Experience a unique Valentine’s Day at Leo’s Bistro

BY CHARL BOSCH - FEBRUARY 9, 2016

For me, the month of February stands out on the calendar because, aside from being the month in which I celebrate my birthday, it is also the shortest and the only one that adds an additional 24 hours every four years.

Importantly, February is also the month when some of us celebrate Valentine’s Day – a day when we make an extra effort to show our beloved what they mean to us by spoiling them with chocolates, flowers, spa treatments and romantic dinners. This is why you should probably have Leo’s Bistro and Lounge as your Valentines evening plan.

With a long standing reputation as one of the Bay’s top fine-dining spots, Leo’s Bistro and Lounge, located at Ibhayi lodge in Walmer, offers a casually elegant restaurant experience and serves a simple yet interesting menu.

Together with a work colleague, we recently visited to get a preview of their unique take on Valentine’s Day.

Set amidst a picturesque backdrop of beautifully kept gardens, majestic trees and a crystal clear blue pool, we were more than excited and somewhat intrigued to find out what Leo’s executive chef, Lerique, would be serving come Valentine’s Day.

Having met with Sales Manager Tricia Wood and her team, we were escorted to the dining area, where a tastefully decorated table complete with champagne cooler and floating candles awaited us.

Once seated, we reviewed the amazing menu. For starters, we had the option of Balsamic glazed Panchetta served with rocket and strawberries finished in a chive dressing, or Asparagus served with Chevin Mousse and Truffle Hollandaise.

Being someone not terribly fond of the green stuff, I decided to put my prejudices aside and go for the former. Fresh and bursting with flavour, I found my starter to be surprising with just the correct combination of saltiness and tart.

The mains were just as impressive, consisting of a pepper crusted ostrich steak with courgette ribbons, pomme crouquette and a cranberry balsamic jus, or basil crusted linefish with saffron, sundried tomatoes and an orange beurre blanc finished risotto.

I was left deliciously overwhelmed when tasting the fish. Cooked to the proverbial perfection, it instantly rated as a winner in my books with the same going for the risotto. I sampled the steak too and found that it melted in my mouth with each bite.

Even more delicious was the pomme croquette. Essentially a rolled piece of mash potato coated in breadcrumbs and then deep fried, its complimenting of the steak was such that I could have eaten another serving!  

Completing our three course slice of heaven, dessert came in the form of two shot glasses; one containing chocolate mousse on a raspberry jelly, and the other a champagne and rose petal jelly with a strawberry shortbread heart as a side.

Frankly, you cannot pair each ingredient more perfectly as the sweetness of the chocolate does not mask the taste of the raspberry, while the champagne jelly is mind blowing!

Brief our afternoon of taste testing might have been, but we were both left in no doubt that Leo’s had certainly created a perfect Valentine’s Day meal.

In total, Leo’s can seat 40 people inside with space for 60 outside. They also cater for weddings, baby showers, whisky, champagne and brandy tasting, themed events and braais.

For bookings regarding the Valentines Special or any additional info, visit Leo’s Bistro at 24 9th Avenue in Walmer, or contact them on 041 581 6561 or email [email protected]