Little else links us to our cultural foundation quite like cuisine and South Africa’s is as rich and diverse as it is iconic. With some of the world’s best-loved dishes and a glut of venerated heritage establishments, why not celebrate Heritage month this September with a memorable meal at one of these 5 coveted restaurants – all of which are steeped in cultural and historic significance?
beyond, Buitenverwachting Wine Farm, Cape Town
Seasonal simplicity from a World’s 50 Best chef
With the original Constantia Estate dating back to 1773, Buitenverwachting wine farm is inextricably linked to the story of the Cape. Nearly 250 years later, it is one of South Africa’s most historic wine estates and is home to award-winning chef Peter Tempelhoff’s creation: beyond.
The farm’s storied past and centuries of history find an elegant, 21st-century home at beyond. Secluded from the bustle of city life, the restaurant encapsulates the farm’s traditions through pared-back architecture and honest food. With a passion for supporting local and buying seasonal, all ingredients are sourced from the best community producers and surrounding farms or harvested straight from Buitenverwachting farm itself.
Expect a menu that combines comfort and elegance and heroes ingredients in tune with nature. Choose from honest, feel-good dishes that reflect our local roots like Springbok with estate raisins, cocoa, and celeriac pap as well as Iberico pork with a Malay spiced crayfish bisque, heirloom carrots and lentil bhaji.
beyond is open for lunch on Thursday to Sunday from 12 pm – 2:30 pm (until Oct 1st, 2022) and dinner Wednesday to Saturday from 6 pm to 8:30 pm.
Book via email at email@example.com or call 021 794 0306
Visit their website here: www.beyondrestaurant.co.za
Clara’s Barn, Vergenoegd Löw The Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
Ancestral food made modern in the Cape’s oldest barn
Characterised by oversized barn doors and a traditional thatched roof, Clara’s Barn is number 7 in renowned restaurateur, Bertus Basson’s stable of establishments. Clara’s Barn brings staggering history (it’s the oldest barn in the Western Cape), character and soul to Basson’s famously local focus. Guests can expect a modern farm kitchen rooted in South African heritage food and serving farm-style recipes the likes of Chalmar sirloin, braised hoekkraaltjie goat shoulder or yellowfin tuna, all expressed in Chef Drikus Brink’s contemporary way.
The restaurant is open for lunch on Wednesday – Sunday from 12 pm – 4 pm and dinner Friday and Saturday from 6 pm to 10 pm.
For bookings, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 021 202 4373
Visit their website here: https://bertusbasson.com/
Rust en Vrede Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
Reimagined French in a centuries-old cellar
If dining in a modernised national monument speaks to you then a meal at Rust en Vrede should be on your list. With the celebrated wine estate dating back to 1694 and its three Cape Dutch buildings dating back to 1708, proprietor Jean Engelbrecht is set on celebrating these historic buildings by giving them purpose.
One of them – die kelder – the farm’s 242-year-old wine cellar was restored and reimagined as a coveted new restaurant blending contemporary updates with a tribute to the past as seen in the hefty ceiling beams, hand-plastered walls and red brick window surrounds.
With a diverse and rich cultural background, chef Fabio Daniel draws on his Italian, and Brazilian heritage, adding a unique approach to contemporary French cuisine. Strictly sustainably sourced, each dish on the six-course set menu is meticulously crafted and paired with the perfect wine to elevate each flavour. If you’re feeling bold, put your faith in the chef and go for the surprise Experience Menu.
The restaurant is open for dinner on Tuesday – Saturday from 6:30 pm
For bookings, email email@example.com or call 021 881 3757
Visit their website here: https://www.rustenvrede.com
Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate, Franschhoek
SA flavours with a modern expression
The name says it all. Signifying Franschhoek’s engrained Huguenot heritage, the estate’s Manor house and Owners Cottage boast an extraordinary 325 years of history. And while the Grande Provence restaurant is not located inside one of the old buildings, it exists in tribute to it, complete with an elegant interior that spills out onto a lush courtyard.
Chef Anvor Fortuin has created a stripped-back menu that nods to South Africa’s heritage flavours with equal doses of sophistication and modernity. Spring’s offering includes the likes of Confit Karoo Lamb Neck or Spring Pea Risotto among others which is best paired with a glass of one of the estate’s celebrated wines. Order a la carte or from the 3 or 4-course pairing menu. A postprandial saunter around the estate to enjoy its gardens, gallery and wine cellar is highly recommended.
The restaurant is open for lunch on Monday – Sunday from 12 pm – 2:30 pm (last seating) and dinner Monday – Friday 5:30 pm (last seating) and Saturday and Sunday from 6 pm to 8 pm (last seating)
For bookings, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 021 876 8600
Visit their website here: https://www.grandeprovence.co.za
De Eetkamer, Stellenbosch
Sharing plates and big flavours in a quaint heritage building
Situated deep within Stellenbosch’s historic centre, this quaint building was founded in 1815 and is known formally as Die Oude Leeskamer. Once home to book clubs, theological and debating groups, it now houses celebrated cultural assets the likes of a small library, an art gallery, a writer’s apartment and De Eetkamer restaurant. Owned by Chef Marco Cardoso, whose experience spans Chefs Warehouse, Thali and La Cantina, Cardoso has set out to bring vibrant global cuisine to this historic neck of the woods.
The previous farm stable in Drostdy Street has been transformed to highlight original hefty timber beams, generous sash windows and a leafy courtyard where guests can enjoy their meal under the shade of trees. Dishes draw inspiration from all over the map and flavour combos can be bold. Think pan-fried gnocchi with artichokes, peas and lemon beurre noisette or Korean fried cauliflower with sweet soy.
The restaurant is open for lunch on Tuesday – Saturday from 12 pm – 3 pm and dinner Tuesday – Saturday from 5:30 pm to 9 pm.
For bookings, email email@example.com or call 021 001 8308
Visit their website here: https://www.de-eetkamer.co.za/