A look at the all new Benguela on Main in Somerset West

by Karisa

Last week I attended the launch of a sexy new dining space in Somerset West called Benguela on Main.

The restaurant is actually the 3rd offering from the Benguela Cove group which already has a gorgeous lagoon wine estate over in Hermanus and a 5 star Lakeside Lodge & Spa in Sedgefield.

It really is a gorgeous double story space situated on the corner of Main Rd and Coronation Avenue.

As you enter you’re welcomed by their neon-lit bar area on the left with striking drop chandeliers and dark wood counter top.  Then you walk through to the main dining area which has a fire place, soft furry touches and warm gold & brown hues.

Upstairs they have another bar area, a little oustide deck, their wine tasting room called “The Taster” and some couches and another fireplace to keep you nice & toasty during the upcoming winter months.

But enough talking, let me show you around:


Benguela on Main’s executive chef is Jean Delport.  Jean trained at Zevenwacht Chef School, where he was awarded both the Patissier Award in 2007 and Best Overall Student Award in his second year in 2008.  He has worked at top South African eateries like Rust en Vrede, Terroir, Cassia, Equus Dine at Cavalli, and Killeen House Hotel in Ireland, and he blends both classic French & English cooking styles into his culinary creations.

On the wine side, you’re in equally good hands with Benguela Cove’s group sommelier Denis Garret who’s all the way from France and a member of Association des Sommeliers Paris Ile-de-France (the oldest sommelier association in the world).

The scene was definitely set for a great evening jam-packed with all the food & wine awesomeness one could wish for…

Clockwise from top left: me with my partner-in-crime for the evening; Benguela Cove owner Penny Streeter talking to us about the group’s offerings; Chef Jean Delport talking to us about the menu; Benguela Cove’s group sommelier Denis Garret

Clockwise from top left: The Cape Town Food Blog team; the evening’s wines; prep happening in the kitchen; Benike from I Love Foodies with her sister Sabine & Benguela Cove owner Penny Streeter

Clockwise from top left: Chef Jean Delport hard at work; my happy food & wine face; nice and cosy vibe in the dining room.

On the cards for the evening was the Chef’s Tasting menu which looks like this:

  • Sichuan Pear
    Parmesan custard, bitter leaf
    (Paired with: Middelburg Chenin Blanc 2013)
  • Seasons of Pumpkin
    hay ash, fondant & pickles
    (Paired with: Benguela Cove Chardonnay 2014)
  • Seared Yellowtail
    shellfish velouté, curried cauliflower
    (Paired with: Hilton Viognier 2014)
  • Beef & Parsnip
    act I: salt rib & hazelnut
    act II: fillet, shin & beurre noisette
    (Paired with: Waterkloof Cinsault 2015)
  • Cucumber & Black Rose Cleanser
  • Pepe Charlot Chevre Frais
    prickly pear, dukkah & potato
    (Paired with: Iona One Man Band 2014)
  • “Chocolate Orange”
    bitter manjari, spiced yoghurt
    (Paired with: Villiera Inspiration 2010)

A tasting menu like this costs R600 pp (food only) or R850 pp (with wine pairing). However it’s important to note that their menus do change from time to time based on fresh seasonal produce & the best ingredients they can get their hands on. They’re also able to accommodate for most dietary requirements & serious allergies – so you just to give them a heads up of those.

For those of you who prefer to pick and choose your own thing – they do also have an a la carte menu as well as a winter menu which costs R240 pp for a 2 Course & 1 Benguela Cove wine by the glass OR R310 pp for a 3 Course & 2 Benguela Cove wines by the glass. I think that’s really good value, don’t you? Have a look over here to see what’s on both their a la carte & winter menus. (And be prepared to get very very hungry indeed)

But back to the tasting menu we enjoyed…  This is what it all looked like (the little egg was an extra amuse bouche before we officially kicked things off):

That Middleburg Chenin was probably my favourite wine of the night…

Gorgeous right?  With all those intricate details and creative flavour combinations, this really is fine dining as it should be.  If you’re looking for a bit of a culinary adventure, I’d say definitely go for the tasting menu.  Otherwise, I imagine that their other menus are equally impressive.

For an incredible evening out in Somerset West, I’m going to give Benguela on Main a score of kiss4_smudgeon my  Miss K Kiss-o-Meter scale.

If you’d like to pay them a visit, do take note of the following:

  • Opening Times:
    Lunch Tues – Sat, 12pm – 2:30pm Dinner Tues – Sat, 6:30pm – 9pm
    Wine Tasting & Wine Sales Tues – Sat, 12pm – 9pm
    (NB NOTE:  the restaurant will be closed from 3 to 24 July)
  • Then they also have some cool special events coming up like gluhwein & fondue evenings, live music,  tutored champagne, whisky, spirit and cocktail or fine wine master classes, and more – check out all the details of these on their events calendar over here.
  • For bookings, call them on: 087 357 0637

In closing I have to say a very big thank you to Red Carpet Concepts for the invite (and also the beautiful photos) and then of course to Chef Jean, Denis, Penny and their incredible team who looked after us to well, a big round of high 5s all round.  I left there a very happy girl indeed.


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