Now the restaurant officially opened back in January alongside their newly revamped tasting room, but in a very low key style to give them some time to settle in and find their feet first. A couple of months later and it’s a bustling lunch venue which has quickly grown quite popular with locals and visitors alike.
Location wise you really can’t ask for better, with Klein Constantia frequently described as one of the most beautiful vineyard locations in the world. On a chilly day you can sit inside and enjoy their gorgeous, modern interior, but on a sunny day you’re definitely going to want to steal a table outside under the trees.
Let me give you a quick tour:
As you can see, we were blessed with beautiful weather on the day so we were lucky enough to be able to soak up all the goodness of that outside deck. To start we also kicked off with some lovely Klein Constantia MCC Brut:
Then it was down to learning more about the menu and their cordon bleu Chef, Graham Davies.
The menu is seasonal, focusing on freshly available & locally sourced ingredients. So for winter you can expect a number of comfort-food style dishes all designed to perfectly match their award-winning wines. Chef Graham is a strong believer in the “farm to table & head to toe” philosophy when it comes to creating dishes and therefore certain dishes, like his country pork terrine, have become a firm menu fixture.
Graham grew up in East London but his passion for food brought him to Cape Town where he studied at the Silwood School of Cookery. He graduated top of his class with a internationally recognised Grande Diplome which then got him an internship at La Colombe while it was still headed up by none other than Chef Luke Dale-Roberts. He then decided to broaden his horizons a bit, both to gain some international experience and to explore his love for French & Italian cooking, and started working as a private chef on boats and private villas. When he finally arrived back in SA he continued working as a private chef, but his excellent reputation eventually secured him the title of head chef at the Klein Constantia Manor House. Now with The Bistro he’s able to create his own unique food experience. Expect touches of European cuisine to still filter through, but definitely still keeping it proudly South African.
I decided to go for the country pork terrine to start followed by the beef fillet in cafe au lait sauce as my main. Both dishes were perfection, but that beef fillet has seriously ruined me for life. Chef Graham sous vide’s the fillet – don’t worry if you don’t know what that is, because I didn’t know at the time either… so let me explain. Sous vide (pronounced sue-veed) refers to a method of cooking where the food is vacuum-sealed in a bag and then cooked in a temperature controlled water bath. The result? The softest, tastiest fillet I’ve had (I dare say) ever. I actually don’t know how I’ll ever enjoy fillet prepared any other way again…
On the wine side, I was particularly impressed by their METIS Sauvignon Blanc – a wine I’d never had the pleasure of trying before. I’m not normally a big Sauvignon Blanc fan, instead preferring a Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay, but this one had me thinking twice about my preferences. Definitely try to get your hands on a bottle of this:
After lunch we were treated to a little tour and an extra special Vin De Constance tasting – for those not familiar with this internationally acclaimed dessert wine, do yourselves a favour and read the full history over here. I think they’ll have you with the following line: “Kings vied for possession of this wine…”
Normally a tasting of Vin De Constance is not possible, mainly because it sells for approx R900 – R1200 a bottle depending on the vintage. But not to worry – you too can enjoy a taste by ordering their specially curated platter of local cheeses, which has been perfectly matched with their Vin De Constance.
We truly had a lovely lunch at The Bistro and I’m looking forward to heading back with family and friends (mainly so I can have that fillet again!).
I’m happily going to give The Bistro @ Klein Constantia a top score of on my Miss K Kiss-o-Meter scale.
Keen to pay The Bistro a visit yourself? Of course you are. 😉 Here are all the important details to take note of:
- The Bistro is only open for lunch which is served Tue – Sun between 12 noon and 2:30pm (with the kitchen closing at 3pm).
- They offer either a 2 course or 3 course menu option with cheeseboards available thereafter until 4pm.
- A 2 course (starter & main) is R300 (or R220 for the vegetarian option) and a 3 course (starter, main & dessert) is R400 (or R310 for the vegetarian option).
- The venue is unfortunately not suitable for children under the age of 12.
- Wine, water and cordial are the only beverages served, and corkage is not permitted.
- A discretionary 12% gratuity is added to the bill.
- To book a table, make use of their Dine Plan booking system over here.
- For any other special enquiries you can contact them on 021 794 5188 between 9am and 11am Monday to Friday.
BUT, for winter they also have a great lunchtime special:
- 2 courses for R220 or 3 courses for R290 (including wine or cordial)
- Just note that the special runs Tuesday – Friday and does not include weekends or public holidays.
So what are you waiting for, book that table now. Also, while there, do have a look at their gift shop. They have some seriously lovely things to take home with you: