Where To Eat in South African Wine Country

Ask any bona fide globe-trotter to list their favorite places in the world, and South Africa and its Western Cape will come up time and time again. Few other cities can match Cape Town’s abundance.

Jordan — Stellenbosch

George Jardine was one of the first signature chefs to start cooking in the region, putting Jordan on nearly every list of top ten Winelands restaurants, and deservedly so. With a small but perfectly formed, daily changing menu — sometimes offering as few as three mains (meat, fish, vegetarian) — the emphasis is on quality over quantity. You’ll usually spot a South African thread, with local venison dishes such as double-herbed springbok loin, confit shallot, celeriac puree, creamed kale and butter poached turnip. Vegetarians are in for a treat with specials like crushed broad bean risotto with poached hen’s egg, ash rind goat’s cheese, and wild herbs and flowers. Jardine’s penchant for home smoking comes through in the signature smoked yellowtail and his selection of veloutes.

But be sure to make room for a visit to the cheese room, where you’ll find a huge collection of fine South African local cheeses, many unique to Jordan’s cellar.

If you can’t get a reservation at the restaurant, the Bakery dishes up less-formal lunchtime fare, with playful menu options including the Sticky Moo Moo, honey and soy-glazed beef brisket with toasted sesame seeds and dukkah slaw. Or for an upmarket take on East Coast South African Indian takeout, try the Brioche Bunny — Karoo lamb curry served in a brioche bun.

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