De Warenmarkt in Stellenbosch has everything you need under one historic roof – deli, kitchen, wine bar, MCC and oyster bar, and a stable of what they call purveyors – coffee, fresh juice, a bakery, crepes and waffles, and a butcher.
In the centre are tables and chairs where you can sit down for a quick coffee or a meal and said purveyors line the perimeter. Deluxe Coffee is the first one on your left as you enter and should need no introduction to aficionados. It’s followed by Juice Revolution and its variety of cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies to make you feel clean and healthy from the inside out; sweet or savoury crepes and waffles from For The Love Of Yummyness ((CORR)); the Grab & Go deli, and aromatic breads at Manos Bakery.
The butcher is Ryan Boon, where you can pick up some amazing cuts of meat at very reasonable prices. Once you’ve chosen what you want from the display, it is weighed and vacuum-packed. There’s also fabulous wet fatty biltong, my favourite. Whoever’s manning the counter can offer expert advice as well, if you’re can’t tell your sirloin from your rump.
At the deli, stock up on olives, oils, vinegars, spice rubs, cheeses and jams for the pantry, a rotisserie chicken for an easy family dinner, a quick salad or sandwich on the run, or a bunch of flowers to brighten your home. Proteas are very big in the winelands at the moment – I’ve seen them everywhere in the past few weeks – and they last forever in a vase.
Should you happen to have entered through the other door, the Kaapse Vonkel MCC And Oyster Bar will be on your right and it’s a good place to immediately sit down for a refreshing glass of bubbles and hangover-killing oysters.
South Africa’s first Méthode Cap Classique, Simonsig, is exclusively paired with fresh cultivated Saldanha Bay oysters. Have them au naturel, priced according to size, or garnished…two each with hibiscus vinegar and shallots, a Thai dressing, and chorizo crumble. I swear these are what set my day back on track. Or it could have been the spicy Thai Mary oyster shooter…
Just behind the bubbly and oyster bar is the new Simon Wine Bar, which is inside what was once the police station in the old days, a heritage building dating back about 300 years. It’s very much about the wines of Stellenbosch where you can enjoy flights, or special wine tastings themed around certain varietals. Or just relax with a glass or bottle, with a sharing platter or some tapas.
Which brings me to The Kitchen. Operating alongside the individual purveyors, De Warenmarkt’s own offerings include salads, sandwiches, tostadas, flatbreads, light meals and snacks, burgers, main meals and platters, and pastries, as well as breakfast. As if this is not enough, there are a few daily blackboard specials, one of which is an extremely popular Banting burger so it should be making a regular appearance.
It’s utterly fabulous – and huge – with bacon, avo, cheese and onion marmalade to go along with the patty, and it almost defeated me.
Another great thing to have is Ryan Boon’s Butcher’s Cut – wander over to the counter, select your steak or whatever, and pay according to weight. Then, for R60, the kitchen will prepare it to your liking. Add a sauce for R20, and a side dish for R35. I recommend the braised baby gem lettuce; it sounds a little weird but with mustard vinaigrette and pecorino, it’s delicious.
* De Warenmarkt is at 20 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch.
Call 021 883 2274, or visit www.dewarenmarkt.com for more information.
Trading hours are from 7am until 11pm, Mondays to Saturdays; and 9am till 3pm on Sundays. Please note, not all vendors are open during these hours; full details for each are on the website.
More fine dining reviews by Bianca Coleman : Mother City Fine Dining