The Table has created quite a murmur after it walked away with an Eatout Award last year for “Best Country-style restaurant”, and after my meal
there last Sunday, it’s easy to see why.
The restaurant, which
is only open on weekends, is situated on the De Meye wine estate in
Stellenbosch and offers a rather unique experience.
Wasserfall, famed South African food photographer, plays an excellent
host, and together with his wife Camilla and brother-in-law, Jason- who
both preside over the kitchen, the team brings together and exemplifies
what it means to eat and to share food that is simple yet has incredible
depth and integrity.
Spending a few hours at The Table is
escapism at its best; the rest of the world disappears leaving time only
to think about the people around you and the food in front of you,
reminding me of a quote;
“Food is family. Family is life. Life is everything”.
may disappoint some to find that the restaurant runs under a Table
d’hôte system so the menu is fixed for the day. This fits the theme of
the restaurant perfectly and keeping on trend, the restaurant’s
suppliers are predominantly local, (some artisanal) and all produce is
The meal is set at R250 per person excluding wine/drinks.
appears on large platters where guests help themselves, encouraging one
to really “dig in!” but before anything is devoured, the eloquent
Russel casually talks the table through each course- how it’s prepared,
where the produce comes from, as well as the historical origins of each
Our meal started off with a “Trio of bruschetta” on
sourdough bread. Toppings included fresh olive tapenade with tomato
salsa, red-wine poached pear with Dalewood’s award-winning Huguenot
cheese, and the last one, which came as a “topping” on its own-
deliciously ripe baby figs from Steve Botha, paired with three different
varieties of salami made by local charcutier, Marco Nico.
mentioned that quite often the team creates the menu around one special
ingredient and on the day that I visited it happened to be homemade
crabapple jelly made by Camilla and Jason’s mother, Colette- a rather
distinguished culinary wizard in her own right.
counterpart was pickled pork - cooked to perfection with its saltiness
offsetting the jelly’s sweetness. Crispy Hassleback potatoes were served
together with a platter of seasonal green vegetables, all bursting with
flavour, freshness and colour. Simple combinations, expertly executed
in a style so quintessentially “country”.
I took a walk through
the restaurant and felt like I was trespassing in someone’s home. The
decor has a shabby chic Cape French feel with a few focus pieces;
shelves larded with items typically found in an Arcadian cottage- hats,
books, rose-filled vases, jars of fudge and a big bowl of green apples.
consisted of a deviously dark chocolate tart served with a scoop of van
der Hum ice cream that was flecked with thin citrus needle threads.
Small details that often go un-noticed but showed that they take no
Good to know
The menu changes every week and it’s recommended that you book ahead and put aside 4-5 hours to fully take in the experience.
Table is one of those places that appeases one’s soul and invites
people to “remember”, to sit back and take in the simplicity of life.