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De Grendel Restaurant

Cost
Average main meal R155
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Fine-dining food, Modern, South African
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Greg Landman

Food
Using only the freshest seasonal products, much of it from the farm itself, Chef Ian Bergh continues to please his fans from near and far with fuss-free food. Plates look, smell and taste great – what more could you ask for? Innovation and thought always go into the cuisine, making lunch or dinner a delight.

The salmon, cured in sumac, served with radish, fennel and beetroot, and splashed with crème fraîche with nuances of liquorice to add interest, is great for a lunch starter, as is the excellent alternative of cured ostrich served with root vegetables, quinoa and dukkha to give it a lift. The pork belly is a great favourite, cooked sous-vide style before being crisped in a hot oven, and served with pork medallions and veggies. It’s a real country dish; Cape comfort at its best. The duck leg confit with duck breast and quail’s egg, deliciously offset with pear and port, is rich and pleasing, while the wild-mushroom risotto with asparagus and artichoke, exuding the fabulous fragrance of truffles as it comes to the table, is just the ticket for vegetarians.

Drinks
The fabulous wines of the estate are served at cellar-door prices.

Service
Members of staff are friendly and warm, with very good knowledge of what goes on in the kitchen.

Ambience
The view is, of course, the thing that always appeals, with unimpeded visions of Table Mountain and horses grazing peacefully in the fields as you approach the restaurant. De Grendel is the home of the De Villiers Graaff family and has historic associations that are visible everywhere. Plush seating and great Cape Dutch plates make it even more special.

And…
While you’re there, do a wine tasting and take home some more bottles for later.

(September 2016)

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

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  • Greg Landman

    Food
    Chef Ian Bergh has been here since the restaurant opened some years back. He uses the freshest local ingredients, some from the farm’s own gardens, to create plates that are attractive to look at and even better to eat. Starters include superb salmon cured right there in sumac, with a touch of liquorice to give it an edge. The dish is served like a summer bouquet, almost too beautiful to eat, showing roses of rich salmon, with radish, fennel and beetroot slivers adorning it, and splashes of crème fraîche to lift it. Then there is the pan-fried calamari and prawn dish, using the whole calamari, served with spicy chorizo, tomato panna cotta, cabbage, spring onion and cucumber – a delightfully fresh experience. The standout main is the pork belly, which has been cooked sous vide for twelve hours and crisped in a hot oven, with pork medallions and bacon served on potato puree, sundried tomato paste and slivers of orange zest. The line fish is accompanied by butternut risotto with Gorgonzola and fennel, an excellent combination.

    Drinks
    The award-winning wines of this famous estate are served at cellar door prices, a brilliant idea more restaurants should follow.

    Service
    It makes such a difference when the staff knows not only how the food is prepared but what it tastes like, as is the case here.

    Ambience
    Quiet, comfortable luxury sounds simple but is hard to find. Here it is a keynote, with gorgeous antiques to highlight the historic ambience and Cape Dutch flatware setting the tone. The views across the estate are spectacular, with the Atlantic Ocean and Table Bay playing their part. As one drives up to the restaurant, flocks of geese and ducks quack a welcome, while horses graze serenely in the fields.

    And…
    Do a wine tasting first to decide what will go best with your meal.

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  • Ishay Govender-Ypma

    Food 
    Situated on the working farm still owned by the Graaff family three generations on, De Grendel offers fine dining in a refined setting overlooking the vast vineyards and Table Mountain. The estate is certified carbon neutral and houses a dairy farm and a large fynbos garden. The restaurant resembles a beautiful dining room with family portraits on the walls and fine crockery on the tables. A glass wrap-around kitchen allows you to watch the activity in the kitchen, with chef Ian Bergh at the helm. Many of the menu items are either grown or made on the farm.

    Changing two- and three-course menus present the latest in seasonal produce. Expect wholesome South African fare served with a delicate flourish. The wild mushroom risotto with truffle and asparagus, smoked beef and smoked goat’s cheese are great choices on the starter menu. The line fish, also smoked (a theme du jour, it seems) and served with haricot beans, ginger and pineapple caviar comes recommended, as does the 'chocolate, chocolate, chocolate' dessert for lovers of such rich excess. On Sundays two- and three-course menus are also available for lunch.

    Drinks 
    Order the fine De Grendel wines, available at cellar door prices. Staff are happy to provide expert wine pairings as well.

    Service
    Service is well-meaning, but can become a bit distracted when there is a function or event going on at the same time.

    Ambience 
    Once inside the estate, it’s hard to imagine you’ve left the bustle of the city 20 minutes behind. The restaurant is a popular setting for Sunday lunches with families – expect a stylish, upmarket crowd.

    And… 
    A light lunch menu is available to you when sampling the wines at the tasting room.

    (July 2014)

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  • Chef Ian Bergh brings a real passion for farm produce to the table and gives artisan produce an inventive modern twist. Visit for a lazy, long lunch of dishes like mushroom risotto with summer truffle; free-range farm chicken; and a sous vide variation of pork belly with hashbrowns, homemade sausage and crackling.
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  • Food
    Chef Ian Bergh, who has worked at the Cape’s top restaurants, brings his passion for local, artisan ingredients and sous vide techniques to this smart country kitchen. Simplicity is the hallmark of contemporary fare on a focused menu, which showcases the natural flavours of farm produce, from hand-churned butter and fresh bread to honey, guinea fowl, free-range chicken and pasture-raised meat. Ingredients from the region are given a modern, inventive twist and garnished with wonderful sauces. Try devilled kidneys and sweetbreads with poached quail egg, and the signature quartet of pork: crackling, homemade sausages, hash brown and belly.

    Wine
    The fare is matched to the estate’s wines, sold at cellar-door prices with no mark-ups, and some from the Durbanville Valley.

    Service
    Impeccable service and sommelier advice in a winning combination with down-to-earth country hospitality.

    Ambience
    This is like dining in the comfort of the Graaff’s home off Delft blue porcelain with the family’s crest. Watch the chefs or the winemakers at work in the barrel cellar and enjoy spectacular views of paddocks, vineyards and Table Mountain.

    And...
    Go for lunch à la carte or enjoy a two- to three-course tasting menu (R255/R300) for dinner. (GH, October 2012)
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User reviews

  • An amazing drive towards this splendour... It is a "lushy green" drive. Horses are gracefully and peacefully grazing as we approach the restaurant. It is indeed a warm and welcoming sight.The reception is also warm and inviting. It is evident that the staff is well trained. Their approach when serving clients is professional and poised. Over and above that they are well groomed.We are conflicted as where to sit. Inside is warm, homely and the décor is pleasing to the eye. Outside presents a freshness, I am not sure why exactly such freshness but I am sure it has something to do with the untrammelled views of table mountain; just as it appears on postcards.We sit outside, beautiful views and serenity. We ordered a bottle of De Grendel wine 2014 Shiraz. It is beautiful, silky wine the lingers on the palate. There is an intensity about it but it is pleasing to the taste buds.I choose Duck leg confit, duck breast, quail egg, crispy leek, potato, pear, port and sugar snap - This was a very creative dish with ingredient standing out yet subtle enough to allow integration of spices. It is an edgy dish. I love the pear and port combination: pleasing to my palate. I paired my dish with De Grendel Pinot noir. One, Michael Olivier (My favourite food writer) said " Pinot Noir is one of the most food oriented wines. I always think of Pinot Noir as a red wine trying to be a white wine". Well the wine complimented my dish perfectly.The serving plates are rustic and beautiful, they have a resemblance to my Grandmother's ones. I love them- nostalgia.My date had Pork belly, fillet, pumpkin, carrot, apple, cider, aubergine and beetroot - This dish is delightful and modern yet there is an element of comfort food in it. It is contemporary soul food.NB: Though satisfying, the portions are small.For dessert we shared coffee bavarois, cake crumble, nougat, meringue, ginger bread ice cream, pecan nuts - It was a smooth finish to a beautiful day. Just one spoon, melts one's heart.This was my second time and the experience was as beautiful as the last. Their menu changes frequently but I hope that the 2017 menu is as beautiful as the 2016 one.Relaxing environment accompanied by creative cuisine. It is a winner
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  • Once again this restaurant lives up to its high standards and the food was outstanding. We all had the 3 course menu and everyone at the the table was suitably impressed. The service from Adri our waitress was superb and I can highly recommend this restaurant!
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  • From arrival to departure, De Grendel staff made me and my loved ones feel like we were entering for a small family gathering - GOURMET STYLE! Ambience (quaint) Service (5-star) - catered to our every whim Food (That confit duck-leg) = Gordon Ramsey doesn't come close Definitely gained a returning customer!
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  • Great wine, good food and a amazing view! The service however did not compliment the fine dining experience.
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  • Absolutely SUPERB! Great service, knowledgeable and gracious waitress, superb food, amazing view. Will be back!
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  • My wife and I had dinner here on the 15th of July. After frequenting this restaurant a few times now our expectations were unfairly pretty high. Once again we weren't disappointed. Really happy to see a few additions to the menu which seems to be happening quite regularly, but still keeping our old favourites. The Beef and Pork Belly don't disappoint and are a must for your 1st time. Take a bow Chef and team - just brilliant. Rounding off an amazing gastronomical experience the great service we received by our waiter Taffy. Thanks - see you all soon!!!
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  • This restaurant has to have one of the best and famous views in the World. The food is excellent, the service good and it all makes for a great expererience for eating out, highly recommended. The wines are of prize winning excellence.
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  • My Wife and I were excited for yet another great experience at this restaurant. We've been here 3 times before and are ardent Loyalty Club members taking full advantage of the 10% off our regular wine orders. The restaurant is stunning during the day as it has an incredible view, the view at night is just as amazing but the restaurant does feel a little too well lit to give it a more cozy ambiance, but after tasting the Sauvignon Blanc 2015 or the Merlot 2014 you'll forget about the lighting :-) With extremely high expectations because we always rate the food a 5 star we ordered the Squid and Ostrich starters / then the Fillet and Pork Belly mains. Rounded off with the Banana Parfait and Coffee Bavois. Even with our high expectations we were once again overwhelmed at how balanced and exciting the flavours were. Even though De Grendel gets a lot of media time, we still think it is highly underrated. Kudos to the chef and staff - take a bow. Well done 5/5. Simply amazing!!! Now the bad news - A perfect evening was let down by our waitress Charlene. The only way to explain it is we felt is if us dining here was an utter inconvenience for her. We were very hard pressed to get her to smile. Yes, we tried. We've always had great service and everyone else seemed great, but this was honestly a really bad mark on what we deem to be a wonderful dining experience.
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  • I struggled a bit with the star-ratings on this as I've been for dinner to De Grendel a good few times and have had brilliant experiences every time. But thinking back on my last visit when there was bit of an issue with the food, I feel it was a one-time thing and that overall the ratings for the restaurant should be quite high... on to the review. I often refer to the views from De Grendel as "the BEST view of Cape Town". One cannot argue with that. And that makes for an amazing setting, especially around sunset time! I would first like to point out that when we booked they did "warn" us that due to a large booking in the one half of the restaurant, that their may be a slight delay in service and drop in quality. Upon arrival we ordered a bottle of the MCC which could've been a couple degrees cooler, but nothing a few minutes in the ice bucket wouldn't fix. When the waiter offered us a second bottle on completion of the first, we informed him of temperature issue and he apologised and made sure the next was properly chilled. Which it was. On to the food. There was a bit of a disappointment with the seafood starter as it arrived looking more like a salad than anything else. Even though there was nothing wrong with the taste, it's not what you expect when reading the menu. With mains the meat on the two lamb dishes were overcooked. Having only had the chance to point it out to the waiter after the meal, the manager came to apologise and offered us complimentary desserts as that was not the standard they wanted to put out. Apart from the above, everything else was great. The little bit of a bad experience certainly won't deter me from coming back again and again.
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  • My husband and I visited De Grendel Restaurant this weekend for the first time and had the most fantastic evening.

    The view over Cape Town with the evening lights sets such a romantic and special mood. There is no other estate in Cape Town that can offer this view so that alone makes it incredibly unique. The restaurant is beautifully furnished and decorated, right even down to small detail like the Delft Blue dishes which were stunning.

    We had the 3 couse dinner menu with everything prepared, cooked and presented to absolute perfection. It is definitely the type of establishment you want to come to, relax and take your time and just savour the experience, food and wine!

    The accompaning De Grendel wines were magic with the meal and the small touches in between unexpected delights. The service was very friendly, professional and attentive at all times.

    As a resident in the Durbanville area I can confidently say that this was the best meal experience when it comes to fine dining I have ever had in the Durbanville Wine Route and will definitely recommend it highly. Some reviews I have read, say the food is overpriced which I have to say I didnt think and I was very prepared to pay for the overall experience we had.

    We look forward to our next visit with great anticipation!!!!

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  • Salmon Starter was delicious! Pork belly was a big dissapointment as to the previous time I had it. The skin of the pork was not cripy thus uneatable. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate was great!
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  • Beautiful venue. Very average food. Had onion rings and red onion marmalade on my starter and main. My brother chipped a tooth on a piece of bone in his beef burger.

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  • After booking for a lunch we arrived to find that De Grendel were having a special function. The staff and the organisers of the function were so intrusive to our meal that I felt that we were in the midst of a busy shopping street. The food is ordinary, the prices are not so ordinary with most mains reaching towards R200. Not a place I would recommend unless with a rich overseas visitor. Very disappointing.

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  • A great meal. Awesome salmon starter - best Norwegian salmon I have ever eaten. Superb veal main dish complemented by green beans and mushroom and out-of-this-world chocolate brulee dessert. Awesome setting with view over Table Bay and service impeccable. Unusual enough to be really special, portion sizes adequate without leaving you bloated. Good selection for a special ocassion at R300 for 3 courses.

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  • Lunch on 15 Feb. Good food and fantastic location. Wines are lovely and great value.

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  • We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on 02 October 2012. I recommended to my wife that we go to De Grendel as I had been there for business lunches. The food was good but the service was not up to standard, we felt unwelcome and the food out of the kitchen was slow. It was not a fitting end to a otherwise wonderful day.

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  • At last we have an excellent fine dining restaurant in the Northern Suburbs! We have been to De Grendel twice since it was opened and each time has been a fantastic experience. The menu features a wide selection to suit every palate and the food is perfectly prepared - combinations are just right, presentation is impeccable and the extra touches (amuse bouche, home-made bread, sweet delights with coffee) all make for a very special taste treat. The wines are also incredibly well priced and did I mention the view? The panorama of Cape Town spread out before you is like the best display of fairy lights on a Christmas tree. And the front-of-house team is friendly and knowledgeable. We will definitely be regulars!

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  • Have had three meals at De Grendel in the past month. All have been amazing. The venue and setting is beautiful. The friendly staff are awesome and make you feel welcome and special. The food and wine are top class. Need to try the tasting menu next time.

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  • The food was awesome. Stunning view! The service was excellent.

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  • We had a fantastic meal on the first day they opened. Staff very friendly, food was top class.

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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Dinner
  • Dress code
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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