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Zest at Kavinga

Zest at Kavinga
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Cost
R135 avg main meal
Ambience
Groups, Special occasions, Views
Food
Fine-dining food, French, Modern
Payment
Amex, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R55 (for wines they don't have)

Critic's review

Jodi-Ann Pearton

Food
Zest is great for functions and parties, and a very worthwhile stop if you’re travelling through the Lowveld on holiday.

Glorious breakfasts, scrumptious lunches and fine-dining dinners – Zest offers it all. GT and Lizelle Lundie create culinary art in the middle of the Lowveld and a visit is a real treat.
The large menu has something for everyone, but a classic is calamari chorizo with couscous, kimchi and spring onion. The tasty Cheek & Bone’ – slow-braised ox cheek, herb-roasted bone marrow, truffled pommes purée, crispy onions and bacon soil – is an interesting combination of ingredients, textures and flavours. Also on the menu are Moroccan chicken and a favourite: Ploughman’s platters with a selection of local pâté, meats, cheese, pickles and breads.

For those with a sweet tooth, delve into the chocolate fondant served with a white chocolate centre and pistachio ice-cream, or the more traditional malva pudding.

Drinks
A fairly extensive wine list with very high-end offerings in all categories through to more entry-level sparkling, red and white wines. Beer and soft drinks are available too.

Service
The service is friendly and professional with great attentional to detail. Booking is easy and efficient and staff are never without a smile.

Ambience
Set in the foothills of Nelspruit, it’s a quick and pretty drive from the town. The restaurant itself is well put together and very comfortable. Breakfast and lunch are fairly low key, with the ambience heating up when the sun goes down.

(2018) 

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay their way in full. Read our editorial policy

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Lesley Jacobs

    Food
    Glorious breakfasts, scrumptious lunches and fine dining dinners. Zest offers it all. GT and Lizelle Lundie offer an incredible solution to culinary art in the middle of the lowveld and it is a real treat to visit this establishment.

    Breakfast and lunch are more low key, but still great then the sun goes down and dinner is a real treat when the heat turns up with the ambience changing. The menu is quiet large and varied offering something for everyone.

    Classics such as calamari chorizo are showcased served with cous cous, kimchee and spring onion. Cheek & Bone, slow braised ox cheek, herb roasted bone marrow, truffled pomme purée, crispy onions, bacon soil – a lovely and interesting combination of ingredients, textures and flavours. On the main menu you shall find items such as Moroccan chicken and many a patron’s favourite – Ploughmans platters, a selection of local pate, meats, cheese, pickles and breads.

    For those with a sweet tooth delve into the chocolate fondant served with white chocolate center and pistachio ice cream or the more traditional malva pudding.

    Drinks
    The wine list is fairly extensive with various offerings available for the disconcerting diner. You will find very high end offerings in all categories on offer as well as your more entry level sparkling, reds and whites too. Beer and soft drinks are available too.

    Service
    The service is friendly and professional with great attentional to detail. Booking is easy and efficient with staff never without a smile.

    Ambience
    The restaurant is set in the Nelspruit foot hills so whether you love in the low veld or you are passing through, it is a great place to visit for a lovely meal, the drive through from Nelspruit is easy and quick but at the same time really pretty and worth it. The restaurant itself is well put together and very comfortable.

    Best for...
    Zest is suitable for functions, parties or a visit whilst passing en route to your holiday destination.

    (2018)

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

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Hennie Fisher

    Food

    Chef and owner GT Lundi and his wife Lizelle run a great establishment, replete with old world charm.

    The bread/amuse bouche arrives soon after one is seated, and featured a delicious cheese stick, a tiny savoury samosa filled with spicy pulled pork, some baba ganoush, a roti and a savoury tomato butter.

    Roasted marrowbones, cut lengthways and rather cleverly combined with another stalwart of the South African restaurant trade, snails, make for a familiarly comforting dish. It is rich and unctuous, sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and served with bread. Other starters may include Teriyaki salmon, steak tartare or gorgonzola tart.

    The Tom Yum braised pork belly (actually a trio also comprising a pork spring roll and smoked neck with a stuffing of prunes) is served with braised red cabbage, butternut mash and tiny veggies, and makes for a deliciously decadent main. Other main dishes include venison or quail, lamb rump or a seafood risotto.

    Few other establishments will beat the perfectly timed chocolate fondant served here, but they also make a lovely Pavolva, toffee and rose panna cotta and an ice cream mess with chilli, dates, sugar cone and brownie soil.

    Drinks
    The wine list offers smart Champagnes such as Veuve Cliquot, Moet & Chandon and Louis Roederer, while South African bubblies are represented by Krone Borealis Vintage Cuvée Brut, plus a few more. Hermanuspietersfontein Kaalvoetmeisie sauvignon blanc, Jordan Nine Yards chardonnay, Overgaauw Sylvaner and the Goose cabernet sauvignon gives one an idea of the detailed, specially curated wine list.

    Service
    Too often restaurants miss out on the opportunity to wow their clientele by offering a truly remarkable breakfast or brunch. At Zest one can relish the experience, as waiters scurry back and forth, sharing an infectious energy.

    Ambience
    Zest is a short drive outside of town, which gives one a sense of the Mpumalanga bushveld. Those lovely granite ‘koppies’ of Nelspruit and the ever-flowering Flaming Cup trees add to the allure and nostalgic delight of this restaurant. The restaurant inside is much more formal than the outside area, where one has a choice of lounging on some very comfy seats or taking a table at the edge of the stoep under a large stretched canvas that gives a great view of the surrounds.

    And…
    Like most passionate foodies, if you pay them well, they will offer all sorts of food services to share their love. Zest’s team is often asked to cater for important guests attending the “Innibos” festival. They also have a venue on the same property which plays host to weddings or other festivities on a regular basis.

    (July 2017)

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

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

User reviews

  • I went for a breakfastmeeting at Zest, and ordered a South African take on the Eggs Benedict. It was superb. GT is a genius in the kitchen, and such a lovely person. I can't wait to go back for a luncheon.
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Menu

Set menu - Menu not currently available

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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