Bistro Sixteen82 on the magnificent and historical Steenberg wine estate in Constantia has just undergone a makeover and we were lucky enough to experience the fresh new look, and chef Kerry Kilpin’s recently launched seasonal menu.
Bistro Sixteen82 has become known over the years for its insatiable Eggs Benedict – served with a generous “slab” of pork belly. And while Chef Brad Ball has cemented the restaurant as a top place to go for tapas and bistro-style dining in Cape Town, it is his successor - Kerry Kilpin who is taking things up a notch.
Having worked with the likes of Franck Dangereux for many years at La Colombe and The Foodbarn, Kerry has now made Bistro Sixteen82 her home. And after the recent renovations, you can be sure that come Summer, the bistro will be buzzing – inside and out as it’s the outdoor seating area that’s probably the most sought-after.
Although the new changes to the restaurant are not glaringly obvious, there are a few elements here and there that provide some serious wow factor – like the open glass wall that exposes the cellar with all the stainless steel tanks. Think a more modern, bold and overall “polished” interior.
While the restaurant doesn’t serve dinner as such, you can pop in for a meal of tapas before 8.30pm (which is when the kitchen closes). But don’t be fooled by thinking you won’t get full because it’s just “tapas”. I thought I was going to burst when I left because there was just so much food.
How it works
A big blackboard list showcases all the tapas on offer on the day and you can pick and choose what you would like. Sounds simple right? Wrong! Having to choose our tapas was excruciatingly difficult because everything sounded too good to palm off. In the end I think our waitress could see we were having trouble so she suggested a few items – thankfully! Otherwise I would still be sitting there umming and aahing.
To start – we had a flute of the Steenberg 1682 brut MCC and tackled the courgette and Gruyere fritters, sticky chicken wings and patatas bravas (a classic tapas dish that’s made of crispy potatoes and a tomato-y sauce.) The portion of patatas was huge and could easily feed 2 people. The potatoes were crispy, crunchy and golden. Like potato wedges on steroids. Served with a spicy crème fraiche dip.
It’s funny how eating a number of small portions can (sneakily) make one more full than say, a simple 3-course meal. By the time our next batch of chosen tapas arrived, I was already starting to feel way past my normal level of satiation. But do you think that stopped me? Never.
We opted for the 3 cheese fritters, braised pork belly (mandatory) and the prawn gambas with chilli and garlic. Hands down the best tasting dish of the evening! The prawns came in a coconut based soupy sauce that I am positive contained something magical. It was so tasty and I wanted to dive right into it and just lap it all up.
As a red wine lover, I skipped the white and went straight for a carafe of the 2013 Steenberg Nebbelio which falls into the estate’s ultra premium range and is made from an Italian red grape variety. If you’ve tasted it yourself, you’ll know how pleased I was to be swirling a glass of the decadent stuff and enjoying it with my tapas.
By this stage, my buttons were about to pop but I somehow managed to order dessert and I’m so glad I did. The
Hazelnut chocolate terrine with layers of dark chocolate, hazelnut biscuit and white chocolate was gorgeously presented. Very rich but utterly indulgent and definitely one for the chocoholics!
A thoroughly enjoyable evening in a beautiful setting, with great tasting food and wine, means I'll definitely be booking a table for some tapas again this Summer!
Food24 was hosted by Bistro Sixteen82