So yesterday I had the privilege of having lunch at the beautiful Overture restaurant, situated in Hidden Valley, Stellenbosch, South Africa. This is the second time I have been there and I must say it is definitely one of my favourite restaurants in the area. The lunchroom has an ever-changing palatable menu with bright colours and excellent wine to pair. I had their rose´
champagne along with my lunch and it was amazing.
To speak of the food without acknowledging the beauty of the setting would be unjust. The balcony holds a breathtaking view of the area; complete with vineyards, mountains and lush farmland. There is a nature trail you can take on for some light hiking and seating inside and outside . The building itself is a gorgeous modern piece of architecture. Natural decor lends to a warm feel and the eatery itself is perched both on top and alongside 2 cellars. The building is completely wheelchair friendly. The staff are accommodating and offer impeccable service, and the re is a children's menu on offer (which really just be part of the normal menu - the food presentation is amazing).
As an entrée I chose ' Hunting with my father'. A beautiful combination of Impala tartar (raw meat with no fat, minced), pecan nut puree, toasted pecan nuts, and grissini (a type of crispy bread). It was very light and refreshing and the herbs used made the whole dish fresh and summery. One thing I can highly compliment is the fact that all the dishes had a gorgeous array of texture and unusual flavour combinations that just worked together.
My main meal was confit duck breast, crispy duck leg, carrot chips, cauliflower puree´, balsamic reduction, turnips. The restaurant also serves a side order with every main dish, and the special that day was honey glazed sweet potato, with seed & nut granola. The side service was the best version of a sweet potato I have ever tasted and the duck was extremely tender. I especially enjoyed the crispy skin that made that lovely crackle sound as munched on. The only thing I wasn't a fan of was the little turnips, but I have never like them, so if you don't mind them then I'm sure you will feel differently.
For my dessert I ordered a dish of Mervida White Muscadel Custard,apple chunks, peaches, meringue, guava sorbet and little gelatine shards. Although I am a big fan of custard I only managed to enjoy about half of the custard on the plate. I did finish everything in hopes that I would find something I was expecting but alas. The problem with this dish is they had soaked way too much of the muscadel into the custard, so it started to taste like vodka and cream. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a vodka dessert, but this was too much and that's coming from someone who doesn't usually say no to a glass of wine or the occasional party drink. The strange gelatine things were also not great, they were pretty tasteless but I think they were more for overall presentation than anything else. The dish as a whole was good, especially the sorbet but I would have preferred the custard to be softer tasting.
I really enjoyed the fact that I never felt too hungry or too full. The portion sizes are perfect and the restaurant always provides something to nibble on while you wait for your food. When we arrived there were 3 sleek little bowls of popcorn on the table with butter salt and a dash of biltong (like a jerky type of meat) powder. Before out starters we were served a beautiful homemade ciabatta with a frothed olive oil and some kale chips. In between dessert we were offered palate cleansers of jelly, vanilla mousse, vanilla sponge, strawberries and caramelised peanuts in a mini jar. After the full meal we had dutch speculaas biscuits and homemade toffees wrapped in rice paper - so my 'sugar free for 6 weeks' accomplishment flew out the window, but I went straight back to banting this morning again!
I would recommend this venue for tourists or anyone looking for a little something special. It's a great place to treat your loved on at for anniversaries and birthdays and it is also a great place to take older family members as a spoil - think grandma, mom, your old uncle Fred. I've heard the restaurant also does weddings, although I can imagine it being a little pricey it is beautiful and serene and if you budget doesn't allow you could always book it for a few hours just as a photo venue. The restaurant accommodates any size table and there is a wine tasting room as well. Many other restaurants lie around this one and it's a good idea to take a drive around the area if you aren't familiar with it yet. Prices start at R385 for a 3 course meal (US$27 or €25)* or a 6 Course tasting menu for R585 ($41 or €37)* (the chef will chose what to serve you and you can only order if the whole table wants to). A kids menu (main and dessert) is R100 ($7 or €6)*.
I hope you go an check out this place if you are in the area - it's really worth it.
Until next time
-The Traveling Oyster
*Prices (and exchange rates) correct at time of publication.
Here is the link to the restaurant's website: http://www.dineatoverture.co.za/index.html