Thursday, November 5th, 2015
Reviewed by Priscillia Urquhart
Buitenverwachting Restaurant, situated in the famed Constantia wine valley, has created a gastronomic reputation thanks to the deft hand and palate that is Chef Edgar Osojnik. Using his Austrian roots to good measure, he has created “retro-style” cuisine that has taken the restaurant to new heights. The ostrich carpaccio starter with roasted butternut is delicate yet satisfying, served as it is with saladini-mesclun leaves, sweet pumpkin pesto and a raspberry dressing that complements the ostrich perfectly. And just for extra finesse, a whiff of truffle Parmesan air to complete this masterpiece. Other starter options include tomato risotto served with pan-fried chorizo, and Edgar’s signature Caesar salad with pan-fried Norwegian salmon. The starter items can also be ordered as main course options. The menu is cleverly divided into Light & Easy, Rustic Affairs, Indulge and Desserts categories. It’s impossible not to indulge with selections such as grilled Tri Tip steak with Café de Paris butter in a red wine shallot sauce; lemongrass pan-fried seafood with laksa sauce; pan-fried loin of blesbok in an orange port wine sauce, and pan roasted line fish on rissotto nero. Another good option is the fillet steak wrapped in a bone marrow crust, beautifully plated with potato crisp, broccoli, cauliflower and deep-fried baby leek. The fillet, rendered to perfection and blanketed with the bone marrow crust, is a kitchen coup for Chef Edgar. The dessert offerings are sinful and you may not get past the first temptation of the Buitenverwachting chocolate variation. An imaginative platter of chocolate fondant, caramel ice cream in a chocolate cone, Gianduja phyllo parcel, chocolate grand piano with crocante parfait, white chocolate mousse in baumkuchen, and just to finish you off, orange parfait in a milk chocolate ring. Other dessert artistry includes rhubarb soufflé in a glass, apricot ice cream set on sautéed apricots, and a vanilla panna cotta with strawberry-balsamico sorbet.
The Buitenverwachting wine estate is an award-winning establishment and appropriately serves carefully selected home-grown vintages to complement the the menu. The sommelier provides superb advice on food and wine pairings and is gracious in offering tastings before deciding on your wine for the evening.
Excellent service with some of the best trained waitrons in the industry, who are knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating. They are cued for serving, clearing, and being in just the right place as you look up for assistance or advice. A lovely touch to a five-star dining experience.
Muted modern meets centuries’ old tradition in the original thatch Cape Dutch “werf”, with the classic backdrop of the Constantiaberg vineyards completing the scene. Thoughtfully considered spaces between the tables provide intimacy and blended acoustics, especially during fully booked meals.
If you can’t get a restaurant booking, CoffeeBloc, which shares the fountain courtyard, offers delicious meals throughout the day in a more relaxed and informal setting. Booking is essential.