Pierneef à La Motte

Pierneef à La Motte
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Dinner - 5-course R645; 5-course R895 (with wine pairing)
Groups, Quick meals, Special occasions, Views
Fine-dining food, South African, Vegetarian
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Richard Holmes

With La Motte’s unique take on Cape winelands cuisine, chef Michelle Theron revels in the culinary history of the region. Expect a modern interpretation on traditional flavours and techniques. The superb slow-roasted Karoo lamb is plated with porcini tart fine, burnt butter and brandied apple purée, while the signature Cape bokkom salad uses semi-dried tomatoes, dried apricots and quail eggs to soften the blow of this pungent West Coast delicacy. Each dish comes with a suggested wine from La Motte’s award-winning cellar.

This is accomplished cooking, plated with generosity and authenticity. Expect big bold flavours and generous portions, and a welcome lack of frivolity.

Alongside the à la carte menu, a seasonally inspired family-lunch menu is served on Sundays with generous platters of roast meat, vegetables and salads served communally.

A truly impressive wine includes the full range of estate wines, all available by the glass, alongside a vinoteque selection offering special vintages dating back more than a decade. There’s also an admirable selection from other Cape estates alongside a compact choice of international labels. Thankfully, it’s all served in beautiful Riedel stemware.

Charming yet authentic service from staff that aren’t afraid to chat, or discuss the finer points of the dishes.

This is a restaurant of two faces. Indoors the napery and upholstered chairs make for a more elegant evening option beneath the striking chandelier of shattered Delft-style crockery, a nod to the heritage cuisine on the menu. The terrace is more relaxed, with wonderful garden views in the daytime. Book a table here if you have kids in tow.

Leave time afterwards for a stroll through the wonderful La Motte Museum and its collection of works by the restaurant’s namesake, artist Jacob Hendrik Pierneef.

(August 2017)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Katharine Jacobs

    No longer focusing purely on heritage food, chef Michelle Theron turns out Cape winelands dishes with robust flavour in this beautiful restaurant. The inventive menu delivers hearty portions. Dine à la carte by day, or return at night for the five-course tasting menu.

    The meal begins beautifully with excellent breads presented in a wooden box. The ciabatta and soft, pillow-like mosbolletjies are memorable, particularly when slathered liberally with a delicious tomato pesto or the shiraz butter.

    To start, the baked bonemarrow is dramatically plated for a comforting dish. If you’re after something lighter, the dish of dehydrated rosa tomatoes with ricotta is a refreshing option, and the hazelnuts are a nice accent.

    Mains herald hearty dishes like Glen Oakes farm pork, a tasty rolled belly, with risotto and roasted apple; and a healthy portion of Laingsburg lamb, a punchy-flavoured shoulder served with slivers of homemade sausage, tasty tongue, and a barley risotto spiked with a little coconut – a clever detail.
    Sustainable fish – in our case, angelfish – is another menu staple.

    Desserts are plated with real attention to detail. The chocolate affair is a perfect rectangle of glossy glazed chocolate mousse paved around the edges with golden gravel. Science Fiction is a playful, lighter, fruity option, served in a glass beaker with a pipette. Eating it, and identifying all the elements, requires a scientist’s rigour.

    Finish with a hot chocolate: a beautiful wooden palette-shaped tray comes with a decadent dollop of chocolate to stir into hot milk, and a little iced biscuit complete with a miniature painting for good measure.

    Seated under the oaks on a summer’s day, dining here is a thoroughly pleasant experience.

    The estate’s wonderful wines join a wide range of names from the Franschhoek valley in a convincing wine list. There’s also Champagne – the real thing – in six varieties, and occasional garagiste inclusions, such as Stony Brook Lyle and My Wyn. The menu also recommends La Motte wines with each of the dishes.

    It’s a serene, beautiful space with plenty of wood and green accents. Long glass walls bring the gardens inside. The outdoor section was made for sunny summer days, with long tables under oaks and smaller tables on a deck overlooking a river. Book a spot next to the fireplace in winter.

    Attentive and good, for the most part.

    If you loved the bread, pick up a loaf – along with some lovely homeware, farm-fresh veggies and preserves – in the farm shop as you exit. And don’t miss the impressive collection of paintings by the restaurant’s namesake, Jan Hendrik Pierneef, in the gallery.

    (September 2016)

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

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food


  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Dress code
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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