At Hartford House, on the Summerhill Stud farm near Mooi River old-world charm, stables and the colonial stone house take you back in time. The cuisine, however, is here and now.
Chef Chris Papayannes offers an artisanal take on food by staying away from ‘flashy’ ingredients. It’s all about telling an African story so that both local and international guests get to experience the locality of the ingredients on the plate. From the sourcing of sustainable ingredients to nouvelle plating, it’s a treat for the intellect and the senses.
The six-course tasting menu changes daily and Chris introduces the menu to diners by explaining his thought process behind each dish. Techniques are contemporary and flavours are exciting – like farm duck served with Szechuan pepper ham, parfait and fermented fruits and Midlands rabbit stuffed with leeks, served with burnt aubergine, bacon and malt-pickled veg.
Dishes are playful and some are a work of art served on earthy ceramic plates. After making his way from front-of-house into the kitchen, Chris has worked with some of the finest winelands chefs – where his passion for food was ignited. Chris wants the dining experience to be unlike anything else in the world. He’s experimenting with sous vide and loves cooking on open coals – to add smokiness that truly reflects South African heritage.
“What inspires me is the simplicity of what’s possible with food without overcomplicating things – using a few ingredients and just letting them shine.” Chef Chris Papayannes
Address: Hlatikulu Road, Mooi River, 3300
Phone: 033 2632713