Noop Restaurant Paarl
Noop is in a beautifully restored Victorian building in the main road Paarl
Housed in one of the many charming, architectural landmarks dotted along the main road in Paarl, is the warm and modest restaurant, Noop. The beautifully restored building, still holding on to all its Victorian character, is sandwiched between two majestic oak trees, which offer a shady retreat for restaurant goers on a bright summer’s day. Aromas from the kitchen draw passers-by into an eclectic, comforting, yet quirky, interior of old structures juxtaposed with contemporary surfaces.
Zian and Mariëtte, Noop patrons before becoming owners in 2012, have gradually transformed Noop into a place they call home. Zian loved being in the kitchen from a young age, and together with his experience from Warwick’s Chef School in Hermanus, he prepares the finest contemporary dishes from carefully sourced ingredients. Mariëtte, a food, and people, lover, spends as much time in the kitchen coming up with the best combinations, as she does ensuring that every patron has a memorable dining experience. The duo work together skilfully – delivering great food with sincere hospitality.
The wine list is comprehensive – making it difficult to decide on a wine for the evening. My dinner partner and I settled for Haute Cabrière Chardonnay Pinot Noir – an elegant and florally wine.
The menu at Noop is exceptionally diverse, accommodating an array of tastes. We chose the Chef Specials for the evening –I enjoyed a Slow Roasted Deboned Lamb Neck stuffed with Cranberries and Feta on a Sweet Potato Risotto with Merlot Jus and Baby Veg. My dinner partner chose the Kalahari Springbok Loin on Potato Gnocchi with Local Mushrooms and Truffle Cream, resulting in an overwhelming bout of food envy from my side – the Springbok loin being the softest, most tender meat I have ever tasted. Zian works brilliantly with venison –holidays on the family farm in the Kalahari playing an intricate role in his preparation of venison dishes.
There is an array of starter options on the menu, as well as a chalkboard filled with the chef’s recommendations, ranging from Fresh Saldanha Bay Black Mussels with Garlic, Onion and Chardonnay Cream, West Coast Crayfish Bisque, Roasted Butternut & Parsnip Soup and a Cape Malay Fish Soup.
No matter how simple the meal, flavour never fails to impress at Noop. Their Gourmet Burger – a 200g venison patty topped with Caramelised Onion, Camembert, Wild rocket, Crisp Bacon and Truffle Mayo, served with shoestring fries – is a definite winner if you’re in the mood for a tasty, good, ol’ burger.
The perfect portion sizes of the beautifully plated main courses incentivised us to try dessert. For the Crème Bruleé connoisseur, there is a Frangelico Crème Catalan and for the less indulgent sweet tooth, a selection of Saszali chocolates. I chose the Brandy Poached Pear coated with Chocolate Ganache, served with Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice-cream & Candied Walnuts. Pear perfection – a beautiful balance of sweet and SWEET.
Look out for their Food and Wine pairing evenings at the end of each month. Five wines from one estate are selected, each paired with a dish developed by Zian to compliment the wine. The evenings host up to 90 people at R295 per person. Book your spot for the next pairing featuring Jacaranda wines.