Living in the heart of the winelands at Stellenbosch, I tend to visit the wine farms and restaurants in this area a lot and enjoy every minute of it. When our two kids told me that they were both going on a school camp for two days, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to explore the more distant Cape Town. When I talk ‘exploring’, I mean tasting all the goodness of some of the greatest wine farms and restaurants in that area. I am so pleased that there are many that we can still visit. Two days is just not enough – I need 2 weeks!
We were able to visit the following restaurants and I trust you will enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed the ‘exploration’.
We started our visit at Constantia Glen for a wine tasting and lunch. When we arrived, we were stunned to see the breathtaking views overlooking the beautiful valley of Constantia, enjoying the informal atmosphere from their veranda.
We tasted some great wines and enjoyed their meat Flammkuchen – which is a thin, crisp base layered with a variety of toppings.
They cater for vegans with a brand-new addition to the popular crispy Flammkuchen selection at the tasting room as well. The vegan Flammkuchen is topped with cheese-free basil pesto, grilled peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, olives and capers with a drizzle of truffle oil. Vegetarians who prefer cheese on their Flammkuchen can replace the artichokes with goat’s cheese. For a more substantial meal, tuck into a crisp summer salad with your Flammkuchen.
The vegan Flammkuchen is available at R170 and is best enjoyed with a bottle of Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc.
Constantia Glen is open from Sundays to Thursdays, 10h00 to 18h00, and Fridays and Saturdays, 10h00 to 20h00. Look out for the Constantia Glen signs towards the top of Constantia Main Road.
The drive to Steenberg was most beautiful – it felt like we were visiting an overseas country. Steenberg was a highlight for us, and I highly recommend Steenberg wine tasting and the Bistro.
The tasting rooms are modern, and attention is paid to every inch of the tasting room.
We received a warm welcome and our host, Zelda, was an absolute star. She gave us the fascinating history of the farm and family and her knowledge of the wine is was excellent.
They really have fantastic wines; we haven’t come across an inferior wine at Steenberg.
Our early dinner was tapas which promoted the experience to the next level in the most beautiful setting next to a beautiful water feature and modern art all around. The service was five star and to be commended.
I also enjoyed the most delicious mussels – and really recommend them.
We were sent to High Constantia for their great wine. We almost drove past – it felt like finding wine farms in Italy… luckily for us the ‘Open’ sign was up.
We walked into this hobbit which felt like cellar and received a friendly greeting by our host for the morning, Sannaline. Her husband, Roger, is the wine maker. They quickly arranged chairs for us on the veranda overlooking a dam and with the rain falling we were extremely chuffed.
Sannaline brought out some old vintages of a single varietal Cabernet Franc, Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon. All fantastic, and they sell only from the cellar. The one that really stood out for me, was the Sebstiaan 2007 which I choose for my ‘Wine of the Month’. This is a hidden gem that is worth a visit.
Carne on Kloof
After a fantastic wine-tasting we travelled to Carne on Kloof. Giorgio Nava’s all-meat restaurant in Kloof Street is also open for lunch and dinner and has a wonderful menu, enhanced by the vibe of the area.
This is a shout out to all the meat-lovers out there. They specialize in quality meat and excellent service with an impressive wine selection to accompany the fantastic meat dishes. Ask your host to pair the dishes with their choice of wine – he pairs brilliantly. This was the first time in my life I tasted sweetbread – it was so good I would never have guessed it was sweetbread. They serve their meat the best way – perfectly cooked with only olive oil and maldon salt. You should never eat your steak any other way. Highly recommended and top on my list of restaurants in Cape Town.
Balducci, V & A Waterfront
Someone once said that a good restaurant must make a singular connection between food, family and friends, and wine of course – a connection embraced by Italy’s rich gastronomic culture. Without these essential elements, the restaurant has no soul. Balducci has been making this connection for more than two decades, having first opened their doors in September 1996. At Balducci the food is based on the essentially Italian notion that the best food is found ‘at home’. For over 21 years.
Balducci has created a home-feel – warm, welcoming and relaxed with the focus on freshness, simplicity, consistency and flavour – their pleasure being the joy of family and friends who love what they experience and keep coming back for more.
They are, of course, devotees to what the doyen of Italian food, Marcella Hazan, describes as “the Italian art of eating”, which requires “generosity… patience… and the best raw materials.”