Garlicy fillet steak rolls, generously spiced pork belly and silky white chocolate cheesecake are just some of the delicious, comforting dishes guests can expect at Hilda’s Kitchen on the Groote Post wine estate, says Greg Landman.
This is the eleventh year Debbie McLaughlin has been working her magic at Hilda’s, which is named after the matriarch of the Duckitt family, Hildagonda Duckitt, who lived at Groote Post. Debbie’s cooking is always delicious to eat, generously portioned, and with no pretention in any way. Asian influences have their place but are used to support the freshest produce she can lay her hands on. A delicious smoked chicken salad is packed with various matchstick-cut veggies, apples, cucumber, carrots, and different kinds of greens delivering sweet and slightly bitter crunch, aided by a dressing of rice wine, garlic and ginger. Delicate hake fish cakes, nice and crunchy, are served with caper mayonnaise, adding some punch to the dish. Mains of pork belly, slow roasted and served with tangy plum sauce, and beef short ribs with a sauce of soy, five spice, brown sugar and oyster sauce, are just the ticket for hungry carnivores. The Old Man’s fillet steak roll with garlic crème and hand-cut chips is a classic that they dare not remove from the menu. (The ‘old man’ in question is patriarch Peter Pentz.) The dessert you to have is the silky smooth white chocolate cheesecake, with a tang from the cheese and intense sweetness from the white chocolate. The ice cream served with it almost seems superfluous.
Only the award winning wines of Groote Post are served, at cellar door prices. The range is large, from bubbly through to great whites and full-bodied reds, so you’re sure to find something to suit your palate and pocket.
Friendly and efficient in the country manner.
Dining takes place in the historic manor house, with guests surrounded by some serious antiques and burnished copper vessels in a very traditional setting. Alternatively, summer finds the secluded terrace outside packed with diners – you choose.
There’s a 10km drive on a good sand road before you reach your destination, but it’s well worth the trip.