill mid-year.
Its original chef, the supremely creative Struan Cumming, has sadly passed on, but his former partner Tony Jones is still cooking up a storm, along with the ever-gracious Maria Frangopolous (formerly of The Ranch) as manager.
Le Med was a legend in social circles for its swimming pool with a secret tunnel, and if you thought Port Elizabeth’s Come Dine With Me contestant Trish Difford was louder than life on the recent TV show, well, you should have seen her party in Parliament Street. Skinny dipping was the least of it!
Since reopening in competitive Stanley Street, Le Med has adapted to the changing palates of 2013 diners, offering lighter lunch dishes and launching a new summer menu. Guests last week had a preview of this with a five-course tasting evening which included: smoked salmon lake; Lebanese aubergine with rocket and parmesan; falafel with humus; Malaga sizzling prawns; tagine de bouzroug (spicy mussels); kingklip Franco; tomato sorbet with vodka; Egyptian Bedouin chicken; youvetsi, lamb steak Cypriote; creme choculee; Italian pana cotta with berry coulis and Greek cheese cake.
Former patrons will recognise a few of these dishes but several are brand new and each and every mouthful was a treat.
Le Med enlisted the help of Robyn Martin from For the Love of Wine on the next corner, who served Winezani wines that really highlighted the flavours and textures of the food.
Another local legend, guesthouse owner Carol Law, spoke on the history of Le Med and Richmond Hill, adding more spice and flavour to the evening. Prices are medium to high for Port Elizabeth, but must seem extremely reasonable for out-of-towners, and there is a good wine list.
It’s the little details that show Le Med knows how to entertain: foam padding underneath the tables and a rug on the floor to dampen the sound, so you can hold a conversation with your dining partner; a clear view through to the bustling kitchen, so you know the hygiene will be up to scratch; a decent size of linen napkins in darker colours, in case of spills, and service that is attentive but not hovering. All in all, a highly recommended establishment.
All that’s missing to complete your Come Dine at Le Med night out is a visit from “Bubba” Trish.
- Le Med: (041) 585-1306.
Open Monday to Sunday from 11.30am to 10.30pm.