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95 @ Morgenster

95 @ Morgenster
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Cost
R160 avg main meal
Ambience
Groups, Special occasions, Views
Food
Italian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
No BYO

Critic's review

Graham Howe

Food
Chef Giorgio Nava brings his flair for authentic Italian fare to the Cape winelands. A showcase for fine ingredients from both his native Italian and adopted South African home, the menu offers a condensed selection of signature dishes beloved by local fans. Start with a classic insalata Caprese, made with real burrata cheese, anchovies and Italian tomatoes – dressed with one of Morgenster’s renowned olive oils. Who could pass up on homemade ravioli, pillows of pasta stuffed with slow-baked Karoo lamb and enhanced with sage butter, another of Giorgio’s legendary creations? Inspired by his Carne restaurants, free-range, grass-fed beef, lamb and pork are the highlights of the meaty mains – from popular seared liver with balsamic caramelised onions to slow-cooked pork belly with salsa Verde and celeriac puree. The mains are as tender as the flavours are big and robust, with a savoury twist in zesty caper, fennel and citrus sauces, all served in generous portions. There are salad and pasta choices for vegetarians – with delicious line-fish for pescatorians. Leave space for real Italian desserts – seasonal gelato, sorbet or meringue served in decadent Marsala Zabaglione crème.

Drinks
A good selection of Morgenster’s own acclaimed wines made on the farm from Italian and French varieties – as well as other estates.

Service
Attentive and on-the-ball with a charming winelands touch.

Ambience
Laidback and casual with an airy and light terrace and interior with wonderful farm views.

Best For...
A leisurely winelands lunch over a feast of Authentic Italian fare.

(22 October 2019)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Jess Spiro

    95@ Morgenster comes highly respected, and for good reason: it’s a sister restaurant to the well-established 95 on Keerom, owned and run by Italian stalwart Giorgio Nava. Here, the tried-and-tested Mediterranean fare is served in an idyllic setting on the Morgenster olive farm and, as such, each of the estate’s famous olive oils feature heavily in nearly every dish. It’s a match made in Italian food heaven.

    Food

    As people familiar with Nava’s food will know, you really can’t go wrong with any of the dishes available. Following suit from the other 95 establishments, the menu features classics like the avocado and blue cheese salad, grilled tuna steak and freshly made pasta dishes. At the Morgenster outpost, however, they have a blackboard featuring the day’s specials, which are hard to overlook. Choosing from the board, we split a burrata caponata – a simple, tomato-based caponata with pine nuts, aubergines, olives and peppers is served alongside a perfect ball of burrata. If you needed to sum up summer in a dish, this would be it, as the creamy mozzarella offsets the virtuous freshness of the caponata perfectly.

    Moving on to mains, the tagliatella frutti di mare (another daily special) features homemade pasta, a delicate tomato sauce and an abundance of seafood. While the pasta and tomato are faultless, some of the mussels and prawns weren’t the freshest I’ve ever tasted and sadly the overall dish didn’t quite deliver as a result. The accompanying slow-cooked lamb ravioli again features a stellar pasta and sage brown butter sauce, yet the enclosed meat was a little dry and lacking in flavour.

    Desserts save the day, with options that include tiramisu, an Italian play on Eton Mess and seasonal home-made gelatos. Those who know this group, however, will also know that the best dessert is the iconic chocolate fondant that arrives perfectly baked as a delicate sponge layer that encapsulates a molten chocolate river. Order a scoop of vanilla gelato on the side and you’ve got yourself a winning combination.

    Drinks

    As to be expected on a wine-producing estate, the somewhat lowkey Morgenster wines are the only ones on offer here. They are easy-drinking and start at reasonable prices. If you’re looking for a splash-out treat, the estate also has some rare blends available.

    Service

    The staff here are hyper-efficient and ever-present, so you don’t have to look far for someone to top up a wine glass or help you decide what to eat.

    Ambience

    This 95 is not very different from the rest – it’s simply designed with clean, wooden lines and simple décor. It also doesn’t hurt that you have a panoramic view of the Morgenster estate, complete with a pond.

    And…

    The olive oils really are quite outstanding here, so take the time to taste them properly and perhaps even take a bottle or two home with you.

    (August 2018)

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

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair

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