With Christmas only a few days away, many people around the city are still deciding how to celebrate. Going for Christmas lunch at a good restaurant is a much easier alternative to slaving away in the kitchen for two days before the special day. Here are some Christmas lunch ideas that promise to tickle the taste buds and that shouldn’t be too hard on the pocket.
The Royal Restaurant in Riebeek Kasteel
Venture into olive country for your 2013 Christmas lunch and enjoy a truly festive meal at the Royal Hotel’s restaurant in Riebeek Kasteel, which is just an hour from Cape Town.
The colonial classic’s Head Chef Francois du Toit has put together a modern Christmas menu with traditional twists that’s sure to satisfy even the stuffiest of turkeys. The five-course offering starts out with little Prawn and Crayfish Croquettes ,which is followed by a fresh Smoked Salmon Carpaccio with Slow-roasted Tomato, Cranberries, Orange Segments and Coriander and drizzled with a Soy and Lemon dressing.
Be sure to leave room for dessert. Eggnog Crème Brûlée with Fruitcake Melba Toast and Vanilla Pod and Hazelnut Ice Cream rounds off the meal on a sweet note.
Kids dining at The Royal Restaurant can order their Christmas meal from a kiddie’s a la carte menu, and those with special dietary needs should call ahead so adjustments can be made accordingly.
* For more information, call 022 448 1378.
Grande Roche Hotel
From its hidden spot in the Cape Winelands town of Paarl, the renowned eatery is serving up a traditional spread as well as some kid-friendly entertainment. While marvelling at the vista, patrons can enjoy a variety of appetisers, like Cold Smoked Graved Salmon, Classic Roast Beef or Free-range Chicken Galantine. What’s more, the menu offers some enticing vegetarian starter options, like Mixed Baby Saladini Mix, Chilled Gazpacho and a range of soups.
For the main course, the festive nosh includes classic dishes, some uniquely South African, more gourmet options and house specialties.
The dessert menu provides ample options for anyone with a sweet tooth. Nothing says ‘holiday spirit’ like the classic Eggnog Panna Cotta, the Raspberry Trifle, or the Classic Baked Alaska.
* Visit www.granderoche.co.za.
Crystal Towers Restaurant
With a passionate kitchen maestro for a head chef and imaginative seasonal fare on offer from the à la carte menu, the Towers Restaurant is not your average hotel dining room. Rather, the Northern Suburbs culinary hotspot dishes up cuisine in a luxury setting.
The starters alone are enough to fill up on, with nibbles like steamed prawn and tomato shooters, smoked salmon trout roses, beef carpaccio with rocket and an entire selection of sushi to choose from.
For the main meal, diners can go for traditional Christmas eats from the carvery: there’s the whole roast turkey with thyme stuffing, cranberry sauce and pork and apple chipolatas; the fruit-stuffed shoulder of lamb with mint sauce and the honey and lime-glazed gammon. Pair these with the hot selection of sides – think baked cauliflower and broccoli au gratin, basmati rice and roast vegetables – and you’ll be good to go
If you’ve managed to save some room for dessert, you can top up your belly with a range of miniature sweets, like individual Christmas puddings with warm brandied custard or mince pies, for a perfect finish to a perfect meal.
* Visit www.africanpridehotels.co.za.
Lunch Buffet at African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel
This open-plan restaurant offers patrons a luxury setting in which to dine on gourmet starters, like Asparagus Spears Wrapped in Smoked Springbok, Chive Aioli, Duck Liver Crème Brûlèe with Apple Chutney, Pecan Nut Brioche and Port Poached Pears, Gorgonzola and Candied Walnut Salad, to name a few. What’s more, the banquet offers seafood and sushi lovers a spread that includes fresh Shucked Oysters, Lemon and Sauce Mignonette, Salmon Sashimi Pickled Ginger and Daikon, Prawns and Avocado Cocktail with Sauce Marie Rose and much more.
The menu is full of meaty and vegetarian-friendly entrées, such as Hazelnut-crusted Beef Fillet Mignon, Wild Mushroom Casserole and Fondant Potatoes, Roast Turkey with Pecan Nut and Rosemary Stuffing, Bourbon and Maple-glazed Smoked Pork Loin, Baked Eggplant, Mozzarella, Grana Padano and Pomodoro Sauce and Glazed Spring Vegetables with Basil.
The aptly named sweet corner offers those with a sweet tooth a range of treats that includes traditional Christmas desserts, something for the cake and chocolate lover and even a selection of local and international cheeses with spiced nuts and preserves.
* Visit www.africanpridehotels.co.za.
Dornier Bodega Restaurant
Housed in a Cape Dutch-style barn, the wine estate restaurant dishes up farm cuisine with a modern twist. So, spend your Christmas in Stellenbosch and tuck into this special eatery’s festive five-course lunch while drinking in the estate’s architecture and scenery.
The meal starts with roasted Turkey with Pork and Sage Stuffing Spring Rolls with Gravy and Cranberry Dipping Sauce. The main course includes traditional delicacies such as sticky Pork Neck with Rosemary and Garlic New Potatoes and Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables. Dessert won’t disappoint with a selection of traditional Christmas treats such as Bakewell Tart with Real Vanilla Ice Cream and German Christmas Stollen with Vanilla Cream.
* Visit www.dornier.co.za.