Early tapas at Bistro Sixteen82 at Steenberg

Today I’m transporting you back to beautiful Cape Town and one of our favourite eateries – Bistro Sixteen82, set on the Steenberg Golf and Wine estate.

Talented chef Kerry Kilpin serves up wonderful seasonal dishes with simply the best sauces (she’s a bit of a sauce Queen, I reckon). There’s a distinct Asian influence (she’s inspired by the food of Thailand), as well as some interesting local touches. Oh and our latest discovery is that you can go there early evening for their special tapas selection. It had to be done – it’s tapas time!

What’s on the menu

How we loved these crispy tacos filled with pickled fish in a Malay-style sauce. Little morsels of heavenly crunch.

Bistro Sixteen82: tacos

Amazing crispy pickled fish tacos

The beef and Manchego croquette was luscious – richly meaty and comfortingly cheesy with a lovely crisp shell.

Bistro Sixteen82: croquette

The perfectly crisp, meat croquette

The West Coast mussels are served in a creamy Asian-style sauce. One of the many bowls of mussels I devoured in this year’s Cape Town sojourn and one of the best. I would eat these on every visit to Sixteen82 without doubt.

Bistro Sixteen82: mussels

Beautifully creamy fresh mussels

And then there was this melt-in-the-mouth mound of sticky ginger and chili beef. Topped with a surprise – some crunchy creamy coleslaw, it made for a satisfying plate.

Sixteen82: sticky ginger and chili beef

The comforting sight of sticky ginger and chili beef

And how’s this for a vibrantly beautiful plate? A broccoli, beetroot and slow-roast tomato salad with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and fresh coriander and a zest dressing. Tastes as good as it looks.

Bistro Sixteen82: beetroot salad

The vibrant reds of beetroot and tomato salad

We loved Steenberg’s wine offering this year. Particular favourites are the Klein Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc, the Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon blend and their top-of-the-range Nebbiolo. My only negative about Sixteen82 is that they put way too much mark-up on the wine in the restaurant. It’s hard to stomach when it’s been made on the estate and you can buy it next door in the shop for a fraction of the price. Having queried this we were told that the Wine Estate and the restaurant are separate entities. And no you can’t take it through with you. So all we could do was get over it if we wanted to enjoy the delicious food. Which we have!

Today’s price point

Our five dishes today cost us R354 which is about £21 at today’s exchange rate.

Bistro Sixteen82 is on Steenberg Golf and Wine Estate in Cape Town.

It is open for lunch every day and for tapas early evening from 1700 to 2000h.

Laid-back lunch at Steenberg’s Sixteen82

Today I’m heading for Steenberg, at the end of Cape Town’s M3. It’s a Wine Estate with a hotel, two restaurants and a golf club. What more could you want?

Our destination? Bistro Sixteen82, which is named after the year the winery at Steenberg was established (so that’s a while back) and opened its doors in 2009.

Executive Chef Kerry Kilpin (always nice to hear of a female chef) aims to use fresh, seasonal ingredients. She also says that her travels to Thailand mean she has developed a passion for Thai food. So that sounds very good, you know how I love Thai food.

We’d managed to wangle a last-minute booking – today’s lunch was an unexpected treat. So we started off with a bottle of their beautiful pink sparkling Brut Pinot Noir, well, if you’re going to treat yourself..

The menu doesn’t offer a massive choice of dishes, which makes ordering decisions easier. And there’s a blackboard with daily specials chalked up.

From the board, a clever chicken liver dish served with perfectly cooked pasta, all nestling in a little bowl. A melt-in-the-mouth dish with a real chilli kick.


Chicken livers and pasta make a heavenly starter

The spicy black mussels came with a sauce of onion, garlic, Steenberg chardonnay, lemongrass and tom yum. Plump, flavoursome mussels matched with a simply perfect sauce the flavours transported me straight back to Thailand. The dish also comes as a main course – guess what I’ll be having on my next visit?


Mussels in a tasty Thai-style sauce

The calamari came with harissa mayo, avocado pulp and paprika oil. Some of the softest, sweetest calamari I’ve eaten in a while that went perfectly with the creaminess of the avocado.


A must-eat dish for calamari lovers

For mains I couldn’t resist ordering the pork belly. It came with apple mash, greens and balsamic juice. The pork was perfectly cooked, packed with taste and topped with the crunchiest of crackling. And I loved the apple mash – going to be making some of that myself soon. There was a lot of juice and it was very rich, personally would have liked less of it, or had it on the side so I could add it at my leisure and really savour the flavour of the belly. Looking at my picture, I am thinking it does look a bit saucy…


Another pork belly to add to my sampling list

The braised lamb neck came with millet, sultanas, cumin juice and greens. Tenderest of lamb (the neck is a great cut to cook with) with an interesting combination of ingredients – a taste of Northern Africa possibly?


An exotic lamb dish

Again on the specials board was beef fillet which came with a wild mushroom sauce. A beautifully velvet mushroom sauce, served with tender steak cooked to perfection.


Tender fillet with delectable mushroom sauce

On a sunny day, the stylish light-filled restaurant was packed with a mix of the beautiful people of Cape Town and tourists from all over the world, enjoying tasty food in a great setting. Oh and great wine, too. Aside from the bubbles, which I’d really recommend, their Merlot is lovely and at the top of the tree is their Nebbiolo with its amazingly soft fruity and herby tones and great depth – I’m not a trained wine expert but you get the picture. It’s wine heaven.

Thanks to Juanine for using her influences to nab us a table for a fabulous, spontaneous lunch….let’s do it again soon.

Sixteen82 is on the Steenberg Wine Estate. Find out more by clicking here.

Stunning lunch in the sunshine at Bistro Sixteen82

Another stunning Sunday in Cape Town and it’s time to catch up with our friends Jules and Bruno – coincidentally the Jules of my previous post. So we headed for Bistro Sixteen82, set in the beautiful Steenberg vineyards and one of my favourites.

Named after the year in which Steenberg was established, it’s a stylishly modern restaurant set in an elegant garden with water features. Chef Brad Ball conjures up his interpretation of modern bistro food. It’s just fabulous!

To start, three of us were set on the scallops. Atlantic scallops with chorizo, sweetcorn puree and vanilla jus. The combo of scallops and chorizo is just perfect and served like this with the bright yellow puree, the dish was a work of art. And it tasted just as good as it looked.


A beautiful plate of food got us all excited right away

Jules is a vegetarian so asked if she could have hers minus the chorizo. Not a problem, and she got an extra scallop instead – we were all slightly envious.

The vegetarian version of the scallop dish

The vegetarian version of the scallop dish

The amazing leek gratin was made with Klein River gruyere, hazelnuts smoked potato puree and nasturtiums to decorate. Lovely!

Delicious and beautifully creative leek gratin

Delicious and beautifully creative leek gratin

Jules’ fish dish won the prize for the prettiest dish of the day on our table (in a very close-fought competition). Pan-fried line fish (today it was gurnard), pea pancake, smoked salmon trout, creme fraiche and tomato vinaigrette. What colours, flavours and textures!

Gurnard with plenty of goodies

Gurnard with plenty of goodies

Terry couldn’t resist ordering one of the specials. Seawater crayfish served with bernaise sauce, chips and a shrimp salad, was served on a long wooden platter and elicited gasps of excitement when it arrived at the table. Clever use of the cucumber to hold the salad together.

One of the day's specials, amazing freshwater crayfish

One of the day’s specials, amazing freshwater crayfish

I just love the beef tataki, which you can have as a starter or main. I really must break away and try something else next time, but it is just the perfect summer lunch dish. Chilled seared slices of Chalmar fillet with ginger, chilli, lime and sesame. I ordered a green salad to go with it, which was delicate and tasty with zesty caper berries and a great dressing.

Beef tataki is fresh and tasty with melt in the mouth beef

Beef tataki is fresh and tasty with melt in the mouth beef

An amazing green salad with caper berries and gherkins

An amazing green salad with caper berries and gherkins

Although we were all full we couldn’t resist sharing a cheeseboard between us. A lovely selection of local cheeses with walnut and apricot rye crackers.

Cheese platter

Our delicious cheese platter


Amazing food is matched by amazing views

You can also buy wine from the vineyard here to take home. The wine is very good, so I’d recommend a tasting which will no doubt lead to a purchase before you head home.


The chill-out area near the wine tasting counter

I’ve been dreaming of my next visit to Sixteen82 for ages, through the incessant rain of the British summer. I follow them on twitter and often see the tempting pictures of their latest special which I can’t sample because I’m in London…But now, at last, I’ve been back and been reminded of how much I love it. Oh and everyone’s been raving about their tapas menu, so I’m simply going to have to go for early evening tapas soon…can’t wait!