This week's post is about our outing to the Hillcrest Restaurant. The estate itself is quite a bustling hive of activity - they do wine tasting and olive tasting, and, they also have a beer garden as well as their restaurant. Also, they have a quarry with a big patch of lawn where you can attend concerts, corporate events or even weddings. You can even do a bit of fishing in the dam and there are trails for mountain-biking. Busy place!
We felt like a relaxed lunch where we didn't have to drive too far, so we decided to visit the Hillcrest Restaurant. The chef, Debbie, uses local, fresh produce and produces tasty, generously-sized dishes. I really like the fact that the burger patties are homemade (and also delicious!).
For the restaurant, you can either sit inside on the patio or on the top section of grass. The patio section is well-lit and the big, glass windows make it feel nice and open. However, I like to sit outside, so we did that. It was quite warm when we went, but the staff make an effort to make sure you are comfortable by giving you an umbrella (and adjusting it to your liking).
If you're not keen on the actual restaurant, you can visit the beer garden (see below) which is on the bottom section of grass. There, you can order a selection of Granite Rock craft beers which are brewed by Graeme Reed, Hillcrest's retired wine maker. The beer garden also offers a selection of foods to order: a few pizzas, a German sausage platter and one or two Mezze platters.
We hadn't checked out the beer garden before, so we opted for the restaurant, but I'm definitely keen to go back to try out some of those platters.
Gary felt like a beer after seeing the beer garden, so he ordered a craft beer (Weiss) for himself and I ordered a glass of Hillcrest's Sauvignon Blanc (see below). It was really crisp, fruity and refreshing on a warm day.
For our meal, I was torn between being a bit healthy or tucking in to a burger. (I'd had a burger there before and remember it being great.) However, I opted for a healthier option and ordered the Smoked Salmon Timbale for R110 (see below). The 80 gram smoked salmon trout is served in a stack that is layered with tomato, onion, cucumber and cream cheese and presented on top of a crunchy salad with a berry sauce. It was really tasty and very light for a lunch-time meal. I always like the classic salmon and cream cheese combo.
Gary ordered a Mushroom and Sriracha Chilli Burger for R115 (see below). The burger itself is a homemade, 220 gram pure beef patty and it's served with pan-fried mushrooms and mature cheddar cheese. You can have the sauce served on your burger, but I'd recommend that you ask for it on the side as it can be a bit spicy for some - and you may feel like you will die! (I tasted it and loved it though!) The burger is really tasty and is served on a toasted Panini, with chips on the side.
Because of the hot weather that day, and also because I love sorbet, I ordered that for dessert (see below). It's made with real, local fruit and only contains 2% dairy, so I felt like I was being super healthy that day! It's also only R45. I had the option of ordering a Kiwi Sorbet or a Mixed Berry Sorbet, and I went with the latter (see below). I really enjoyed this! It was so refreshing and delicious and I loved that there were a few fruit seeds in it too. I'd really recommend this option for dessert if you are a sorbet fan. (They also offer a Triple Scoop Ice-cream Sundae that looks great for those of you who have a sweet tooth).
From the end of July, the restaurant will be hosting a Tapas Evening on the last Friday of every month. Here, they serve items like; tomato soup, chicken and leek pot pie, grilled halloumi cheese and chicken wings - a great idea for a night out with friends.
Overall, I'd recommend the Hillcrest Restaurant for a relaxed, informal day out with friends and family. You can easily spend a good few hours there doing some wine and olive tasting (their olives are fantastic), and then having a relaxed lunch.
Contact: +27 (0)21 975 2346
Address: M13, Tygerberg Valley Road, Durbanville
Star Rating: ****