Set in the heart of the winelands, this beautiful house is home to a restaurant very close to my heart. I was treated often as a child to Gatriles and with the same owners and the same signature dish on the menu, 96 Winery Road is more than special. You can have an intimate dinner for 2, a birthday party for 8 in the ‘wine cellar’ or even a Christmas party in the separate dining room. The tables are spacious and set far away from each other that you do not feel like you are encroaching on other diners.
The menu is well priced with a good variety of meals to suit anyone. The average price for a main course is R127. You can choose from the tasting menu – with or without wine pairings, the seasonal menu, or their standard menu. This changes frequently, which means as a regular diner you will not become bored with eating the same fare. However, you will always find the duck and cherry pie on the menu as well as the crème brûlée. Both have been on the menu since 1974!
The wine list has to be one of the best I have ever encountered in South Africa, and do not be intimidated by its size – you will find something there to suit your palate and your wallet. And if you are left wondering what to order, there are chefs recommendations for pairings as well as a sommelier to guide you. We always find a decent single malt to try while we are looking at the menu. 96 Winery Road also stock a good range of craft beers.
The service is friendly and the staff know what they are talking about. Expect an all round fantastic dining experience with proper cutlery and decent glassware and silverware. I would highly recommend that you book before going. The restaurant has a children’s menu which is great for those people wanting to eat out somewhere top notch with their children. 96 Winery Road has a fantastic ambiance, with quiet background music, and is open both for lunch and dinner.
Contact them on 021 842 2020
To start I had the West Coast mussel chowder (R65) which was tasty, rich and creamy but had very few mussels in it. For the first time ever I tried the prime beef 250g gourmet burger (R115) which was perfectly moist and done as I ordered it, medium rare. It was flavourful but I could not eat the top half of the bun as there was way to much on the plate for me. The chips were delicious!
Dave and I went for the Winter Warmer Special and I had the little seafood platter to start (R65) which consisted of miso salmon, an open prawn ravioli and deep fried calamari. The calamari has a bite to it, and the platter was very good. Dave had the barbequed quail confit which was served with bitter greens and a sweet roasted onion (R60). The dish was well presented and tasted great. Dave chose the miso salmon for his main course which was deep fried in ketalfi pastry and was served on bok choi with a soy reduction and wasabi mayonnaise (R110). It was a very generous portion and extremely good. I chose the marinated lamb rump which was served with roast sweet potato and parsnip purée and popped tomato salsa (R105). The salsa was slightly heated and the meal great. We had a portion of the very moreish tempura vegetables to go with our main course. For dessert Dave chose the French apple flan with cinnamon ice cream (R50) and I of course had the crème brûlée (R45). The desserts as usual were sublime!
We went to dinner the night before travelling overseas and the wine we chose with our meal was the Ken Forrester Merlot 2009 (R130) which is a stand out red wine and the one we order most often when dining here. We chose the spicy prawns (R60) and the crispy pork belly strips (R55) to start and the prawns themselves were not spicy, but the avocado accompanying it certainly was. My pork belly was definitely a winner and I can understand why it cannot be taken off the menu. It is accompanied by a lovely chutney. Dave chose the chicken as his main course (R90) and I had the roasted kingklip (R98) and neither of us were disappointed. Dave’s chicken came with spinach and no starch and my portion of fish was extremely generous. We ordered the wonderful tempura vegetables to go with our meal.
Most of our wedding anniversaries are celebrated at 96 Winery Road. On this occasion we chose a bottle of Raka Barrel Select Merlot (R150). I ordered the Thai Style Fish Cakes (R50) to start. These were very fishy but not very Thai, being served with a balsamic reduction and what tasted like an aioli. Dave ordered the Fresh Green Asparagus (R58) and the only criticism he had for the dish was that the poached egg was done in a container and was not ‘free form’. Dave chose the Roasted Loin of Gemsbok (R110) for his main course, which was tough and sent back and swapped for the Norwegian Salmon. This was handled professionally and without any problems and I must commend the staff for the way in which they handled the complaint. I ordered the Beef Short Rib (R95) which was not too fatty, and was extremely tasty. The vinegar beans helped cut through the rich sauce and there was far too much on the plate for me. I managed to taste one of the tempura vegetables and they were fantastic. Dave was brought a fresh bowl of vegetables with his second main course which was great attention to detail. For dessert I used my bench mark crème brûlée (R45), it was silky smooth with just the right amount of sugar on top. I was so full I could have done with half, but even under normal circumstances, the dish is enough to share if you are feeling generous.