Jardine Restaurant

Jardine Restaurant
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R320 for two courses, R380 for three for courses R580 for six courses
Fine-dining food, Modern
Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
R80 (one bottle per table)

Critic's review

Jeanne Calitz

How goes the saying? Dynamite comes in small packages. The menu – and the space – at Restaurant Jardine in Stellenbosch may be on the small side, but the pay-off, as delivered by the award-winning chef George Jardine, is big.

The menu at Jardine is, as mentioned, quite short, but when you’re cooking highly seasonal food, that is no bad thing. You’ll find only three to four options for every course, and yet it is still very hard to pick one. I am sorely tempted by a tart of caramelised onion and pear with gorgonzola mousse, but then opt for the springbok tartare with aioli, walnuts, sourdough crisps and tiny feathers of pickled onion. It’s a wonderful dish – a perfect marriage of flavours (salty, creamy and tangy) and textures.

A main course of herbed barley risotto with crumbed poached egg abounds with fresh, herbaceous flavours. But it is the fish that wins the day: pan-fried Mauritian sea bass with artichoke velouté (hello, spring!), grilled artichoke and a tangy shaved cauliflower salad with crispy parmesan sprinkles. Beyond delicious, and the most memorable fish course I’ve had in ages. Dessert brings a vibrant dish of a small genoise (Italian sponge cake) with macerated strawberries, crème patisserie, almonds and a scoop of strawberry ice cream. What a happy little plate this is.

All in all, a truly excellent meal. Plating is elegant but not fussy; portions are generous but never overwhelming; flavours are vibrant, yet collaborative. Every bite is reflective of the bright minds and deft hands at work in the kitchen. We depart with relunctance, and the fervent desire to visit again soon to see what new seasonal delights Jardine may hold.

A good wine offering, with options sorted by varietal and something to suit most tastes and budgets. If you’re after an apertitif, look to the food menu of the day, where you’ll find a couple of interesting cocktails, such as the likes of the Jardine Chicago (KWV brandy, triple sec, bitters and bubbly) or the evocative Pink Lady – pink gin, bitters, strawberries, tonic and soda.

Very good. Informed, friendly and efficient.

In contrast with the restaurant at Jordan, this is not a super sleek, fancy restaurant. In fact, it’s a smallish space, with an intimate, comfortable feel. Against a neutral background of light wooden furniture and voluminous grey tablecloths, botanical prints on the walls and plenty of foliage add some fresh pops of colour. The place to be on a nice day is the outside tables for sure – if you manage to score one.

Best for…
Celebrating a special occasion – or special visit – with someone who will appreciate top-notch seasonal fare.

(August 2018)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Graham Howe

    Over the last two decades, George Jardine, frequent winner of a coveted place in the Eat Out Top Ten, has earned his spurs as one of the top chefs in the country. Commuting between his new venture in Stellenbosch and his destination restaurant at Jordan wine estate, his creative energy is boundless. A focus on seasonal flavours showcases local, organic produce on a changing menu, which tempts with sublime combinations.

    The menu identifies the exact provenance of ingredients from east coast monkfish and hake to Walker Bay white mussels and Oak Valley pork. The main ingredient is enhanced with delectable sauces, reductions, garnishes and foraged sides, from samphire (sea asparagus) and dune spinach to wild mushrooms and micro-greens. Earthy, smoky tastes and textures are showcased in signature dishes like smoked, acorn-fed pork with pease pudding, prawn boudin blanc, Williston lamb kidneys and roasted root vegetables. There are gastronomic choices for vegetarians, from caramelised leek tart with truffled watercress to gorgonzola gnocchi with charred Brussels sprouts.

    A fine attention to detail and a subtle balance shows on every bespoke ceramic bowl and plate. If available, signature dishes tempt, with aged pasture-reared Greenfields sirloin on a bed of creamed puy lentils and the freshest, flakiest hake poached in red wine with glazed bone marrow.

    Expect bold, contemporary fare from a master with supreme respect for the meticulously sourced ingredients on his cutting board and in his kitchen.

    A good selection of affordable wines by variety, glass and bottle, as well as craft spirits.

    Attentive and on the ball, with warmth and charm.

    Intimate and cosy in the covered courtyard and small, interior dining room with botanical vegetable illustrations.

    Share a selection of South African farm cheeses if you’re too full for dessert.

    (October 2017)

    Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay their own way. Read our full editorial policy here.

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

User reviews

  • I was a bit disappointed with Jardine or maybe my expectations were to high as they are #9. I enjoyed Chefs Warehouse (#10) and Pot Luck Club (#20) a lot more. The service was not great. We had to signal for our waiter a few times and waited long for the bill. She opened a second bottle of water and started pouring without us requesting it. The look of Jardine is to minimalist. There is no vibe or theme. The bathrooms felt like a general eatery bathroom with hand towels that have bleach stains on them and the sink overtaken by Soap and lotion ( a holder against the wall would look better). The food had elements that were amazing and elements that we could not taste. Like an orange biscuit with chocolate mouse. We could not event taste the orange a little. Or a beet risotto with pea mouse, again we could not taste the pea. Really was looking forward to eating at #9, but was sadly disappointed.
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    • Service
    • Food
  • A very special treat for a friend's birthday and, as always, we weren't disappointed. What an experience! The courses were presented as beautiful pictures painted with delicious ingredients. One didn't want to disturb the display!! And of course, the tastes were beyond believe. Thanks George! We'll definitely be back.
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Winter Specials at Jardine

Make a booking for two for their five-course menu and only pay for one R680 (excluding beverages and gratuity). Please note that bookings are only available for 6pm, 6.30pm and 7pm seatings.

Follow their monthly Winemaker's Lunch dates on Facebook.

Please note:

Opening hours: Lunch closed from 15 May - 1 Sept, available for private groups only. Dinner Tuesday - Saturday 6pm to 8.30pm


  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food

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