Delaire Graff wine estate is situated in Stellenbosch on the Hells Hoogte Pass. Nestled among the mountains and vineyards is one of the top rated restaurants in South Africa. The plan was to meet an hour before our dinner reservation to enjoy the view from the balcony while enjoying a pre-dinner drink. Eric and Bev were late due to traffic and the balcony doors were closed due to the wind. After reading through the fairly good selection of single malts, Dave and I chose to enjoy a whisky in front of the fire while waiting. I read through the extensive wine list but we chose to stick with whisky for the evening. We were shown to our nice large table as soon as Eric and Bev arrived and we began chatting while drinks were brought for them. We eventually paused long enough to read the menu and our waiter came over to take our order. He let us know about menu extras and confirmed with Bev that her seafood allergy didn’t include mussels.
Once our order had been placed bread was brought to the table. We were given a choice of breads which we enjoyed with harissa butter, potato mash and a bean and lime hummus. This was followed by the amuse bouche which was a hake fish ball and extremely tasty. Dave had the flavours of winter (R135) to start which was a mushroom based dish I would love to recreate at home. Eric had the ham and pea broth (R125) which was perfectly warming and Bev had the soup which was a special for the evening. Her bowl was large enough for a main meal. I had the tartare which was also a special and I found it to be the perfect starter both portion wise and taste wise. We were then served a palate cleanser of lemon sorbet with ginger jelly and lime.
Dave and Eric both chose the Karoo springbok loin (R280) for their main course which was excellent. Bev had the pan seared line fish (R275) which was her second generous portion of the evening. I went for the De Denne Farm duck breast (R265) which I enjoyed. I left some of the homemade linguine on my plate to ensure I could indulge in the tonka bean crème brûlée (R115). Bev and Eric shared the orange and bourbon rice pudding (R115) which they did not particularly like as it was served cold.
The food was delicious and the portion sizes are decent and this made it a very reasonably priced evening out. However, the service was not up to the standard one would expect from a fine dining restaurant. We could barely find a waiter to assist us, and there was no attention placed to our table. We eventually found someone to bring us the bill, which arrived with petit fours. Luckily for me, two of the flavours were not Dave’s favourites so I got to eat his share as well as my own.
Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime September 28:
- 2015 – Leek And Cheese Soda Bread
- 2012 – Purslane
- 2011 – Berry Dessert
- 2010 – Pea, Mushroom And Chicken Pasta / Dinner Party Menu