Venues

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
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.

  • Graham Howe

    Food
    Chef Jürgen Schneider brings forty years of fine dining experience at his Michelin star restaurant near Heidleberg, Germany, to this Cape kitchen, which is making its mark as a gastronomic destination in the Overberg. Using fresh herbs, vegetables and salads grown in his farmhouse garden and foraging sea spinach and samphire from the dunes, he creates exquisite seasonal compositions. A study of corn from the surrounding wheat fields or tender lamb, beef and rabbit from local farms showcases elaborate technique and preparation, though the combinations are never contrived or overworked. The focus is on the natural, earthy flavours of farm to table ingredients, with contrasting layers of texture and swirls of colour exquisitely plated on slate palettes. Farm vegetables are the star of the show, from beetroot and parsnip to carrots and cabbage. Watch out for a playful study of deconstructed carrot with carrot halvah, creamed carrot and carrot jelly with freshly pulled baby carrot. The desserts are spectacular, savoury rather than sweet, with fennel ice cream and slivers of sweet orange being the star. Meticulous attention to detail, from the amuse bouches to coffee and petits fours. Watch this space.

    Drinks
    A range of Springfontein’s superb own wines is complemented by an extensive selection of local Stanford and Walker Bay wines – as well as pages of the top marques of Bordeaux, Burgundy and Riesling.

    Service
    Warm and professional, with excellent knowledge of the ingredients and techniques that go into each dish.

    Ambience
    Expect sophisticated country dining in a cosy, intimate old stone farmhouse with a roaring hearth – and a veranda with a view, ideal for long post-prandial digestifs.

    And …
    The bakery makes its own breads, including divine brioche and olive croissants as well as ciabatta and bread sticks, accompanied by the farm’s own olive oil.

  • Richard Holmes

    The food
    Don’t let the plain A4 menu or modest name confuse you: this is far and away one of the most accomplished and adventurous kitchens in the Cape. Before moving to the country in early 2013, chef Jürgen Schneider had long held a Michelin star at his restaurant outside Heidelberg, Germany, and he brings the same creativity and attention to detail to his menu here.

    But don’t visit in a hurry. Set menus of three to six courses are interspersed with amuse bouches, sorbets and petit fours, so there’s no chance of stopping in for a quick bite – nor would you want to. Jürgen manages to combine both the aesthetics and technique of fine dining with the rustic feel of the wine estate and ever-changing seasonal produce. Foraged ingredients loom large, as do vegetables from the estate gardens, on the daily-changing menu. Expect anything from ‘mock truffle soup’ of wild mushrooms to cured local trout with fresh purslane or pig snout pressed into a delicious terrine and served with baby marrow flowers from the garden. It’s not a cheap outing, but it does offer good value. For a gourmet escape in the Overberg there are few kitchens that can match what Springfontein has to offer.

    The wine
    A superb wine list is, quite rightly, focused on local estates, but guests should not pass up the opportunity to sample what Springfontein winemaker Tariro Masayiti has to offer. Their pinotage and chenin blanc are especially good, but WSET-trained host Susanne Schneider is usually on hand to guide your choices.

    The service
    Service is delightful, with warm and welcoming service from Susanne and a small team of waitresses. Expect the chef to pop out of the kitchen regularly to check on diners.

    The ambience
    There’s a stylish farm feel, with exposed sandstone wall offset by yellowwood beams and thatch. The bougainvillea-shaded veranda is ideal for family gatherings and larger groups.

    And…
    There are a handful of cottages on the estate if you’d rather make a night of it.

    (July 2014)

User reviews

  • 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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  • We chose this restaurant for our 10th anniversary thinking we'd be eating at an unassuming little country kitchen near our accommodation (Standford River Lodge). Boy, did we have another thing coming! This is one of the top 5 dining experiences I have ever had in my life. The liver, mushroom and quails egg was Earth-shatteringly delicious. The calf's tongue starter changed my life. The Terroir Selection Pinotage was like something from a different planet. I am a better person now than I was before I ate at this restaurant. Fine dining at its absolute best, and an absolute gem tucked away in a beautiful corner of Walker Bay. Bodes very well for another 10 years of marriage...

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  • Springfontein Eats was a surprise. It's not often that I'm caught totally unawares by a truly exceptional restaurant in the Cape. However, in this instance we were recommended to a restaurant that exceeds all expectations. Quite why they are not in the top 10 is beyond me and having visited the Test Kitchen, Overture, Terroir and The Tasting Room etc within the past 6 months, Springfontein Eats more than deserves to be recognised. There is some serious pedigree at work here and the Michelin heritage shines through. At first look, the menu is small and simple, but given the various little amuse bouches and in between tastings, the minimum 4 courses was way more than enough, although I understand the kitchen tempers the portions depending on the quantity of courses ordered. Given that they use the wonderful Stanford local produce, taste and texture is key here. It's not overly fussy or complicated and that is the winning combination that sets it apart. A rare bonus is the quality of the staff. Superbly trained and knowledgable and even on a very full night, wonderfully attentive but not intrusive. By far and away the best service I have experienced in any South African Restaurant in the past 10 years. The interior is warm and welcoming, yet light and beautifully lit as befitting a contemporary country restaurant. Nothing stuffy or frilly. 5 star all the way.
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  • … keep that secret!

    Since the restaurant opened up in October 2013 we had been there several times.
    Once you know that gem stone hidden in Stanford ...
    you will find how many things to do in the near just to have an excuse to go there again ... for lunch or dinner.

    Lovely farm environment, stylish renewed farmhouse, warm welcome and very friendly professional service, an open kitchen concept: - the chef likes to talk to his guests-, and ... of course the most important thing in a restaurant: magnificent food. Local product in creative arrangements and prepared to perfection with well thought recipes ... ideas on the plate, like the “Springfontain Burger” as an amuse that we had the last time.

    For us the best food in the Western Cape that we have been to during the last 9 years.
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  • My wife and I have dined three times at Springfontein Eats and each time had the 6 course dinner . This means that with the 3 or more amuse bouche one gets surprised with each meal we would have been given a total of almost 30 dishes, and not a repeat in the lot! The menu is printed each day because the menu changes each day. Now that may be a disadvantage if you've been there before and looked forward to the quail or beef you so much enjoyed , but if you can open yourself to prawns two ways, or orange five ways, sea asparagus in consomme or plums with olives you will get great new taste senasations you would not likely have conceived on your own. Wonderful wines may be recommended and paired. Prefect service. Casual elegant Cape Cottage interior and beautiful wine estate setting. We'll be back next week. 5*
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  • Gentle foodie,

    Thanks so much to everyone for trusting and believing in us!

    I just want to be SURE that the message gets out, that Susanne is not a "Master of Wine", but rather has a WSET Diploma! She is masterful in all things food, wine and service, in addition to living up to her title at Springfontein Eats: Bizzy Lizzy!

    Clear out your schedule, and come let us show you what Springfontein is all about.

    Jen Packard Weber
    Director
    Springfontein Wine Estate
    Stanford
    South Africa
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  • I was in South Africa in october 2013 and had dinner twice at Springfontein eats: What a wonderful experience! Perfect setting within a living Winefarm (Springfontein) in an old renovated farmhouse and a spectacular view and than: unbelievable tasty food, innovative ingredients (made by chef Juergen Schneider with a michelin star for 18 years) and a warm hospitality leaded by master of wine Susanne Schneider. This is a unique place and I am sure that restaurant will be one of the next star restaurants in South Africa!
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  • I went to South Africa in November 2013. Friends told me that there´s a wine farm near Stanford with a short opened Michelin Star - like kitchen called "Springfontein Eats". So I went to that beautiful place and was totally impressed! The food was much better than I expected. Chef Jürgen Schneider offered me a delicious 6 part menu exactly adjusted to my demands. The service and the surroundings perfectly fitted together and I found my new favourite wine from the Springfontein Wine Estate.

    I´m looking forward to visiting these lovely people again on my next trip to South Africa.
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  • I had been to South Africa in October 2013 and had dinner twice at Springfontein Eats: What a wonderful experience! Perfect setting within a living wine farm (Springfontein) in an old renovated farmhouse and a spectacular view and then: unbelievable tasty food, innovative ingredients (made by chef Juergen Schneider with a Michelin Star for 18 years) and warm hospitality lead by master of wine Susanne Schneider. This is a unique place and I am sure that restaurant will be one of the next star restaurants in South Africa!
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    • Food

Facilities

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

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