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Tokara Restaurant

6 Reviews
Fine-dining food, French, Modern, South African
Phone Number 0218852550 Opening Hours Lunch Dinner

Lunch: Winter - Tuesday to Saturday ; Sunday Summer - Monday to Sunday 12noon to 3pm; 12noon to 3pm; Summer - 12noon to 3pm

Dinner: Winter - Tuesday to Saturday 6pm to 10pm

Menu

Menu - Tokara - Updated August 2017

Details

Cost
R180 avg main meal
Food
Fine-dining food, French, Modern, South African
Corkage
No BYO
Cost
R180 avg main meal
Ambience
Groups, Quick meals, Special occasions
Payment
Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
Facilities
Accepts credit cards, Booking required, Child friendly, Cocktails, Dinner, Fireplace, Food, Functions, Licensed, Lunch, Parking, Serves food, Takeaways, Vegetarian, Wheelchair

Location and contact

Tokara, R310 towards Franschhoek, Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch, Western Cape

Critic's review

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food

Jeanne Calitz

Food
If you’re looking for modern South African food with a true gourmet backbone (possibly to entertain guets from beyond our borders?), Tokara restaurant should be on your list. Think buchu, think heerenbone, think poached quince – chef Richard Carstens finds fresh new ways to play with local flavours. He’s also not afraid to combine them with a bit of Asian flair – like in a starter dish of tempura line fish with smoked snoek amasi, avocado and ginger sauce.

The menu teeters on the expensive side of the spectrum but there is good value to be had in tasting menus, like the 4 course Cape Senses menu on the day of our visit. Roasted hake with cauliflower purée and (a divine) chardonnay mussel sauce is followed by the very umami mushroom ravioli with soft goats’ milk cheese. Braised lamb is complemented wonderfully by heerenbone purée and sweet poached quince, and for dessert, a square of lemon cake gets along famously with a very subtle olive oil ice cream. Some of the flavours, notably the fresh mozzarella with this latter dessert, were a bit too experimental for my taste, but overall the food is delicious, innovative and beautifully presented. And there are some items on the a la carte menu – like a dessert of caramelised apple with ginger ice cream, vanilla mousse and almond – that I would not mind getting to know better in the future …

Drinks
A very nice wine list. The Tokara wines are available of course, and by the glass. (And a glass of their Reserve Collection chardonnay, enjoyed on a beautiful spring day, is a treat not to be taken lightly.) There is also a strong selection of great wines beyond the Stellenbosch borders, from the Cederberg region to a couple of big hitters from Hemel & Aarde.

Service
Excellent – service is swift, smooth and very welcoming.

Ambience
The setting alone is enough to knock your socks off. There is a serious appreciation of beauty here, both artistic and natural. The venue boasts a strong collection of fine art (some of it for sale), and is designed to allow the diner to drink in the natural beauty of the area. Enormous glass windows and walls offer views for days – let the eye wander over the olive groves, the pretty town of Stellenbosch down in the valley, and even, on a clear day, towards Table Mountain in the distance. Inside, it’s all sleekness with wood and glass and greenery, and clever little half moon tables pushed agains the glass panes for optimum view-finding. There’s also a sophisticated bar, which would make a very fine option for a pre-dinner drink …

Best for...
This is the perfect spot to bring friends visiting from overseas – the combination of the views, the setting and the clever use of local flavours is sure to impress.

(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
    Small portions of food. Attitude of Chef poor. Try other options
    Exceptional fine dining experience, one of my favourite restaurants in Stellenbosch.
    We were so lucky to have found this beautiful gem of a restaurant & estate while driving around looking for our Wedding Venue. We ended up falling in love with Tokara and had our Wedding Reception there last year, just after their stunning renovations! We also used their Wine Tasting Area as our venue for 'Cocktails and Canapés' for our guests while we had our photos taken. Top class food, beautifully presented.... Chef Richard can be very proud of himself and his team. Every dinner and lunch we have ever had here was fantastic. Beautiful surroundings... vineyards, art and beautiful modern decor. Our only 'crit' would be that the 'drinks menu' lacked a few ordinary drinks (like Appletizer and 'coolers', etc.), especially on a hot day during lunch time... but Tokara Wine is fantastic and goes down well with any meal. We look forward to having many "Anniversary Dinners" at Tokara in the future.
    The View and service were excellent. We're big fans of Richard, setting us off with high expectations. The trout and Asparagus Broccoli starters were fresh and perfectly balanced flavours - light and filling to pre-empt the main event. Tokara Sauvignon Blanc was an outstanding companion. Worth a mention. Springbok Main was perfect in many ways, flavour, texture, hidden little jus and ice cream. Take a bow. Then unfortunately all of this was let down by the fish of the day that was clearly defrosted fish, very glassy in texture and overtly fishy in smell - a let down for the standards we know the chef expects. We quite honestly agreed that we've had better fish at Ocean Basket - not to be rude, but honest. Yes we know the franchise can give you great value for money at times, but we expected Tokara to at least get the basics right, so we only had a quarter of that meal. Note that my partner and I love to share meals. All in all it was a wonderful meal, because of the view, staff, wine and the wonderful meals that preceded the disappointment. Definitely worth the visit - we'll be back to try more on the menu to complete our Tokara experience.
    i loved the Master Chefi food we had in Tokara , Stellenbosch. Such finesse , great presentation. was there to celebrate my daughter's birthday. We were treated with a glass of bubbly, on the house. and spoiled by the limitless views of green hills and amazing trees all around. Can't wait to go back. and treat my self and overseas guests to such a classy dining experience.

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