September 13, 2019


Tryn on Steenberg Estate Cape Town


It was with a glass of Steenberg’s prestige cuvee, 1682 Brut Chardonnay MCC, that we toasted the new-look restaurant Tryn named after Catharina Ras, who founded the estate in 1682. Losing three of her five husbands to mishaps in the wild, her feisty spirit is still lauded, and alive in the bold tones of the now contemporary restaurant.

Media and food writers gathered to celebrate chef Kerry Kilpin’s new challenge. In addition to now overseeing both restaurants she has returned from maternity leave to put this restaurant on the map. Having established herself at Bistro Sixteen82, where I personally have always loved her tapas, Tryn is where her love of global flavours has bigger plates on which to shine. I have no doubt that she will exceed expectations.

The bolder backdrop of the bar and red-and-jade private dining room are the other options, but the airy restaurant and outdoor seating is where diners will head when the sun shines. Only a media group will dub the seating ‘little pumpkins’ – small, pumpkin coloured and shaped upholstered chairs that draw your eye away from the many carefully considered, modern details before you feast them on the vineyards beyond.

We stood at the bar area, which is sure to be a popular sundowner spot, delighted to tick all the boxes of the start menu, served in tiny, bite-size portions. An array of flavours, each more piquant than the last, from oysters, scallops and prawns to a Caesar salad. Middle Eastern and Asian seasonings are discreetly evident in many of her dishes. I chose the ethically-sourced Cape bream as a main course, accompanied with a punchy aubergine parcel, butternut, coriander, harissa and rose petal.

My delightful table companions all ordered the warm chocolate and strawberry dessert with basil ice cream (small and delicate in plating yet rich in flavour) so I was noble and ordered the cheese dessert. A lot of sharing, oohs and aahs were the result.

We departed amidst compliments to the chef, with a bag of home-baked bread, cheese and pickles – more than I could manage for dinner that night! Happy to return, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as it is open seven days a week.

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