Last Sunday, we decided to drive to Wellington for lunch and some wine tasting. What we had completely forgotten is that small towns like Wellington close on a Sunday. Absolutely nothing was open. Well almost nothing…
But, it was still wonderful weather, so we were not going to let that stop us. So with the help of some friends who live in the area (thanks Doug from PT Productions and Dawn from Jorgensen Distillery), we managed to find what was probably the only open place in Wellington, but also one of the nicest restaurants I have ever been to. It is called The Stone Kitchen, and it is found on the Dunstone wine estate. At about 2 hectors of vines, it is a tiny little estate but with some fabulous wine. But the restaurant was great, the food was simple, fresh and tasty.
When we arrived they were full, but after a quick wine tasting at the bar counter (we finally got our wine tasting), they found us a table. The chef came out to introduce the menu, and we made our choices.
I had a grated warthog burger, with onion marmalade and cheese, and Lois had the goat’s cheese salad. Now for Lois to eat goat anything is pretty amazing! But at the chef’s instance she tried some of the goat cheese, and she loved it. She actually asked where they got such good goat’s cheese (that does not taste like, well…goat). I could tell you the answer but I will save that for a future post.
So two suggestions. Firstly if you want to go wine tasting on a Sunday, stick to the well-known areas like Stellenbosch or Paarl, and if you want a fantastic meal, goto the Stone Kitchen (but best to book – they were very full). And their sauvignon blanc and merlot are both brillant wines. We took a few bottle of each home with us.
Lois and I celebrated our 12′th wedding anniversary last night at Aubergines in Cape Town. Our anniversary is actually today, but today is also Easter Sunday.
Anyway, the restaurant is fantastic; they have about 15000 bottles of wine in their cellar, with an astonishing list of both local and international wines. They were more than happy to look after Eccles, and to ensure that we had a great experience.
I had the fixed menu, which included a Quail starter, zebra steak, and a blue cheese samosa. Every course was fantastic, and each was paired with a different wine. While the restaurant is not the least expensive in town, it provides a fantastic dining experience for that special occasion.
…in an Octopus’ garden in the shade. Or at St James Station. This eccentric little restaurant has been running since 2005. They have a small and simple menu, but the food is always good and always freshly made!
The restaurant is in part of the old station building. Although it is not a Beatles Tribute restaurant, or anything so cheesy, they unashamedly take a lot of their inspiration from the Beatles, with pictures of the Beatles making appearances all over the place, including on the wall and in the menu.
Pop in if you are in the area; you will have a wonderful experience. By the way if you are feeling poetically inspired while eating, just ask for a black marker and find a space of wall. The walls are covered with quotes and comments from the various patrons over the years.
For a team end of year function, a few us went to the Cape Town Fish Market in Canal Walk for lunch. Because it was a fairly small group, we managed to arrange to have Teppanyaki, and to sit around the table while the chef cooked our food on the griddle in front of us.
If you can arrange a group of about 5-8 people, you can have a really great (and reasonably priced meal). The entire meal was about R110 per person (excluding drinks), and we had six courses:
- California rolls (very good)
- crab salad (excellent!)
- seaweed soup (this did not work for me, far too fishy)
- calamari (very good)
- chicken, steak or fish (I had chicken – excellent)
- a choice of dessert (like I had much space by then – ok so maybe a little)
Calamari tubes; ready to eat
The teppanyaki at the Fish Market is a little cheesy, in that the experience was more like somebody cooking a stir fry in front of me than a chef performing wizardry with his deft knife-work, however it is a very social experience. The food was great and very nicely-sized portions (except for the soup, but that was just a personal preference).
Steak, sliced into strips
This my second meal at the CTMF in a week, and it was really great! Get a group together and go out for Teppanyaki.