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A surprising black out in the estate of one of the biggest diamond traders globally: Restaurant Delaire Graff (6. December 2023)

| February 5, 2024 | 0 Comments

The Delaire Graff estate is the hobby of the world famous diamond trader Graff, and you can feel and see that the place comes from proper money as it’s artsy and very appealing at the same time. I had booked for 7pm, but arrived 6pm, so it was time to relax with a glass of wine in the garden restaurant …

… which offers a lovely view onto the wine region of Stellenboesch. And the Chardonnay I have tried (Terraced Block Chardonnay, Delaire Graff, 2022) was an exceptional Chardonnay I can definitely recommend you to try.

The amuse bouche, a “braised duck leg with pistachio crumble, chick pea cream, and a curry leaf” was also served in the terrace restaurant, and then it was apparently time to move inside.

I decided to go for the “Signature Chef’s Menu” (1’550 ZAR) with the “Wine Pairing” (675 ZAR), which started off with some “bread & spread”, which was overall lovely.

The “asparagus (Parmesan, kale, truffle)” really worked well together as you had the salty crispiness of the kale and the creamy sauce of the Parmesan – a great combination of different flavours and textures. The black truffle on top of everything wasn’t really necessary, IMHO.

The different “garden beetroot (lemon cremé fraiche, hazelnut)” with the lemon cremé fraiche and the hazelnut worked well. I always find it interesting to see different versions of the same type of vegetables – and it worked really well together.

What I found somewhat hilarious was that the estate wasn’t able to bring up the generators during load shedding this evening. I mean, load shedding is a common thing in South Africa, and that there is no light for a minute or two, is normal, however, if you’re an estate like the Delaire Graff, then my expectation would somehow be that you’re able to bring up the generator.

In any case, it wasn’t an issue, as the kitchen kept working (almost in the dark) and the restaurant was lit up with mobile halogen lamps.

Once the light was back, the dinner continued with the “East coast crayfish (bisque, zucchini, sweetcorn, tomato)”, which was okay, but the crayfish was definitely too dry. I suppose this was due to the emergency handling in the kitchen when the light had gone out. Still, a bit of a pity to be honest.

However, the “Caldhame free range duck (kei apple, Brussels sprout, Cape Malay sauce)” on the other hand was actually exquisite. The duck was perfectly cooked to temperature, nicely rose on the inside, but with a perfect bite – and the Cape Malay sauce complemented it very well.

The second main was the “Karoo wagyu prime & tongue (heirloom radish, turnip, garlic, Botmaskop demi-glace)”, which was lovely in terms of flavour profile, but could have been a bit warmer, plus the portion was super generous, given the size of the other courses.

The sweet side started off a bit unusual – with “Hilton Blue & Oast (tomato, wild sage)”. I have had blue cheese ice cream in the past, and I must say, I generally enjoy it, however, the actual blue cheese crumbles on the bottom of the dish were not really necessary as they overpowered the rest. The tiny sugared sage leaf added to the dish, but there could have been one or two more.

Then it was time for the “organic macadamia torte (vanilla namelaka, pear, quince, noble late harvest)”, and while I am usually not a fan of such type of sweets, this was actually absolutely delicious.

Last but not least, it was time for a few “chocolates”, which were – overall – nice. Especially, the caramel was exactly to my gusto!

The place, when there is light, is absolutely stunning, so, definitely worth dining here, also in terms of interior. However, the table feet are somewhat bulky, which makes sitting at a small table very uncomfortable. The service does a good job – to be fair, I was a bit complicated in asking to change tables (because the first one was truly uncomfortable to sit at) – however, they are not fully up to the task. I had to ask for a tooth pick two times and sometimes it took them a while to realise that the water glass was empty again.

What I liked a lot about the place as well was their little sentences at the entrance of the kitchen …

… although I do not agree with the last one!

The place is truly astounding when you enter it …

… and walk through the gardens.

Given the place is rather exclusive, I would highly recommend you to book the table in the restaurant in advance.


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Contact Details:

Restaurant Delaire Graff

Delaire Graff Estate

Helshoogte Rd


7600 Stellenbosch (ZA)

Tel.: +27 21 885 8160

E-Mail: reservations@delaire.co.za

Homepage: https://www.delaire.co.za/dine/restaurants/delaire-graff/

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
5'608.13 ZAR (incl. tip) Filed in: Cape Town (ZA), Restaurants, Stellenboesch (ZA)

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