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Restaurant Jardine

Restaurant Jardine
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Cost
R160
Ambience
Contemporary cool
Food
Contemporary fare, Fine-dining food
Payment
Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Anelde Greeff

Food
It feels a bit like you’ve hit the fine dining jackpot when you discover that the six-course tasting menu at Jardine is a mere R420 – and is so incredibly delicious. There are two- and three-course options, too. Tasting menus are wonderful for the chef to show off and delight you with their favourites on the day. Plus, it’s great to sit back and be surprised by what shows up.

The six-course menu is a well-balanced selection of the season and the region’s best ingredients. The first wooden board with a king oyster mushroom tart, buffalo mozzarella, confit garlic and watercress is, in a word, sublime. A great hit of umami to kickstart a beautiful meal. It’s followed by a delicate salt-and-sugar cured yellowtail, with truffled artichoke, parmesan, artichoke purée, dried onion and pine nut dressing. Again, delicious.

The third course is a highlight: pan-roasted veal sweetbreads with salsa verde, air-dried cauliflower and crispy sage. Peppery and gently fatty, both smooth and crunchy, it is a thing of beauty – not least because of the Pollock-esque jus decorating the plate. The rest of the menu includes a slightly underwhelming butter-roasted gurnard served with aubergine velouté, grilled baby aubergine and olive tapenade, and a roasted and braised Cradock springbok with grilled yellow plum, turnip and walnut, which is a well balanced, tasty plate of food – with the perfect piece of meat to round off the savoury part of the meal.

Chef George is known for his pretty and delicious desserts and he does not disappoint. The understated Valrhona chocolate torte with milk chocolate mousse and white chocolate ice cream is absolutely heavenly. It’s very tempting to lick the plate…

Drinks
The one-page wine list is simple yet concise. It is dominated by local Stellenbosch wines and is extremely well-priced.

Service
Top notch. Waitrons are friendly without being too familiar and George’s wife, Louise, is always on hand for extra support and smiles.

Ambience
White tablecloths and beautiful crockery elevate the otherwise quite unassuming space, while lots of greenery give it a bit of warmth without making it too casual.

And...
The lunch menu sees a handful of choices and is perfect for a quick gourmet lunch.

(September 2016)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Anelde Greeff

    Food
    It feels a bit like you’ve hit the fine dining jackpot when you discover that the six-course tasting menu at Jardine is a mere R420 – and is so incredibly delicious. There are two- and three-course options, but I’ve always found a tasting menu the best way to judge a chef. It’s their chance to show off and delight you with their favourites on the day. Plus, it’s great to sit back and be surprised by what shows up.

    Our six-course soiree is a well-balanced selection of the season and the region’s best ingredients. The first wooden board with a king oyster mushroom tart, buffalo mozzarella, confit garlic and watercress is, in a word, sublime. A great hit of umami to kickstart a beautiful meal. It’s followed by a delicate salt-and-sugar cured yellowtail, with truffled artichoce, parmesan, artichoke purée, dried onion and pine nut dressing. Again, delicious.

    The third course is my personal highlight: pan-roasted veal sweetbreads with salsa verde, air-dried cauliflower and crispy sage. Peppery and gently fatty, both smooth and crunchy, it is a thing of beauty – not least because of the Pollock-esque jus decorating the plate.

    As an aside, I’ve always thought Luke Dale-Roberts is the only man in SA that can really do sweetbreads justice. But in this regard, he definitely has competition.

    The rest of the menu includes a slightly underwhelming butter-roasted gurnard served with aubergine velouté, grilled baby aubergine and olive tapenade, and a roasted and braised Cradock springbok with grilled yellow plum, turnip and walnut, which is a well balanced, tasty plate of food, with the perfect piece of meat to round off the savoury part of the meal.

    Chef George is known for his pretty and delicious desserts – like the incredible millionaire’s shortbread seen at the 2015 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards – and he does not disappoint. The understated Valrhona chocolate torte with milk chocolate mousse and white chocolate ice cream is absolutely heavenly. It’s very tempting to lick the plate…

    Drinks
    The one-page wine list is simple yet concise. It is dominated by local Stellenbosch wines and is extremely well priced.

    Service
    Top notch. Waitrons are friendly without being too familiar and George’s wife, Louise, is always on hand for extra support and smiles.

    Ambience
    White tablecloths and beautiful crockery elevate the otherwise quite unassuming space, while lots of greenery give it a bit of warmth without making it too casual.

    The verdict
    Jardine is a great restaurant experience. From the moment you set foot in the Stellenbosch eatery until the parting shot of your waiter, it’s pure pleasure. Accessible, delightful, delicious dining all around. But is it worthy of a top spot in SA? I’ll reserve my final judgement for a second visit, as my first was within the first week of opening. And we all know that it takes a while for chefs and teams to find their feet – even when they’re of a Top 10 calibre.

    (March 2016)

User reviews

  • An all out dining experience Definitely worth visiting Fantastic food as chef george has been known for accompanied by excellent service A fine restaurant indeed
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  • We lunched at Restaurant Jardine in the heart of Stellenbosch, a welcome fine dining experience in the town as opposed to the various vineyard venues in the area. A charming two room oasis, with a warming fire, friendly staff and attractive use of botanical prints and fabrics. We have huge respect for George Jardine and know what a brilliant chef he is. Lunch (and dinner) menus, offer a changing variety of seasonal cuisine, as opposed to a vast menu of choices. We loved the creative cooking (attention to detail too, when a special request was made about one of the dishes we ordered), excellent service and the feeling that one had stumbled across a tranquil little haven amidst the hive of activity that central Stellenbosch is today.
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  • Enjoyed a lovely dinner here last night. The menu is very seasonally-driven, with winter vegetables like mushrooms, parsnips and turnips featuring. For starter dishes, all three options were great: The sirloin tartare, porcini mushroom with mozzarella and lightly baked avocado with prawn were all fresh, interesting and considered dishes, with balanced flavours. Only strange thing was the re-use of the same salsas and mousses in different dishes throughout the menu, like the salsa verde and aubergine puree. Options for mains were atypical of the usual protein favourites favoured by restaurants like duck or steak. Instead, the options were silver fish, fallow deer and parsnip dumplings. The fish, served with tomato and aubergine, was amazing, as well as the deer, served medium raw. The dumpling dish was very disappointing, like something that was obviously a flop but that the kitchen tried to resurrect from its starchy oblivion with lashings of gorgonzola. The result was cloyingly sweet and rich, but without depth. The Valrhona chocolate tart for dessert had all the makings of greatness, and didn't disappoint: Salted caramel, roast pears, hazelnut ice-cream. You can't go wrong with that flavour combination. The cheese board was also lovely. Well-priced wine list, and a very simple (maybe too simple?) and quite drafty interior, although I heard they are installing more windows in the frigid courtyard section. Will definitely be back.
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Facilities

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

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