Fine food, great wines at the Cuvée Restaurant, Simonsig Wine Estate in Stellenbosch

Cuvée Restaurant - Restaurant - Stellenbosch

Cuvée Restaurant, Simonsig Wine Estate, Stellenbosch

Words: Kevin Udemans – Photos: Robyn Udemans

Located just north of Stellenbosch, the Simonsig Wine Estate, which has been owned for generations by the Malan family, occupies a special position in the history of the rise of the South African wine industry and the creation of the Stellenbosch Wine Route.

The family will forever be recognized for introducing the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel – the country’s first Méthode Cap Classique made in the classic bottle-fermented style.

Following in the footsteps of the late Frans Malan, the second and now the third generation of the Malan family is continuing the wine-making tradition at this abundant Stellenbosch farm, which is underpinned by true Cape hospitality and driven by strong family values.

A visit to its wonderful Cuvée Restaurant allows you to experience the hospitality of the Simonsig family first-hand. The sights, sounds and aromas of an early Spring Day in the Western Cape Winelands set the scene for our recent visit.

The birdsong, cooing doves, the occasional faint distant rumble of traffic on the Kromme Rhee Road (accessible from the R304 or the R44, both heading out to the north of Stellenbosch) and quiet, foreign and local chatter of guests and service staff, set a fitting, relaxing ambience for our lunchtime visit.

Cuvée Restaurant menu

On our arrival, we were met by the manager, Marcell, and waitress, Tercia, saw us to our table on the stoep (veranda). As first-time visitors to Cuvée, we requested menu recommendations and suitable wine pairings.

“Everything is good” was the friendly advice, but if they were forced to recommend, the pan-fried Line Fish of the Day and the Slow Braised Lamb Shoulder would be good choices.

So, we ordered one of each, the line fish was Cape Bass served with ratatouille, basil velouté and shoestring potatoes while the Lamb Shoulder was served with fragrant pearl barley, baby carrots and thyme and lemon lamb jus.

While we waited for our mains, we were treated to an essential Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel experience – a Brut and a Brut Rosé. We also noted the other delicious-sounding main course options of Chalmar Sirloin, Roasted Chicken Risotto and Curry Rubbed Cauliflower.

They had to be considerations for another day.

The menu also included Light Fare options of Sweet and Sour Lamb Kidneys, Homemade Tagliatelle, Slow Braised Grass-Fed Beef, Parsnip Soup and Baby Beetroot Salad.

With our main course choices, a 2017 Simonsig Chardonnay for the fish and 2016 Simonsig Redhill Pinotage for the lamb were the wine recommendations.

Tercia, who grew up on Simonsig, brought out the main dishes that had been prepared by Head Chef Sharon and her team. They did not disappoint in presentation nor in aroma and flavour. They were adequate servings of tender, moist and flavourful experiences. We made a mental note of the perfect wine pairings for our planned post-lunch wine purchases.

After a brief break to savour our mains and to again soak up the splendour of our surroundings, we chose the Flourless Chocolate Cake with Marmalade Ice Cream and Caramelized Pear and Frangelico Brûlée to accompany our espressos as decadent conclusions to our wonderful meal under the oaks surrounded by flowering Agapanthus, Clivia, Strelitzia and Plectranthus.

The birdsong continued unabated and butterflies fluttered around the garden.

The dessert choices were by no means easy. Also on offer were Bread and Butter Pudding with Crème Anglaise and Vanilla Ice Cream, Apple and Brandied Prune Crumble with Cinnamon Ice Cream and a Cheeseboard for two that included four local kinds of cheese, freshly-baked breads, crisps and homemade preserves. These too would have to wait for another day.

The Cuvée Restaurant is open 7 days a week from 8am to 11am for Breakfast, Monday to Saturday from 12 noon to 4pm for Lunch. On Sunday’s booking is essential for their Family Feast Table.

For further information and directions, www.simonsig.co.za provides all the information you need. Remember to check online because sometimes the restaurant is fully-booked with special functions and this information is provided online.

You can also call the Cuvée Restaurant on +27 76 207 8930 or +27 21 888 4932 or e-mail them at cuvee@simonsig.co.za.

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