Celebrated chef Peter Templehoff’s much anticipated and long-awaited venture FYN, brings together his fine-dining roots, passion for showing off ingredients and experimental approach. Together with partners Ashley Moss (executive chef and former head chef at Greenhouse) and Jennifer Hugé (General Manager formerly of La Colombe), they’re bringing an urban Japanese/Africa hybrid dining experience to the city centre. We get his take on Cape Town’s most exciting new dining venue.
Q: What is the inspiration behind the name FYN?
A: FYN is the Afrikaans word for fine, but I like to think it as the better half of the word Fynbos… Ashley and I were at the end of a long name-generation process which saw us go through 300 plus names, without anything sticking. Suddenly Ashley just blurted out, ‘What about FYN?,’ and the penny dropped.
Q: How would you describe FYN’s style of cuisine?
A: It’s very ingredient-focused cuisine, drawing inspiration from South Africa’s culture, lore and society, as well as my jaunts around the world; especially my many journeys to Japan. Our challenge was to create a menu that can be experienced in around two hours, but that has all the flavours and excitement of a three-hour menu. We looked to Japan- and kaiseki-dining in particular for the answer and have designed the starter and the dessert courses to be served on small oak trays. This format allows us to offer the guest a multi-sensory experience of three or four courses at the same time.
Q: How would you describe FYN’s positioning to customers considering booking?
A: It is definitely based on a fine dining concept, but with a casual come-as-you-are atmosphere; a relaxed, modern fine dining experience, if you will. We have designed the menus to be packed with as much flavour and texture as possible, but in shortened formats. For those who have more time for the finer things in life, we do also offer the ultimate food experience around The Kitchen Counter (a 14-course menu).
Q: Tell us more about your decision to open a restaurant in Cape Town’s CBD?
A: I love the city and its energy. Being smack in the middle of the city opens new markets for my cuisine, as it’s an accessible, vibrant spot which is on the rise.
Q: How did you go about creating your wine list? And what can customers expect?
A: Jennifer has put together a wine list packed with a great mix of local favourites as well as some great old-world wines. Locally we have some small boutique wineries represented, including some fairly unknown labels as well as some seriously well-known legendary bottles.
It’s open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch (12-2pm) and dinner (6 – 9pm). Booking is online via www.fynrestaurant.com
Pic credit: Bruce Tuck