Ilse van der Merwe
Stellenbosch Kitchen is known for its simple, hearty fare. This is where you want to go for the freshest ale battered hake, chips and mushy peas in town. The owners pride themselves on sourcing only the freshest produce within a radius of 50 km, so you can feel free to ask them where your meat or fish comes from.
On the dinner menu for starters, the Caesar salad comes highly recommended and can easily double up as a main course because of the portion size: crisp cos lettuce leaves generously dressed in Caesar dressing, tossed with snappy pancetta, shaved Grana Padano, a deep fried crumbed hen’s egg (soft yolk) and silky white anchovies. Another favourite is the oven-grilled tender calamari (tubes) with chorizo, red pepper, chick peas, smoked paprika and sherry vinegar - punchy flavours to liven up any appetite. The earthy mixed mushroom risotto remains one of the most popular items on the menu and is served with truffle oil.
For mains, the monster burger has gained a reputation as one of the best burgers in town, served with spicy aioli, onion marmalade, Healey’s mature cheddar and some pretty amazing golden and fluffy French fries. The same fries comes with the ale battered hake - a stunning yet simple version of the classic British pub classic, served with mushy peas and charred lemon. Stellenbosch Kitchen also prides themselves on the quality of their lamb, so be sure to try the very hearty braised shank of Karoo lamb with roasted baby potatoes, or their signature dish of Karoo lamb rack with a herb crust, charred aubergine and miso, confit tomatoes and fried polenta. Order extra sides like seasonal veggies or beer battered onion rings extra at R30.
For dessert, French classics like berry & white chocolate parfait, raspberry mille-feuille and dark chocolate fondant are effortlessly executed.
The wine list includes many local favourites including most well known varietals, as well as MCC, beer (also on tap) and spirits. Some wines are offered by the glass. Have a seat at the small bar to watch a live sports game.
A large team of professional permanent waitering staff will make sure your visit is memorable and seamless. A floor manager is always present and checks on tables regularly.
Stellenbosch Kitchen has an unpretentious air of warm hospitality in a town where opulence can sometimes overwhelm. This is a place where you can go for a beer wearing shorts and a sun hat, sitting on the stoep under the ancient oak trees in a premium setting without feeling “out”. The restaurant is part of Stellenbosch Hotel, so there’s an ever-present feeling of being well looked after by capable staff within an environment that’s very well maintained.
Best for any day lunch or dinner with an ice cold beer or a glass of wine overlooking the beautiful historical town centre.
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