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Review: Why it’s worth road-tripping to Bosjes Kombuis in Breede River

The much-lauded chapel at Bosjes in the Breede River Valley tends to steal the show, but this estate has much to offer – including some tasty bistro dining at Bosjes Kombuis, writes Eat Out critic Jeanne Calitz.

The beautiful chapel rather steals the show, but it's worth visiting the farm to explore its other offerings. Photo supplied.

The beautiful chapel rather steals the show, but it’s worth visiting the farm to explore its other offerings. Photo supplied.

Fast facts

Serves: Relaxed, bistro-style food
Best for: Long and lingering lunches with friends
Corkage fee: R40
Star rating: Food and wine 3, service 4, ambience 4

The trout fishcake with avo salad and lemon mayo. Photo supplied.

The trout fishcake with avo salad and lemon mayo. Photo supplied.

Food

The brief Bosjes Kombuis menu offers relaxed, bistro-style food. On the starters side of things, the farm platter with cured meats, pickles, moreish chicken-liver pâté topped with caramelised onions, and truly divine home-made bread, is a great way to get the party going.

The charcuterie board. Photo supplied.

The charcuterie board. Photo supplied.

As for mains, you can get stuck into hearty dishes like braised lamb shank and a decadent beef burger with herbed mushroom and horseradish cream – or you can opt for the vegetarian winner that is the delicious deep-dish mushroom quiche, served with a poached egg and gruyère shavings.

Lamb cutlets with tabbouleh and cucumber raita. Photo supplied.

Lamb cutlets with tabbouleh and cucumber raita. Photo supplied.

Dessert brings treats like a trio of home-made ice cream, with flavours such as cinnamon, carrot cake, and orange caramel. However, it is the sticky toffee pudding with caramel ice cream and ginger streusel that not only steals the show, but runs off with the leading lady as well. It is quite rich and served in ample proportions, so you might want to share the bounty. (Or not!)

The sticky toffee pudding with caramel ice cream and ginger streusel. Photo supplied.

The sticky toffee pudding with caramel ice cream and ginger streusel. Photo supplied.

All in all, the restaurant offers good, fuss-free food that hits the spot. Here and there (notably the chorizo-and-calamari salad) some of the flavours need a little tweaking, but when it comes to potential and passion, Kombuis has it in spades, and it’s early days yet.

The restaurant has its own architectural appeal. Photo supplied.

The restaurant has its own architectural appeal. Photo supplied.

Drinks

This is the most hyper-local wine list I’ve seen in a while – every last bottle is sourced from the Rawsonville area. No complaints; we are happy with the discovery of the Du Toitskloof Quest MCC, for example, and then proceed to enjoy the merits of the Stofberg Family Vineyards Mariëtte Chenin Blanc. There’s something to suit every budget, and it’s a budget-friendly offering to begin with. If you want to bring your town, the corkage fee is R40.

Bosjes Kombuis in the evening. Photo supplied.

Bosjes Kombuis in the evening. Photo supplied.

Ambience

This venue holds such visual splendours that you might find it hard to focus on the food. Every which way you look brings something to delight the eye, whether it be the picturesque Breede River Valley or the Waaihoek Mountain in the background, the sleek wood and glass design of the restaurant itself, or the beautiful blue-and-white tiled mural that adorns one entire wall. It’s the kind of place that invites lingering lunches with friends and family. The low hum of pleased conversation is the only soundtrack you’ll find – or need – here.

The almond panna cotta with poached pear and homemade shortbread. Photo supplied.

The almond panna cotta with poached pear and homemade shortbread. Photo supplied.

Service

Very friendly and welcoming. In fact, everyone working here seems quite satisfied with the fact, which translates into a happy and convivial atmosphere. Expect genuine smiles and true hospitality at Bosjes Kombuis.

A large playground offers kids entertainment while parents lunch. Photo supplied.

A large playground offers kids entertainment while parents lunch. Photo supplied.

And…

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more child-friendly venue. Not only is there a spectacular jungle gym to keep the little ones occupied (and some adults as well), but there’s a nice little kiddies’ menu, and ample room for running about. Bosjes holds plenty of riches for the older visitor, too. Indeed, there’s a touch of Alice in Wonderland about the place – remarkable discoveries await around every corner. Follow the dirt road down through the fields, and there lies the famed chapel, resting like some heavenly winged creature amidst the vineyards. Take a walk through the arresting gardens that flank it, full of interesting nooks and corners and fountains. Or keep walking and you will happen upon the hidden tea garden, with a small kiosk offering coffee and sweet baked goods set amidst a wide sunken oval green. (The only thing needed to complete this playful picture is a giant chessboard and someone to yell ‘off with their heads’.) And finally, the estate offers stylish accommodation – in the ‘splurge’ school of spending – should you wish to extend your stay.

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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