Austrian chef, Edgar Osonjik, has been following the seasons with his fine dining menus in this Constantia Valley destination for more than two decades.
There are two menus – Rustic Affairs and Indulge – both of which highlight the very high level of classical skill in the kitchen. Dishes like a Thai-marinated ostrich carpaccio with black garlic and sesame; and the complex and layered M-S-G (mielie, spinach and garlic soup with lamb fillet, pesto, pine nuts and flammkuchen) show the extent to which Edgar’s culinary imagination is fired by his Austrian roots, his South African home, and the rest of the world. This is fusion of a unique and thrilling kind. Fresh tuna is seared and served with guacamole and seared baby gem lettuce, all brought together with a bracing citrus dressing. Sea bass also gets an Asian touch, while perfectly cooked duck is more traditionally served l’orange. The menu changes seasonally but regular visitors can always expect old favourites like springbok in port wine sauce, and fillet pan fried in Café de Paris butter. The dessert options are either Asian-influenced, like lemongrass ice-cream with banana ravioli and spiced pineapple or straight from a chocaholics fantasy, like either the Valrhona chocolate brownie or the chocolate variation, which even Willie Wonka would have genuflected in front of.
The Estate’s own (excellent) range of wines takes pride of place, but there is also a thoughtful assembly of wines from the rest of the Constantia Valley, and the Cape Winelands. A sommelier is able to offer advice on food and wine pairings. Mark-ups are in keeping with the elevated tone of the place. Buitenverwachting is also making a very good craft gin.
The staff are all highly trained and very knowledgeable about the intricacies of the menu. They are observant without hovering.
Elegance is the watchword here. Crisp linen, high quality stemware, magnificent mountain views.
A special occasion with budget not being a consideration. A perfect venue in which to impress visitors.
This landmark for fine dining in the Constantia Valley rests on the reputation of Edgar Osojnik, the Austrian chef at the helm of this classic country kitchen for over two decades. The menus change frequently to showcase the changing textures and flavours of seasonal produce and South African meats, venison and fish.
The menu is divided into the earthy flavours of ‘rustic affairs’ (say, pork belly with all the trimmings) and more complex compositions called ‘indulge’ (say, beef in bone marrow crust with truffle potato). Classic French technique shows in a contemporary spin on old retro standards from Edgar’s Caesar salad to duck liver parfait, DIY steak tartar, mushroom risotto and Wiener schnitzel. Fine attention to detail reaches an art form in the creative pairing and plating of accompanying garnishes, sauces, foams and purees, micro-herbs and fruits exquisitely presented on the plate.
The signature dishes – trusty favourites like springbok in port wine sauce and entrecote in Café de Paris butter – remain, to the delight of the summer swallows who return every season. Vegetarians will find the fabulous Mediterranean antipasti platter big enough for two to share as mains, and enjoy the gourmet treatment of heirloom vegetables and tubers.
Leave room for one of the chef’s inspired desserts – a signature chocolate variation of six exquisite delicacies from fondant and phyllo, kuchen and ice-cream to parfait and mousse.
Excellent wine list from the vineyards beyond the terrace, top Cape estates and beyond. The sommelier advises on pairing food and wine by the glass. The wine is served in fine stemware.
Attentive and polished, with good advice on specials and the composition of dishes. Especially attentive waiters brush the crumbs from the crisp white linen.
Sophisticated fine dining in a heritage Cape Dutch homestead – relaxed by day, elegant by night. Glass picture windows offer spectacular mountain views of vineyards from the covered terrace.
Try the divine pastries and home-roasted coffees on the epicurean breakfast, lunch and tea menu in the cosy coffee house. The estate no longer serves its legendary picnic lunches – but do visit the brand new wine tasting centre that now fills this space.
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