So, last Saturday a group of friends and I went to an amazing new food establishment in an upmarket suburb of C-town. Unlike many of the cliched restaurants which can be found in this part of the city, Urban Ka’ching offers a genuine dining experience equal to none.
The owner of Urban Ka’ching operates a number of eateries in C-town and, his passion for warm hospitality is evident in every aspect. The restaurant prides itself on sourcing organic, biodynamic local produce which is transformed into delicious rustic fare. There is something so warming about rustic food, it always allows me to experience the life of a French (or Italian or Moroccan depending on what you order) peasant without the mud and chicken feathers.
The staff are all exceptionally well groomed and experienced and we were greeting by a charming waiter, Tom, who was kind enough to find us a table despite not having made a booking in advance. He appeared professional and friendly – exchanging light banter and ensuring we felt welcome. Apparently a charming fellow.
Inexplicably and upsettingly, his mood took a turn for the worse mid-meal and he became surly – including slamming the sugar on to the table and shooting us rather alarmingly angry looks in passing. We were rather frightened and unsettled by it but, out of respect for the owner’s commitment and passion we bravely continued with our meal.
Two of our party order the handmade ricotta gnocchi with capers and cherry tomatoes, one ordered braised chickpeas with Moroccan spices and polenta chips while our last member indulged in lamb backstrap with crushed chats.
The ricotta gnocchi exuded freshness and, with each mouthful, created the ambience of crisp spring mornings in rural Florence while the Moroccan spiced chickpeas immediately transported me to the souks of Marakesh and my memories of late suppers with Abdullah – a professor of journalism who swept me off my feet with his enigmatic moustache and penchant for discussing Marxist philosophy over cups of sweet mint tea. Simply amazing.
My dining companion assures me that her organic, grainfed lamb was succulent and tender, as were her creamy chats. We were all impressed by the use of the term ‘chats’ on the menu (printed on recycled brown paper), it’s far more sophisticated than ‘potatoes’ which, to be honest conjures images of drunken Irish villagers eating stew by the light of a peat fire.
I attempted to capture a Hipstamatic picture of my meal on my iPhone 4 however, a waiter politely asked me to refrain as the owner likes to protect the creative integrity of the dishes served. While I am sad that I’m unable to provide you with a pictorial representation of my meal, I am impressed that we were dining in an establishment that takes such pride in its work. It also adds to the ambience of exclusivity which ofcourse, appeals to me as I enjoy sophisticated, ‘out of the ordinary’ experiences.
The evening ended with dessert creations from the establishment’s master pastry chef Otto. My dining companion ordered the gluten free chocolate and almond torte while I indulged in the maple and pecan tart – both of which were served with vanilla bean ice-cream and raspberry coullis. A fitting end to a fine dining experience.
My friends and I have heard rumours that the owner of Urban Ka’ching will be opening an exclusive establishment located in a refitted warehouse, staffed by aesthetically pleasing waiters and, serving food entirely sourced from cottage industries. We’re especially looking forward to eating soy cheese crafted by vegans. Delicious.
Au revoir Frankly!