An invitation to enjoy dinner at Constantia Uitsig Restaurant is one from the food gods and I was very grateful to accept. Especially after enjoying the true pleasure of an overnight at the Constantia Uitsig Hotel in March, which I am still smiling about. What a special place this is.
The night we chose was shared with a Cape storm and we arrived in the pouring rain. But on stepping through the doors we were warmly welcomed and shown to the lounge with its soft lighting and enviable fireplace to heat up. That said though, the warmth I felt was mostly generated by the charming staff who greeted us …
A glass of Constantia bubbly was placed in my hand (who told them I was a bubbly girl?) and we made our way to the table. An amazing evening lay ahead.
Constantia Uitsig Restaurant is located in the historic Manor House on this significant wine farm, and by day offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and vineyards. We were seated in the extension to the restaurant which is made snug by comfy chairs, beautifully laid tables, fairy lights, chandeliers and gorgeous drapes.
We had the great privilege of being joined by the Head Chef Clayton Bell as he talked through the menu and specials. He is known for his consistency and exudes a relaxed confidence that matches his food style. Incredible dishes that are neither overworked nor fussy. All fabulously fresh hand-picked ingredients perfectly combined for maximum delight. They have just released their winter menu, which left us further spoilt for choice.
My culinary delight started with a Vichyssoise with salmon and truffle, wow! This was followed by the most delicately flavoured beef carpaccio served with rocket and shaved parmesan. All this complimented by the delicious Constantia bubbly. A palate cleanser of raspberry, mint and Shiraz sorbet left me breathless …
For my main course I selected tuna which was prepared to perfection. I must mention that tuna is one of my absolutely favourite things in the food world, and yet I haven’t had any for two years in fear of being served the terribly endangered blue-fin in disguise. Yet Constantia Uitsig has a philosophy deeply routed in life and conservation, and I know that here I can enjoy this gift from the ocean with a confident happy heart. And oh boy, I did!
As the evening progressed we drank in the flavours, the friendliness, ambiance and some truly fabulous Constantia Red.
I was about to announce that I couldn’t eat another thing, when our gorgeous waitress Julia talked me into dessert. Not difficult, especially when Creme Brulee in it’s original delicious form is on offer. I do get disheartened by the modified creme brulee I too often see at other restaurants. Great choice, perfection in a ramekin. It was my husband Roger’s Birthday and he opted for the Pannacotta which came on a plate decorated with good wishes, what fun!
The sommelier spoilt us with some of their Muscat d’Alexandrie. Deliciousness in a glass, what a way to round off a truly remarkable meal.
As we sat with locals and tourist at neighbouring tables, I was overcome by the realisation that all was perfect. That Constantia Uitsig Restaurant offers a dining experience to match the best on offer internationally, yet more than that it offers the rare and delightful combination of incredible food in a truly beautiful relaxed atmosphere, and should be on the top of the list whenever considering a meal out, not only on special occasions.
After all the food is a celebration to life itself, it excited me and I’m spreading the Food Heaven word best I can!
Birthday treat pannacotta.