This country village also offers good food, excellent wine + lots of history
Peter Tempelhoff's new Constantia restaurant beyond is sublime
Menu is fresh, plus you can relax on the lush lawns
With its great wines, beautiful tasting room with scrumptious platters on offer, on-site coffee roastery and massive, lush lawn with plenty of space for young ones to run free while parents laze in the shade of the oak trees, a visit to Buitenverwachting in the Constantia valley has always been an occasion for fun and relaxation. Peter Tempelhoff’s new restaurant, beyond, elevates the experience (Templehoff is famous for two award-winning restaurants, Greenhouse and FYN).
The look and feel is warm, elegant and natural textures.
Credit: Bruce Truck
Between my first and second visits, the menu had been refined and subtly changed, but the welcome glasses of bubbly remained the same. It’s the perfect accompaniment for an order of four oysters, presented simply with shallot vinegar, as a prelude to a sublime meal.
Oysters are always a delicious start to a meal. Here, they’re served simply.
Credit: Bianca Coleman
LET THE CHEF DECIDE
Bread is a course in and of itself, or you can splash out on a 30g dollop of caviar. If, however, your credit card is close to breaking point, there is the very reasonable option of three courses for R420 – starter, main and dessert.
For a bit more of an investment, at R650, the chef (running the kitchen is Julia du Toit) will make all the decisions for a five-course meal (three starters, main and dessert per person, on condition everyone at the table selects this option). It’s well worth the culinary journey your tastebuds will take.
Gamefish tartare with crispy furikake and tomato ponzu
Credit: Bruce Tuck
DISCOVER HARMONY AND BALANCE
The menu has been created as an homage to seasonal and sustainable ingredients, with hero dishes that are uncomplicated, utterly delicious and in harmonious balance. The Durban prawn with tandoori cauliflower steak dressed with coconut bisque, for example, is delicately in sync with the hint of sweetness from a sultana purée. The truffle-filled burrata with almost transparent slivers of organic beets, and dressed with charred peach and hazelnut crumble, has had its presentation tweaked and is a winning starter.
Game fish tartare with tomato ponzu, dusted with furikake (Japanese seasoning typically made with toasted sesame seeds, nori, salt and sugar), with ceviche vegetables on the side is a nod to the Asian elements from FYN. There are others too, awaiting discovery, although the geographical influences lean towards the European: Italy, Spain, France…
Durban tandoori cauliflower and prawn, white grape chutney and coconut bisque.
Credit: Bruce Tuck
MUST-TRY MEAT DISHES, WITH SOMETHING ON THE SIDE
Meat eaters will take enormous delight in the main courses, which include a “cut of the day” aged Limousin beef, local Ibérico pork (shoulder) and Karoo lamb chops. The pork is served with cinnamon mushrooms, tonkatsu sauce, Spanish onion and crisp dandelion leaves; the lamb is in the form of two chunky chops grilled to pink-in-the-middle perfection, with a nice bit of fat and served with miso roast aubergine perched on fennel and caper sauce.
The lamb chops are beyond delicious.
Credit: Bianca Coleman
If you’re going à la carte, do not, under any circumstance, overlook the side dishes. For a retro touch, the green salad is tossed tableside, and triple cooked chips may sound pedestrian but they are crispy and soft all at the same time, and you will have to request a second bowl of the umami aioli and Meuse – an organic farm in Hout Bay - tomato ketchup. Green beans, charred tenderstem broccoli, coriander romesco and diced pancetta make for a delicious pork on pork action with the Ibérico.
LISTEN TO THE STORIES OF THE PEOPLE
By this point you will have been seduced by impeccable service, excellent food and stories from the staff. Sommelier Donovan Ravell will not only guide you through the extensive and superb wine list (which includes some gems under the title “Lost And Forgotten”) that is pages long, but will relate how his grandparents came to Buitenverwachting in 1960, decades before the farm was bought by its current owners. He grew up in the vineyards and the cellar before following his calling to become a sommelier. Ravell worked with Tempelhoff at Greenhouse and FYN, and has now come full circle. It’s like coming home, he says: “My blood is in the soil.”
beyond’s sommelier Donovan Ravell has his roots in this farm
Image: Bianca Coleman
INDULGE YOUR NOT-TOO-SWEET TOOTH
And so, on to dessert. It’s not easy. Dark berries and consommé with spiced cherry sorbet and roast white chocolate namelaka, rum-braised pineapple with caramelised puff pastry and coconut blossom ice cream, or roast pear cream choux bun with elderflower honeycomb and walnut ice cream? All excellent, but top of the pops is the not-too-sweet Madagascan chocolate-and-coffee roll with parsnip-crème fraiche ice cream and parsnip crisps. It sounds crazy, but it works – innovative and exciting.
The roast pear cream choux bun with elderflower honeycomb and walnut ice cream.
Credit: Bruce Tuck
WHERE TO FIND BEYOND
Address: Buitenverwachting Wine Farm, 37 Klein Constantia Road, Constantia
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 12pm-3pm + 7pm-9.30pm; Sunday, 12pm-3pm (last reservation 2.30pm)
Escape the city for a picnic lunch at Little Stream Farmhouse Deli.
Be the first to know about Cape Town’s best and newest restaurants.
Once you’ve done beyond, here are some more eateries to try in Constantia.
There are also wonderful hikes in the area. Here’s one that’s manageable.
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