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 have not changed, and part-owner Fabio Di Cosmo still occupies the same booth in the corner of the venue. What has changed is the menu. Old favourites have stayed. You can still build your own ramen, the Korean BBQ has not been touched, and the kimchi is till made in-house.
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 to this section would be the rainbow salad, miso eggplant, and jaga bata (the best damn potato salad you will have in your life). Each new dish on the menu is a declaration of Love Me So’s evolution. We are playing witness to the eatery’s transition from good to better, with best lurking in the foreground.
One of the biggest changes in the menu would be the addition of set bowls of ramen. In this section patrons can expect shio chicken, miso tofu, and pork tonkotsu. These bowls have been put together with a mixture of Alex’s personal taste and customer preferences. Emphasis has been placed on the reason why we all love a big bowl of ramen noodles: solace and consolation. The addition of these set comfort food items comes as a welcoming option during the winter months. For instance, the use of the tonkotsu broth sets off sparks in your mouth as you are transported to an imaginative culinary space where everything is pleasantly temperate with the colour of umami. It is what wine people hope to experience when they spend R2 000 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 sweet corn soup, Love Me So is not a Chinese takeout, but an homage to Korean, Chinese, and Japanese food. Patrons can warm up with a chicken wonton soup (made of in-house roasted chicken broth with roasted corn, bok choy, and spring onion), and a vegan miso noodle soup. These dishes are perfect for the colder months and I can assure you that we’ll be eating these long after spring decides to show up.
Do yourself a favour and go check out the winter 2018 menu at Love Me So in Melville – you will become infatuated with it.
By Shawn Greyling