A must try: The Skotnes at the new Norval Foundation

by Karisa

About 3 weeks ago I had the absolute pleasure of having dinner at The Skotnes which is the restaurant at the all new Norval Foundation art museum on the corner of Ou Kaapse Weg & Steenberg Road.  Normally one would be nervous to eat at a restaurant that had only opened its doors less than 2 weeks prior (they opened on 28 April), but I have to say I had absolutely no reason to be.  The space is breathtaking, the service is slick and the food was top class.

Named after legendary South African artist & teacher, Cecil Skotnes, the restaurant sits on the grounds of a beautiful new art space that has already popped up all over my Instagram feed as more and more people are discovering their sculpture garden, state of the art museum and more.

The goal behind The Skotness was to integrate nature and architecture and to pay homage to classical South African cuisine, but with some modern touches.

Let me show you around:

Absolutely beautiful right?

So the man behind the food is Executive Chef Phil de Villiers.  Some of you may know him from Primal Eatery in town (which was voted Eat Out’s Best Steakhouse of 2017).  You’ll also be impressed to hear that all ingredients are sourced from local, small-batch suppliers, with the intention of supporting and uplifting local communities. #LoveThat

You can have a look at their full menu over here.  For those with little ones, you’ll also be happy to know that they have a kids menu as well.

Starters range from R80 – R95, mains range from R125 to R225 with sides ranging from R35 to R40, and for dessert they do a mini dessert trolley and you can select one (R45) up to four items (R140) from this selection, or they have a normal dessert & cheese menu with items ranging from R70 to R75.   So price wise, pretty standard for Cape Town.

The bread was super interesting… I always find that the bread is a tiny hint of what’s to come…

For starters my lovely dinner date, Chris, had the pork belly with Parisienne gnocchi, miso mutter, soetwortels and carrot cake pangritata (R95), while I opted for the grilled calamari with crispy tentacles, sweet corm mieliepap, chakalaka & radish (R95) which came highly recommended by our waiter.  Both dishes were lovely, great flavours and textures, definitely a great start to the meal.

The calamari

The pork belly

For mains I chose the Venison loin – venison and oxtail oumens onder die kombers, onion & sauce au poivre (R220), while Chris went for the free range beef ribeye/fillet with bone marrow, parsley pesto and a amabutchu cheese & tomato braai broodjie (R225).   Then for our sides we chose the triple cooked chips seasoned with braai salt (R35) and the fire roasted sweet potato with feta, spring onion & coriander (R35).

My venison loin was beautiful, not quite the hit dish that sous vide fillet was a The Bistro @ Klein Constantia, but very close.  I also had a taste of Chris’s ribeye and it was cooked perfectly, also liked the little braai broodjie addition on the side.  As an Afrikaans meisie, I simply can’t say no to a braai broodjie…

The venison loin

The ribeye

The triple cooked chips & sweet potato with feta

Then for dessert, I had very limited space left over at that stage, so stuck with one item from their mini dessert trolley, which had these options:

Apologies, I can’t remember what they all were…

But I ended up choosing the chocolaty one with he gold sparkles which had a creamy centre and definitely hit the spot:

Chris had the Piesang brood with granadilla namalaka, granadilla glass & burnt banana ice cream (R75) from their normal dessert menu.  Presentation was beautiful, the only complaint would be that the piesang brood was unfortunately a bit dry…

But yeah, overall a really lovely meal.  Ambience-wise they were still lacking a bit because the restaurant was quite empty.  But I think as more and more people realise that they’re there, this will definitely change.  Our waiter was also very attentive and knew the menu very well, which I thought was great.  So for all of these reasons I’m going to give The Skotness a score of on my Miss K Kiss-o-Meter scale.

I’m dying to go back for lunch so I can also check out the beautiful gardens and the art museum.  Ooh and worth a mention:  For summer they’re going to do picnics on the lawns of the Norval Foundation Sculpture Garden – so that’s something to look forward to.

For reservations, you can make use of their online booking system over here, or you can contact them on 087 654 5902 or bookings@theskotnes.com.

Do go check them out, you definitely won’t regret it. 🙂


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