Monday, January 19th, 2015
Reviewed by Greg Landman
The Babylonstoren gardens are known far and wide with its vegetables, fruit, and herbs growing in abundance. Therefore, it isn’t strange to find that almost all the fresh produce used in the restaurant comes from their own soil. There are three spectacular salads available – red, green and yellow – each with multiple ingredients influenced by the colours in the gardens. The red one is a Caesar salad with warm pickled beetroot, salmon gravlax, aubergine, blood orange, pink oyster mushrooms, pomegranate, prosciutto crisps and a classic anchovy Caesar dressing. The result is a fabulous mix of similarly hued flavours and textures. The other salads include warm pumpkin fritters (yellow) and braised bok choy hearts (green). Mains include oven roasted almond-crusted trout with fennel jam and a superb flame-grilled beef fillet on the bone with Jerusalem artichoke and Bordelaise sauce, which is delicious. Desserts range from flavours of sweet (warm doughnut with kumquat and cinnamon sugar,) bitter-sweet (baked brie with blood orange pâté and black olive tapenade,) savoury and sour (lemon and Parmesan soufflé,) to sour (poached guava with savoury custard and beetroot crumble.) The homemade breads and estate olive oil are an added treat.
Obviously the wines of the estate feature prominently, but there are other treasures available, like the Morgenhof Brut Reserve, and the Rupert and Rothschild Baroness Nadine Chardonnay.
Impeccable and knowledgeable, with a most appealing touch of country warmth.
The room is completely glassed in, letting in a lot of light. One wall is tiled and features a large illustration of a bull and the menu for the day. The almost clinical theme, thanks to the use of plenty of white, is carried through to the wine carafes, which have laboratory style marking. The kitchen is open to the diners’ view and in summer the garden area is most desirable for a stroll afterwards.
Make the time to do a wine tasting, and to visit their fabulous deli for charcuterie, breads, and cheeses. There is a R10 entrance fee to the estate which is donated to the Babylonstoren Trust for the upliftment of their community.