By day, expect a bistro-style meal; by night, chef Roland Gorgosilich turns out fine-dining fare at this hotel restaurant. You can order à la carte but it works out cheaper, if you’re going multi-course, to opt for one of the surprise menus: three courses for R565 per person, four for R680 or R1190 for seven courses.
The meal kicks off with beautiful bread – a perfect pretzel roll, still hot from the oven – always a good sign.
From there, an amuse bouche arrives: a pork belly croquette, perfectly crisp, breaks open and pairs beautifully with a sliver of black pudding.
Starters might be veal sweetbreads with osso bucco ravioli, dramatically plated on black, with a swatch of green pea mousseline. The batter is sadly not as crunchy as it should be, but the flavours are hearty and rich, with sweet-tangy slow-braised onion hearts helping to cut the richness of the sweetbreads.
For mains, tuck into the likes of sous vide springbok loin – rich with gamey flavour – served with seared wild mushrooms, broccoli and scrumptious morsels of firm Austrian servietten dumpling.
Dessert might be a snaking Valrhona chocolate cremeux, with gloriously piped chocolate mousse, some smashing mango sorbet and balls of fresh mango. Alternatively, end with a generous cheese selection served with fruit bread compote and butter brioche.
The wine list is more of a telephone directory than a list, but sommelier Duane Hendricks has a wonderful relaxed, friendly manner, so you won’t be too intimidated.
There are 76 different wines available by the glass – including some really excellent South African wines. Some are fairly heavily marked up, so don’t be afraid to ask how much you’ll be in for.
Nestled at the base of Paarl Rock, the Hotel boasts gorgeous views out over the Paarl valley to the haunting mountains on the other side of the valley. The restaurant is situated in the historic Manor House. Inside it’s a slightly old-world, but very stately affair. Think marble, chandeliers and white tablecloths.
The hotel’s five-star status means you can expect excellent professional service from career waiters.
Arrive early to enjoy a gin and tonic on the gorgeous terrace.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.