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Springfontein Eats

Springfontein Eats
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Cost
R710 for six-course set menu, R630 for five-course set menu, R540 for four-course set menu, R440 for three-course set menu
Ambience
Groups, Special occasions
Food
Fine-dining food, Modern
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
No BYO

Critic's review

Richard Holmes

Food
There are no quick bites at Springfontein Eats, where chef Jürgen Schneider combines his Michelin-starred background with local produce to conjure up an impressive multi-course dining experience.

Despite the casual farm locale, the cooking here is accomplished, with multiple elements in each dish delivering layers of flavour. The meal begins with a plate of wonderful fresh breads, before a succession of amuse-bouche plates dubbed ‘greetings from the kitchen’. This could be a light and fragrant carrot soup, or slow-cooked beetroot with home-made ham. But leave space for starters: the local trout done three ways is superb, as is the flavour-packed ravioli of wild mushrooms picked that morning on the farm.

In addition to his foraging, Schneider has an extensive vegetable garden on the farm that provides plenty of organic produce to the kitchen. Mains hint at the hearty cuisine of Schneider’s homeland, with duck breast plated in a rich jus and topped with a sweet crumble of crispy duck skin. The intense oxtail is another good choice for chilly nights.

Desserts are equally inventive, and the wood-sorrel ice cream with orange couscous is as memorable as the generous plate of petit-fours that will finally send you rolling out the door.

Drinks
An impressive wine list offers multiple vintages of estate wines both in the nearby Hemel-en-Aarde valley and further afield. Estate wines are available by the glass. If your pockets are deep, there’s an enviable selection of German Riesling and French Bordeaux to be had. The adjoining whisky lounge offers a wonderful selection of single malts.

Service
While Jürgen is in the kitchen, Susanne Schneider keeps a close eye on the happiness of diners. Expect warm and charming country hospitality.

Ambience
There’s a bright and modern farm feel, the exposed stone walls and thatched roof contrasting neatly with modern art and blond wood furniture. Bag a table near the wood-burning stove in winter, or out on the terrace in summer.

And…
No time for degustation? The Springfontein Bar(n) offers wine tastings and lighter bites.

(October 2017)

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

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  • Lynda Ingham-Brown

    Food
    A drive down a country road in sleepy Stanford leads to Springfontein Estate and a somewhat unexpected dining experience. Chef Jürgen Schneider has an impressive Michelin pedigree, and it shows on the plates emerging from his kitchen.

    For dinner, there’s a choice between a four-, five- or six-course meal, with various options available for each course. The menu changes daily, making maximum use of the freshest local ingredients, many of which are grown and foraged for on the estate. The descriptions of dishes are brief and belie the techniques at work.

    Be warned: Do not fill up on the complimentary bread basket, despite the temptation to do so. There is lots more to come before you receive your first course, including an amuse bouche and a plate containing crudités with a fresh, soft cheese, a shot glass of warming soup and crispbreads.

    Starters include the likes of gently poached freshwater crayfish with fresh cucumber and basil pesto; a deliciously rich and tender duck confit with flavourful, well-cooked lentils; mushrooms, potato and flaked truffle – a very European combination of perfectly seasoned flavours and textures; and just-cooked trout and beetroot.

    For mains choose between fillet of beef and rich, hearty oxtail with seasonal vegetables, or a sauté of Springfontein’s own chicken served with corn four ways – a purée, fresh corn kernels, baby corn and, a playful touch, popcorn.
    Desserts are interesting: the wood sorrel mousse is delightfully fresh and green, served with a tart berry sorbet and sweet fresh berries. Or go for the cheese option: local Gruberg from nearby Klein River Cheese, paired with fresh and poached apple and macadamias.

    Drinks
    Springfontein’s own wines are the stars here, available by the glass. Other wines from the area, and some international names, also appear on the list.

    Service
    Warm, professional, knowledgeable and attentive.

    Ambience
    The old stone farmhouse is warmed by two log fires in the evenings, making for a comfortable and cosy experience. Lunch at the long table outside under the trees is the perfect way to while away a summer afternoon.

    And…
    Accommodation is available on the estate if you feel like making a weekend of it.

    (September 2016)

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

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User reviews

  • A little way out of Joburg (okay actually a 2-hour plane trip and then a 2-hour drive down the coast with time to stop and enjoy the views over Gordon’s Bay) you will find @Springfontein Eats - an incredible restaurant tucked away in the sleepy village of Stanford. The kitchen presided over by talented “Flavour Bender” and Michelin Star Chef Jurgen Schneider delivers dish after dish of spectacular taste combinations which will delight every gourmand, hedonistic pleasure seeker or self proclaimed foodie - each course is delightfully intriguing with a whimsical playfulness - every mouthful packs a flavour punch which has you guessing the ingredient which takes the dish from excellent to “OMG” - true “art on a plate” in every sense. The 4,5 or 6 course degustation menu is excellent value for money with additional amuse bouche and after dinner delights from the kitchen leaving you ... well ... delighted. With a seasonal menu which changes regularly it is difficult to recommend a favorite but the potato, bacon amuse bouche, the trout, lemon, broccoli and the seafood, pea, mint were certainly stand out dishes - and all this accompanied by excellent service from Susan and her team - friendly, authentic and truly welcoming while still managing to be unobtrusively professional and on point. Phenomenal food, superb wine list, excellent service and a touch of whimsy make this a “must do” - suggest start planning your trip now - we will definitely be back
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  • I was so disappointed with the service, or lack thereof. We were seated in the Barn and therefore missed the beautiful ambiance. This restaurant was recommended to me, as I was with a group of high end guests. Each dish, regardless of filler or our order was plomped down without any description of what was being served. I had to ask for a description on 3 dishes I expected more interaction with regards to the wines, there was none. We were left to make our own choice without knowing anything about the wines. It took over an hour for desert to be brought. After asking twice. The explanation being that the desert took a long time to cook. As an experienced chef, I would have thought he would have a better handle on his timing. I understand a leisurely lunch, but this was unacceptably slow. I have dined at other restaurants on the 30 best restaurant list, and feel Stilfontein Eats should train their staff better to be on a par with other nominations. I have sent the restaurant an email expressing my disappointment, and as of today have not had the courtersy of a reply.
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Facilities

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

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