The dynamic husband and wife team, Alex & Eloise Windebank, who made the difficult decision to close their beloved Illovo eatery during the beginning of the pandemic are once again sharpening their knives, tying their aprons and stirring their iconic negronis as they get ready to pop up in Cape Town.
After a year-long stint in corporate the two decided that it’s once again time to get back into restaurants
“It’s just who we are,” says Eloise, “we’re restaurant people and as much as we thought that after we closed Farro there would be some respite and relief, we really do just miss it.”
Popping up within the Bree Street eatery that is Café Frank by day, Farro will call the space home for dinner services. It’s here where they’ll serve up the fine modern European food for which they had become renowned.
“It’ll be a new iteration. Slightly more luxurious but with the food we love and for which we hope we have become known,” says Alex, “it’s about taking our respect for both food and the industry to the next step. I’m never going to change the way I cook, but I’ve had a year to think about it and obviously that results in growth.”
Looking to the food, guests can expect the comforting and classic dishes they know and love ... and then some. Chef Alex is clearly excited to have a veritable selection of producers and farmers on his doorstep.
“There’s such a wealth of produce here that we didn’t have in Joburg, that’s really going to help drive my culinary ethos and direction in a way I just couldn’t before. It’s all about well grown produce, treated with respect to bring out the maximum flavour,” adds the chef.
The set price menu will allow for a choice of starters, mains and desserts or a two-course selection of the three. There’ll obviously be the chicken liver parfait, the pork belly and the gorgeous chocolate cream and malt ice cream — who could forget that? — in addition to new and exciting dishes inspired by what’s available. The menu will be constantly evolving over the course of the pop-up.
Farro die-hards will be relieved to know the snacks menu is staying too. Here the duo are excited to work with local makers, bringing their offerings onto the menu too. Sure, there’ll be the legendary beignets, but they also hope to show off some local gems, whether it be slices of locally made charcuterie, the work of an artisan cheesemaker or an assortment of hyper local, urban farm-sourced pickles and preserves.
Joining Alex in the kitchen will be Farro sous chef David Hayes, who will be making the move to Cape Town to embark on this new project. As with the Joburg joint, Eloise will be leading the charge front of house, where she will no doubt serve up an equally superb selection of local, small-scale wines and top-notch cocktails.
Bookings will be open from September 17 on DinePlan
The Farro Pop-Up opens on October 1 2021
160 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001
Follow Farro_foodandwine for more details and bookings