If I’m honest, I have to admit that I didn’t really know much about Clos Malverne. I had seen the wines but never tried them and I certainly had never visited the estate. So when I was invited to a media lunch to experience the restaurant I was keen to go along, but couldn’t make it. Fortunately they invited me to come try it another time and I did just that last weekend.
How could I have not heard about this view before? It’s absolutely stunning. We were treated to a table on the balcony where we could fully appreciate the natural beauty around us. The vines start metres away from the balcony and march into rolling hills which in turn fold into the distant mountains. I took this photo with my cellphone, so you can imagine it’s way better in real life (there are some more photos in the gallery).
The view is so cool that you don’t really pay attention to what the restaurant looks like. It’s fairly non descript, the office carpet is a bit unappealing but the chandelier style light fitting is a nice feature. It’s comfortable and inoffensive. If I asked you to describe the decor after you had just eaten there, you would struggle. Which is why I’m struggling to describe the decor after having just eaten there. The toilets were clean.
Right, let’s talk about the food. I want to say straight away that the four course menu paired with wines is the best value for money I have ever experienced at R150 per head. Seriously, you won’t beat that. I was worried they were trying to lower my expectations with the price but the food was actually of a high standard. The four course menu offers two options per course, so my dining partner and I had all the dishes between us.
I won’t go into detail about the whole menu, but I had the tempura prawn starter (excellent quality prawns), pork belly (very tasty), black forest ham wrapped chicken breast (tasty, but not exciting) and vanilla pod creme caramel. Ordering all of that off the a la carte menu would cost R247 and they still give you wine with each course! The wines are all Clos Malverne wines and when pairing wines from only one estate, I believe it’s better to refer to it as a wine matching because a true pairing is so much more. Some of the combinations were not great, but overall the wines were successfully matched with the food. The sauvignon blanc and the pinotage reserve were the standout wines for us on the day.
We were really impressed by the fillet steak with pepper & brandy sauce. Apparently most of the veggies and herbs come from the garden on the estate.
Unfortunately the wine tasting room is closed on Sundays so we could not see it, but apparently the new tasting room is a small part of the rest of the estate which includes a spa.
I can happily recommend Clos Malverne for good food and incredible value. There are some corners being cut, like the olive oil served with the bread, but overall it’s a top experience and not least for the view.
Devon Valley Road, Stellenbosch
Tel: 021 865 2022