Chefs Nic van Wyk and Westley Muller joined forces with the von Arnim family to revamp the Haute Cabriere Cellar restaurant, and have launched a new menu of modern classically-inspired dishes that fit the restaurant’s aesthetic of informal fine dining, with dishes showcased on both a la carte and tasting menus.

“The new menu is all about classic dishes done in a modern way,” explains Muller, who says that while presentation is important, “in the end what counts is working layers of flavour into each and every dish.” Standout dishes include Lamb Loin served with an intense tomato basil jus, black rice and Provençal vegetables; Smoked Ham Hock with pork belly and Brussels sprout brims with Continental flavours; and a Cape Bouillabaisse.

Local produce such as Franschhoek trout is showcased throughout, and many vegetables sourced from the estate’s vegetable gardens. The two chefs also have a great fondness for sauces, saying “We love sauces; it’s what really forms the foundation of a great dish,” says Muller, who will happily spend two days carefully reducing and refining a single sauce. “In sauces there are no shortcuts. Nothing must detract from the final product,” adds van Wyk.

In the near future the kitchen will also offer a dedicated ‘Garden Menu’; a daily table d’hôte menu built around whatever is fresh from the fields that same morning. “Fruit and vegetables in season simply taste better than anything imported or frozen,” explains Muller, adding that the à la carte menu will also change with the seasons.

Further, the revitalised menu celebrates the synergy between the cellar and the kitchen that has long been a hallmark of the Haute Cabrière Cellar Restaurant, combining the talents of van Wyk and Muller with those of cellarmaster Takuan von Arnim.

“Success is all about focus, and we see great potential in the renewed focus this partnership will bring to the marriage of food and wine on the estate,” says von Arnim. “While Nic and Westley certainly have the experience and skills for running a successful restaurant, more importantly we also share a passion for food, wine and creativity.”

Haute Cabrière Cellar Restaurant is situated on Franschhoek Pass (Lambrechts Road), Franschhoek. For reservations and enquiries e-mail restaurant@cabriere.co.za or call 021 876 3688. Open for lunch Tuesday to Sunday from 12h00 to 15h00 and for dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 18h30 to 21h30.

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