So I've been saving this special post until now, because we simply had an AMAZING time at Buitenverwachting along the Constantia Wine Route! We were really treated like queens and got to taste some fantastic wines and eat their delicious food!
In this instance, they were expecting us and so I guess you can't always judge how it would be normally. But the food and wine is definitely great and well worth it if you are keen for a treat. Here's our experience below...
When we were arrived, we were greeted by Thinus - an extremely generous, kind and knowledgeable host. Here he is below, bringing out the big guns: the MCC Brut!
The Brut was a great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend and I appreciated the nutty flavours and complexity in it - even though I'm not a massive MCC fan (odd, I know).
And it obviously wouldn't be a proper media day without the odd "cheers" photograph...
After the MCC, we headed to the Buitenverwachting Restaurant - situated in one of the estate's original thatch buildings. The restaurant is quite chic and modern. It was renovated after a terrible storm in June 2017 and is now quite elegant, with natural materials used throughout the building.
The view from the restaurant is absolutely incredible (see the cover photo). The terrace faces the Constantiaberg mountain, which forms part of the UNESCO - World Heritage Site. You can also have a clear view of the vineyards, which seem to run into the bottom of the mountain. It's truly spectacular!
It's these views that supposedly serve as an inspiration for the chef, Edgar Osoijnik. His menu offers a variation of "refined but rustic-traditional dishes as well as a fine dining menu". As you will see, his presentation of the dishes is fantastic...
Pictured here is our amush bouche - a rich, warm soup to get the taste buds going.
There are two menus: a "Rustic Affairs" one and an "Indulge" one - the latter being the more fine-dining option and thus a bit more expensive. Both menus have four starters, four mains and two desserts to choose from, and, trust me, you will have a tough time deciding!
I opted for a Tuna Starter (see below) for R145 - off the Indulge menu. The starter comprised of a trio of tuna: raw, marinated and seared. It included tuna tartare in spring roll, guacamole and a dressing that had a nice, savoury flavour that I couldn't quite pinpoint. The tuna was cooked beautifully! I loved the guacamole and bits of ginger on the plate.
After our starter, the chef sent out a really delicious palate cleanser - a lemon sorbet (see below). I am a big sorbet fan and so this went down a treat!
Deciding on a main course was tricky, because as you know, I am so indecisive with food - I literally want to eat everything! But I settled on ordering the Duck (see below) for R237 - also off the Indulge menu, naturally.
The duck dish consisted of a pan-fried duck breast, a confit duck leg, L' orange sauce, potato puff, red cabbage and a gingered carrot. Everything was delicious! The blobs on the plate were little bits of an orange-like sauce that paired perfectly with the duck. The duck itself was cooked nicely and the confit duck leg was cripsy and tasty. If you're a duck fan - I think you'd really enjoy this!
Along with the great food, we got to taste some of Buitenverwachting's wines. Because Thinus was really kind and (over)generous - in a good way - we tasted loads of wines. But some of my favourites were the Chardonnay, Husseys Vlei Sauvignon Blanc and Maximus. The Maximus is a 100% Sauvignon Blanc with ripe melons and young goosberries aromas. It's dry, full-bodied and has a nice, lingering finish. It paired well with my tuna dish.
Another favourite was the Christine wine (see below). This was a really special wine that is a Bordeaux-style blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Cabernet Franc. It has the typical flavours I have come to enjoy: red fruit, black cherries, ripe plums and blackcurrant with an added chocolate undertone.
The estate at Buitenverwachting also houses a coffee shop called Coffee BloC (see below). The coffee shop offers a variety of artisan coffees made from freshly roasted coffee beans that are roasted on site.
We tried out their cappuccinos (see below) - made by Thinus - and they were really great and hit the spot after all that wine! You can also expect to order selected pastries and home-made cakes.
As you can see, a great time was had by all! The lunch was a special treat and I would recommend a visit - in winter, especially, as you can sit inside, but still experience the stunning views!
Here's a photo of all of us...
Thanks Thinus and Jared for arranging a lovely afternoon!
The restaurant has the following opening times:
November to March:
Mondays to Saturdays Lunch:
12.00 – 14.00 (Last orders in the kitchen)
Mondays to Saturdays Dinner:
18.30 – 20.30 (Last orders in the kitchen)
April to October:
Tuesdays to Saturdays Lunch:
12.00 – 14.00 (Last orders in the kitchen)
Thursdays to Saturdays Dinner:
18.30 – 20.00 (Last orders in the kitchen)
Contact: (021) 794 5190/1
Address: 37 Klein Constantia Road, Constantia, Cape Town
Star Rating: ****
Note: We were invited to visit Buitenverwachting by Jared and the Constantia Wine Route and so everything we received was complimentary. This review is based solely on this experience.