A Relaxing Day Out @ Bistro13

Words: Crush

Looking for a fantastic day out in the Winelands? A day of great food and service in a beautiful, child-friendly environment? Well you’ve found it. Bistro13, located on Welmoed Estate, home of Stellenbosch Vineyards is all those things rolled into one. Forget the pretension often associated with wine estates and instead find an open space that feels cool and comfortable in its own skin.

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Bistro13 is headed up by chef Nic Van Wyk, well known Kokkedoor judge and former team member at Terrior and Diemersdal. At Bistro13 Nic and partner Roxy Laker have created a spot that is relaxed and friendly, with a menu that will have something for everyone. This is honest food that won’t break the bank.

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My dining partners and I opted to share dishes in order to get the full experience. Starters included velvety steak tartare with a fresh quail egg, a chicken croquette in a sweet corn veloute, that was silken with the perfect balance of sweetness. We also feasted on a crispy calamari starter, which was reluctantly shared and a crispy lamb rib salad.

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Mains included slow-braised lamb with harissa that simply fell apart, a chilli prawn risoni with just the right amount of heat, a classic steak with brandy sauce and crumbed pork with smoked mash and cabbage. The dishes appear simple, but are executed brilliantly. The layers of flavour in each bite give a clue as to their complexity. The jus accompanying the pork really stood out – Chef Nic’s reputation as an amazing saucier was evident.


For dessert I had what can only be described as ‘Christmas on a plate’ – brandy pudding with prune ice cream. I would have eaten the whole lot if not for the fact that we agreed to share. Next I sampled the chocolate cake, which is not a cake in the traditional sense, almost like a slice of pie, is possibly the best chocolate dessert I have ever eaten. Last but not least was a take on Eton Mess – macerated strawberries, yoghurt mousse and meringue shards that were light as a feather.

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Something that really stood out during our visit was a level of calmness. Often a busy lunch can become frenetic; this passes on to the wait staff and affects both service and food. But at Bistro13 the mood was chilled without being lackadaisical and the food tasty without being showy.

At Bistro13 you will enjoy a relaxed meal accompanied by good wine. Children can play nearby on the grass or jungle gym and you will definitely leave feeling full, relaxed and satisfied.


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