Lunch at Simon’s nestling in the Constantia Winelands

I’m aware it’s all been very quiet on eatingcoventgarden.com recently. Apologies for that. After an unexpected extended stay in Cape Town because of surgery after breaking my ankle we returned to the UK last month. It was good to get home. And to be so much more mobile – the joy of being able to walk to the shops on my own (albeit not at any speed) and walk around the house without crutches. Baby steps but moving forward just the same.

My accident made me much more aware of the logistics of getting around. And meant more restaurant research to make sure I would have easy access. In Cape Town there were surprisingly few restaurants that were possible to get into in a wheelchair. But there were some, thankfully, like Simon’s in the Constantia Valley. It’s on the 300-year-old wine estate, Groot Constantia. Handy disabled parking right at the path to the entrance and a large step-free terrace meant I was soon sitting comfortably in the autumn sunshine looking out over beautiful vineyards and mountains.

What’s on the menu

Simon’s focusses on using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. There’s a good selection of classic dishes and local specialities. Like the fried bobotie wonton parcels filled with Cape Malay-spiced minced beef, and served with minted yogurt and tomato and onion salsa.

Simon's: bobotie wontons
Tasty, crunchy bobotie parcels

The West Coast mussels were steamed and served with a cream, white wine and fresh herb sauce. Beautifully creamy with sweet, plump mussels. I adore West Coast mussels.

Simon's: West Coast mussels
Fresh juicy mussels in the creamiest of sauces

The duck liver parfait was baked with cream and brandy and served with a delicate grape and thyme jam – the perfect sweet accompaniment.

Simon's: duck liver parfait
The richness of perfect parfait

Little pan roasted salmon fishcakes (more balls than cakes really with their spheroid shape) were served with a silken white wine veloute.

Simon's: salmon fishcakes
Delicate salmon in a light sauce

I love a good peri peri chicken – described here as marinated and grilled Mozambique style. It was quite simply wonderful, served with extra hot sauce on the side and a pile of crispy chips. A huge portion that I finished off for lunch the next day. Love that!

Simon's: peri peri chicken
Mouthwateringly spicy peri peri chicken

Simon’s version of a Caprese consisted of Fior di Latte, Italian tomatoes, red onion, roasted pine nuts and basil pesto. What a yummy combo.

Simon's: Caprese
The freshest of capreses Simon’s style

Thank you Simon’s for having such perfect wheelchair access which made it oh-so-easy for me to get out on a gorgeous Cape Town autumn day.

Today’s price point

Two starters and two mains came to an average of around R420. That’s £24 at today’s exchange rate.

Groot Constantia’s wines are really excellent – and it’s always good to support a restaurant by drinking their vineyard’s wines. Especially when they are so good.

Their Sauvignon Blanc goes for R235 (£13.50), their rose for a well-priced R170 (£9.77) and their reds start from R325 (£18.70).

Simon’s is on Groot Constantia Wine Estate, Groot Constantia Road, Constantia, Cape Town.

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