When looking for fine dining, Centurion might not be the first destination that comes to mind. But this restaurant at Kleinkaap Boutique Hotel might just change your mind. Toni Muir reviews.
The beautiful and historic Kleinkaap Boutique Hotel is home to the 16th Lintel restaurant, charmingly decorated with period furniture, soft Persian carpets, and crisp white table linen. The original Dutch homestead had 15 support lintels. When the owners decided to expand the building, they needed to add more lintels. The first new lintel (the 16th one), gave the restaurant its name.
Serves: Fine dining
Best for: An intimate dinner or a special occasion
Cost: Average main course is R175
Star ratings: Food and drinks 5, Service 5, Ambience 4
Parking: Secure, on-site parking
Corkage: No BYO
To start, the sugar-cured salmon is very tasty – a beautifully put-together plate of salmon, cucumber and marinated fennel, finished off with a lemon-and-fennel aioli. The flavours of sweet, salty, citrus and salmon complement one another really well. The lemon-and-herb risotto-stuffed calamari is also delicious – a generous portion, the creamy risotto is offset well by the paprika-tomato compote and tender calamari.
For mains, the brown sugar and garlic pork belly is superb. The pork belly is sweet and succulent whilst the apple-and-thyme chutney finishes it off nicely. The grilled salmon fillet also deserves a mention – expertly cooked, slightly crisp on the edges, served with a fennel and crème fraîche risotto and wilted spinach. The menu also features several of the chef’s signature dishes, such as a pinotage-and-balsamic slow-cooked lamb shank, a pepper-crusted venison loin, and a steak platter. If you opt for the steak, try it served on a Himalayan salt block (R20 surcharge), which is said to enhance the flavour of the steak.
Leave space for dessert, as there are several delectable offerings at 16th Lintel, such as the coconut-and-date Hertzoggie, served with mango sorbet and passion fruit syrup; and the lemon verbena crème brulée, served with rooibos-infused strawberries and a shortbread biscuit. If you prefer a savoury finale, the local cheese and port platter should be to your liking. Designed for two to share, it includes a selection of local cheeses, preserves and fruits, as well as a glass of port each.
The Grand Bar serves cocktails, refreshers, spirits and beers – including some great craft ones – and offers a wine list that comprises around 100 bins – both local and international. There is a good range, from the reasonable to the indulgent: a decent glass of white wine can be had for R35 (175 ml) or a bottle for R135, though you can also splurge on French champagne if you so choose (R880 per bottle). The Whisky Lounge offers a range of fine whiskies as well as cognacs, and is a wonderful way to close out your evening.
The service is welcoming and efficient. When asked about something on the menu, the waiter nipped off to the kitchen to check with the chef, returning promptly to explain the dish in greater detail. The hostess checks in on your table several times, too.
16th Lintel is located beside the oldest section of Kleinkaap Hotel, which houses 100 years of history within its walls, and the décor has been kept within the style of the period. Soft music plays throughout the restaurant, and a flickering candle is lit at each table. The restaurant can surely get busy at times, but during its quiet times it’s perfect for an intimate dinner for two. The Hotel also has spectacular gardens, which you can overlook if seated at a table beside the window.
The plating at 16th Lintel is something to behold. Your first instinct, once the plate is laid down, will be to admire the enchanting placing of micro greens, bright flowers and fruits.
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