Experience the Winter Tasting Menu at Cavalli

Words: Julie Velosa

The Restaurant at Cavalli is one of those spots that really suits all seasons. In summertime, it boasts a stunning outdoor area with views for days over the dam and immaculate indigenous gardens. In the cooler months, the uber-stylish space is warmed by a fireplace and the flames seem made to match the warm copper tones of the interior, which is completed by rich tan leather furnishings.


Michael Deg (previously of Delaire Graff) took over the reigns as executive chef of the kitchen just over 6 months ago and has added his signature style to the menu. If you’ve been wanting to visit, now is a great time to do so –  there is stunning winter tasting menu at Cavalli that will wow with every bite.

Winter Tasting Menu at Cavalli

The winter tasting menu at Cavalli consists of 5 delicious courses at R400 and the paired version, which we recommend, is R600. Sample a range of estate wines as you enjoy your food and if you’re in luck, sommelier, Farai Magwada, will be there to guide you through the tasting.

Bread and Butter

To engage your taste buds, the menu starts with a breadboard with 3 styles of house made bread, complete with flavoured butters and tapenade. With that comes a crisp topped with a quenelle of the smoothest and lightest chicken liver pate I have ever had – that unmistakable chicken liver flavour with the smoothness of silk – an amazing way to whet the appetite. Also, a delightful savoury meringue with a carrot, ginger and chickpea filling.

winter tasting menu at cavalli

An amuse bouche is sent compliments of the kitchen and it turned out to be one of the favourites of the day. Hand cut venison tartare just simply melted in the mouth; with this, a spicy Sriracha aioli added kick and the addition of deep fried kale brought a light crunch element.

The best part though was the smoked hen’s egg yolk hiding in the centre under the kale – smoking the yolk gives it a gel-like texture that adds another level of creaminess. A dash of sesame snow for contrast and the dish was faultless.

winter tasting menu at cavalli

Oyster, Pork, Lamb

A crisp tempura oyster was next and with this a glass of Cavalli Pink Pony 2015. The vibrant Rosé working in harmony with the rich fried oyster, perfectly coated in a crunchy batter and dotted with squid ink aioli.

A spiced pork dumpling is served in an umami broth for the next course and it totally delivered on its promise. The broth was brimming with layers of flavour – the kind that takes days and plenty of skill to develop.

The shredded pork inside the dumpling finds its way into the broth when sliced and the combination is just delicious.

A glass of Cavalli Colt Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 is paired with the main of tender braised lamb neck. Served with creamy sweetbreads and an indulgently rich gem squash veloute. Who knew the humble gem had so much potential? The dish is hearty yet elegant – exactly what you want in a wintery meal.

Sweets and Sparkle

For dessert, a moist slice of banana and pistachio cake is served with a featherlight pistachio crème. An exciting addition to this course is a glass of the very recently released Cavalli Capriole MCC, which adds an extra touch of sparkle.

The kitchen kindly substituted my banana dessert with a textbook perfect white chocolate semifreddo that was just heavenly. Each scoop was a mouthful of smooth, creamy yumminess, with a touch of tartness from a swirl of plain yoghurt.

winter tasting menu at cavalli

Just when you think you’ve tasted it all, two petit fours will finish off your meal in style. An absolutely divine cube of berry cheesecake and a delightful macaron. Perfection.

When the weather is grim it can feel like a chore to get up and head out for lunch but if anything should motivate you, a great winter menu like this should. Each course was truly a delight with considered elements and flavors that all just worked in harmony. We enjoyed every bite of every dish.

The winter tasting menu is a really great deal and the contemporary surroundings and swift service make it perfect for lunch for two, or for celebrating a special occasion.

The Winter Tasting Menu Special at Cavalli

5-course tasting menu for R400 per person, there is also a vegetarian option at R350 per person. The wine paired menu is R600.

If you’re in the area, pop in for the ‘Winter Work Lunch’

A delicious free-range beef short rib with creamy polenta and heirloom carrot. Served with a glass of Cavalli Black Beauty Shiraz at R200.00 per person.

Open Wednesday – Sunday, 12h00 – 15h00, Friday – Saturday, 18h00 – 21h00 | 021 855 3281

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