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.
Sommelier patron Neil Grant hand-selects a brilliant list of trending wines by the glass and bottle.
Impeccable from welcome to finish, with advice on food and wine pairings.
Country-chic in a sophisticated space – this old schoolhouse has led many lives.
This is a great place for a gourmet country breakfast, with a special menu for kids.
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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.
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.
Smooth and friendly in the country manner.
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.
There is a great kids’ menu for those budding gourmets: think spaghetti with peas, bacon and parmesan – not the usual franks on a roll.
Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.