Venues

Indochine at Delaire Graff Estate

Indochine at Delaire Graff Estate
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Cost
Avg main meal R315; 5 course tasting menu R755
Ambience
Classic elegance, Contemporary cool
Food
Asian, Modern, Vegan food, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
500
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Critic's review

Nikita Buxton

Food
Chef Virgil Kahn gets Asian flavours magnificently spot on. Each plate is vibrant with homegrown produce, and his meticulousness in creating a fresh yet complex marriage of flavours is impressive.

Tickle your taste buds with kimchi and seafood broth with mussels, oysters, cabbage and line fish to begin the meal. The flavours are bright and piquant without being obtrusive. The squid and duck larb salad is equally delicious with perfectly cooked squid that's ever-so-slightly spiced. Mint jelly cubes wobble on the plate and offer a fresh lift for the duck. The perfectly pink Chanthaburi salmon with sweet-potato pad Thai noodles is light and nourishing with a gorgeous, fiery hit of chilli.

Mains shine bright with the glorious beef rendang curry served in an nontraditional manner with fillet of beef, lemongrass and coconut. Sides of tapioca and raita are refreshing and texturally pleasing, while the spices leave a lingering bite. The line fish with quinoa and Asian greens comes a close second with its balanced palm-sugar dressing.

Desserts don’t disappoint, offering the likes of stunning beetroot-and-chocolate crumble with tonka-bean ice cream and a beetroot-and-lime doughnut. Not too sweet, the flavours work beautifully together to create a satisfying end to the meal. There’s also refreshing coconut panna cotta with rose-water jellies, or the ever-popular banana spring rolls filled with white chocolate, banana caviar and nut fudge.

Drinks
Located as it is on Delaire Graff Estate, the restaurant has a wine list that’s extensive and informative, with an array of cultivars perfectly paired with the cuisine. Estate wines are also available by the glass. If bubbly is what you’re after, be sure to order the chenin-driven Delaire Graff Sunrise Brut for an exquisitely zesty refreshment.

Service
The service here is extremely welcoming. Staff are knowledgeable when it comes to the menu, and discreetly top up glasses and whisk plates away.

Ambience
If you’re not taking in the beautiful views of the estate, the luxurious interiors will be a feast for the eyes. Hues of rich blues and sparking accents adorn the space, while delicate arrangements of orchards are dotted throughout the restaurant.

And…
For a touch of something local, there is a South-African-themed section on the menu with options of Cape Malay curry, bobotie and springbok loin.

(September 2016)

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

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  • Food
  • John Maytham

    Food
    This is the kind of place where it is not unusual for guests to arrive by helicopter, or to find several Ferraris in the parking lot. So it’s not surprising that prices are on the high side. Thankfully, so is the quality.
    Asian cooking can go horribly wrong in hands that are too heavy, but chef Virgil Kahn has a very deft and light touch. There is freshness and complexity in the spicing of all the dishes, a slow build-up of flavour that insinuates rather than assaults.

    To start, green peppercorns, Vietnamese coriander and lime pull into focus melt-in-the-mouth tender duck, and cashew-nut brittle adds texture and playfulness. One of the signature starters is mussel-and-whelk laksa, a noodle soup that brings China and Malaysia together to stunning effect.

    On the mains menu, pork belly is prepared char siu (literally ‘roasted on a fork’) and is elevated to sublime levels by shiitake sausage and charred onion. The simple presentation belies the complexity of flavours. Geng gati is a fiery paste that Thai cuisine uses mostly for fish curries. Here it’s added by the diner to seafood elements, which include lobster, line fish, calamari and mussels. The combination of green and red chillies clears the sinuses, and mango, ginger, fennel and orange restore harmony.

    Desserts continue the Asian theme; green-tea crème brûlée and banana spring rolls are popular choices. There is also a Chef’s Signature menu available.

    Drinks
    The wine list is extensive and contains several examples of cultivars known to pair well with Asian cuisine. The prices match the environment. Wines by the glass are from the estate only, but that’s no hardship. It would be nice to see more Asian beers.

    Service
    The welcome is very warm; the service is knowledgeable, efficient and discreet.

    Ambience
    The view down the valley demands attention, but so too does the eye-catching décor. It’s plush, stylish and elegant, but not intimidating.

    And…
    Make sure you leave enough time to savour the extraordinary collection of art on display, as well as walk in the beautifully landscaped gardens.

    (September 2015)

  • John Maytham

    This is the kind of place where it is not unusual for guests to arrive by helicopter, or to find several Ferraris in the parking lot. So it’s not surprising that prices are on the high side. Thankfully, so is the quality.

    Food
    Asian cooking can go horribly wrong in hands that are too heavy, but chef Virgil Kahn has a very deft and light touch. There is freshness and complexity in the spicing of all the dishes, a slow build-up of flavour that insinuates rather than assaults.

    To start with: green peppercorns, Vietnamese coriander and lime pull into focus melt-in-the-mouth tender duck, and cashew nut brittle adds texture and playfulness. One of the other signature starters is mussel-and-whelk laksa, a noodle soup that brings China and Malaysia together to stunning effect.

    On the mains, pork belly is prepared char siu, literally ‘roasted on a fork’, and elevated to sublime levels by shiitake sausage and charred onion. The simple presentation belies the complexity of flavours. Geng gati is a fiery paste that Thai cuisine uses mostly for fish curries. Here it’s added by the diner to seafood elements, which include lobster, line fish, calamari and mussels. The combination of green and red chillies clears the sinuses, and mango, ginger, fennel and orange restore harmony.

    Desserts continue the Asian theme: green tea crème brûlée and banana spring rolls are popular choices. There is also a chef’s signature menu available.

    Drinks
    The wine list is extensive and contains several examples of cultivars known to pair well with Asian cuisine. The prices match the environment. Wines by the glass from the estate only, but that’s no hardship. It would be nice to see more Asian beers.

    Service
    The welcome is very warm; the service is knowledgeable, efficient and discreet.

    Ambience
    The view down the valley demands attention, but so too does the eye-catching décor. It’s plush, stylish and elegant, but not intimidating.

    And…
    Make sure you leave enough time to savour the extraordinary collection of art on display, and take a walk in the beautifully landscaped gardens.

    (July 2015)

  • Eat Out

    Food 
    This restaurant on the well-known Delaire Graff wine estate delivers pan-Asian food with contemporary flair. You might opt for the chef’s signature menu, but the à la carte menu also holds treasure, like an intensely fragrant mussel laksa elevated by the interesting addition of whelks. The clear winner of the day is the sweet and smoky Thai barbecue pork belly served with shiitake sausage and charred onions. It's a marvel of flavours and textures, rich and indulgent – just like the setting. Also noteworthy is the Thai poached cob, featuring lots of spice, thanks to a fragrant green curry sauce. Dessert may include a banana and chocolate spring roll with nut fudge, praline ice cream and chocolate ribbons.

    Drinks 
    The wine pairings are for estate wines only. The wine list is, however, more extensive than most (if quite steeply priced) and does include some interesting varietals to match the Asian flavours.

    Service 
    Impressive and accommodating – staff members are knowledgeable and enthusiastic.

    Ambience 
    This setting is utterly spectacular. Kentridges and Tretchikoffs on the walls of the restaurant and a jaw-dropping floral arrangement in the foyer set the tone. Pair this with the marvellous views through the floor to ceiling glass doors – which open onto a terrace – and the stage is set.

    And... 
    If you’re here for lunch or early dinner, take the time to walk through the estate’s award-winning, Keith Kirsten-landscaped gardens.

    (August 2014)

  • The exotic diversity of the flavours of the Asian sub-continent is captured in fragrant basil, cumin, coconut, coriander, chilli, ginger, lemongrass and lime. Freshly picked greens and veg from the estate greenhouse are infused with speciality pastes and served with homemade noodles and dumplings and free-range meats. Try tofu croquettes, seared yellowtail, mussel and clam laksa, hoisin quail and red Thai duck. (EO mag 2014)
  • Food
    Take your taste buds travelling across the culinary contours of south-east Asia from Thailand and Malaysia to Indonesia and Vietnam. The authenticity of the fare is inspired by the use of freshly picked Asian micro-greens, herbs and vegetables from the estate’s greenhouse, infused with freshly ground herbs and spice pastes, served with homemade egg noodles and dumplings. There are no shortcuts in this kitchen, where you can hear the sound of pestles on mortar preparing Thai seven-spice! Using organic, free-range meats, chef Virgil Khan captures the exotic diversity of the zesty, robust flavours of the Asian sub-continent in broths, curries and dishes infused with fragrant basil, cumin, coconut, coriander, chilli, ginger, lemongrass and lime. Best share dishes at table elegantly plated on oriental ceramics and bamboo steamers. Don’t miss signature dishes like tofu croquettes, seared miso yellowtail, mussel and clam laksa, hoisin quail and red Thai duck – with decadent banana and white chocolate springrolls for a divine sweet finish. The synergy of flavours adds a new dimension to Asian cuisine.

    Wine
    Ask the skilled sommelier to match aromatic Delaire wines by the glass to each course to enhance the fragrant Asian fare.

    Service
    Friendly staff offer will help you combine sweet, sour, salty, spicy and savoury tastes and textures to achieve that elusive sense of umami, the fifth dimension of taste.

    Ambience
    This is a sanctuary as soothing as a day at the spa. The cool alfresco deck offers some of the most spectacular views of vineyards in the winelands; else you can dine in the chic and contemporary interior with its arty swallow installation, plush upholstery and burnished copper tables.

    And...
    The side dishes add layers of flavour to the mains. Don’t overlook the green papaya or warm sprout salad, Szechuan aubergine and sticky black rice. (Graham Howe, September 2013)

User reviews

  • The setting alone of this restaurant is worth a visit! The food was delicious, from beginning to end and the service was excellent.
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  • What an excellent restaurant. Top notch service and wonderfully flavourful food. The octopus starter with squid ink was fantastic and I would highly recommend the Penang Lamb as a main course.

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  • The service was good and the sommelier knowledgeable, however, when the chef tells you in a blasé manor that the abundance of lemon pips in your Tom yum starter is last minute flavoring, one can only expect average to terrible food.

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  • Lovely setting, food portions small and somewhat disappointing. I think there are far better (and cheaper) Asian restaurants in the Cape. The service definitely was lacking and seemed to be no communication amongst the staff.

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  • The best contemporary Asian food I have ever tasted! 10/10 - try the seafood gen gati - you won't be disappointed.

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  • Hidden gem in Stellenbosch's culinary scene! Food and service both excellent at this intimate restaurant, worth the high price tag. The szechuan beef starter and pork belly main come highly recommended!

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  • What a fantastic, special evening you will enjoy when dining at this restaurant. It is not just a meal but a culinary experience!

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  • We have been wanting to go to Indochine for about a year but somehow always got side tracked by other restaurants every time. What an amazing surprise. My husbnad took the pork belly which is now decidedly my favourite - after adoring LDR's - and I had the butter quail. All the sauces are exquisite but amiable to my caucasian palate! We decided at the begining of our meal to rather go main and dessert, next time it will be starter and main for sure!

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  • We treated ourselves last week and had lunch at Indochine at Delaire Graff and what an amazing experience it was! Even if the food hadn't been sublime - which it was - you should go there for the setting alone. Having said that the food at Indochine was amazing. We shared a portion of Duck Breast, a portion of Pork Belly as our two mains and then had smaller side dishes of Makhani Egg Plant (yum!), Wok Fried Greens and lovely jasminey rice. All of this was washed down by some super delicious Delaire Chardonnay which we'd tasted and enjoyed in the wine tasting room and which had been recommended by the sommelier, Christo Deyzel. A visit to Delaire is one you shouldn't miss out on and definitely one to take your overseas visitors to!

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  • Tantalizing. Absolutely everything was seamlessly stunning. From the amazing service to the decadent desserts. This restaurant has spectacular views over the valley and the mountains in the distance. It was a great experience with friends not soon to be forgotten.

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  • One of our favourite dining experiences in SA. Stunning venue. Highly recommended!!
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  • Great ambience, caters for variety of dietry requirements, perfect for those in search of spicy food, amazing view over the valleys and vineyards, when the sous-chef came to the table, his explanation of the different options was very disappointing.
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  • D is for disappointment; We have been waiting to dine at Indochine for some time but in the off season, it was only open sparingly. However, today it was open for lunch and my wife and I looked forward to the experience. Good Asian food is hard to come by in Cape Town and surrounds so we were hoping that our beloved Haiku would have a challenger close to home. Sadly, not so at Indochine. Our first shock came when we reviewed the wine list. 50 Rand for a miserly glass of Delaires own Sauvignon Blanc is ridiculous; especially when a bottle sells at the cellar door for R79! As for the food, all of it was tasty and edible and we had no intention of sending any of it back. However, the salad rolls were very poorly presented- something any home cook could have reproduced and certainly not what is expected from a professional kitchen. No self respecting Vietnamese house wife would produce such an average product. My trio of seafood was well presented and tasted fine as was my beef tataki. I think the biggest let down was the huge bill for an average meal albeit served impeccably in a beautifully decorated room.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Accommodation
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Dress code
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Fireplace
  • Functions
  • Hotel
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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