Soak up the verdant surroundings of the Vineyard Hotel in the leafy southern suburbs before witnessing the combined talents of experienced executive chef Mike Bassett, and chef Germaine Esau, who has joined him after growing up and working in the winelands.
There is infinite attention to detail. Breads are served on a hot cushion, and service is attentive. Tuck into robust dishes in winter like the slow-cooked beef tongue with a carrot cake purée, pickled sultanas, bloomed mustard and mustard emulsion. The hake rarebit with broccoli, chilli cheese croquettes and chicken truffle sauce is excellent too. The chicken ballantine with sun choke, Newlands wild mushroom and hay-smoked artichoke velouté will transport your taste buds to the depths of Newlands Forest nearby – robust and earthy. In summer expect a reflection of the season – perhaps the pina colada, Riesling-poached pineapple with coconut, lime, coriander sherbet and a pineapple curd, a great contrast of flavours that will surprise your palate throughout the meal.
No stranger to awards and accolades, Germaine’s light touch, classical training as a pastry chef and attention to technique is obvious, seen in dishes like his unique version of a French onion soup, a creamy, modern interpretation of the classic. He loves cooking with seafood, inspired not only by food but by music, movies, art and nature.
“Rather than cooking with too many ingredients, or overworking them, I choose to highlight natural and seasonal flavours.” Chef Germaine Esau
Address: 60 Colinton Road, Newlands, Cape Town, 7700
Phone: 021 657 4545