From the outside, not much has changed since Love Me So opened during the second half of 2017. The mixologists still mix drinks the same way, the trading hours haven’t changed, and part-owner, Fabio Di Cosmo, still occupies the same booth in the corner of the venue. What has changed is the menu. While old favourites have stayed – you can still build your own ramen, the Korean BBQ hasn’t been touched and the kimchi is still made in-house – there are some great additions that are bound to become new favourites.
Chef Alex has opted to grow the izakaya section by adding Love Me So pancakes with either crispy pork or shitaki and tofu. Other additions would be the rainbow salad, miso eggplant, and jaga bata (the best damn potato salad you’ll ever have in your life). Each new dish on the menu is a declaration of Love Me So’s evolution.
One of the biggest changes to the menu is the introduction of curated bowls of ramen. In this section patrons can expect shio chicken, miso tofu and pork tonkotsu – bowls put together with a mixture of Alex’s personal taste and customer preferences, and an emphasis on the comfort that comes with a big bowl of ramen noodles. Indeed, consolation is what I feel when sipping on the tonkotsu broth – a taste that transports you to a culinary space where everything is pleasantly tempered with the colour of umami. It is what wine people hope to experience when they spend R2000 on a bottle of Meerlust. It is why red meat fiends beg for one of the precious few seats at LD-R’s Short Market Club in Cape Town. It’s why I keep returning to Love Me So over and over and over again.
As much as we love sweetcorn soup, Love Me So is not a Chinese takeout, but an homage to Korean, Chinese and Japanese food. Diners can warm up with a chicken wonton soup (made with in-house roasted chicken broth, roast corn, bok choy, and spring onion), and a vegan miso noodle soup. These dishes are perfect for the colder months, but will also be enjoyed well into spring.
Do yourself a favour and go get infatuated with the winter 2018 menu.
By Shawn Greyling