Dave and I were meeting friends at Raphaels at Asara, Stellenbosch, for dinner. We arrived early and so we decided to sit in the Sansibar lounge and have a pre-dinner drink. They have the largest selection of single malts I have seen outside of Scotland and we both read the whisky menu to make our choices. Dave had a Springbank 10 year old (R45) from Campbeltown which is salty in flavour, and I had a bourbon cask matured Arran (R47.50), which is full of citrus and sweet fruit. The most expensive single malt on the list costs R2440 per tot!
Once our whisky’s were drunk we left the bar and made our way to the restaurant as our friends arrived. Bev and I tested the couch at the table before deciding that the wing back chairs were more comfortable. The wine list is quite comprehensive and reasonably priced and Dave chose the Asara Vineyard Collection Merlot 2011 (R120) to accompany our meal. The wine displays red berries on the nose and is a smooth well balance wine.
Bread rolls were placed on the table while we read the menu. Dave, Bev and I started with mussels (R75) which were succulent and served in a fantastic broth, with toast. Eric had the game terrine (R80) to start. Bev and I had the lambs liver (R110) for our main course, done medium as per the chefs recommendation. Mine was a bit tough and the mash needed salt. It was served with really good onions. Dave had the pork belly (R170) and Eric had beef fillet (R195) served with a pepper whiskey sauce (R25) as their main courses. The average cost of a main course is R152.00
For dessert Bev had the Lemon Tart (R60) which was amazing with the tart lemon taste making your mouth pucker. I had Madagascar crème brûlée (R55) which was excellent. It was served with shortbread biscuits that Dave enjoyed, and an apple sorbet that was not fantastic. Overall the meal was great and we will go back.
The service was above average and the staff were friendly. However, they need to have someone manning the front desk at all times. There was a function downstairs the night we were having dinner and the noise from the speeches was invasive! When we asked the waitress to get them to turn the sound down she looked at us blankly! The restaurant is beautifully laid out with high end crockery and cutlery and proper napkins on the tables.
Contact them on +27 21 888 8000
What I blogged:
- one year ago – Pickled Plum Sorbet
- three years ago – Friday’s Food Quiz
- four years ago – Thai Inspired Sirloin Stir Fry