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Babel at Babylonstoren

6 Reviews
Bistro fare, Coffee, Fine-dining food, South African
Phone Number 0218633852 Opening Hours Breakfast Lunch

Breakfast: Monday to Sunday 8am to 10am

Lunch: Wednesday to Sunday 12pm to 4pm

Menu

Menu - Babel at Babylonstoren Menu - Updated June 2019

Details

Cost
R600 avg main meal
Food
Bistro fare, Coffee, Fine-dining food, South African
Corkage
R60 (wine) and R80 (Bubbly)
Cost
R600 avg main meal
Ambience
Family friendly, Groups, Special occasions
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Facilities
Accepts credit cards, Accommodation, Booking required, Child friendly, Cocktails, Eat Out reviewed, Food, Functions, Hotel, Licensed, Lunch, Parking, Serves food, Smoking, Vegetarian, Wheelchair, WiFi

Location and contact

Klapmuts, Simondium Road Simondium, paarl

Critic's review

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food

Hanlie van der Merwe

Food
Inspired by the bountiful seasonal produce grown a short walk from the kitchen’s doorstep, the menu changes regularly. For starters, expect fresh produce in the starring role, stylishly colour-coded for maximum visual effect. Meat-eaters need not despair. All dishes come with suggestions for a perfectly paired protein. But here in lies the brilliance of Babel – the delicate balance of interesting flavours in a green dish like the miso and yuzu broth makes even the staunchest carnivore question whether it needs the addition of seared tiger prawns. The wilted Asian greens, kohlrabi wrappers and a sprinkle of toasted Amaranth seeds are a revelation.

For mains, the focus shifts to one core ingredient, like beef fillet on the bone or crispy pork belly. But once again, an ingredient from the garden might just steal the show. The roasted pumpkin with honey and zest, served with cinnamon-and-cumin-spiced lentils and deep fried curry leaves is a deliciously modern spin on a South African favourite. And if that does not sound mouthwatering enough, why not add a double grilled lamb cutlet sourced from Riebeeck Kasteel?

All portions are as generous as the people of the Simonsberg area, which makes fitting in dessert a challenge. Resort to sharing, just so you can experience a weird (yet totally wonderful) combination like miso ice cream with poached guava and wild olive berries.

A meal at Babel is a special treat that makes the drive totally worth it. Herbivores will be in heaven. Carnivores may just be converted.

Drinks
The wine list includes Babylonstoren wines, several other great options from the region, wine by the glass and occasionally, a seasonal cocktail.

Service
Expect a very warm welcome from a team of local waiters whose genuine passion for the farm-to-fork philosophy shines through in everything they do.

Ambience
A mix of local and international patrons create a pleasant Babel-like bustle, consistent with people having a fabulous time.

Best for…
Go for the day. Take a stroll in the gardens, check out the farm shop and bakery, do some winetasting. The garden spa facilities are the stuff of pampering dreams.

(2018)

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

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User reviews

6 Reviews
    Went to thee farm last week. The walk, gardens and farm store were simply amazing. A must for those who want to see & experience history as well as amazing edible gardens. Babel? Simply disappointing. Booking We were made to pay a deposit to book (R1000) and just so you know, if your bill is below this, they have NO way to refund the balance... The Food I ordered baby chicken which must have been cooked 2 days before. It was cool, so dry it was almost biltong and the skin was soggy and cold. Definitely the worst chicken I have been served in a long time. My daughter ordered Pork Belly, this too was so dry she couldn't chew it and obviously leftovers from a previous cook. My wife had fish which she enjoyed. My other daughters also enjoyed their mains, but we expecting great food not just average... The waitress was very good about it and offered us ice cream on the house and didn't charge for the 2 day old meals... unfortunately the ice cream had severe freezer burn! I also ordered a "Craft" beer and was told they were out of stock and offered me a Castle Lite! Overall Very disappointed and felt ripped off. Spur would have been a safer bet. Why do restaurants in Cape Town rely on ripping customers off with terrible food at European prices? The table next to us (Americans didn't eat most of their food too, blaming it on portion size, promptly paying their bill and departing... have you ever seen portion sizes in the US? ) I would stay well clear of this place as it appears to be a tourist trap, over priced, underwhelming and tired.
    After visiting them a few weeks ago for their breakfast we felt a lunch visit was needed. Situated on the glorious Babylonstoren farm is Babel Restaurant. Converted from an ancient cowshed into a sleek restaurant we were warmly welcomed by their lovely staff. The menu is based on their farm to table philosophy so everything is more or less from their grounds. Due to it being a chilly day we were presented with warm Glühwein - what a treat that instantly warmed us up and tasted as good as the ones I have had in Germany. Bread with their own olive oil as well as some green leave emulsion was offered - excellent. Our waitress also brought us fruit and vegetables that were already prepared that we could also have with our bread. What a genius idea! For starters he had their Lightly smoked Franschhoek trout with grilled radicchio, tree-ripened roasted Nonpareil almonds, a drizzle of spicy peppadew dressing and Babylonstoren extra virgin Frontoia olive oil, topped with dried olive crumbs. He also took their added option of Prosciutto chips. The dish was amazing especially with the pepper dew dressing. If only all “salads” could be like this! I was feeling Asian today so I had their Miso and yuzu broth as well as wilted Asian greens with kohlrabi wrappers, lemon verbena, toasted Amaranth and caraway seeds. I took their added option of seared tiger prawns to go with the dish. Prawns were cooked perfectly and everything danced together in unison. We had some Brut by Niel Joubert. For mains he in need of some iron (his new excuse for red meat) had their Fillet on the bone, served with a roasted onion and Babel red wine splash, crisp Babylonstoren black olives and fresh wild olive berries. The meat was cooked exactly to my liking and I could tell it was once a fat and happy cow. All round a good dish. I was still feeling Asian so she had their Crisp pork belly with wilted Asian greens and a soy and jalapeño sauce. We were surprised by the generous portions and I even got to taste his. Pork belly was cooked beautifully and it was a nice change from usually being served a sweet version to now having a spicy version. We were also served crisp potato wedges, honey baby carrots, peppered zucchini and corn on the cob. A really good round of mains that we enjoyed with their Babel red. No, we couldn’t say no to dessert. For him it was the Sticky toffee pudding with rosemary toffee sauce and a sprinkle of myrtle salt. Warm, sweet and everything a dessert should be on a cold day. I was now feeling sweet and sour so our lovely waitress recommended the Warm citrus fruit salad and honey- comb, Babylonstoren’s own ricotta with cinnamon dust. According It was a marvelous way to end lunch with the dessert being a bit warm and sweet and sour. A real winner. Great food as well as service. I will definitely go back to try out their dinner or pasta night. The location is good and the quality of produce used is beyond good.
    As self confessed foodies, we loved the fresh generosity presented to us at breakfast as well as dinner. The staff were amazing, one and all but we can't but single out Jonathan, who was most attentive in looking after us in the restaurant, always with a bit of sharp wit and a glint in his eye. Thank you! We left well rested and refreshed, laden with gifts for our loved ones from the shop as a bonus!
    Last night we had a most enjoyable birthday dinner with friends from abroad, they were simply blown away by the style, quality and friendliness of people serving in that restaurant. The signature salad plates, red, yellow and green with the best of what the adjacent gardens could produce were outstanding. But I thought it was the service that topped it all, friendly, professional, attentive to the point of bring a bouquet of herb/flower for the birthday girl, a simple detail meaning so much on that special day. It was so good that we returned for breakfast this morning and Chester, our super server from last night was again on duty.
    Service and food were fantastic. Loved their yellow salad, the mix of flavour and colours were delicious and superbly presented. Very relaxed lunch followed by a walk around the Gardens and a visit to Trompie (the baby donkey). Well worth waiting for a booking in this popular restaurant.

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