Let’s hear a big hooray for winter! It’s the best time of the year for foodies as restaurants all over Cape Town and the winelands roll out their seasonal specials to entice you out of your home.
Chef Kerry Kilpin has put together an amazing and well-priced menu, with plenty of choices, at Steenberg’s trendy Bistro Sixteen82, which we went to sample on Day Two last week. No pressure, Kerry, and no problem; it delivered on every level. The Hearty & Homely menu is available Mondays to Fridays until September 30, excluding public holidays. From R230 for two courses, R265 for three or R295 for a four course meal, this is winter value at its best.
For the first course, choose between broccoli and roasted onion soup, pickled fish, or goats’ cheese panna cotta. Mom had the fish, served with avo mousse, coriander, rouille and crispy wonton; and I had the panna cotta, which was divine. The creamy soft cheese was balanced in texture and flavour with a slightly sweet piece of tuile, baby beetroot and radish, and we were off to a great start.
For main course we ordered the daily sustainable fish of the day with mushroom and corn croquettes and prawn bisque, and the dreamily soft fish fritters surrounded by Asian flavours. All the fish dishes that day used Cape bream, part of a non-profit community-driven initiative as Steenberg’s Bistro Sixteen82 and ABALOBI are pioneering South Africa’s first restaurant-supported fishery that supplies sustainable and traceable premium quality seafood caught by small-scale local fishers.
It’s more and more important every day to consider where our food comes from and the impact it has on the planet. Sourcing seafood that is ecologically responsible and socially fair is the crux of this ground-breaking pilot project. The partnership between traditional fishers, ABALOBI (www.abalobi.info), WWF-Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (wwfsassi.co.za/) and Bistro Sixteen82, provides fishing communities on the western and southern Cape coast with a better price for their fish and livelihood for their families. The direct route from boat to plate ensures sustainability both for the fisher folk and for the resource.
Other main course options are pulled beef and ricotta gnocchi (which the people at the next table said was delicious), and a risotto of the day.
You absolutely must save space for dessert. Mom loved the yoghurt mousse with elements of refreshing citrus, and my chocolate choux was yet another symphony of textures, and I finished every morsel with zero regrets. The third choice is a rich and comforting caramelised apple bread and butter pudding.
In other news, while Steenberg’s fine dining restaurant, Catharina’s, is closed during winter for renovations (reopening in September), so Bistro Sixteen82 will by flying the flag for visitors to the farm, with several great dining options from morning till night.
The Vintner’s Breakfast (R195 a person) includes a glass of Steenberg bubbly with your choice of signature classics on the breakfast menu including Kilpin’s famous eggs Benedict, as well as tea or coffee. It’s available Mondays to Saturdays until October 31, from 9am and ends with a classic wine tasting and cellar tour at 11am.
The chef’s special Tapas Menu Selection of five tapas dishes for R325 for two people sharing is ideal as an early supper every day of the week between 5pm and 8pm until September 30. This is the perfect after work indulgence with your choice of top notch Steenberg bubblies and wines.
* Bistro Sixteen82 is open seven days a week. The Vintners Breakfast and Hearty & Homely lunch menu are available for tables of up to 10 people. To book (which is essential, judging by the full and buzzing vibe we encountered – a joy to behold), call 021 713 2211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bistro Sixteen82 also offers a full à la carte menu as well as dedicated vegetarian, vegan and children’s menus. For more information, visit www.steenbergfarm.com/bistro1682 and follow @bistro1682 on Twitter, or Steenberg Farm on Instagram and Facebook.
By Bianca Coleman