Food24 eats at... De Kaap

Cathy Marston dines at De Kaap with delicious revelations.

10 Aug 2011

The Robertson Wine Valley has a lot going for it – great wines, no tasting fees at the cellar doors, lovely farmstalls – but it doesn’t really do all that well when it comes to restaurants. Unlike Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, where wineries open kitchens before they open a cellar, Robertson has mostly concentrated on wine over anything else. Which is a little strange because their farmers’ market is a legend. I had heard about a new foodie spot on the way to McGregor from top blogger, Relax with Dax, and was invited to come and enjoy a country-style lunch over the weekend of the Robertson Slow Festival.
The Place
3km outside McGregor stands a nineteenth century farmhouse which has been converted and modernised by Amy Williams and Carrick Campbell. The couple, who live above the restaurant with baby James, have spent the last 3 years on yachts, travelling the world and getting an international perspective on food. Now back on dry land, they are determined to make the most of what is at hand, growing salad and herbs for the restaurant along with a big veggie patch which is already starting to come online and sourcing all their other products locally. The restaurant itself is a little stark and rustic inside, but the outside wrap-around stoep is a beautiful place to spend a long boozy afternoon chilling and looking at the beautiful views. They just need to get the shade sorted out before season or people are going to COOK!
The Food
The restaurant is only open Thursday to Sunday at the moment, offering breakfast and lunch with dinner on a Friday night, but they think they might extend this for season. Lunch is very ‘country’ with most items on the menu having an asterisk by them indicating that they change daily (Pie, Risotto, Winter Stew etc etc). We enjoyed an excellent Cape Malay Mussel Soup – tangy and warming with clean, fresh flavours – and a rock-solid, fall-off-the-bone Lamb and Tomato Bredie with polenta. Dessert was an Apricot and Almond cake – a fluffy, yet sturdy wedge which took me happily back to school dinners and they also offered a decent cheese board with tasty Boerenkaas and a very indifferent Camembert. Service was a little haphazard, but they were busy and we had nowhere else to go, so all was fine. All main courses are under R100.
The Wine
The wine list is commendably local – and why not when you have such choice on your doorstep? Stalwarts such as Graham Beck and Springfield are interspersed with lesser-known labels such as Lords, Sumsare and Kingsriver which is nice to see. Prices are very good – little more than 100% mark-up across the board – and I would strongly encourage them to try offering a few more by the glass for season, particularly of the whites.
Recommended for
Anyone wanting a hearty, well-cooked, tasty meal. They are happy to cater for kids, although I would ring in advance as there is no set kids menu, and there is plenty of space for them to roam around safely without annoying non-family-minded patrons. Bring your own boule set because they have the perfect place to play, then kick back and enjoy a 5 hour lunch.
Cathy and her family were guests of De Kaap and the Robertson Wine Valley for the weekend. Contact De Kaap on

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