2 nights ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the Buitenverwachting restaurant, 4 stars and all, for dinner.
I had been looking forward to what this restaurant has to offer, it has been named the most popular and most reviewed for restaurant week. And I brought my crew; my family, one of my good friends and her parents.
The map from their website was easy to follow, but don’t follow the GPS! It got us lost, again. Navigating through the dark small roads wasn’t a lot of fun either, they could use some road lighting and better directions when you’re actually inside the Buitenverwachting wine estate.
It is overlooking the vineyards and the Constantiaberg mountains. It’s a pity we couldn’t appreciate this view in the dark. The decor and table settings look simply elegant.
There’s wine pairings with our meals or you can choose your own wine if you wish. They actually make their own wines, and most of the offerings are from their soils. Quite impressive.
There’s a choice of 2 or 3 course meal. We opt for 2.
Before our starters, we get offered 3 kinds of bread and spreads,. And salmon trout with chili salsa and yoghurt mousse, which was so delicious. This was actually my best food for the night.
Starters: 2 of us had the seared tri-tip steak, which was beef consumme with beets and horseradish. The verdict: messy presentation, tough meat and overwhelming horseradish( couldn’t really taste anything else). Another 2 had, pan-fried chicken with quinoa- tabbouleh salad, consensus: Ok. Nothing to get excited about and someone even says, it’s no better than chicken from Pick ‘n Pay supermarket. But only one of us decided on the creamy kohlrabi soup and apparently the highlight of his evening. So inconsistencies thus far.
In between starters and mains we get a nice palate cleanser, orange sorbet.
Mains: We went for Chicken curry, which was deemed ok; Beef roulade with mustard sauce – tough, chewy meat with no steak knives offered but good presentation; Grilled pork cutlet with apple cider sauce – super overcooked, dry, inconsistencies between plates and too sweet but the beets were nice, which is pretty much all I had for my mains.
The wine pairings were so much better than the food. I’d go back for the wine!
I can appreciate the effort with presentation but once the eyes get excited the stomach grumbles and you have to then satisfy the taste buds. If the tastes buds aren’t happy, the whole system collapses.
Average; we had to wait for starters to get our wine. The waiter could not remember who ordered what and therefore which wines to give to who. Not very visible when you needed her.
The overall feel
The ambience was one of the best parts of the evening, it was fully booked and the place just exudes class. The feel was good but overall experience was ruined by the food.
The location/venue- 6/10 Because we couldn’t appreciate it in the darkness.
The drinks- 9/10
The food- Starters average = 5/10. Mains= 5/10
As much as the in between meals, appetiser/palate cleanser, were nice; the table thought this came across as trying too hard. A restaurant of this stature should not need to do this. Their food should do the talking, not the bells and whistles. Everyone walked away underwhelmed.
The service = 6/10
The overall experience/ ambience = 7/10
TOTAL = 44/70 Average = 6,3/10
My experience of restaurant week, quickly going downhill with 2 flops in one day.