Venues

Open Door Restaurant

Open Door Restaurant
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  • Location 0217943010
  • Phone Number Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate, Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia, Cape Town
  • email info@opendoorrestaurant.co.za
  • Website URL http://opendoorrestaurant.co.za
  • Opening Hours

    Breakfast: Monday to Sunday 9am to 11am

    Lunch: Monday to Sunday 12noon to 3pm; Community Hour Monday to Saturday 3pm to 6pm

    Dinner: Monday to Saturday 6pm to 9.30pm

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Cost
R120 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual, Contemporary cool
Food
Contemporary fare, Modern
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Greg Landman

Food
The kitchen here is under the talented control of Annemarie Steenkamp, who has moved here from co-owner Neil Grant’s town establishments, Burrata and Bocca. The bill of fare is country style bistro – with an edge, just enough to make it interesting – this is Constantia after all. Starters of venison tartare with bone marrow and caper dressing, papaya and black pepper and the Chalmar beef carpaccio with pickled onions, mustard, cheese custard and sourdough are just the ticket for dedicated carnivores.

The beef burger with bacon, cheddar, tomato marmalade, fried onion rings and hand-cut chips will warm the cockles of any man’s heart, while the sweetcorn risotto with turmeric daikon pickle and cambrieni makes a great vegetarian option. There's line fish with quinoa, preserved limes and yellow tomatoes as well as very good salmon trout with tabbouleh, pine nut purée, baby aubergine, and fried pickled cucumber are delicious fishy options.

The salted caramel ice cream sandwich with apple and mint sorbet is unbeatable, although the chocolate mud cake with Spekulaas ice cream and a fig and raisin compote is a worthy second place winner.

Wine
Neil Grant’s sommelier talents show in the fabulous wine list with some seriously unusual offerings like the Donkiesbaai Hooiwijn, a magnificent straw wine, by the glass.

Service
Smooth and friendly in the country manner.

Ambience
What used to be The River Café has been transformed into a magnificent space with plenty of glass to let in the light and some shiny surfaces to add interest. The result is comfortable and relaxed without being precious, somewhere to let your hair down – elegantly.

And...
There is a great kids’ menu for those budding gourmets: think spaghetti with peas, bacon and parmesan – not the usual franks on a roll.

(September 2016)

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Katharine Jacobs

    Food
    The dream team behind Bocca and Burrata opened its third restaurant – the first in the Southern suburbs – in the space formerly occupied by the River Café at Constantia Uitsig. Diners are greeted by a promisingly short à la carte menu: there are just five options each for starters, mains and desserts for lunch and dinner. A starter of roasted pumpkin with curried fritters, buttermilk labneh and ginger kicks things off on a high note. The fritters are light, crispy and sweet, contrasting nicely with the smooth purée. The lamb neck for mains is glorious, delicious and tender. It comes with roasted baby carrots that still have a bit of bite to them, and a moreish gravy. The pan-roasted line fish is perfectly cooked and served with a very tasty oyster velouté. There’s also a café menu available for lunch; I’ll be back for the brioche roll with pulled pork belly, coriander, kimchi and sesame mayonnaise, for sure.

    Drinks
    Restaurateur Neil Grant’s sommelier credentials make themselves apparent in the extensive wine list. In addition to well-known classics like Warwick, Springfield and AA Badenhorst’s Secateurs, there are sections for ‘interesting whites’ and ‘interesting reds’, giving diners a chance to try less common varietals like bukettraube, marsanne, cinsault and nebbiolo. There are just seven options available by the glass, which is a pity for those who are driving.

    Service
    Staff are eager to please.

    Ambience
    It’s a comfortable, stylish space. Bay windows, white walls and wooden tables with cast iron legs give a nod to the history of the building – which was once a schoolhouse – while low banquettes in a regal blue, a selection of brass doorknobs, and a gleaming open kitchen add interest. It’s a big restaurant, and well segmented: there’s a side room, more seating outside, plus a wooden deck around the corner.

    And…
    There’s a fantastic-sounding children’s menu (cookies and steamed milk!).

    (September 2015)

  • Katharine Jacobs

    Food
    The dream team behind Bocca and Burrata opened its third restaurant – the first in the Southern suburbs – in the space formerly occupied by the River Café at Constantia Uitsig. Diners are greeted by a promisingly short à la carte menu: there are just five options each for starters, mains and desserts for lunch and dinner. A starter of roasted pumpkin with curried fritters, buttermilk labneh and ginger kicks things off on a high note. The fritters are light, crispy and sweet, contrasting nicely with the smooth purée. The lamb neck for mains is glorious, delicious and tender. It comes with roasted baby carrots that still have a bit of bite to them, and a moreish gravy. The pan-roasted line fish is perfectly cooked and served with a very tasty oyster velouté. There’s also a café menu available for lunch; I’ll be back for the brioche roll with pulled pork belly, coriander, kimchi and sesame mayonnaise, for sure.

    Drinks
    Restaurateur Neil Grant’s sommelier credentials make themselves apparent in the extensive wine list. In addition to well-known classics like Warwick, Springfield and AA Badenhorst’s Secateurs, there are sections for ‘interesting whites’ and ‘interesting reds’, giving diners a chance to try less common varietals like bukettraube, marsanne, cinsault and nebbiolo. There are just seven options available by the glass, which is a pity for those who are driving.

    Service
    Staff are eager to please.

    Ambience
    It’s a comfortable, stylish space. Bay windows, white walls and wooden tables with cast iron legs give a nod to the history of the building – which was once a schoolhouse – while low banquettes in a regal blue, a selection of brass doorknobs, and a gleaming open kitchen add interest. It’s a big restaurant, and well segmented: there’s a side room, more seating outside, plus a wooden deck around the corner.

    And …
    There’s a fantastic-sounding children’s menu (cookies and steamed milk!).

  • Katharine Jacobs

    Food
    Diners are greeted by a promisingly short à la carte menu: there are just five options each for starters, mains and desserts for lunch and dinner.

    We begin on a high note with a roasted pumpkin starter with curried fritters, buttermilk labneh and ginger. The fritters are light, crispy and sweet, contrasting nicely with the smooth purée. The labneh carries the ginger in a surprising form – tiny, deep-fried slivers that look like lemon rind – but the root gives itself away with an unmistakable gingery kick. The interplay of flavours and textures eclipses our other starter, a little crayfish tail with a parsnip purée and some frilly kale, which catches the sauce and sort of gets in the way. (Kale is always doing that.)

    The lamb neck for mains is glorious, delicious and tender, with melting fat. It comes with roasted baby carrots that still have a bit of bite to them, and a moreish gravy. Our other main, the pan-roasted line fish, is perfectly cooked and served with a very tasty oyster velouté. The accompanying sweetcorn and peas, however, tend to leak water into the dish, thinning out the sauce.

    Dessert is a challenge. I’m hesitant when I see the little worm-shaped snacks from Bombay Mix beneath my lime mousse and buttermilk parfait, but thanks to a coriander emulsion, they combine with the lime to create something quite clever – like a sweet, Asian curry. The chocolate torte is also an experiment in flavour, but the balance is a little more precarious, with the thinnest slice of dark chocolate torte – which is not very sweet itself – overpowered somewhat by a very tart citrusy granita and slices of grapefruit.

    Meat and fish mains range from R147 to R172 (an open lasagna and beet risotto are cheaper options at R98 and R92) but perhaps in Constantia that’s not so very expensive.

    There’s also a fantastic-sounding children’s menu (cookies and steamed milk!) and a café menu available for lunch. I’ll be back for the brioche roll with pulled pork belly, coriander, kimchi and sesame mayonnaise, for sure.

    Drinks
    Restaurateur Neil Grant’s sommelier credentials make themselves apparent in the extensive wine list. In addition to well-known classics like Warwick, Springfield and A A Badenhorst’s Secateurs, there are sections for ‘interesting whites’ and ‘interesting reds’, giving diners a chance to try less common varietals like bukettraube, marsanne, cinsault and nebbiolo. There are just seven options available by the glass, which is a pity for those who are driving.

    Service
    Staff are eager to please, and there are no hiccups that won’t be smoothed over in the coming weeks.

    Ambience
    InHouse Brand Architects have done a great job of creating a comfortable, stylish space. Bay windows, white walls and wooden tables with cast iron legs give a nod to the history of the building – which was once a schoolhouse – while low banquettes in a regal blue, a selection of brass doorknobs and a gleaming open kitchen add interest. It’s a big restaurant, and well segmented: there’s a side room, more seating outside, plus a wooden deck around the corner, which will be lovely in summer.

    *A ‘first taste’ is a review conducted in the first couple of weeks after a restaurant’s opening, when it is expected that the chefs and staff will still be finding their feet.

    (May 2015)

User reviews

  • My friends and I enjoyed a fabulous meal last night at Open Door. We went for the Winter Special, which at R295 for three courses including a bottle of wine for a table of four (the delicious Constantia Uitsig white Bordeaux blend) really was exceptional value. Especially considering the generous size of the portions... And the fact that we didn't want to leave a morsel on our plates. (Unfortunately by the end it meant some dessert was left over - we were just too full to eat any more.) A big thumbs up to the calamari, miso caramel and peanuts starter - a delicious and unusual way of doing an ingredient that's almost ubiquitous on all starter menus. All the other starters - feta bake, cauliflower cheese, pork ravioli - was heartily enjoyed by our group. And for mains - well, I wiped my plate clean on a linefish with butternut gnocchi and mussel/bacon veloute. The desserts were picture perfect and yummy. The only downside of the evening was the practically empty restaurant... I can only hope it's a sign of weeknight in CT before payday in winter.
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  • Enjoyed the interesting decor and making a reservation was easy enough and confirmed via SMS. The serving stuff were friendly but unable to explain anything on the menu and while being served by 5 different people, none of them introduced themselves or wore a name badge. This lack of menu knowledge probably explains why one of the main course side was left on the pass until we had practicality finished mains and only after we had ordered did the server return to inform us that there was no salmon. In its place the Tuna starter was ordered and luckily it along with the grilled calamari turned out to be the best dishes of the night. In short I feel the restaurant does not offer value in terms of the pricing and even with the price put aside there was nothing outstanding or exceptional about the food served.
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  • We went to Open Door with no expectations and were truly blown away by the reception, attention of the wait staff, the wine selection, ambiance and, ultimately, the food. Truly a gem in the making and we would recommend Open Door to anyone. We measure a restaurant against a simple principle: "will we go back again?" In the last 12 months we have gone to a number of establishments around the Cape and sadly there are only a handful we will visit again... Open Door is at the top of the list of places we will definitely visit again! The lamb tortellini was exquisite and the peanut butter.... wow!
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  • The Door is closed. If the food would taste anything like it looks, this place would be quite amazing…but unluckily these two things are worlds apart. Roasted pumpkin with curried fritters, seed crumbles, buttermilk labne and ginger sounds incredible…but it was only a burnt piece of pumpkin on some pumpkin puree with a strange green sauce. Also the main course was very disappointing. The pile of undefined vegetable represented the caponata spätzle (spätzle are delicious! And if you want to know what spätzle are (Don’t order this course!!!) with preserved lemon mousse (sorry for my ignorance, but I did not find the mousse on my plate), red pepper dressing (???) and raw courgette (I found these immediately!) My girlfriend had the lamb noisette - by nature a fatty piece - the poor lamb obviously did not move a much in its short life, if you look at the amount of fat which surrounded the meat nibble in the middle. The plating looked amazing and very promising, but unfortunately it was a disappointing and expensive taste experience. Please excuse my rude words…but for 1/3 of the price I would have said it was quite ok…
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  • Lovely setting but food is over priced and underwhelming. We were a table of 12 and not one person absolutely loved the dish they ordered or felt that it was value for money. This was my second time at the restaurant as I felt it deserved another chance, however I think there are way better places in Cape Town to pay the same amount for a dish and get much better quality.
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  • What an experience ,from the tour through the restaurant to the wine and food . The welcoming front of the restaurant justifies the Name : OPEN DOOR . The contempory decor , from the door handles on the wall to the doors attached to the ceiling ,make this restaurant an experience to remember. The food was elegantly presented and very tasty ,from the starters to the main course . The braised lambneck was a winner paired with a wonderful wine ! A wonderful experience to hopefully enjoy again . Can't wait to be back in January !!
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  • What an experience ,from the tour through the restaurant to the wine and food . The welcoming front of the restaurant justifies the Name : OPEN DOOR . The contempory decor , from the door handles on the wall to the doors attached to the ceiling ,make this restaurant an experience to remember. The food was elegantly presented and very tasty ,from the starters to the main course . The braised lambneck was a winner paired with a wonderful wine ! A wonderful experience to hopefully enjoy again . Can't wait to be back in January !!
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  • As a regular patron of the River Café which was taken over by Open Door about a month ago I was keen to try this out and was very impressed. The décor is contemporary and stylish with elements of the previous building lingering. The food menu is limited to about 5 dishes per course and the wine list extensive. All dishes ordered by our party of four were exquisite. The braised lamb neck was declared the best he'd eaten by a lamb aficionado and my venison [kudu] was grilled to perfection with sides that perfectly complemented the game. Will definitely be back.
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  • As a regular patron of the River Café which was taken over by Open Door about a month ago I was keen to try this out and was very impressed. The décor is contemporary and stylish with elements of the previous building lingering. The food menu is limited to about 5 dishes per course and the wine list extensive. All dishes ordered by our party of four were exquisite. The braised lamb neck was declared the best he'd eaten by a lamb aficionado and my venison [kudu] was grilled to perfection with sides that perfectly complemented the game. Will definitely be back.
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  • Incredible experience all round and so good to see new life breathed back into the Old Schoolhouse. We've been twice for lunch and will definitely be back. Ambience and general feel is one of comfortable elegance......just what the Valley needs. Food is fabulous, simple, tasty and well presented. Wine list is something else......can't wait to go back to try something new. Well done.....special memories for us as this building was my place of work, selling wine for 11 years at Uitsig.
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  • What an amazing evening! I have been waiting in anticipation for Open Door to open and as soon as it did we went to dine there for dinner. From the delicious food and wine to the quality of the service and finishes of the restaurant we were blown away. We will definitely be going back soon. Thanks Neil to you and your team.
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  • Sumptuous in decor, Open Door is a must visit. It is the welcome new restaurant on the Constantia Uitsig estate, at the home of the former River Cafe. The concept is welcoming and it certainly delivers. The food is excellent. From casual small bites to full a la carte, everyone in our group were very happy. The kingklip on a bed of peas and baby corn was declared divine and the burger the best we ever had. This coupled with a most brilliant wine list (would not expect anything less from Neil Grant!). I cannot wait to go again!
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Menu

Set menu - Open Door Restaurant - Breakfast Menu - updated in May 2017 Open Door Restaurant - A la carte Menu - updated in May 2017 Open Door A la Carte Starter Menu - Updated in July 2015 Open Door A la Carte Main Course Menu - Updated in July 2015 Open Door A la Carte Dessert Menu - Updated in July 2015. Open Door Cafe Menu - Updated in July 2015 Open Door Kiddie's Menu - Updated in July 2015 Open Door Wine List - Updated in July 2015 Open Door Wine LIst 2 - Updated in July 2015 Open Door Wine List 3 - Updated in July 2015 Open Door Wine List 4 - Updated in July 2015 Open Door Wine List 5 - Updated in July 2015 Open Door - Community Hour Menu - Updated in March 2017

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways

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