Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lunch at Bistro 13, Stellenbosch Vineyards

The R310 road from the N2 through to Stellenbosch is nearly completed and this will be a huge relief to Chef Nic van Wyk and Roxy Laker as the chaos has undoubtedly lost them and other places along the route, like Spier, customers. This bistro opened last Spring and we were invited to come and see what exciting things Nick and his staff are cooking up. We also managed to taste some of the Stellenbosch Vineyards wines with lunch and a couple in the tasting room afterwards.  
The tasting room of the winery
Some comfortable seating
You can order this tasting platter to enjoy with your wine tasting or a bottle later
The duck pond in front of the restaurant
Lots of outside seating
A warm welcome from Roxy Laker, Nic’s partner
We chose a table next to the window, so we could enjoy the view
We opted to let them bring us dishes they thought we should try and we shared several of them. The first was very good indeed. Crisp baby calamari rings and tentacles in a curry sauce, served with pickled cucumber strips and, something new, a ripe avocado tian resting on vinaigrette dressed new potatoes
A clever ruse on the tables to keep off flies. Half a lemon stuck with some cloves
A taste of sweetbreads. Very crisp on the outside, with a good sherry vinegar sauce, served with a classic carrot and cumin salad. Good flavours but, sadly, we just don’t appreciate sweetbreads
Steak tartare, topped with a quail egg yolk for mixing in with the chopped onions, capers and gherkins scattered on the plate. It was a very good steak tartar indeed, not an unrecognisable puree, but with nice texture and a very good flavours, especially the kick of Tabasco
A crisp shredded lamb spring roll with a creamy coconut curry sauce, lemon & a yogurt raita
Marketing Manager of Stellenbosch Vineyards, Guy Kedian, joined us briefly at lunch; he was involved in a training course
Our main course: Very fresh pan fried yellowtail, on excellent, smooth and slightly sweet (as it should be) babaganoush (aubergine) with a harissa beurre blanc and crisp chick peas. Very Moroccan flavours on lovely fresh fish
Chef Nic van Wyk joined us briefly for a chat. He loves having his own restaurant The staff are all excellent and our waitress, Elaine, had followed Nick from a previous restaurant
Time for dessert. Lynne chose the Vanilla Panna cotta, which came as a slice, served with mango strips and was dusted with roasted coconut. We were served a small glass of their excellent Infinity Noble Late Harvest. Its label won one of only two gold awards at the Wine Magazine Rotolabel competition on Tuesday. It is pure honey with nicely balanced acidity
John’s was a very good choice indeed. A classic flourless fresh chocolate cake, served with a caramel sauce with sharp shards of praline. We will be back for more
The menu. There are lots of choices for everyone and the menu will be changed according to seasons and availability of local produce
Currently, they have a couple of very good specials, especially if you live in the area and can go on a Saturday night for the Steak and wine. The Naked menu would work very well for a birthday party group. And if you need a good breakfast, take someone with you
Chefs cleaning down in the kitchen after a very good meal
You can watch them cook too with the open kitchen. Nice smiles! Thank you so much for inviting us and for hosting us so generously
We drank some of the excellent Stellenbosch Vineyards wines with our meal. John chose the Chenin Blanc at R25 a glass, Lynne had a carafe of their peachy Viognier, also R25
We tasted the Flagship Petit Verdot in the tasting room on our way out and it was really excellent. It costs R400 a bottle
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015

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