Discovering Lunch at the Always-On-Point Greenhouse at The Cellars Hohenort
Greenhouse Restaurant, located at the ever-gorgeous The Cellars Hohenort Hotel in Constantia, has long been heralded as one of the country’s best restaurants. It is not only an achievement to be rated one of the best but to maintain that accolade over time is key. People and trends come and go but maintaining consistency is the mark of a healthy kitchen eco-system.
A Discovery of Flavour
Farrel Hirsch took over as head chef at Greenhouse at The Cellars Hohenort in November last year and has made his mark on the menu with new and inventive dishes.
The current Discovery lunch menu consists of six dishes, with amuse bouche, canapé and petit four courses bringing the total to nine. The courses are well-planned as an escalating degustation and so it is not a meal that leaves you feeling breathlessly full. Something I really appreciate.
I’ve always found the canapés at Greenhouse to be an exciting course; lots of interesting nibbles arrive directly after the bread course and each one is special in its own right. What I also love is how Greenhouse always brings a local element to their menu, they truly celebrate this aspect.
The canapé selection, entitled ‘False Bay’ is a collection of exquisitely plated bites and each one delights.
From a smoked pannacotta to crisp lavash with goats cheese and homemade granola. We just loved the teeny tiniest micro veggies with a tofu purée (we’re talking Barbie doll-sized), which was almost too cute to eat (almost) and the absolutely divine tempura dune spinach with sake gel.
The next course was my personal favourite of the meal; smoked Seabass sashimi, with a cucumber and seaweed tapenade salad and tiny dollops of sesame mayo and fried wakame.
The dressing was the perfect balance of tartness and the whole dish just came together as a marriage on the palate. This was a dish I could easily have had as a main and had several times over.
The Game and Kaapse Eend
The next two courses elevated things to a meatier level. The Game is melt-in-the-mouth springbok that has just kissed the grill; alongside that is a foie ‘rocher’; basically the creamiest liver that has been formed into a savoury take on a famous chocolate, complete with hazelnut in the centre and rolled in nuts.
The duck course, Kaapse Eend was my dining partner’s dish of the day; it was the delightfully tender pulled duck terrine element that sealed the deal. A pistachio dukkah, aubergine mousse with sweetness from pear made for a divine dish that reminded us of the flavours of a great bobotie.
Greenhouse offers two options for wine pairing with lunch, the boutique route and the iconic wines list. Both offer something different, perhaps you’re after discovering those lesser-known gems, or maybe you want to learn about some of the areas most well-known wines.
Stand out pairings for us included the Lowerland Vaalkameel Colombard 2017 (boutique wine menu) paired with the sashimi course. Also, the Sadie family Pofadder 2016 with the springbok course and the Spioenkop Pinotage 2018 with the Kaapse Eend.
A Way to End
After a beautiful beef main entitled Tshisanyama – dry-aged fillet, pap cream and sweetbreads, we moved on to the dessert. Dessert is the time to really play in a degustation and we loved the pastry kitchen’s dessert The Beet.
Delivered as the most delicious ‘pot plant’ you’ll ever taste, your waiter becomes your gardener, and digs into a soil of dehydrated Nutella, chocolate crispies and all sorts of other deliciousness.
Once you have some soil, your beetroot is dished up – a beet sorbet orb that really was the ‘sweet spot’ between a sweet and earthy flavour. Dots of sour cherry gel add zing and bring it all together.
It wouldn’t be a fine dining experience without a little something extra to finish off and the selection of petit fours ends the meal in style.
Why you should go to Greenhouse at Cellars Hohenort
There is something very constant about Greenhouse; in a sea of newfangled restaurants and dining experiences, it remains unwavering in its identity.
A beautifully presented culinary journey that weaves local flavour into a joyful dining experience.
The conservatory-style interior, which by day is filled with light and views over the gardens echoes its stately home base at Cellars and mirrors the confidence that comes through in the food. Greenhouse remains firmly at the top of our list as one of our favourite Cape dining experiences.
Hungry for more? Subscribe to our Newsletter