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Review: Idiom Restaurant on Sir Lowry’s Pass

After celebrating 10 vintages of award-winning Idiom wines, the Bottega family embarked on a new adventure in June, with the unveiling of a restaurant on the estate. Greg Landman puts Idiom Restaurant through its paces.

The beautiful location of The Idiom Restaurant and Wine Tasting Centre. Photo supplied.

The beautiful location of The Idiom Restaurant and Wine Tasting Centre. Photo supplied.

Fast facts

Food type: Italian
Best for: Family weekend lunches
Average price main course: R125, and less for pizzas. You can also order two courses for R290
Parking: Plenty
Star ratings: Food 3, service 3, ambience 3

Food

A prawn dish at Idiom Restaurant. Photo supplied.

A prawn dish at Idiom Restaurant. Photo supplied.

The Idiom menu seeks to cater for most tastes, ranging from a deli-style platter and regional Italian thin-based pizzas, to more serious offerings in two-, three-, or four-course menus. The platter boasts Italian cold meats and cheeses with marinated mushrooms, zucchini, artichokes, olives, grilled peppers and excellent freshly baked breads. It’s very Italian – all deliciously fresh and appealing – and all goes very well with their wines.

The burger is also a winner, visible on almost every table. It’s made with Glen Oakes pork and grass-fed beef and comes topped with Wagyu marrow, caramelised onions and rich aioli. The shiraz-glazed rib-eye is a carnivore’s delight in a generous portion intended for two, served with cumin-and-lemon sweet potato and roasted root vegetables.

Eight pizzas feature imaginative toppings like portabellini mushrooms, caramelised onions and wild boar salami. One particularly intriguing option involves smoked ostrich carpaccio on a chutney base, with mushrooms and prickly-pear syrup.

The two- and three-course menus include the likes of seared salmon, flamed beef fillet, and braised pork belly with apple and star anise, and fabulous tiramisu for dessert. The panko-crusted Mozambican prawns with crushed wasabi avocado and creamy rich asparagus risotto starter is delicious.

Idiom-Restaurant-and-Wine-Pavillion-from-below - featured image

Wine

There is no liquor licence at the Idiom Restaurant at present, but the superb wines of the estate can be bought at the Tasting Centre and taken to the table for consumption. There’s no BYO.

Views extend down to the distant sea. Photo supplied.

Views extend down to the distant sea. Photo supplied.

Service

Staff are friendly and knowledgeable but things slow down considerably when the kitchen is busy.

Glass walls make the most of panoramic views. Photo supplied.

Glass walls make the most of panoramic views. Photo supplied.

Ambience

This magnificent new building overlooks some of the most spectacular views in the entire Cape: right down the valley with the mountains towering behind and the distant waters of False Bay ahead. The glass walls make maximum use of the views all around. The place is wildly popular with families on the weekend and the many children present tend to add to the noise level, which is not conducive to conversation. For a calmer experience go during the week and relax in splendour.

And…

Clarify directions, which are really quite simple, before going. Reservations are absolutely essential on the weekends.

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay their own way. Read our full editorial policy here.

Have you been to Idiom Restaurant on Sir Lowry’s Pass? Write a review now.

The chargrilled fillet. Photo supplied.

The chargrilled fillet. Photo supplied.

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