Constantia is known for its lush green hiking trails, scenic drives and sweeping views of its surrounding wine farms. We’ve rounded up the best restaurants in the area so you can eat your way through it.
This selection comprises all the Constantia restaurants that made the cut for the 2018 Eat Out 500, the list of the best restaurants in the country as rated and reviewed by our panel of critics for the 2018 edition of Eat Out magazine (on sale now). But we know there are more great restaurants in the area. Please tell us about your favourites in the comments at the end!
95 at Parks (Constantia)
Chef-patron Giorgio Nava shows attention to detail and authenticity in the rich, layered flavours on the plate. The signature beef ragù pasta and Karoo lamb ravioli are divine. Vegetarians will adore gnocchi in gorgonzola and pecan sauce, while carnivores should investigate the succulent grass-fed sirloin and hearty osso buco. Leave space for chocolate fondant.
Kick things off by sharing piquant starters like asparagus with baked ricotta and mixed fried seafood. Pescatarians love the range of fish served with baby potatoes and salsa verde; while carnivores head for the signature balsamic beef tagliata and lamb ragù. Vegetarians are looked after with wild mushroom and goat’s cheese orzo and asparagus risotto. Thin-crust pizzas with gourmet toppings offer good value.
This landmark restaurant rests on the reputation of Edgar Osojnik, the Austrian chef at the helm. Menus change frequently to showcase seasonal produce and South African meats, venison and fish. The menu is divided into the earthy flavours of ‘rustic affairs’ (say, pork belly with all the trimmings) and more complex compositions called ‘indulge’ (beef in bone-marrow crust with truffle potato). Springbok in port wine sauce and entrecôte in café de Paris butter are signatures. Vegetarians will find the Mediterranean antipasti platter big enough for two to share. Leave room for the chocolate dessert.
Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia (Constantia) – 2017 Top 10
Liam Tomlin’s award-winning tapas restaurant has extended its reach to the southern suburbs with Ivor Jones at the helm. Each dish is a layered delight with big flavours and little flourishes. The smoked trout with burrata, beetroot and saffron is a bright start, pairing well with its mate of tender tuna with ginger-and-citrus dressing and lime-cured cream cheese. The carrot risotto is a triumph, with crispy sage and roasted walnuts. For dessert, the floral lavender crème is tempered by earthy honey, slightly bitter honeycomb shards and smoked cassia bark ice cream. Heaven.
The Conservatory (Constantia)
A compact menu ticks a variety of boxes, from moreish burgers with all the trimmings to classic Caesar salads and the soufflé of aged Boland cheese. The grilled rib eye is packed with flavour thanks to a topping of bone marrow and forest mushrooms; there’s an Asian bent to the miso-glazed grilled tuna; and tourists will enjoy the modern bobotie.
Foxcroft (Constantia) – nominee for the 2017 Top 10
Chef Glen Williams’s philosophy of treating ingredients with care, attention and respect comes across in a menu with a broad range of flavours, from tempura veg with fermented chilli mayo to lamb rib with harissa, smoked garlic and brinjal. The tuna crudo with green olive, chicory, roasted pork-fat dressing and preserved lemon, and mussels with crispy bacon and soubise, are magnificent. For mains, choose from the likes of pan-seared line fish with salsa verde and Chalmar beef with duck-fat chips. The rose-and-coconut panna cotta is pretty in pastel pink.
Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort (Constantia) – 2017 Top 10
Chef Peter Tempelhoff is quietly and elegantly producing pitch-perfect plates. The amuse-bouches impress: a seaweed daaltjie with smoked snoek dip, and Cape Malay pickled fish and Hermanus abalone with egg custard and sake. These are followed by the mushroom, sherry and chocolate King Cone and The Butcher Bird’s Pantry, a tribute to the fiscal shrike’s habit of impaling tasty tidbits on thorns to be savoured later. That might be followed by braaied gamefish with kelp salad and tempura dune spinach, pesto and sesame; Outeniqua springbok with boontjie salad, Niçoise vinaigrette, miso and bonito; and Szechuan barbecue Boran beef with wood fungus and turnip. Dessert comes in the form of chamomile sherbet, dehydrated yoghurt and clotted cream and a plate of deconstructed chocolate, blueberry and coffee.
La Colombe (Constantia) – 2017 Top 10
Chef Scot Kirton and his team are pulling out all the stops to wow diners with theatrical touches, but flavour remains top of the list of priorities. From picking a sphere of apple on arrival to a message that says ‘Food is our theatre. We hope you enjoy the show’, revealed beneath morsels of king crab and dollops of yuzu gel, the drama unfolds. The springbok dish is a triumph: rich flavours of miso and chestnut blend with the sweetness of orange and the most succulent morsels of springbok. The sweet option brings together subtle flavours of rose, strawberry, white chocolate and geranium.
Open Door (Constantia)
Classic technique puts a gastronomic spin on a modern country menu focused on seasonality. Start with saffron-poached pear salad with toasted walnuts and gorgonzola, or West Coast mussels in prosciutto broth. The mains are meaty: think signature rib eye with chimichurri sauce or Chalmar beef sirloin with café de Paris butter. Vegetarians should opt for a trio of cauliflower, an arty composition of tastes and texture. Leave space for a classic desserts like Eton mess.
This selection comprises all the Constantia restaurants that made the cut for the 2018 Eat Out 500, the list of best restaurants in the country as rated and reviewed by our panel of critics for the 2018 edition of Eat Out magazine (on sale now). But we know there are more great restaurants in the area. Please tell us about your favourites in the comments at the end.