Just over 3 weeks ago, my sister and I were spoilt to a 4 course tasting menu at Terroir restaurant on Kleine Zalze estate. We were seated inside the relaxed restaurant, close to a fireplace with the most beautiful view of the estate.
Upon arrival we were treated to an elegant glass of Kleine Zalze 2011 vintage brut. The delicate and full-bodied 2011 Vintage Brut was accompanied by smoked olives, red wine butter and baked bread. By far, this was the best smoked olives I’ve ever tasted. My sister and I finished the entire bowl of olives. The texture of the red butter was smooth, delightful and the taste was superb! The red wine butter is topped with a sprinkle of salt which enhances the flavour of the butter. A healthy serving of butter smothered on freshly baked bread with smoked olives and Vintage Brut, does life get any better?
After finishing the olives, our waitron presented a chalkboard with a simple handwritten menu, which they left beside the table so we could use as a point of reference. Multi award-winning chef Michael Broughton is inspired by simple dishes influenced by what’s in season and, where possible, the use of locally grown fresh produce. We opted for the 4 course tasting menu and chose 1 starter, 2 mains and a dessert (Side note: the portions of the tasting menu are slightly bigger than a starter portion but smaller than a main portion). For starters I chose the stilton soufflé with celery, pear and lacquered pecan nuts (paired with Kleine Zalze Sauvignon Blanc). What a beautiful dish! The richness of the cheese with the sweet pear and celery melted in my mouth. I really enjoyed the nuttiness from the pecan combined with the soufflé. The perfect comfort food for winter! The Sauvignon Blanc paired perfectly with the soufflé as I could pick up fruity notes of kiwi and gooseberries in the wine. Such an elegant and fresh wine!
After completing our starter, we were presented with the first main course. An inspiring curried cauliflower agnolotti with sauce soubise and romanesco broccoli was served (paired with 2015 Kleine Zalze Chenin Blanc). When the dish arrived, I literally just wanted to stare at it and take pictures at every angle. The agnolotti was delicious! That hint of spice cuts through the creaminess of the sauce and I enjoyed the fresh broccoli. Care and emphasis is placed on matching the food to a specific wine. The food was paired with Kleine Zalze Chenin Blanc: a creamy and fresh wine with an earthy finish, it’s officially my favourite!
At this point, I was already full and requested a break before serving the next course. When we were ready for main #2, the waitron served the smoked duck breast, chestnut puree, orange, sesame and pak choi (paired with Kleine Zalze Shiraz). Now I’ve had duck breast before, but only a few chefs have served such tender and delicious duck breast. I particularly enjoyed the sesame and orange flavours with the duck. The pak choi provided an element of freshness and helped balance the rich flavours. Absolutely delightful! The Shiraz paired well with the duck breast as the rich dish needed a bold wine to stand up to it.
After we completed our 2nd main, my sister and I asked the waitron if we could sit outside and enjoy our dessert there. Both spaces, inside and outside Terroir restaurant is relaxed and unpretentious. Children were running around, playing in the garden (a few steps down) whilst their parents could keep a watchful eye over them at all times. I know my nephews would really enjoy the space outside! My sister and I walked around in the garden and sat beside the water fountain, it was quite relaxing. Thereafter, we ordered dessert. I opted for the caramelized apple with maple and oat crunch, miso and caramel ice cream (served with dessert wine). The dessert was decadent and downright delicious! The pastry was crisp, even 30 minutes later, it didn’t become soggy. A delightful ending to an amazing dining experience.
My sister Celeste order the following items below, she also wrote a short piece about her experience at Kleine Zalze.
Starter: House smoked Norwegian salmon, served with Nicola potatoes and green gazpacho.
Main 1: Seared line fish with grapefruit Beurre blanc, pickled sardines, and fermented garlic aioli.
Main 2: Dry aged Angus beef sirloin, brisket croustillant, smoked bone marrow, mushroom sauce.
Dessert: Chocolate with coffee, caramel and whisky ice cream.
There’s nothing pretentious about Terroir restaurant. They serve food that shows off local produce paired well with different wines. From the time that we were welcome to the time we left … consistently great service is what comes to mind. Seating us was seamless (who likes standing around while the host tries to figure out where you should go). I decided the theme of the day was fresh and clean (perhaps the calming culture at the restaurant gently influenced by choices on a subconscious level). Our complimentary bread, homemade butter and olives started the feast. Why? Because at Terroir restaurant, they SMOKE their olives. Oh my gosh, stop the music. Did someone say SMOKE? Yes, and it was delicious. My first meal will go down as one of the most heavenly food experiences I’ve had. As a salmon lover, I wanted to ”lick the plate”. Yes, it was that good. The combination of gazpacho, salmon and Nicola potatoes was perfect. The flavours really worked well together.
It would not be fair if I didn’t speak about the excellent customer service! The waitrons and restaurant manager are extremely attentive to all guests. The friendly staff are passionate about their work, knowledgeable on ALL their products, able to “read” the guests, they are patient and professional at all times. We were treated with the same level of service from the time we stepped onto the estate until we left.
The restaurant is located on Kleine Zalze wine farm, surrounded by the most beautiful vineyards, in Stellenbosch.
The atmosphere of Terroir restaurant is both sophisticated, unpretentious and relaxed. The 4 four-course tasting menu is priced at R395 per person without wine, R495 with wine. Terroir restaurant is open for lunch from Tuesday to Sunday (12h00 to 14h30) and for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday (18h30 to 21h00). To make a reservation, call 021 880 8167 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that Terroir restaurant will be closed for their annual Winter break from 3 -24 July and re-opening on 25 July 2017.
What a special dining experience at Terroir restaurant, I cannot wait to go back! Thank you to Manley Communications for treating my sister and I.
Love and light,