Helena’s Restaurant at Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel (Stellenbosch)

Cost
R175 avg main meal
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Modern, South African
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Food
Helena’s deliver exactly what it promises and that is to make the familiar, spectacular. The compact menu choices are by no means boring and offers a balance between vegetarian, fish, fowl, beef, pork and lamb dishes. Expect to find well-known and much-loved dishes – lent a scintilla of South African food nostalgia – such as chicken liver paté with sherry macerated grapes, or a biltong salad with spiced grapes, red onion and avocado for starters. You might find more long standing restaurant favourites on the menu, for example rack of lamb served with classic Cumberland sauce, which Helena’s serves to perfection with krummelpap for a distinctly South African touch. Also in evidence are scrumptious slow food dishes such as cider-braised pork cheeks, or risotto with wild mushrooms from the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Consideration is given to provenance, incorporating locally sourced artisanal ingredients, Karoo-certified lamb and Chalmar beef. A homely citrus-flavoured baked dessert called “Japie se gunsteling” (Japie’s favourite), adapted from S.J.A de Villiers Kook en Geniet (Cook and enjoy 1951), the classic South African cookbook with more than 1 million copies sold, is beautifully presented, a lingering memory to a refined meal.

Drinks
They offer a nicely selected wine list.

Service
Warm, personal service by the entire front of house team is a Coopmanshuijs signature. They really go the extra mile.

Ambience
Classic elegance, with old world charm, although it is leaning towards the more formal side of things. The restaurant is situated in the historical heart of Stellenbosch, within walking distance of many other restaurants, wine bars, coffee shops, deli’s and bakeries. Enjoy lunch or dinner on the shaded front stoep or leisurely sip a glass of wine while sharing in the colourful sidewalk culture that this vibrant university town offers.

And …
Breakfast is totally delicious and the attention to detail – for example a beautiful small knob of butter, stamped with their logo, and custom made creamers – adds a special “good morning!” to the day.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Hetta van Deventer Terblanche

    Helena’s Restaurant at Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel in the historical heart of Stellenbosch delivers exactly what it promises: to make the familiar spectacular, says Eat Out critic Hetta van Deventer Terblanche.

    Food
    The compact menu choices are by no means boring, offering a balance between vegetarian, fish, fowl, beef, pork and lamb dishes. Expect to find well-known and much-loved dishes – lent a scintilla of South African food nostalgia – such as chicken-liver pâté with sherry macerated grapes, or a biltong salad with spiced grapes, red onion and avocado for starters.

    For mains you might find more long-standing restaurant favourites on the menu; for example, rack of lamb served with classic Cumberland sauce, which Helena’s serves to perfection with krummelpap for a distinctly South African touch.

    Also in evidence are scrumptious slow-food dishes such as cider-braised pork cheeks, and risotto with wild mushrooms from the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Consideration is given to provenance, incorporating locally sourced artisanal ingredients, Karoo-certified lamb and Chalmar beef.

    A homely citrus-flavoured baked dessert called Japie se gunsteling (Japie’s favourite), adapted from S.J.A de Villiers’s Kook en Geniet (Cook and Enjoy) circa 1951, the classic South African cookbook with more than 1 million copies sold, is beautifully presented, leaving a lingering memory to a refined meal.

    Drinks
    They offer a nicely selected wine list.

    Service
    Warm, personal service by the entire front-of-house team is a Coopmanshuijs signature. They really go the extra mile.

    Ambience
    Expect classic elegance, with old-world charm, although it is leaning towards the more formal side of things. The restaurant is situated in the historical heart of Stellenbosch, within walking distance of many other restaurants, wine bars, coffee shops, delis and bakeries. Enjoy lunch or dinner on the shaded front stoep or leisurely sip a glass of wine while sharing in the colourful sidewalk culture that this vibrant university town offers.

    And…
    Breakfast is totally delicious. The attention to detail – for example, a beautiful small knob of butter, stamped with their logo, and custom-made creamers – adds a special ‘good morning!’ to the day.

    (July 2015)

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  • There’s a keen young chef here with plenty of potential. With a focus on the Boland and emphasis on provenance, they serve interesting combinations such as crisp pork belly with salted caramel. Great for a sneaky mid-week lunch. (EO mag 2014)
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User reviews

  • Fantastic food, service and setting - perfect restaurant to compliment the 5 star hotel in which it is situated. What I enjoyed most of my experience was the ambiance of the restaurant, sat outside in the front,and despite it facing a busy road. Definitely a must if you appreciate good food
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  • We attended a wine pairing evening. The food was excellent - the chefs are on par with any of the well known chefs in and around Stellenbosch! The service matched the food perfectly. Congratulations.
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  • Arriving as we did for Sunday Lunch, we had a table on the veranda. Perfect. The setting, the accoutrements, the crockery, the cutlery, the everything were just right. The staff - knowledgable, impeccable, great attitude and big smiles. Attached to a (truly) boutique hotel, Helena's caters for both residents (who, I understand, have priority!) and the rest of us. Each looked after with equal professionalism and courtesy. It was a great experience! It seemed to go on forever like a perfect food journey, no rush! The food was just delicious! Perfectly cooked and well presented. And the wine, bubbles, of course! You can take your own and there is NO corkage! The manager was also very attentive and greeted everyone with genuine interest. Picturesque, delightful, lovely and amazing are words that spring to mind - and all in charming Stellenbosch!
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  • Beautiful venue, glorious food!! Will be back again soon!
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  • Had dinner on one of the opening nights. Wonderful food in a beautiful, atmospheric setting. I'll be back!

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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Accommodation
  • Beer served
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Hotel
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Serves food
  • Vegetarian
  • WiFi

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