96 Winery Road is set in the heart of the glorious Helderberg countryside and has been part of the Winelands landscape for over 20 years. Opening in 1996, as per the name of the restaurant, their success can be attributed to decades of hard work and passion to achieve. The restaurant has a country feel with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant has seating outdoors for Summer days and indoors with inter-leading rooms, making it feel cosy in the winter with a roaring log fire. The art on the walls is worth looking at. The restaurant is welcoming to families with a kid’s jungle gym located on the lawn in front of the restaurant.
It is a tough industry to survive such a long time and a restaurant needs to have something special in order to survive more than a few years which means 96 Winery Road restaurant must have something very special celebrating 20 years… and it does!
The menu is inspired by South African favourites and flavours from around the world. The menu is seasonal and changes four times a year with a couple of firm favourite ‘Signature’ dishes featuring all year such as Crispy Pork Belly, Duck and Cherry Pie, and Hollandse Pepper Fillet with brandy sauce flambéed at your table. Wagyu Beef is also a popular option and of excellent quality from Ken Forrester’s Wagyu herd of cattle over the road from the restaurant. Their steaks remain legendary. Only fresh, often organic and where possible local ingredients are used to prepare the dishes.
My family and I visited the restaurant on a sunny Winter’s day, with our two young boys in tow. To start our lunch we chose to have a glass of bubbly and as per recommendation, tried the Ken Forrester MCC Chenin Blanc, which was delicious and smooth. Freshly baked farm bread was brought to the table with Rosemary and lemon infused olive oil. The kids menu has a choice of pasta, cheese burger or calamari – served in a picnic box with a fruit stick, lollipop and an ice cream cone is served after the meal.
For starters we shared Steamed Mussels in a mild curry cream sauce. Hubby had the fillet steak for main course, which he thoroughly enjoyed. It was cooked to perfection and excellent quality. For lunch I prefer fish and chose the Oven Roasted Linefish, served with wilted kale and basil pesto.
For dessert we were treated to the 96 Winery Road Dessert Platter, which we shared and was the perfect choice! A taster of each dessert. It included Creme Brulee, their famous (flourless) Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate dessert (YUM!), Lemon Tart, Vanilla and Apple Tart Tatin with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Pod ice cream.
The service was outstanding. Many of the waiting staff have been at the restaurant for years and are knowledgeable and helpful. 96 Winery Road is an excellent choice of restaurant for superior quality, honest food in the Winelands.
Winery Road, Stellenbosch | Tel: 021 – 842 2020 | www.96wineryroad.co.za