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Restaurant of the week: PIER

PIER, the latest venture by award-winning restaurant group La Colombe, offers a multi-sensory fine-dining experience artfully inspired by its seaside surroundings.

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By House & Garden South Africa | July 4, 2022 | Travel Leisure

Situated in the Pierhead Building at the V&A Waterfront, PIER is a serene escape from the pulsating marimba soundscapes and general frenzy of the Waterfront’s shopping district. The restaurant is an inner-city sanctuary filled with earthy tones, marine motifs and a panoramic waterside view that serves as the perfect backdrop for the spellbinding, multi-course menu.

Head chef John Norris-Rodgers, formerly of La Petite Colombe, has a tangible passion for the world of fine dining. “PIER is a journey of food that engages all five senses”, he says. “It’s the magic of fresh ingredients and attention to detail that can transform something ordinary into a culinary masterpiece. The entire experience, from the start to the finish, is a personalised look into our world of fine dining.”

Head Chef John Norris-Rogers

The PIER experience starts as soon as you walk through their modern glass doors, past the wine-rack walkway and up the stairs to the first floor. There is an overarching sense of Scandinavian-style simplicity when it comes to the interior: a soft colour palette, natural woods and wonderful natural lighting.

PIER restaurant overlooking the Waterfront Harbour

The round dining tables are harmonious and relaxing in form, not to mention the fact that their organic shape fits in perfectly with the restaurant’s ocean-inspired theme. The round edges of the tables and dining chairs add to the soft look and feel of the space, creating a tranquil and warm ambience. Ultimately, the minimalism and neutrality of the decor creates an environment where the cuisine can take centre stage — and take centre stage it sure will.

Image: Supplied

The culinary journey begins with an avant-garde take on a traditional salmon bagel. This familiar favourite is elevated with horseradish and dill and enveloped in a brick-pastry cone, creatively served on a coral-shaped vessel crafted by Corinne De Haas. The next course sees oysters poached tableside in MCC, served on a porcelain oyster shell on a bed of seashells and pebbles. These courses embody how the restaurant’s clean design and muted tones provide a beautiful contrast to the experimental textures and vibrant colours of the dishes.

Avant-garde take on a traditional salmon bagel
Oysters poached tableside in MCC, served on a porcelain oyster shell on a bed of seashells and pebbles.

From the trio of seafood courses that follow, to being escorted to the bar for a theatrical palate cleanser of calamansi poached in liquid nitrogen, PIER provides an immersive culinary experience that works in perfect synergy with the design and decor of the space. Chef Norris-Rodgers has left no stonefruit unturned when it comes to curating an unforgettable, fine-dining experience. So, if you’re looking for a showcase of world-class cuisine in a calm and airy environment, you know exactly where to find it.

Words by Shai Rama