Fresh fruit and vegetables – that had hours ago been ripening quietly on the trees and growing snugly in the organic garden – are served boldly, vibrantly and with style in the restaurant. Starter options are coded in three different colour options – green, yellow and red. Expect to be surprised with brilliant unconventional tastes such as buttermilk, plum and beetroot soup with star anise and black sesame ice-cream, or crumbed squid with pineapple carpaccio.
Main courses focus more on a single main ingredient, for example the fig leaf-spiced fish of the day with Jerusalem artichokes and chenin blanc butter sauce, or beef fillet on the bone with risotto. Or be swooned with slow-roasted saddle of lamb with fragrant spices, pomegranate, pear and rose water.
Desserts feature different taste combinations such as sweet and salty, bitter and sweet, sweet and sour, and salty and piquant. These could be in the form of panna cotta, dukka, honey milk, fennel pollen and cape gooseberries. The creative genius of this menu challenges the eater to rethink taste combinations and introduces contemporary styles without losing focus.
The wine list includes the wines from the estate, as well as an extensive selection of other wines, with by-the-glass options ranging from a reasonably priced R45 upwards.
Generous South African hospitality, good humour and a welcome smile is to be expected from all staff, who go out of their way to welcome, inform, direct and serve visitors.
It is a feast for all the senses from the point of arrival, when you will walk through the magnificent gardens to the modern contemporary white-walled, glassed-in restaurant, housed in a converted cow shed.
Make a day trip of it. Take flat, comfortable shoes for walking, visit the beautiful farm shop, bakery and garden spa. Do the wine tasting and do not leave without a freshly baked bread, home-cured meat and cheese.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.
After visiting them a few weeks ago for their breakfast we felt a
lunch visit was needed.
Situated on the glorious Babylonstoren farm is Babel Restaurant.
Converted from an ancient cowshed into a sleek restaurant we were
warmly welcomed by their lovely staff.
The menu is based on their farm to table philosophy so everything is
more or less from their grounds. Due to it being a chilly day we were
presented with warm Glühwein - what a treat that instantly warmed us
up and tasted as good as the ones I have had in Germany.
Bread with their own olive oil as well as some green leave emulsion
was offered - excellent. Our waitress also brought us fruit and
vegetables that were already prepared that we could also have with our
bread. What a genius idea!
For starters he had their Lightly smoked Franschhoek trout with
grilled radicchio, tree-ripened roasted Nonpareil almonds, a drizzle
of spicy peppadew dressing and Babylonstoren extra virgin Frontoia
olive oil, topped with dried olive crumbs. He also took their added
option of Prosciutto chips. The dish was amazing especially with the
pepper dew dressing. If only all “salads” could be like this!
I was feeling Asian today so I had their Miso and yuzu broth as well
as wilted Asian greens with kohlrabi wrappers, lemon verbena, toasted
Amaranth and caraway seeds. I took their added option of seared tiger
prawns to go with the dish. Prawns were cooked perfectly and
everything danced together in unison.
We had some Brut by Niel Joubert.
For mains he in need of some iron (his new excuse for red meat) had
their Fillet on the bone, served with a roasted onion and Babel red
wine splash, crisp Babylonstoren black olives and fresh wild olive
berries. The meat was cooked exactly to my liking and I could tell it
was once a fat and happy cow. All round a good dish.
I was still feeling Asian so she had their Crisp pork belly with
wilted Asian greens and a soy and jalapeño sauce. We were surprised by
the generous portions and I even got to taste his. Pork belly was
cooked beautifully and it was a nice change from usually being served
a sweet version to now having a spicy version.
We were also served crisp potato wedges, honey baby carrots, peppered
zucchini and corn on the cob.
A really good round of mains that we enjoyed with their Babel red.
No, we couldn’t say no to dessert. For him it was the Sticky toffee
pudding with rosemary toffee sauce and a sprinkle
of myrtle salt. Warm, sweet and everything a dessert should be on a cold day.
I was now feeling sweet and sour so our lovely waitress recommended
the Warm citrus fruit salad and honey- comb, Babylonstoren’s own
ricotta with cinnamon dust. According It was a marvelous way to end
lunch with the dessert being a bit warm and sweet and sour. A real
Great food as well as service. I will definitely go back to try out
their dinner or pasta night. The location is good and the quality of
produce used is beyond good.
As self confessed foodies, we loved the fresh generosity presented to us at breakfast as well as dinner. The staff were amazing, one and all but we can't but single out Jonathan, who was most attentive in looking after us in the restaurant, always with a bit of sharp wit and a glint in his eye. Thank you!
We left well rested and refreshed, laden with gifts for our loved ones from the shop as a bonus!
Last night we had a most enjoyable birthday dinner with friends from abroad, they were simply blown away by the style, quality and friendliness of people serving in that restaurant. The signature salad plates, red, yellow and green with the best of what the adjacent gardens could produce were outstanding. But I thought it was the service that topped it all, friendly, professional, attentive to the point of bring a bouquet of herb/flower for the birthday girl, a simple detail meaning so much on that special day.
It was so good that we returned for breakfast this morning and Chester, our super server from last night was again on duty.