Food to dream about at The Conservatory

The Cellars Hohenort Hotel is in the beautiful Constantia Valley. When we were looking for somewhere different to try for a relaxed post-golf Sunday lunch recently, we popped in to check it out. A delicious bloody mary later and a perusal of the menu, we’d booked a table on the sun-drenched terrace of The Conservatory for the weekend.

The hotel is set in nine acres of stunning, award-winning gardens. As you walk from the car park you don’t even have to stop to smell the roses, the scent is floating in the air all around you.

The stunning rose gardens welcome you
The stunning rose gardens welcome you

Everyone got very excited on reading the menu. Everything sounded so amazing, and we even managed to all order different things to get a proper flavour of the food. Our expectations were high as we waited for our starters to arrive.

Gosh, were our expectations met! The food at The Conservatory is truly fantastic and each plate looks like a work of art. Every mouthful was a delight, beginning with the fabulous starters.

Ostrick tataki – shitake mushrooms, daikon radish slaw, burnt miso mayo and yuzu dressing.

I do love a souffle and don’t see them often on menus these days, so I simply couldn’t resist ordering this. Velvety smooth and perfectly cheesy.

Double baked underberg souffle served with a kirsch flavoured cheese sauce and fresh shaved parmesan.

My husband seems to be going for a full set of soup dishes in Cape Town, he’s been having one at every restaurant we go to…so far this is the winner.

The sweetcorn soup could be the best soup I have ever tasted
The sweetcorn soup could be the best soup I have ever tasted

Plates of food really don’t get more stunning than this octopus masterpiece.

Plates of food really do not get more stunning than this
Local octopus carpaccio with lemon bavarois, pickled seafood, crispy prawn and ponzu dressing.

Fish and chips in a good restaurant is always a wise choice.

A truly superior fish and chip dish
A truly superior fish and chip dish with tartare sauce, triple cooked chips and a beautiful garden salad

Fish of the day was monkfish, and this was another plate of food to remember.

Delicate monkfish to delight
Monkfish with pearl barley and spring vegetable risotto asparagus and cape lobster bisque.

When Kevin ordered the gourmet burger everyone on the table sighed with envy. I think we all secretly wanted to be tucking into what has to be the most indulgent burger ever…

Gourmet burger with pan-fried fois gras, truffled mushroom ragout, pancetta, onion rings, cave aged cheddar cheese and shoestring fries.

The duck was beautifully sweet and crispy with silken potatoes.

Beautifully sweet and crispy duck that melted in the mouth
Slow roast crispy duck with pomme puree and exotic mushrooms in a honey-ginger jus

I’m literally salivating now as I relive our wonderful afternoon in the sun in blogtime. Truly great food to savour, and it was good value for money, too.

The hotel is also home to The Greenhouse restaurant which was voted best restaurant in South Africa in 2011 and for 2012 is eighth on the list. Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to make a return visit and check it out, too.

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