The Table at De Meye Wine farm – what a wonderful surprise!
Alert to all those who still think Cape Town is a uniquely summer destination: we are having some amazing winter weather!
And one of the joys of being Cape Town bound in the supposedly wet and windy months is that you can get out at the drop of the hat. No fighting for reservations, no traffic jams. So this weekend with the help of Zomato (which promises to be the foodies’ new online bible), we tried something new. Intrigued by the concept of a set menu to take all the ordering anxiety out of our overstressed lives, the promise of a table under the trees in the garden, and the recommendation of Zomato we decided to give it a whirl. It’s only a hop and skip from Cape Town just off the Old Paarl Road between Paarl and Stellenbosch. Twenty five minutes from the airport. Nothing could be simpler.
Four handsome dogs, including a Ridgeback bitch were on hand to welcome us as we turned into the unassuming driveway. In front of the main house on an expansive lawn were all of half a dozen tables under the shade of the trees. It seemed immediately obvious that we had stumbled across a perfect rustic idyll. The sense of peace and harmony was complete. So much so that one young couple who must have already finished their lunch were stretched out on a picnic blanket next to their table and seemed to be having a nap. We felt as if we had stumbled onto something of a well-kept secret. We found ourselves talking in hushed tones.
After we’d been given drinks, the charming Luke – one half of this brilliant culinary couple who run the restaurant as out of their own home kitchen – wandered over to explain that there was a set menu. One starter, one main, one dessert. He certainly didn’t seem apologetic about it. Indeed there was something reassuring about his air of quiet certainty that it was going to be as good as anything we’d had in a long time. And it was actually as good as anything I can remember having in the winelands ever. No more, no less.
The starter was a double baked souffle with goats cheese and those funny Japanese mushrooms. It was quite simply perfection. The bread was brilliant and the olives were off the charts. The main course was a slow cooked lamb neck with butternut and carrots. Delicious, nutritious, simply ridiculous. Served with two salads. Apple and cale. Beetroot and rocket. The dessert was a panacotta, grapefruit ice cream, almond nougatine and pastry. Or at least I think it all was. It was quite simply off the charts.
So as we left (confiding to Luke, perhaps stupidly, that he should be charging more for this amazing experience), we felt torn between broadcasting our discovery from the rooftops and keeping the secret to ourselves. Oh well, no good in that. If you get the chance then go, go, go…
Well done to Jessica and Luke.