There is no fancy entrance to this well-established wine farm restaurant, nor is the interior posh, but the food delivers with refinement and robust flavours. The menu dips into French and Asian influences, which allows for bold flavours like toasted whole brinjal with salty ponzu and bonito flakes. Chef Michael Broughton has a magic touch with his memorable sauces, especially the Sauce Américaine, which is the highlight of his iconic prawn risotto. If you spot it on the chalkboard menu, order it immediately. Tuck in after your snack of smoked olives and slices of tomato focaccia dipped in olive oil.
Whether it’s a perfectly cooked piece of monk fish with seasonal emerald-green broad beans and a smash of roasted potatoes, or slices of beef fillet with the super finely cut buttery pommes Anna, the flavours will be the highlight – and so will the pops of colour.
Of the ice cream flavours of the day, which will disappear quickly once they arrive at the table, the banana might turn out tops, though there will surely be fanfare about the marinated strawberry and black sesame flavours.
The wine list offers great value for money. Enjoy Klein Zalze estate wines by the glass, especially the brut rosé.
Lovely and friendly local folk make you feel welcome in a relaxed but professional way.
It’s cosy inside at night with a glimpse into the kitchen. Lunch outside is a little haven, with a view of a golf course and the manicured garden.
Have a pre-meal tasting at the wine cellar.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.
A meal at Terroir is a series of dilemmas for return diners. The first is with the presentation of the bread, spread and smoked-olive platter. The impulse is to eat it all – it’s that moreish – but doing so might impact on the enjoyment of the dessert later. Then, the choice of starter: the many-times-tried-and-always-enjoyed prawn risotto with sauce Americaine, or something new like smoked pork cheek with salsa verde, chorizo and granola? The prawn dish wins every time. The memory of the succulent freshness of the prawns; the chili and garlic just present enough to shake the taste buds out of slumber; the unctuous, parmesan-enriched creaminess of the risotto; and the deep colour and flavours of one of the great classic sauces makes this, ultimately, an easy choice.
There’s also a mighty mental tussle over the choice of mains. Michael Broughton knows pork, so the confit pork belly with Jerusalem artichoke and crispy shallot tempts, but you might choose another winner, like the sous-vide beef fillet that’s crumbed and then pan fried to pink perfection before being served with smoked potato purée and truffle sauce. It is a sublimely successful dish.
The dark chocolate bar with peanut ice cream and trimmings is a very successful sweet, but not too sweet, finish to the meal. Every eyeful, every mouthful, is testament to Broughton’s guiding philosophy that creativity involves a great deal of restraint.
There’s a focus on Stellenbosch in the wine list, with the traditional featuring more than the outliers of innovation. The limited wine by-the-glass offering mostly centres around the excellent wines of the host estate, Kleine Zalze.
Many of the staff have been around for years, and their easy familiarity with the menu and the many repeat visitors helps create a very homely feel.
It’s a place of muted earth colours, with terracotta floor tiles, a reed ceiling and pillars dividing a big room into a series of more intimate spaces. Terroir is almost always full with happy customers.
A relaxed summer Sunday lunch at a courtyard table is one of the great experiences of the winelands.
Eat Out critics arrive unannounced and pay their way in full. Read our editorial policy here.
Until 30 September 2018, expect to revel in winter at Teroir. The restaurant is offering a choice from its French-inspired chalkboard menu – choose two courses plus a glass of Kleine Zalze wine for R395. Or opt for the chef’s choice of four courses with a glass of Kleine Zalze for R550. Both specials are available for lunch and dinner Tuesdays to Sundays. Book via 0218808167 or firstname.lastname@example.org.