Eat Out

BEYOND CAPE TOWN

Fresh start

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

BREEDE RIVER VALLEY

KOLE & DEEG

BEST FOR A warm welcome and heavenly bakes. FOOD The chef duo of Yolani Abrahams and Stefan Roos surprise and delight time and again at this up-and-coming bakery/café at the gateway to the Ceres valley. Fresh-out-of-the-oven artisanal breads, roosterkoeke, flaky pastries and stunning cupcakes are the daily fare. Bold flavours find happy partnerships when the chefs are at their most innovative: take the the 50% rye bread with cumin and a whole pear baked into the centre, or homemade honeycomb granola. Café-style lunches are presented beautifully and offer great value for money. Dinners will become more frequent, with delectable dishes on offer such as a salt-and-pepper squid starter with a lentil salad and smoked paprika aioli. DRINKS Enjoy a fresh brew from the friendly neighbouring Tremor Coffee Shop baristas. Fresh juices round off a breakfast order nicely. SERVICE A truly warm welcome. AMBIENCE Buzzy yet warm and welcoming. (JCK)

28 Voortrekker Street, Ceres; 079 489 7428; breakfast and lunch Tue to Sat, breakfast, lunch and dinner Fri; avg main meal R95; no corkage fee

WAVERLEY HILLS

BEST FOR Taking in the views of the Breede Valley over a relaxing lunch with a glass of wine while the kids play on the vast lawns. FOOD Start your meal with the humble South African pampoenkoekie, its taste optimised beautifully with bacon and a thyme-butterscotch sauce. Definitely rooted in comfort food, each dish celebrates the core of every ingredient and is beautifully presented. The restaurant prides itself on using only the freshest ingredients from local producers and, on occasion, its own seasonal permaculture garden. The pork belly and twice-cooked pork neck (served with honeycomb, bacon jus, lemon-pickled apple and pearl couscous) is a must. DRINKS Only wines from the award-winning organic estate. Coffee-lovers are in good hands too. SERVICE Waitrons are comfortable with the menu, but attention lapses on occasion. AMBIENCE The chic country-style interior offers deep couches next to the fireplace; or sit outside on the deck in summer. (JCK)

Waverly Hills Organic Wine Farm, Off R46 between Tulbagh and Ceres, Wolseley; 023 231 0002; lunch Tue to Sun, dinner Wed to Fri; avg main meal R150; no BYO

FRANSCHHOEK

BIG DOG CAFÉ

BEST FOR Taste KZN’s Terbodore coffee with on-point café fare. FOOD The menu is a mix of classics and fresh, healthy options. Breakfast is available all day and includes black beans on toast with tahini and a poached egg, or mushrooms on sourdough with onion and miso purée and spinach Hollandaise. The buttermilk fried chicken and waffles is given a lift thanks to house labneh, kale tabbouleh and pomegranate arils. The Asian burger topped with miso butter, aioli, pickled daikon and crispy kale is perfect. Indulge in a luscious cake: think gluten-free carrot cake topped with figs and dried pineapple. DRINKS The coffee is full of flavour – try a single origin cup or do a tasting. SERVICE Relaxed and friendly. AMBIENCE White walls and plenty of wood make this a light, bright space. There’s a lovely garden and it’s dog-friendly – provided Fido is on a leash. Kids have access to the neighbouring restaurant’s play area. (KP)

191 Main Road; 021 876 2731; breakfast and lunch Mon to Sat; avg main meal R90; no BYO

BREAD & WINE VINEYARD RESTAURANT

BEST FOR A slow lunch after enjoying a wine tasting next door, with a group of special friends or family. FOOD Neil Jewell, chef and charcuterer at Bread and Wine, with his wife Tina as co-baker and front-of-house manager, are the life force behind this popular eatery. There is a seasonal three- or four-course menu with choices. Starters like tender char-grilled octopus with XO sauce will delight seafood lovers, and the chicken rillettes are testament to his charcuterie skills. For mains, try Boschendal beef short rib with bone marrow and beetroot; while eryngii mushrooms with polenta, parmesan custard and baby leeks is rich in umami. End with pink grapefruit cheesecake or Paris-Brest with apple, ricotta and heavenly salted toffee ice cream. DRINKS The full range of Môreson Estate wines is on offer. SERVICE Professional, welcoming and very friendly. AMBIENCE Be mesmerised by the tranquility and beautiful surroundings as you sit in the lemon-tree filled courtyard. (IvdM)

Moreson Farm, Happy Valley Road; 021 876 4004; lunch Mon to Sun; two courses R365, three courses R405; no BYO

CAFÉ BONBON AT LA PETITE DAUPHINE

BEST FOR World-class bistro food in a tranquil countryside setting. FOOD Here comfort food and the sourcing of local ingredients is key. Meat is free-range and ingredients change with the seasons. The menu mixes bistro classics and traditional South African favourites. Start with chicken livers in house-made peri-peri sauce or seared beef carpaccio with Grana Padano. For mains, the braised lamb is a winner – a generous portion of meltingly tender meat served with herb gremolata. The vegetarian wild mushroom risotto with shiitake mushroom arancini and truffle is excellently seasoned. End with poached fruit with honeycomb and cinnamon ice cream or an artisanal cheese platter. DRINKS Carefully selected wines from neighbouring estates as well as other areas; some available by carafe. SERVICE The service is adequate but can be slow; staff members are all very friendly. AMBIENCE Inside it’s fireside-cosy with barn-style rustic comfort; or sit on the patio overlooking the farm. (IvdM)

La Petite Dauphine Guest Farm, Excelsior Road; 021 876 2679; breakfast and lunch Mon to Sun, dinner Wed, Fri and Sat; avg main meal R150; no BYO

CAFÉ DES ARTS

BEST FOR Casual dining, especially with children. FOOD To start: fresh mussels in a curry broth. The mussels are perfectly plump; the curry sauce mildly spicy and creamy. The springbok carpaccio is sprinkled with parmesan cheese and served with crispy bread and balsamic glaze. The spiced baby squid with pineapple starter is simply sublime. For mains, the line fish is the chef's signature and comes highly recommended. The noteworthy lamb shank is served on a bed of polenta. For dessert, choose between carrot cake, gluten-free chocolate cake, malva pudding and salted caramel cheesecake served with ice cream – the carrot cake and cheesecake are definite winners. DRINKS There’s a large selection of local red, white and sparkling wines, most available to order by the glass. SERVICE The waiters' knowledge of the menu items was good. AMBIENCE Inside it’s small and quaint, with raw wood finishes and walls adorned by colourful artwork. On a sunny day, opt to sit outside. (ZN)

7 Reservoir Street; 021 876 2952; lunch and dinner Mon, breakfast, lunch and dinner Tues to Sun; avg main meal R60; corkage R40

CHEFS WAREHOUSE AT MAISON NOMINEE

BEST FOR A lazy winelands lunch with friends. FOOD The eight-course feast begins with tender beef sirloin pastrami and a soft homemade pretzel. Ruby red beetroot lacquer coats tender Citrusdal ostrich with marinated daikon radish, and a dish of Franschhoek trout tartare is plated with a fragrant oil, tahini-soy dressing and tempura celery leaves. The miso-cured chicken liver parfait with Maison fennel cured bacon and toasted raisin-and-pecan brioche is followed by cauliflower risotto. Other dishes include roasted chicken thighs with poached egg and artichoke, and slow-braised springbok shanks. Lastly, light beer-battered hake ends the meal, leaving pudding: the lemon posset. DRINKS A decent wine list with bottles from Maison Estate. Craft beers and good coffee are available. SERVICE Relaxed, friendly and professional. AMBIENCE The interior boasts hues of grey and wood. A fire warms up cooler days; however, the place to be is the stoep overlooking the green lawn and mountain backdrop. (NB)

Maison Estate, R45; 021 876 2116; lunch and dinner Tue to Sat; avg main meal R280; corkage R50

THE DINING ROOM AT LEEU ESTATE

BEST FOR A special occasion. FOOD Create a two- or three-course meal from options such as a starter of beef tartare with bold flavours. The citrus ceviche of game fish (like dorado) with citrus segments, mango purée, onion, chilli, cucumber and tomato is bright and punchy. For mains, the slow-braised Karoo lamb comes highly recommended: served meltingly tender with mashed potato, bright green buttered beans and a rich gravy, it’s a best-scenario home-style Sunday lunch dish. The Asian smoked pork belly with bok choy and plum purée hits deep umami notes. For dessert, choose between a decadent Valrhona chocolate fondant with rum and raisin ice cream or a locally sourced cheese board with house-made preserves. DRINKS Award-winning Mullineux and Leeu Family Wines as well as a range of carefully sourced wines from the region. SERVICE A large team of well-trained, professional and friendly staff. AMBIENCE The beauty of Leeu Estates and its sculpted gardens will leave you in awe. (IvdM)

Leeu Estates, Dassenberg Road; 021 492 2220; breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon to Sun; two courses R375, three courses R575; no BYO

FOLIAGE NOMINEE

BEST FOR The food equivalent of a walk in the woods. FOOD While some of Chris Erasmus’s foraging gambles will divide the room, others are triumphs. To start, the warm barbecued pumpkin dish with a stack of sprouts and spring onions takes you into the mountains of the valley. For mains, a guinea fowl, duck and chicken ballotine tastes like a haute version of a country chicken pie. The creamy chicken liver parfait served with it is the winner, though. Don’t miss the caramelia délice – beneath a layer of dark chocolate lies a glorious peanut butter mousse and a pale green cannabis leaf marshmallow. DRINKS Kick off with a glass of house kombucha. Excellent wine pairings and quality wines by the glass. SERVICE Everyone is having a blast: from the chefs in the open kitchen to the relaxed, confident waiters. AMBIENCE Red walls, exposed brickwork and a roaring fireplace make for a warm, welcoming space. (KP)

11 Huguenot Road; 021 876 2328; lunch and dinner Mon to Sat; avg main meal R195; corkage R70

LA PETITE COLOMBE TOP 10

Date nights and falling in love with French cooking. The menu kicks off with caraway sourdough bread with home-churned butter, sesame and roasted yeast, but it's only upon the serving of the yellowfin tuna, aubergine, miso, naartjie and avocado starter that the epicurean splendour really takes off. The gochujang-glazed pork, scallops, and celeriac with wild garlic and horseradish Curated by the head sommelier, the wine pairing enhances every dish’s flavour. Some of the most polished service in the Cape. The refurbished space is airy and muted, with a sagacious use of the ample light it enjoys.

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