De Grendel Restaurant
Dave, Eric, Bev and I went for dinner last month at De Grendel Restaurant. Situated at the top of Tygerberg Hill, this farm offers spectacular views. Sadly for us, we were unable to see the bay, or Table Mountain, due to the weather. The menu is based on locally sourced ingredients and changes according to availability. I love that they make use of produce from the farm, including their own honey and butter from their dairy herd. Guinea fowl, pasture-raised beef and lamb and the organic vegetables all come from the 330 hectares De Grendel covers.
As with many modern restaurants, only the ingredients are listed on the menu. A bread selection was brought to the table which included sourdough bread, yoghurt and muesli loaf, and biltong, leek and Gruyère rolls. These were served with romesco sauce and jersey butter. I do not usually eat the bread as I know I want to leave space for dessert, but the rolls were irresistible and I am going to try to recreate them at home. The amuse bouche of sweet potato vichyssoise, celery, spring onion, leek ash, wakame was followed by our choice of starters. Eric, Bev and Dave had the tuna tataki, cabbage, pineapple, cucumber, tamarind, sesame, cashew, black bean chilli. I chose the rabbit-chorizo terrine, parfait, saffron, cranberry, Huguenot, chicken lollypop, milk stout option. The tuna was a huge hit, and I loved most of my dish, excluding the chicken.
Bev’s choice was the linefish, mussels, coconut, bean cassoulet, onion, sultana, kombu butter, gem squash. She was served cob and our waitress confirmed that Bev’s shellfish allergy did not include mussels. Dave went for the grilled lamb loin, smoked rib, sweetbreads, broccoli, mint, new potato. All courses have a wine suggestion and even before choosing his dish, Dave had ordered a bottle of the De Grendel Merlot 2016 (R140). I chose the smoked Springbok loin, polenta, black garlic, aubergine, corn, Jägermeister jus. Despite being slightly too salty for me I really enjoyed my meal. Eric had the beef fillet, short rib, smoked veal tongue, bone marrow, onion jam, dauphinoise, tobacco jus. We cleared our plates which is an indication of how much we enjoyed our meal.
I cannot remember the last time I did not order dessert in a restaurant, even one to share. The idea of chocolate and lime together with a banana brûlée turned me off the first choice. And a similar combination of chocolate, lime and litchi put me off the second option. I am not a fan of poppy seeds in abundance and so that went choice number 3. My sweet tooth needs were met by the petit fours which were served together with the coffees that were ordered.
Service and more
Our waitress, Ilse, had a witty sense of humour and had a few jokes to make about personally trapping the rabbits. She came across as slightly shy at first but Dave’s wit about Springbok being venison helped her come out of her shell. Service was impeccable and the tables far enough apart to allow for comfortable dining. De Grendel Restaurant offers 2 courses for R390 and 3 courses for R425. Wine is served by the glass which meant Eric could have a glass of Sauvignon Blanc 2018 with his meal (R45). The total bill, including gratuity was R2036.00