Overture Review

“I’ve never wanted a pretentious restaurant,” says Chef Bertus Basson, “I want it to be somewhere where people are comfortable. Bring your kids. Wear slops and shorts. Have fun.”

Overture is on Hidden Valley wine farm – a fitting name as I don’t think I’d find it again without directions, a GPS and a compass. Year after year it wins awards for the spectacular menu. It’s not often I find myself mesmerised by each and every dish – I was like a kid in a candy store.

This beautifully designed restaurant is light, airy and surprisingly comfortable – Chef Basson certainly got his way as it lacks all pretension and stuffiness.


It’s a set menu where you choose between 2 and 9 paired or unpaired courses, ranging from R295 to R1200. We had two paired 4-course lunches.



Kudu Bresaola, aubergine, tomato & basil salad // Hidden Valley Pinotage 2012

A bresaola is salted, air-dried and aged meat. The salty, gamey kudu was sliced so thinly it was almost see-through. The smoked brinjil puree and pesto added depth, contrasting nicely with the fresh yellow tomatoes and herbs. A perfect, rich salad for a chilly Spring day.

This fresh and slightly spicy wine smelt like something you could wear. Think berries, lots of them. It holds its own very well against the kudu.


Raw trout, trout croquette & beetroot salad // Hidden Valley Chardonnay 2012

The combo of raw and cooked trout was in one word: phenomenal. The oily raw fish perfectly complemented with the cooked, crunchy croquettes. The cream cheese stuffed beetroot disks, beet puree and garlic aioli added a mix of textures and flavours that was again, phenomenal.

Dry, but not harsh, this delicate Chardonnay was delicious paired with fish.

Middle Course


Grilled squid, salsa verde, polenta & fennel // Hidden Valley Chenin Blanc 2012

I really don’t like fennel. But in this dish I really, really, really loved it. It was buttery and rich, contrasting well with the herby and sharp salsa verde. Topped with a generous portion of tender squid and crisp, salty polenta – definitely one of my favourite dishes.

A fresh, light white. The spring fruit flavour balanced the buttery richness.


Impala heart with pickled cabbage, leek & potato // Rainbow’s End Cabernet Franc 2011

Many people are afraid to try something new – like heart. This wintery dish is the perfect time to give it a try. Perfectly cooked and tender – it went beautifully with the sweet and sour pickled cabbage, crisp leeks, potato squares and mustard. A nice twist on traditional Germanic cooking.

This deep red had smoky, dark chocolate flavours and aromas. Smooth drinking, it added depth and earthiness, contrasting the saltiness of the dish.

Main Course


Roast hake, mussels and pea marinière // Vondeling Babiana 2010

A marinière is a thin white wine and onion sauce used to cook the seafood. I’m not the biggest mussel fan, as they’re usually chewy and often inconsistent in texture. These were honestly the most tender mussels I’ve ever had. The peas and pea shoots added sweetness and the hake was roasted to perfection.

This golden blend was incredibly complex. Spicy, slightly sweet but light and fresh – a stunning partner to a stunning dish.


Sweetwell pork fillet, organic carrots & garlic confit // Hidden Valley Secret 2010

As a non-pork eater I didn’t taste it, but I was told the following.

“I don’t think I will ever eat such delicate, delicious pork ever again. Even the carrots are incredible. I had carrots yesterday and they tasted like nothing – these taste like carrots! It’s sweet, but not over the top. And the garlic really finishes it off beautifully”.

Deep red and spicy, with a sweetness that pairs well with pork.


Even the side dishes at Overture are fabulous. Roast potatoes cooked in beef drippings and broccoli in a Thai sesame dressing.




Chocolate & caramel mousse, banana & Tonka bean ice cream // Annandale Cape Vintage 2004

Tonka beans are a South American seed with a gentle spicy flavour. This bittersweet and spicy ice cream complemented the not-so-sweet duo of mousse beautifully. As it did the chopped banana “salad”, banana crisps and dark chocolate brownies.

The spicy dark port isn’t sickly sweet and has fruity undertones.


Heugonot & walnut pie with green fig ice cream // Graham Beck Rhona Muscadel 2012

This. Was. Just. Too. Beautiful. I mean really, look at it! The pastry is light and crisp, and the nutty filling perfectly matched the sweet fig ice cream, candied fig and roasted nuts. A winning dessert to finish off a winning meal.

This pale gold muscadel had a nutty undertone, perfectly paired with the walnut pie.

Overture is incredible. Everything they do, they do perfectly. Although the presentation is intricate, the flavours are simple. It is laidback fine dining, an oxymoron if I have ever heard one. An oxymoron I hope to enjoy again soon.

P.S. You can vote for Overture at the Klink Awards here!

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