Terroir Restaurant at Kleine Zalze

Terroir Restaurant at Kleine Zalze Wine Farm

Lunch: 12h00 - 14h30 Monday to Sunday
Dinner: 6h30 - 9h30 Monday to Saturday
 
+27 (0)21 - 8808 167
Strand Road (R44) | Stellenbosch
www.kleinezalze.com
terroir@kleinezalze.co.za
@kleine_zalze
Kleine Zalze

Terroir Restaurant at Kleine Zalze Wine Farm

A closer look at this Stellenbosch eatery’s recipe for success

Terroir restaurant’s Michael Broughton is the kind of man that refuses to settle for what most of us accept as life’s little inevitabilities. Self-trained, and with the pluck to abandon a former hotel management career that he devoted nearly a decade to building, the Kleine Zalze wine farm eatery’s head chef wages wars on all fronts: he fights the notion of boring macaroni and cheese with rhubarb and truffle oil, the staple ‘it’s chicken for dinner tonight’ by often omitting the white meat from his menu entirely, and the perception that Stellenbosch has to play second fiddle to Franschhoek on a culinary level with consistent appearances within South Africa’s top 10 restaurant ranking. 

“There are only two rules here [at Terroir]: you have to keep your shirt on, and you have to pay your bills,” explains Kleine Zalze’s Marketing Manager Wynand van Schalkwyk in good humour and in further support of Michael’s knack for rubbing, somewhat discreetly, against the grain. 

While Terroir’s litany of awards, its heavily European-inspired menu and its home on the esteemed Stellenbosch winery’s grounds may beg, justify, even demand, a certain degree of pretention, Michael has been adamant about instating the exact opposite. 

 The restaurant’s ambience is decidedly informal, and its decor and design simple and without ostentation (unless you count the views of the champion De Zalze Golf Course cascading below as gaudy wall art).

As we walk through the doors for Tuesday lunch, a time slot that you’d assume would be as quiet as a church mouse in a library, it’s clear from the nearly full interior that integrity lays in the food and in the service.

Bistro-style chalkboards bearing today’s menu are circulating through the bustling eatery, a crackling hearth is lending an extra air of warmth to the already jovial atmosphere and immaculately-plated, mouth-watering dishes are making their way from kitchen to table in a staccato of precision. 

“You’d be amazed by how many people can spend a workweek afternoon eating and drinking and having a good time,” Wynand offers up as an answer to my bemused smile at how full the eatery is at an hour when cricket chirping is the standard sound in even the busiest of city centre venues. “In summer, people come for a wine tasting, stay for lunch and then spend the rest of the day having a nap on the lawn under the ancient oak trees.”

A course of action that feels entirely obvious after a quick glance at Michael’s offering for the day.

From the oxtail ravioli starter with home-cured bacon, celeriac and petit pois to the springbok pie main with sweet potato and red wine, rich cuisine with a pronounced depth of flavour prevails at Terroir.

“Back in 1995 I picked up a cookbook by Nico Ladenis; I stayed up until nearly 7am the next morning reading it cover to cover, and still, to this day, it remains my major inspiration,” recounts the Terroir head chef nearly two decades later. 

Michael’s revelation was rooted in the simplicity, restraint and precision that he observed in Ladenis’s French cooking style, and since, he’s developed something of a reputation for masterful sauces and food that manages to be ‘deceptively simple’ yet unquestionably bold and complex: my main of roasted belly of pork with a rhubarb and truffle mac is an artful example.

Plated with a shock of sauce made to resemble orange peel, the dish is a mosaic of perfectly balanced flavour bursts. The pork – with a textbook crispness on top and a succulent tenderness beneath –  melts in your mouth, and the macaroni and cheese (a staple that I’d previously thought was best enjoyed out of a box) is heavenly, with an edge of sharpness that’s amiably rounded out by the earthy hints of the rhubarb and truffle.

Complemented by a nearly comprehensive list of Kleine Zalze’s award-winning wine range – we’ve opted for the much-touted Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc – the menu changes both seasonally and depending on the response from customers. 

More permanent, though, is Michael’s insistence on sourcing local ingredients - “We really only import our foie gras, truffles and scallops,” he reports - an ethos that, since the restaurant’s opening in 2004, has levied a fair amount of time in the spotlight.

Similarly, Michael’s instrumental role in kickstarting the food revolution in Stellenbosch has also garnered a heavy helping of acclaim. Much like Kleine Zalze’s co-owner Kobus Basson’s effort to establish a Winelands “destination” (not just a winery), Terroir has also been a trailblazer in the way that it looked to reinvent the region as a legitimate contender on the national gastronomy front. 

These days, there’s a whole host of wine farms in the area that have followed suit, now boasting on-site restaurants designed to accompany housemade reds and whites.

Though, even having spearheaded a movement and having seemingly cemented a space among South Africa’s top culinary minds (he even recently had a cameo on MasterchefSA), Michael, and Terroir, aren’t letting up. 

“As a chef, I’m always looking forward to a new flavour, a new style,” he explains when quizzed about what plans he has for the future.

So, no matter when you come, nor how far you’ve travelled, one thing remains: at Terroir you can rest assured that you won’t be having something you can cook at home (even though the deceptively simple dishes may seem like something you could serve up on a quiet Monday night).

Tip: From June until the end of September, Terroir offers diners the chance to apply the kitchen’s “less is more” mantra to the bank balance as well. The restaurant’s winter special affords two-course and three-course selections at discounted prices of R175 and R198 respectively. Also, conveniently, Kleine Zalze has a four-star country lodge on the property; thus, if you indulge beyond the point of no return, book a room and stay the night.

Price: High quality food demands equally high prices. Thus, expect to fork out between R55 and R65 for a starter and approximately R125 for a main. The chef’s signature dishes will cost a little more: R75 for a starter and R175 for a main. Though, it’s well worth it!

---

Keen to make an evening out of it? Why not stay overnight at Kleine Zalze wine farm

---

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle and check out our Pinterest boards for updates.

Cape Town Events Calendar
December 2018
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31

Camissa Tour 5 2015Get A Unique Sunday Gospel Experience ...

Embark on a spiritual Sunday journey through one of the Mother City’s most soulful ...

LaParada20Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials ...

Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials with Happy Hour At La Parada

TigersMilk10Test Your Knowledge At Tiger’s Milk ...

Get a group together and put your general knowledge to the test every Tuesday

Santa's Village V&A WaterfrontV&A Waterfront Opens Santa’s Village ...

Flying in from the North Pole, Santa will be in Cape Town to see if kids have been ...

Panasonic_Siya_360% Off On Electronics at NEW Panasonic ...

Do your Christmas shopping at the all-new Panasonic pop-up store at Panasonic House in ...

Om Revolution vinyasa poseHave an Outdoor Yoga Experience with ...

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

Botane Skin Actives New Images 2Get 20% Off BOTANē Skin Actives ...

Simplified skin health for less in store this holiday season

pinelands_marketGet Festive At Pinelands Craft & Gift ...

Free entry to this market brimming with delicious food and good quality, well-priced ...

Summer Glice Rink Mini Neon Pop-up Summer Ice Skating ...

You read that right, kids can go ice skating in summer

Galilieo_RupertSaturday Nights at The Galileo Open Air ...

Kick back, sip wine and relax with a country movie screening experience

Langarm The Fugard Theatre 5Award-winning David Kramer Brings ...

Some of South Africa’s most established stage performers take to the stage in this ...

Haskell Vineyards 3Save On A Gourmet Food and Syrah Wine ...

Sip the renowned wines and taste delicious gourmet food from Haskell Vineyards

OX boat rides 110% Off: See The Marine Big 5 on an ...

Whales, dolphins, penguins, cape fur seals and mola mola (sunfish), an awesome boat trip ...

legends_live_in_concertCelebrate The Music Legends All On One ...

A talented 10-piece cast impersonates music legends to perfection

Roast and Co Daily: Two Hours of 2-For-1 Specials at ...

Plus: Half-price on all “To Share” plates – see what’s on the menu here

date night hq#HQDateNight: Served in Pairs, for Pairs

Planning a date or even for catching up with a mate? You’ll want to check out ...

Coco Safar 17Save on a Delicious Prix Fixe Lunch At ...

Make it worthwhile with luxury set menu lunches from Coco Safar

KewpieAn Inspiring Message of Diversity and ...

The vibrant diversity of District Six comes alive with an exhibition about a famously ...

Kaapse Stories at The Rockwell TheatreDinner and a Show with Rockwell Theatre

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. What happens in Cape Town gets told to your mom, ...

Cape Culinary Tours Valentine's Day InclusionTake a Bite into History with Cape Town ...

Learn about Cape Town’s past while savouring local cuisine with these informative ...

Cape Town Culinary Tours - 52-For-1 Special with Cape Town Culinary ...

Cape Town Culinary Tours offers you 241TUESDAYS every week until the end of 2018 – use ...

Just Like Papa 1Just Like Papa: The Ultimate Place to ...

Finally, there’s a place in Cape Town where you can get exceptional home, camping, ...

Radisson Blu 11City Luxury Meets a Winelands Escape In ...

The best of both worlds: Spend two days like a king with excellent food, wine and ...

Le Bonheur 12Get a 20% Discount on Accommodation at ...

Le Bonheur Reptiles and Adventures offers patrons a 20% discount when they stay at this ...

Arcade Cafe 5Get 2 for 1 Pizza and Cocktails at ...

Save on your lunch and tuck into delicious pizzas and cocktails at this Bree Street ...

Mischu 11Get a 30% Discount on Coffee Capsules ...

Save on brewing delicious coffee from the comfort of your own home with a discount on ...

Pizza Sgt pepperDouble Tuesday Pizza Special at Sgt ...

Let the good times roll at this favourite Cape Town music haunt

Ubuntu Climbs 365 3How Many Hikes Up Table Mountain Does ...

A hike a day gets the funds raised. This guy is hiking Table Mountain every single day of ...

whale wine and wors wine flies logoWhale, Wine and Wors Tours with Wine ...

Hop on board a fun-filled minibus and explore the hidden gems of the Western Cape

Cherry Picking Ceres Klondyke Farm 3Cherry On Top: Klondyke Kicks Off ...

Pick your cherries and eat them too at this family-friendly cherry farm in Ceres

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

Manga Sushi 22-for-1 Sushi Special at Manga ...

Save on sashimi, salmon roses and more every Tuesday at this contemporary Asian fusion ...

Excentric HairTransformation Tuesday at Excentric ...

Receive a complimentary Olaplex treatment when booking a single or double colour process, ...

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.