This Stellenbsoch restaurant in the Jordan winery opened in December 2009. The kitchen is headed by chef George Jardine, who previously had his own restaurant in Capetown. The winery itself has been running since 1993, its founders Gary and Kathy Jordan making award-winning wines on the 146 hectare property. They also own a London restaurant called High Timber.
Jordan's winery is in Stellenbosch, with a spectacular view over a lake and the vineyards beyond. The dining room opens every day for lunch but just three evenings a week at present. This is because the view is much the best at lunchtime (though it can get very hot here in the summer - 34C the day we visited) and there are no insects flying around in the middle of the day; for dinner they close the shades and you eat indoors in the air conditioning. The room seats 60 or so diners and there is an open kitchen. Even on a Monday lunch they were turning tables, and reservations are scarce even several months ahead.
The wine list featured labels from both the vineyard itself and the surrounding wineries. Dalla Cia Sauvignon Blanc 2015 was on the list at ZAR 160 (£7) yet costs ZAR 261 in the UK high street, Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay 2014 was ZAR 550 compared to a retail price of ZAR 454, and Jordan Sophia 2009 was ZAR 1,250 for a bottle with a current market price of ZAR 1,346.
Bread was made from scratch in the kitchen, seed bread and two rolls, served with a pair of dips: pumpkin pesto and aioli. A starter of white asparagus came with cauliflower, capers, Parmesan, water cress, shallots and chopped hens egg, the asparagus itself excellent, the dish nicely balanced (14/20). Also very good was a "sausage roll"' made using confit of Kroon duck stuffed with cranberries, sage and thyme, served with liver parfait, toasted hazelnuts, capers and a prune and confit celeriac dressing. The duck had good flavour, and the dressing had enough sharpness to balance the richness of the liver (15/20).
For the main course, roast silver bream was served with tomatoes, marinated cucumber, buffalo labneh (strained yoghurt)' salted olives and salsa verde. The fish was nicely cooked and the tomatoes had good flavour, though the hot fish resting on the cucumber rendered the latter warm, which was a little odd (13/20). I tried rabbit leg confit with a prune and sage stuffing, chickpea purée, shaved Apple and gremolata (lemon zest, garlic and parsley) sauce. The rabbit avoided the dryness that can so easily happen with this meat, and the apple provided some useful sharpness to balance the earthy chickpeas (14/20). On the side were some excellent, crisp chips.
For dessert, stone fruit (peach and plum) carpaccio came with white chocolate mousse and chocolate ice cream. The fruits had plenty of flavour and were prettily presented, the chocolate also well made (15/20). My summer berry curd with burnt meringue and raspberries came with vanilla ice cream and mint. The fruits were again good, the mint flavour controlled, the ice cream having good texture (15/20).
Service was excellent, friendly and attentive. The bill came to ZAR 1,182 for two, which works out at £27 each including several glasses of wine. This, albeit with the help of a favourable exchange rate, seems to me great value.
I have enjoyed several lunches here and everyone has been excellent. The lovely view is a bonus!