You can’t go much higher in altitude than Hidden Valley Winery, Dave Hidden’s eyrie up on the west facing slopes of the Helderberg. Home of the delicious Hidden Valley Pinotage and Land’s End Sauvignon Blanc, which is made from grapes from his Elim Vineyards
You can’t go much higher up the culinary ladder in the Cape than Bertus Basson. A truly unsung hero of real food, real colours, real flavours.
Overture is his eagle’s nest and eating there is to fly high over some of the finest wine real estate in the world.
Bertus has a new menu each week with dishes being honed and changed as the week progresses until at the end of the week they have some gems which they can add to their catalogue for future use.
The menu comes at two price levels one with and one without matching wines. I always would choose to go the matching wines route as you then have the chance to taste a few wines instead of just one [or two].
Enchanting attentive service by Kris the Manager and Kris the Sommelier and a charming band of Nigerian, Zimbabwean and Malawian staff who have the service thing waxed and beautifully.
Among the dishes we had were a doffed hat to Sushi, called Raw Salmon, Avocado and Asian Salad. I piece of the reddest pink salmon on rolled rice with a salad so deliciously Asian in its flavours. Matched with Tyrell Myburgh’s 2009 Joostenberg Chenin Blanc.
Organic beetroot, Buffalo Ridge Mozzarella, balsamic onion, matched with a 2008 Land’s End Rosé. Tiny multi-coloured beetroot on a beetroot puree with a wedge of Wayne Rademeyer’s Wellington-made Buffalo Milk Mozzarella and the tiniest little shoot of sunflower and pea from the Magic Man Steve Botha who farms organically up in the Piekenierskloof and produces mini greens for restaurants.
Quail a la Nantua with two half tails of crayfish. Curried sweetcorn and a little quenelle of pommes dauphine was a dream when matched with the 2009 vintage of José Condé’s 2009 Pepin Condé Pinot Noir from Elgin. Classical cool climate wine packed with flavour like those from his Stark-Condé winery up in Jonkershoek.
The dessert of vanilla marshmallow, chocolate mousse, pear and an ambrosial mint ice cream with which we had a slug of Bottega White Chocolate Grappa lifted the end of the meal, brightened our day and made it easier to drive home!
There was a lot of knowledgeable wine talk from Kris the Sommelier who was as unpretentious as he was knowledgeable and charming. Good to have a Sommelier who knows his stuff and shares it rather than giving it to you from on high.
Another “must-visit-again-tomorrow” restaurant.
Overture, Hidden Valley Estate off the R44, Stellenbosch. 021 80 2721