The Greenhouse

If ever there was a dining experience to have, then The Greenhouse in Constantia would certainly be it. Not only is the pristine Cellars-Hohenort estate – the farm on which the eatery is situated – a dream, but the gastronomic delights of Cape Town’s first Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef, Peter Tempelhoff, and his talented team are out of this world.

Dishes are drenched in whimsy, as you snack on an amuse-boucheof Bloody Mary macaroons with a spicy Tabasco-like finish, then spread your bread with balsamic and rooibos-infused butter and lather it with a garden-inspired dip of spinach and basil mousse, accompanied by edible soil made of nuts and grains.

Here, the tasting menus are inspired by the bountiful local produce and diverse cultures of South Africa. The three tasting menus and à la carte menu, expertly paired with superb wines from the surrounding wine region, will impress even the most seasoned of diners.

If you’re in the mood for a fresh and light start to the meal, order the game fish sashimi with prawn and sticky-rice salad, pickled ginger, tobiko, white soy and grape gazpacho. This dish is as beautiful as it is delightful. If you are in the mood for something a bit more decadent and complex, go for the chilled aerated foie gras with onion sherbet, marmalade and pickled raspberries and celery. Every bite is a discovery and, above all, a pleasure.

The rare Wagyu beef served with soba noodles, crispy shrimp heads, pickled bamboo, togarashi, beef and dashi tea really pops with robust flavour. The best part is the dashi. As it’s poured into your bowl at the table, it fills the air with its rich and tangy aroma. The hibiscus-glazed pork belly, served with poached plums, young coconut jellies, tender-stem broccoli, and toasted sesame seeds, provides your palette with a tantalizing variety of textures and tastes. From the crispness of the belly to the sweet and syrupy taste of the smooth, poached plums – this is a very balanced dish.

Moving swiftly on to the delicate sesame-crusted kabeljou tournedos, exotically paired with a perlemoen-pap dumpling, soused cucumber, sweet-chilli jam and grilled leeks, which refreshes after the pork belly’s richness. The pan-seared winelands duck breast with honey saffron-poached turnips, braised cabbage, cider apples and duck pie is comforting and unctuous.

Finish with the creamy, delectable Camembert cheese cake (presented as a wheel of Camembert) served with roast pineapple ice cream and compote, pine-nut biscotti melba and finished with sage. Wow, this really blew my mind. Both the presentation and the taste are elevated way above your ordinary coffee-shop cheesecake.

For patrons seeking a light, palette-cleansing end to the meal, order the white chocolate and strawberry mousse, which consists of spring-pea ice-cream and marshmallows, strawberry and mint spheres, poppy seed and lemon.

The Greenhouse has limited seating for just 45 people, which makes the experience so much more exclusive. My advice: linger over every bite. It’s a very unique culinary journey.

OPENING TIMES

Tuesday – Saturday

Dinner: 7pm – 9.30pm

Book here: restaurantres@cellars-hohenort.co.za

Phone: +27-21-794-2137

Originally posted on Marie Claire

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