Last night, hubby and I went to Level Four for a special celebration dinner. This restaurant can be found in 54 on Bath Hotel, right behind Rosebank Mall.
Upon phoning to make the booking, I requested a romantic table, but when we got there, our table was smack bang in the middle of the floor. A bit disappointing, but we were excited to try the food! Level Four’s team ethos is to give credit to the chefs that have created the dishes featured on the menu, so each chef’s name sits next to his/her dish.
Our server took our drinks order and placed some delicious freshly baked bread on our table with flavoured butters – salted, smokey and whipped – and my, was that a treat!Hubby couldn’t stop eating the smokey butter (with bread of course) and even wanted to ask the waiter what the ingredients were.
For appetisers, I decided to order the lemon and herb free range chicken, chicken lollipop (this is the bit that interested me), chakalaka, organic greens and maas prepared by Chef Jandri Niemand.
Hubby ordered the lobster bisque with crème fraîche and Saldanha Bay mussels prepared by Chef Charmaine Mtsodo.
My dish was, well, average. I had one tiny piece of chicken and one tiny “chicken lollipop” also known as a normal drumstick, covered with greens. Underwhelmed.
Hubby’s dish on the other hand was absolutely amazing. The warm lobster bisque was poured by the server and gently melted the crème fraîche. It was rich, creamy and very well seasoned. The Saldanha Bay mussels were perfectly cooked – tender and sweet. This was probably one of the best appetisers we had both had in quite some time.
After discussing the sensual lobster bisque for a good half an hour, ooh-ing and aah-ing over it, we ordered our entrees. I opted for the Wagyu beef flank, oxtail stuffed onion, spinach and asparagus dressed with gremolata (a chopped herb condiment) prepared by Chef Jandri Niemand. Hubby decided to order the seared duck breast and Korean barbequed duck leg with ginger plum and miso carrots, prepared by Chef David Parker.
A bold move on his part. Let me tell you why… We have both had terrible experiences with duck and it’s one dish that, if prepared wrong, can really put you off it forever. But, hubby was feeling well, brave, and decided to order it. And man… what a great decision that was!
The duck breast was on point – medium rare, lightly seasoned, seared to perfection. The spice blend did not overpower the subtle taste of the duck, but simply enhanced it. A sweet, smokey flavour. The soft, slightly tangy plum complimented the dish perfectly. An all-round winner.
My Wagyu beef flank was medium rear, as requested, well seasoned and quite tender. The best thing on my plate, by far, were the oxtail-stuffed onions – wow! Little bite-sized pieces of heaven! Too bad there were only two. I will say though, that the spinach puree was quite bland and bitter. It didn’t add anything to the dish for me.
So, based on the review so far, I’m sure you’ll agree, hubby is leading. Both dishes he ordered turned out to surpass all expectations. Mine on the other hand – not so much.
Then came the best part – dessert. Being the girl that I am, I ordered the molten chocolate cake with glazed strawberries, marshmallow and strawberry ice cream prepared by Chef Chanda Sebele. Yum! Hubby ordered the interesting-sounding peach lamingtons with koeksisters in two styles served with compressed peaches and plums, prepared by Chef Catherine Kenny.
And I finally won a round! The molten chocolate cake was absolutely devine – soft and gooey, rich and chocolatey – the perfect ending to a beautiful evening. The slight sourness of the strawberries cut through the rich chocolate perfectly and the play between the cold and warm makes for an interesting experience in your mouth.
Hubby’s dessert looked amazing, but didn’t live up to its looks taste-wise. The lamingtons were very dry and the koeksisters tasted like bland braids of dough.
Overall though, the evening was magical – our server was very attentive, the ambience in the restaurant was relaxed and, for the most part, the food was great! I score Level Four 4 noms out of 5.
Have you been to Level Four before? What did you think of the menu?