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.
They offer a nicely selected wine list.
Warm, personal service by the entire front of house team is a Coopmanshuijs signature. They really go the extra mile.
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.
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.