Visiting the Winelands doesn’t have to mean a (fairly long) drive to Stellenbosch, Paarl or Franschhoek. We also love the Durbanville area and fabulous wine estate, De Grendel, a mere 20-minute drive from the centre of Cape Town.
De Grendel’s restaurant (it opened in 2012) nestles on top of Tygerberg Hill with sweeping views over Table Mountain, the City of Cape Town and the seaboard.
The farm dates back to 1720 and has been in the Graaff family for five generations. Yet another wine dynasty! We’ve visited several times in the last year and have always come away happy. Today we booked for a post-golf lunch (after a round at nearby Durbanville), and invited friends who had never visited De Grendel before. No pressure then!
The fabulously elegant, light-filled restaurant is decorated in blues and whites and has wrap around views of the nearby city as well as great kitchen views, where you can stick your nose in and watch chef Ian Bergh produce his dishes of deliciousnes.
The duck breast was served with baby leaf, apple, red onion, litchi, honey and mustard on a vibrant blue plate.
And then the dilemma of mains! I used to be a huge fan of pork belly but recently have had several dishes in restaurants that simply have not been up to much. So much so that I developed a new mantra “Don’t order the pork belly”. Our lovely waitress did wax lyrical about today’s pork belly choice, but I had my doubts. Clive (who, luckily, was sitting next to me) didn’t and ordered what turned out to be a plate of spectacular tastes and textures. There was pork belly and fillet, figs, broccolini, cranberry, chorizo, cabbage and rooibos apple as well as the crunchiest of crackling. A heavenly dish.
Although I did feel strong pork-belly-envy, I have to say my main was also wonderful. The linefish today was kingklip, my absolute favourite and it was served with smoked mackerel samosas, black eyed beans, fine beans, pineapple caviar and a deliciously light curry-style sauce. A very clever combo taking a mix of Indian flavours but making sure nothing overpowered the wonderful sweetness of the kingklip. And it all looks so pretty, too.
And then for the steak. Candy ordered the beef fillet with broccolini, pearl onions, potato and a white peppercorn sauce. Perfectly cooked, tender and flavoursome fillet complemented by the most amazing of sauces.
Good news, dessert lovers. Today our table went sweet. I think I’ve been remiss in not ordering a pud every time I go out, even if it’s just so I can share with you all. Will have to try harder. These pictures are so lovely…and the dishes tasted even better.
The cinnamon cheesecake was served with grapefruit, orange and almond crumble.
This dessert is called Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate and it involves, well, a lot of chocolate. The Rocky Road (a kind of crunchy mix of icecream, nuts and marshmallow) was a revelation to me.
And how’s this for a masterpiece of a plate? The baked farm yogurt came with fresh berries (including gooseberries, which I love), meringue, biscotti and pistachio. Yum!
I can’t talk about lunch at De Grendel without mentioning De Grendel Rose. Our favourite of roses, it costs R50 a bottle in the restaurant. So fabulous to have such great food and drink that’s also such great value. We’ll be back, and this time I may well be back to the pork belly!
De Grendel is off the Plattekloof Road, which is off the NI from Cape Town heading towards Paarl.