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Open Door Restaurant

Open Door Restaurant
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Cost
R120 avg main meal
Ambience
Bar scene, Business meetings, Groups
Food
Modern
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R65

Critic's review

Graham Howe

Food

Classsic technique in the kitchen puts a gastronomic spin on a modern country menu that always exceeds expectations. A respect for good, seasonal fare finds expression on an original menu that shows subtlety and skill in sauces and garnishes, enhancing the main ingredient.

Start with a saffron-poached pear salad with toasted walnuts and gorgonzola or West Coast mussels in a prosciutto broth. Simplicity is the key to lovely flavour combinations that work effortlessly – like pulled pork ravioli with apple puree or grilled calamari with homemade mayo and roasted peanuts.

The mains are meatier, with dishes like the signature rib-eye steak with chimichurri sauce or chalmar beef sirloin with café de Paris butter and hand-cut chips. The pork belly with potato fondant or lamb tortellini are also very popular if they are on the changing seasonal menu. Vegetarians should opt for the trio of cauliflower – an arty composition of taste and texture – followed by a sensational white onion risotto.

Whatever you choose, leave space for one of the classis desserts like Eton mess or almond frangipane. The special winter three-course á la carte menu for R295 offers particularly good value.

Drinks

Sommelier patron Neil Grant hand-selects a brilliant list of trending wines by the glass and bottle.

Service

Impeccable from welcome to finish, with advice on food and wine pairings.

Ambience

Country-chic in a sophisticated space – this old schoolhouse has led many lives.

And…

This is a great place for a gourmet country breakfast, with a special menu for kids.

(August 2017)

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

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  • 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.

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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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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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