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A generous bread selection is always a portentous start to a meal, and at The Conservatory Head Chef Paul Nash definitely sets things off on the right foot with a wooden bowl of fresh ciabatta, seed bread, bread sticks and lavash. From here things only get better, with a compact menu that manages to tick a variety of boxes. In the mood for comfort food? Opt for the free-range beef burger “with all the fixins”. Lighter bite? The classic Caesar salad is superb with showers of Parmesan, a deep-fried hen’s egg, white anchovies and cured bacon bits. Still hungry? It’s with good reason that the soufflé of ‘Aged Boland Cheese’ has become a permanent fixture on the menu.
They are all excellent starter options, but mains ramp up the kitchen creativity a few notches. The grilled rib-eye comes packed with flavour thanks to a topping of bone marrow and forest mushrooms. There’s an Asian flavour composition in the miso-glazed grilled tuna with soba noodles and bok choy, while tourists are kept happy with a modern take on classic bobotie.
There are a handful of excellent desserts, including the ‘chocolate plate’ favourite of the hotelier and late owner Liz McGrath, but the excellent cheese selection is equally tempting.
An exceptional wine list with a wide range of Constantia valley estates alongside icons of the broader Winelands. Excellent selection by the glass, and a handful of international labels complete a superb wine offering.
Formal yet friendly service, with plenty of staff on hand so you'll rarely be left waiting.
Despite being the more casual of the hotel’s two restaurants, there’s elegance at The Conservatory in the white lilies and linen tablecloths. Choose between the garden terrace, the sun-splashed garden room or the more formal section overlooking the hotel’s historic camphor trees. It’s a relaxed space, but in the evenings you’ll want to dress up a little.
The adjoining Martini Bar is a great option for a pre-dinner aperitif.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.
Sunday lunch on 30 June was great. Very well appointed restaurant with attentive service. Enjoyed the Eikendal Charisma, 2011. Stunning venue.