The restaurant on this gorgeous wine farm is getting very serious about food.
Two words. Confit Duck. Three letters. OMG.
Ja, for a second there I also thought I was going to try and get away with a one line review... but the truth is the stupendous duck was not the only terribly wonderful thing to happen to me as I sat next to my perennial food date @RelaxwithDax, enjoying a marvellous lunch at Glen Carlou.
(That strip of the Simondium road between Paarl and Franschoek is a little highway of food heaven, isn’t it?)
Tremendous, sweeping views as you eat – but it’s hard to screw that up in this part of the world. Most stand-outish is that a bit of owner Donald Hess’s art collection is housed in the same building, making for a nice pre or post-prandial meander.
Chef Hennie van der Merwe has recently scored a whole new kitchen, replacing the family-sized one he used to work in. I’ve never eaten at Glen Carlou before, but I kept thinking ‘Boy, that new space is really working for him!’ throughout the meal.
We started with a smoked trout with a creamy saffron mussel sauce (R48) was delicious... but the next course - a trio of kudu carpaccio, steak tartare and smoked springbok loin (R60) – trumped it for me.
Next up was Kingklip well partnered with robust porcini (why does everyone serve Kingklip these days? Isn’t it on the orange list?) which was tasty, but blown out of the, er, water by the Confit Duck leg, which practically deboned itself under my delighted gaze. R98? Go forth and order it, folks.
A good crème brulee and delicious dark chocolate mousse (both R30) rounded off our meal.
My verdict? Glen Carlou is a serious contender for the very lucrative weekender and wedding market. Definitely worth a stop on the heavenly highway.
Glen Carlou restaurant was reviewed by Sam Wilson, Editor-in-chief of Food24.