Elegant Dining and Fine Wines at Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons
Despite the elegance and opulence of the Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons brand, this wine estate quietly operates without the fanfare of many around it, maintaining a regal air without pomposity. The gorgeous grounds and understated look belie the absolute dedication to excellence in wine, food and service.
Service is so much a part of any experience – when it is truly on point, it elevates dining from enjoyable to exceptional and this is certainly what we experienced at Rupert & Rothschild.
Our server, Brian, hailed from Zimbabwe and was incredibly knowledgeable, not only about the food and wine but about the estate in general. He introduced us to the history of the R&R and how the partnership came to be, before explaining the new menu. His attentive care of us during service, where absolutely nothing was too much, made all recent restaurant experiences called to memory simply pale in comparison.
New Chef at Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons
Chef Anwar Abdullatief is new to Rupert and Rothschild Vignerons and has introduced a new paired tasting menu, as well as an a la carte menu.
The Wines of the World Food and Wine Pairing is an excellent way to experience all that there is on offer.
The generous 6-course tasting menu includes a breadboard to start, a palate cleanser and Petit Fours at the end, morphing it into a decadent 9-courses in total. At R990, with wine included, that is great value for money.
The Wines of the World Food and Wine Pairing
The wines for the wine paired menu are selected from around the world, and although this may seem counterintuitive, considering the estate’s South African Winelands home, it is actually quite inspired. It gives diners the chance to experience both local, as well as international wines and gives a broad and all-encompassing wine experience.
It would be impossible to detail all 9-courses, although each is worth a mention, the detail in each is complex and would take days to convey. From the breadboard, with a red cabbage butter and puffed cheese crisps, right through to the Petit Fours, each course was a delight.
The amuse bouche, a dish in its own right, consisted of beautifully pickled carrots, served with Forest Phantom Goats Cheese, all the way from Bapsfontein in Gauteng. These two strong flavours were balanced by the sweetness of charred figs and were further enhanced by a glass of Champagne Barons de Rothschild Brut Champagne.
The starter on the wine paired menu is a delicate Salmon Tartare with Heirloom Tomato Salad, served with a crisp and fruit driven Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc from NZ. Off the a la carte menu, a highlight was for sure the Beef Brisket on Polenta with Sage and Brown Butter. The polenta was so light, a cloud if you will, creamy and aerated and positively melt in the mouth.
Mains are three tasting-size portions (still generous) of three of the dishes from the a la carte mains section. An inspired hake dish with sweetness from fresh litchis and a tangy tamarind and lime dressing.
It is often easier to make fancy ingredients shine but to take a humble piece of hake and elevate to a standout dish, both in flavour and looks, takes skill.
Following this was the aged beef sirloin with a sauce that my dining partner described as ‘brilliantly familiar’ which summed it up so well. A flavour so intense and real that it evokes a warm fuzzy food memory, even if you can’t quite put your finger on exactly what it is. Edamame beans add a texture that is neither soft nor crunchy but somewhere delicately in-between – a definite favourite.
The duck dish with macadamia and sour plums also hit home with plenty of rich flavour and a perfectly crisp layer of rendered skin.
Both a cheese course and a dessert follow this and both courses are in sync with the rest of the menu – artfully plated, with considered flavours and textural elements.
When you think you possibly cannot fit another morsel in, you will, of course, find that last bit of space for the petit four course. Liquid centred chocolate beignets on a bed of fudge sauce. It will be well worth it.
The amuse bouche and dessert on the wine paired menu are each served with a Rupert and Rothschild Champagne, which is a great way to experience these two exclusive wines. The first is the Champagne Barons de Rothschild Brut – a blend of 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The second, served with the Red Velvet Sponge dessert with strawberries and honey frozen yoghurt is complemented by the Champagne Barons de Rothschild Rose and is sublime.
Dining at Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons is truly a memorable experience; something really special for a celebratory occasion or a way to spoil someone who really enjoys incredible food and wine. It will be well worth it.
Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons, Klapmuts – Simondium Rd, Simondium | 021 874 1648