We’ve been to 96 Winery Road about 3 years ago so it was about time to come back to see how the menu has changed during this time. It’s only natural that a menu evolves with the times and while customers want to see their favourite dishes on the menu, there is always space for a few new additions here and there.
The previous occasion, we enjoyed a selection of sample dishes to get an idea of the entire menu. This time around, we decided on a two course lunch with starters and mains being served.
Opened in 1996, – as the name suggests – 96 Winery Road has been a hugely popular restaurant in the Cape Winelands. As we arrived, the parking area already showed signs of a busy restaurant. Especially for a week-day lunch, it’s not always a given that a restaurant can fill almost each and every table.
With 22 years of experience, the owners have always placed great emphasis on bringing quality food to each and every guest. The chef explained that most of the beef is cured on a neighbouring farm that is also under the same management. This allows the restaurant to look after their own meat all the way from the farm to your table ensuring the best quality.
The Calamari starter was cooked to perfection, tender with a crispy outer coating. The Coconut Milk sauce was not entirely to my taste but added a lovely creamy element to the dish. The Seafood Arancini (risotto balls) was exceedingly delicious, crumbed, fried and filled with soft, flavourful risotto.
I’m a sucker for a nice, warm tomato soup but this version includes roasted pepper and crumbed feta, which brought the entire dish to another level bursting with flavour. The roasted pepper brought a little kick of spice to the soup, while the creaminess of the feta gave the dish a delightful balance that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The incredible aroma of the Baked Aubergine Roll pre-empted its pure deliciousness. Stuffed with mushrooms and cream cheese and fresh tomato sauce, the expertly cooked aubergine roll had a luxurious texture, was perfectly seasoned and was lightly covered with cheese and baked to add a gloriously crispy top. The Shimeji Mushrooms that surrounded the roll had real depth of flavour with strong umami notes. An immensely flavourful dish, I would eat this again any day.
The potjie was as delicious as it looks in the picture above. With meat as tender as it can be, it was served with seared shitake mushrooms, which added a rich, buttery flavour to an already meaty dish. In addition, a selection of baby vegetables were served on a bed of spiced wild rice – everything grown by the restaurant.
P.S.: Also highly recommended by the chef is the Wagyu Beef, which is known for its high percentage of unsaturated fat. It is raised and matured on the neighbouring farm.
Overall, we had a wonderful time at 96 Winery Road. The food was the definite highlight, while the staff made us feel as welcome as we’ve ever been at any restaurant – giving advice on wine pairings and highlighting their favourite dishes on the winter menu.
With the chef only making use of local suppliers and limiting the carbon foot-print as much as possible, this translates into a menu made up of only the freshest ingredients and dishes that burst with local flavours.
We definitely won’t wait another three years to come back this time!
Directions to 96 Winery Road Restaurant
(0)21 842 2020