Today we’re heading a short drive (20 minutes) from central Cape Town to the Durbanville wineland region. Our destination is a vineyard called De Grendel which has an amazing restaurant that we try to visit every year when we’re in the Mother City.
The Graaff family own the farm and have done for four generations (lucky them!) though the restaurant is a relatively recent addition. There are stunning views to towering Table Mountain as well as an equally desirable view into the glass-panelled kitchen.
The menu lists ingredients without any explanation of how they are going to be prepared. So it’s all a bit of a mystery – an exciting one – as to what’s actually going to arrive at the table. Chef Ian Bergh is known for his passion for local, seasonal produce and also for his adventurous flavours, so you know you’re in for a treat.
What’s on the menu
There’s a choice of five starters and five mains. All of which got my mouth watering.
The towering plate of tuna tataki came with cabbage, pineapple, cucumber, tamarind, cashew, and black bean chilli. Now that sounds like a nice mix of ingredients – and it was! All complementing the freshest of tuna.
I don’t remember ever having a springbok (it’s an African antelope) starter before…perhaps that’s because they are an unusual thing. So today I had this amazing place of springbok loin, celeriac, radicchio, courgette and cherry with a five spice jus.
I love the flavour of springbok and it was so perfectly cooked – rare, rich and tender – with the lovely Asian and citrus flavours adding a wonderful freshness and lightness.
Today’s line fish was cob (AKA kabeljou), one of my very favourite South African fish. It was served with barley, quinoa, pak choi, cauliflower, lime, truffle, lemongrass and almond. The flavours work so amazingly with the beautifully sweet fish though there was a bit too much barley and quinoa going on for me. My fault for ordering in the knowledge that I am not a big fan of either…if you are you’d love this dish even more.
Meat lovers can rejoice in this fabulous carnivorous feast of Karoo lamb neck with chermoula, tomato, date, feta, pickle, yogurt, coriander and spinach jus. So satisfying with its North African flavours.
De Grendel’s desserts are hard to resist so in the end we gave in to temptation and shared the Valrohna aero, nutella mousse, lime, banana brûlée and hazelnut. The perfect finish!
Our beautiful table was decked out in blues and whites with the perfect protea centrepiece.
And here’s the stunning view…
Today’s price point
We paid R820 for two starters, two mains and one dessert. That’s about £43 at today’s exchange rate.
One of the many things we love about De Grendel is that they sell their wine in the restaurant at cellar door prices. Surprisingly not all vineyards do this.
White starts from R100 (just over £5), red from R145 (£7.70) and their rose which is one of our favourites is a mere R70 (£3.70). Seriously – in a restaurant! De Grendel how we love you!
De Grendel is at Plattekloof Road, Panorama.