Bertus Basson is back in the Top 10, thanks to his laid-back and seemingly effortless excellence. The chef continues to be a force to be reckoned with on the Cape culinary scene, with his fine food served in a deceptively laid-back manner. The wheels turn effortlessly: rustic plates are imaginatively presented, with knockout flavours and memorable moments – just ask the fans who flock here. The three-course menu commences with irresistible bread and four mini starters, which could play on olive butter, intense dried black olives, hot-smoked cabbage with celeriac and miso. The farmyard terrine, deliciously set in jelly, served with vegetables and home-cured mustard, is a meal on its own. Follow with Chalmar sirloin with short rib, roast cauliflower and gremolata, which is deliciously comforting in its simplicity, or the lamb rib with kidney, celeriac and crispy onion. The pre-dessert amuse bouche of velvety chocolate mousse makes a great foil for guava, custard, passionfruit, tapioca and coconut sorbet – a fabulous melange of flavours and textures, redolent with memories of childhood.
A very good list of some of the best in the Cape, including their own Hidden Valley label.
Knowledgeable and friendly.
It’s a fabulous setting way up Hidden Valley, with a view down to the plains and the distant mountains. Delightful terraces are surrounded by verdant foliage; it’s almost like dining in a forest, which is a real pleasure for city dwellers who want to escape back to nature in style, with great food.
Booking well in advance is is absolutely essential.
Eat Out critics arrive unannounced and pay their way in full. Read our editorial policy here.
Chef Bertus Basson continues to deliver moreish food showing a strong local character and more than a hint of nostalgia. This is innovative, intriguing cuisine.
Of the starters, the West Coast Memories is an exciting dish featuring oysters and octopus in a tangy Asian dressing, accompanied by avocado, cucumber and pear. It is strikingly presented in a large shell within a wooden crate, accompanied by rocks and sea shells to complete the maritime theme – a touch tricky to eat, though, so be sure to remove the food from the shell to be able to enjoy all the light, tasty morsels of seafood hiding under the delicate leaves and fronds.
Another starter of Sweetwell pig’s head and trotter pie with turnip, apple, garlic and raisins brings masses of flavour and succulence, with a lovely tangy frisson thanks to the accompanying pickles and sides. It’s playful and simply compiled, with a good use of underrated ingredients, and much more elegant than the description suggests.
On the mains side, a dish of duck with confit duck leg, duck breast, lentils and cauliflower purée is rich, warm and satisfying. Also worth mentioning is the beef brisket with ox liver and parsnip purée, a kind of fabulous, souped-up Sunday roast that will have you licking the plate. Both of these beautifully executed dishes celebrate classic flavour combinations, and the accompanying sauces are outstanding: rich and glossy, with a lovely salty bite.
After a quick bite of the zingy pineapple and citrus palate cleanser, we move on to dessert. Here I suggest you go all out with the cheese board. The latter brings a lovely touch of theatre, as you make your choices and watch as the cheese is cut, before the excellent waiter selects the accompaniments from his jars and bowls – all homemade, and beautifully presented.
The wine offering is not vast, but you’ll find something in every category, including some natural wines and lots of trendy Swartland numbers. There’s no pairing option but you can address this by ordering from the by-the-glass section. A pairing option (with the pairing serving size of 125 ml) might be a good idea here, to give patrons more room to manoeuvre.
Staff members are attentive and accommodating; the pacing of the meal is good and you won’t feel rushed.
A cosy space. Fireplaces add lots of warmth in winter, as do plenty of wooden touches in the décor, and comfortable chairs.
Be sure to consult sommelier Thembi Veremu for some food and wine pairing ideas.
There’s no doubt about it, chef Bertus Basson is leading the pack when it comes to cooking South African heritage food. He’s putting traditional ingredients and techniques back on the plate. His dishes may sound very simple, but his focus on fresh, natural flavours, use of top-quality produce and precise technique results in intense, delicious flavours. Look forward to smart reinventions of local favourites, like ox tongue served with tiny onions and nasturtium ‘cream’, as well as a touch of Asian flavour in a bold dish of squid on creamy miso. Vegetables are treated with the same reverence as meat: revel in gingery carrots paired with salsa verde and candy-striped beets with horseradish. For the special occasion of dessert, you may be served the perfect ‘lemon pie’ of chewy meringue, lemon jellies and lemon custard or brilliant poffertjies with peanut butter sauce. The reimagined cheese plate is an artistic delight, a palette of creamed gorgonzola studded with liqueur-spiked fruits and walnuts. Every dish is evocative and unpretentious at the same time.
A concise, well-curated wine list featuring, as you would expect, quite a few Hidden Valley wines. By-the-glass options are impressive, as are the service, knowledge and recommendations of sommelier Thembi Veremu.
There’s a welcome touch of humour in the staff. They’re an informed, relaxed and friendly bunch – but they all know exactly what’s going on at all times. Tableside presentation adds a feeling of intimacy.
This is a breathtaking setting, boasting a view over the hills and valleys that hug the road between Somerset West and Stellenbosch. A simple, modern, glass-fronted interior allows the food to take centre stage.
Comments by the 2014 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards judges
“Delicious, accessible dining.” – Arnold Tanzer.
“This is brave, simple, vibrant food with masses of flavour and personality.” – Abigail Donnelly
Hennie FisherThere is almost nothing that could make this a better experience! This lovely restaurant in the wine cellar of Hidden Valley Winery is exactly what makes our country’s wine area better than world class. Chef Bertus Basson is a wizard in the kitchen. Few things are betterthan his rabbit terrine, or the saffron linguine with fresh mussels. And his team will not let you leave the table until they have made sure you get thebest, the most perfect souffle, served at the table with ice cream and an accompanying sauce. And then if you have any space left a little glass filled with the best rose water scented panna cotta appears.
Ate there 13/10/2013
What is there to say besides, out of this world amazing... Food, service wine pairing was spectacular! Will definitely be back soon.
Unbelievable lunch on Sunday. We did the 8 course. Probably one of the best meals I have ever had in South Africa.
Superb evening, food was great and service was excellent.
If local restaurants could get Michelin stars, this one would deserve some.
Food and ambience in line with anything in Europe.
I think for about five years, so since Overture opened its doors for the first time (I hope I am correct), my wife and I have been very frequent and loyal visitors of this stunning restaurant.
The location on Hidden Valley wine farm is like a fairy tale, with fantastic views.
However, this is only the first chapter of the book. Chef Bertus Basson and his team, are cooking inventive dishes that look like perfect pictures and taste like a dream. The creativity here knows no boundaries. What makes it even more amazing, is that the menu is changing daily and that we hardly ever had the same dish, unless by our special request. Staggering, exciting, amazing, innovative, creative, the list of superlatives of this kitchen is endless.
Service here is also outstanding. Wine master Thembi is always hands on, while taking his time to explain why he chose to pair his wines with the dishes. But Brenda, Eunice and the rest of the team are always keeping an eye on you and your table and offer great service with lovely smiles.
Go to Overture for an enchanting, culinary treat!
On 4 occasions we have had splendid meals and service at Overture. On one occasion the meal was spoilt by poor service. Mistakes should never be made in ER or in the operating room, or for that matter, Bertus Basson's kitchen. Unfortunately , they do. On these occasions the response to these mistakes makes the world of difference. We received not only a large discount on our meal, but also a parcel from the chef with a note apologizing for our experience. Overture is an excellent restaurant, Bertus Basson will make the trip worth your while, even if little mishaps spoil the experience.
Overture came highly recommended by our hostess. We arrived with great anticipation and were excited to end our eating-focused honeymoon at such a place. We were met and seated with a lot of apathy and a surprisingly lackadaisical attitude. The waitrons were very underdressed and since we decided to have the winter menu without the wine pairings, we seemed to be shoved to one side and ignored. The food was in the majority, over-salted and understated to the point of being boring and considering the cost of the meal, very disappointing. Will not go back and will not refer anyone. On leaving the restaurant, the outside lights were off and I nearly fell down the stairs several times.
We took our father to Overture for Father's Day as a special treat and for our first time visit. The food was great and the chef helped out with dietary requirements but the service really was lacking. We also had to ask any passing waiter to help us from the moment we sat down until the first course came - which was quite a while as we were overlooked a few times. I've been to many of the top 10 restaurants and it's a shame that some of the ones in the overall 20 have better service than a case such as this.
I'm sorry, but an excellent setting and good menu does not compensate for poor service.
My wife and I dined for lunch at Overture on 18th April, and we were really excited having heard such good things and, having never succeeded in getting a table, we were sure to make the booking well in advance. The setting is splendid, with views overlooking the Winelands. Upon arrival, the welcoming was very polite, but things deteriorated from there. Single glasses of champagne which others were enjoying was not to be found on the menu so we had to ask. When both our starters and mains arrived, the waiter gave us each the wrong meal. Twice we were forgotten about, and when we asked for service from waiters that weren't allocated to us, our requests went ignored. We noticed a gentleman at a neighbouring table having something which we didn't see on the menu, and were told it was available upon request. That with the champagne issue made us wonder what the point of the menu was. At R900 for the lunch, I don't think it is unreasonable to expect more.
It's that simple, Bertus Basson and team are the best in the Winelands. Food is inventive yet classical and simple. 7 courses later, no fault, no dislike and the most favourite was the pickled sardine dish! Service was super friendly and most efficient, it is really nice to be welcomed "back" by the same service team!
What an incredibly special experience. It was our anniversary lunch and we were treated like royalty. We were made to feel incredibly special. The food was sublime! Well done to Chef Bertus and your team! The wine pairing was spot on, the setting so perfect. A very memorable occassion for my husband and I. Thank you. X
Absolutely outstanding - from the service to the setting to the food. We will definitely be back.
If it's time for fine dining, Overture at Hidden Valley Estate is one tempting option. Ambitious menu, well known chef, great wines from the estate itself, and fantastic reviews. The venue itself offers stunning views over wine fields and False Bay. So - we had very high expectations when we arrived for a long foreseen lunch. It was a sweltering hot day so it became a very warm lunch - as Overture does not have air conditioning. Reason is to avoid unnecessary use of electricity. Good enough reason, but very hot. Before the lunch we had a very nice wine tasting, just next to the dining area. Indoors, phew. A restaurant like Overture will have to live with quite a critical eye from its visitors - it's ambition of serving haute cuisine and a high price level. So when the butter is left to melt in the sun onto the table cloth, and the wine arrives after the starter, it's not really acceptable. One of the guests decided to just have one glass of wine of one choice, instead of having the recommended wines that goes with each course. We could all see a raised eyebrow from our waiter, and that is not in place at such a venue. Please. It all started with simple and yummie olive tapas and fresh good bread. Starter with raw tuna was marvelous, while gazpaccio soup was too creamy without the usual punch. Everyone had the most wonderful sweetbreads and polenta pure. Fantastic! Hake was a genereous piece of well grilled fish, matured sirloin with gnocchi was cooked to perfection but not the most tender sirloin we have had. The cheese platter is top top notch! Excellent with great cheeses, figs, almonds - and lots of it! Chocolate tarte was absolutely melting in the mouth, while the tarte with berries and sherbet a little too messy - but maybe it was the heat. All wines good and well chosen. We enjoyed our wine waiter, while the rest of service was not really on top. We had to wait for our water, the black pepper, and we just has a feeling of not getting all the attention you expect in such a restaurant. All in all a nice and delicious experience, but not without room for improvements.
Brilliant food and superb service.
Brilliant food and superb service.
We are frequent visitors of this magical restaurant from the moment they opened their doors. Our experiences at Overture are so superb time and again that we easily tend to take things for granted. However, it was about time to share our experiences with others.
Everything at Overture is world class, kitchen, service and staff. Add to this the stunning location and fabulous views, and the picture is perfect. Chef Patron Bertus Basson, supported by his great team, is a magician in the kitchen who never stops to surprise us with the most stunningly presented and tasteful dishes. The passion and the innovative cuisine of Overture, with seemingly limitless creativity, knows no boundaries.
We went for Sunday’s lunch together with friends and after sitting down at our table we were having a glass of bubbly together with the most delicious bread, combined with a homemade rillette with gherkins and a superb garlic emulsion. Most of the time we prefer the four course Chef’s Menu with wine pairing and also this time my wife and I sticked to that. Coincidently the both of us chose exactly the same dishes this time and we started with a Springbok tartar, crisp sweatbreads, beetroot, balsamic onion and Parmesan. Wine steward and host Thembi, who displays loads of passion for ‘his’ wines, paired this excellent dish with a Hidden Valley Pinotage 2009, which was a perfect companion. Our lovely waitress Eunice advised us the swop our second and third dish, and we love good advises. The beef fillet and mushroom cromesquis with potato gallet and celeriac puree, combined with the delicious Hidden Valley Gems 2008 was very good, but we were blown away by the dish that followed, crisp, smoked pork hock with Asian flavours, coriander, coconut rice and cabbage and radish slaw. Rich in flavour and expertly prepared, this was one of the best dishes I have ever had in a restaurant. The Collaboration Chenin Blanc 2011, which by the way is great, ‘struggled’ to keep pace with the power of this fantastic food creation. But in all honesty, every wine would.
In the mean time I heard very positive comments about other dishes our friends chose, being an asparagus velouté with garlic and thyme ice, a pea risotto with roasted plum tomato and parmesan crumbs and hake with crushed potatoes, olive tapenade, sauce vierge and smoked aubergine.
We all rounded off with another high-light on the menu, being a vanilla soufflé with caramel ice cream and butterscotch sauce. Well balanced and perfectly executed, and combined with a Bottega white chocolate grappa, this dessert offered a perfect conclusion of a fantastic lunch.
How we love this sublime restaurant!
Excellent, maybe the best restaurant in which we have dined in South Africa. One of us was vegetarian and the chef made a lovely menu for her (although we forgot to inform the restaurant in advance on this and the restaurant was fully booked). It was a pleasure dining in Overture, we will be back!
This restaurant is in one of the best settings around and beautifully decorated. I was very impressed with all of the courses except for the last course which was a little disappointing. The service was unfortunately a little too relaxed. On the whole it was a very pleasant dining experience and I will definitely be back very soon.
The very best in this Valley! You have to have the ravioli of tomato, it is a delight and if you are a fan of tongue, this dish was outstanding. Great service and of course the setting is totally amazing.