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Red Hot

Where’s there’s ash there’s fire. We take an inside look at Cape Town’s newest culinary offering, the smouldering ASH restaurant.

By Erin Starr Katzeff

The people of Cape Town love food. This city is practically foodie heaven. The walk along the bustling streets of the CBD, past the sights and scents of restaurants, bars and eateries, is enough to make even the most discerning food lover’s mouth water. Amidst the latest additions to the city’s food scene, there is one particularly alluring newcomer that stands out. The provocatively titled ASH restaurant, is something different.

ASH is the brainchild of Chef Ash Heeger in partnership with Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants and Publik Wine Bar. Heeger has played chef in some of the most sought after kitchens, The Test Kitchen, La Columbe and Dinner by Heston (yes, we mean Blumenthal) in London, all make a cool  appearance on his resumé. The concise menu is single-minded in its approach; this food is all about big, bold flavours. Most of the meat and seafood menu items are cooked over an open flame, giving the dishes – and the restuarant’s name – an added gravitas.


The ambience is moody and dark with a welcome hint of hedonism. The open kitchen, in full view of the diners, provides the evening’s entertainment, with Chef Ash and an ensemble cast dicing, charring, smoking and searing an array of ingredients beneath the kitchen lights. There is a sweeping emphasis on top-to-tail eating, most notably in the pig head scrumpet; a plate of bite sized porky morsels served with schezaun-spiced apple and quince sauce. With the meat being provided by the ethically-conscious and pedantically quality-driven Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants, the meat selection could sway the heart of your most self-righteous vegetarian friend. The slow-cooked lamb, served with rosemary oil, smoked onions, pickled lemon and spring broad beans, beckons from the menu. The Italian lemon meringue or the milk stout ice cream sandwich  is reason enough for a cheat day.

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