Great restaurants are about balance, Not only in food and wine, but also people. And thus our service is as important. What makes it even more of a challenge is when all this happens on a historic and award winning wine estate. We have selected the right team and together we built from there, to create the finest dining experience at a world-class venue.
By the time the doors opened we had selected the purveyors to provide the freshest ingredients and have personally selected the wines to compliment the menu.
We take pride in the fact that time was taken with well known potter, David Walters, to create the crockery, handcrafted Riedel stemware was selected and Laguiole knives purchased, to give you an experience you wont soon forget.
There’s plenty to take your breath away at Rust en Vrede in Stellenbosch –
remarkable heritage buildings, the smooth lawns that dip into the pretty
river below, world-class wines – and Fabio’s food.
Chef Fabio Daniel earned his stripes under some serious food names,
but now, a few years on, it’s time to take this chef seriously. Playful and
ebullient in approach, he’s carved his name in the fine-dining scene.
Dinner sojourns may start on the patio, but when you take your seat in
the intimate restaurant, with optimum views of the pass, you witness
true dedication to the art. It’s serious yet playful.
Dishes like the beef carnival, eloquently plated but lightened with
swathes of colourful sauces, have personality. His langoustine dish,
sweetened with blackened garlic, served with a vanilla bisque that has
taken all day to reduce, is rich and robust, yet understated. The sixcourse set menu, with wine pairings should you wish, is a dance that
feels like a tango, and then a waltz. Only one of the Rust en Vrede red
wines is served with the main course, most are local.
While the techniques are based on French cuisine, the stories behind
the dishes make Fabio’s lineage obvious – Italian and Brazilian
parentage is celebrated throughout, from the bread to friandise (a
little kiss in Portuguese, as you would bestow on a child). The cheese
and coffee pre-desserts are an ode to his late grandmothers, served
in a glass dome as they would’ve served their cheese. As the volume
of laughter from sated diners increases, dessert is served, unveiled in
unison from beneath a silver cloche.
The kitchen team are now in full sync. There’re no smoke or mirrors. You
could call this formal fine dining, but with the level of fun being relished
by Fabio and his equally passionate team, unforgettable seems a more
fitting headline. “I only ask one thing of my team – perfection.”