Terra Del Capo Antipasti Bar Review at the Anthonij Rupert Estate

Truffles. Tartare. Samosas. Smiles.

***tap tap tap**** Is this thing on???

It’s been 47,8 decades since I wrote a review. First, well, the plague. Then I spawned a spawn. Two very different things that stop you from having fun. But now that the air and the spawn are less scary, it was time to take this baby for a spin. Literally.

The Venue

Less than an hour from Cape Town, you’ll find the Anthonij Rupert Estate just outside the trendy little town of Franschhoek. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing subtle or demure about the Terra Del Capo Antipasti Bar and Tasting Room at the Anthonij Rupert Estate, but the mood certainly doesn’t match the drapes, if you can just roll with this metaphor. Wine farms are often synonymous with pretension, but Terra Del Capo is all about creating intimate experiences with heart. In winter it seats just 30 guests, while in summer, another 30 spill out onto the lawns under the olive trees. The minute you walk in, you’re greeted with a smile and a (very) welcome drink.

The Food

I don’t trust restaurants with 94854 items on their menu. You can’t do that many things well and you can’t keep that many ingredients fresh. The simple, sophisticated Italian-inspired menu is abundant in vegetarian and pescatarian options that don’t make you feel like you’re stuck with a side dish. Anthonij Rupert Estate is famous for their home-grown Italian Truffles, olives and honey, which feature proudly. The “small plates” are anything but small and are reasonably priced considering the generosity and quality. My stand-outs were the Cured Franschhoek Trout Tartare and the Truffle Tagliatelle, so scroll down to read all about it.

The Service

The staff are l.o.v.e.l.y. They flit between tables, checking in, having a chitchat, making sure you are smiling. They all know the menu and the story of the estate like the back of their hand, so no matter who you ask what, you’ll get an answer. They also made us feel very comfortable even though our enthusiastic 1 year old spent most of the day cruising around, auditioning for a waitron role. He didn’t get it, in case you were worried. 

The Detail

OK OK, let’s talk food. Sharing is the name of the game. So get a bit of this and a bit of that and tuck in. The portions are more generous than “small” plates suggests, so 5 plates was enough for the 2 of us, although we did YOLO and end off with coffee and a cheeseboard. 

Burrata, Cauliflower & Fennel Salad // 95 

Did I google the menu in advance? Yes. Did I dream about burrata 3 nights in a row? Also yes. A decadent cheese that’s light in flavour, but heavy in creaminess, which contrasted beautifully with the almonds, zingy lemon vinaigrette, fragrant baby fennel and peppery greens. The roasted cauliflower (not pictured, it arrived late to the party) added substance and danced beautifully with the toast on the almonds and the creaminess of the cheese.

Polenta Chips with Homemade Tomato Chutney // 75

Unfortunately I couldn’t taste the roasted garlic mentioned on the menu, so other than the earthiness of the corn and the odd black olive, they were on the bland side and were really just a vehicle to eat the very delicious, spicy tomato chutney.

Cured Franschhoek Trout Tartare // 95 

Behold: the dish of the day. A generous, flavour bomb of oily, salt-cured local trout, folded into a rich dill, red onion and caper mayo. Dill is one of my favourite flavours that I use in my kitchen, a seriously underrated ingredient that elevates almost every fish dish – and more! It was balanced perfectly with its topping of refreshing cucumber, crispy saffron, a big squeeze of lemon, and the wafer thin melba toast. I didn’t want to share a single mouthful.

Smoked Snoek Samosa // 65 

Shut the front door! I’ve never had one of these before and they were glorious. If you’re scared to try a “fishy” samosa, don’t be. The crunchy samosa pastry held it’s own against the delicately smoked trout, which was brightened by the sweet-sour-salty chutney packed with citrusy sultanas, tangy tamarind, and fragrant curry leaves. An imaginative dish that I’d order again and again.

Truffle Tagliatelle // 95

“I want to eat this at every meal for the rest of my life” – my husband with hearts in his eyes.

Back in 2011, the farm began cultivating their own Italian Black Truffles, alongside their Truffle Pooches, Cara and Dick, who’ve since had a litter of truffle-sniffing pups. The first harvest was in 2019 and truffles have featured proudly (and affordably) on the menu and in the store ever since. A generous portion with a generous amount of truffle grated table-side, this simple dish of homemade pasta with a parmesan cream left the stage wide open for the truffle to add its meaty-savoury flavour that’s so unique to this special little fungi. 

Check out this precious little Truffle-Sniffing face!? **explodes from cuteness**

Classic Italian Cheese Platter // 165

When a menu says, “small plates”, I assume I’ll leave hungry, so I’d already set my sights and cravings on the cheese platter before I saw the portion size. In order to satisfy most palates, cheese platters can be a tad vanilla, as restaurants serve up the safe flavours that can’t offend. But not Terra Del Capo. A wonderful mix of gentle and robust South African and Italian cheeses – from Fontina to Tallegio, Gorgonzola to Grana Padano and Mozerella – served with some remarkably good green figs, fresh fruit and crackers. 

The Round Up

Terra Del Capo or Land of The Cape, beautifully marries Italian and local inspiration, styles and ingredients. Whether as a pitstop within your Wineland meander or the destination that led you to the Franschhoek Valley, you will leave with a smile on your face. 

Enjoy complimentary Wine/Beer with your Dinner at Old Town Italy

This Hertiage Weekend at Nederburg: Bring on South African Sunshine and even brighter Tastes!