Terroir opened in October 2004, and has since become one of the most sought-after gourmet destinations in the Cape Winelands, placing Stellenbosch prominently on the culinary map. The restaurant is located on Kleine Zalze, a family owned wine farm that has risen to prominence both in South Africa and internationally thanks in particular to its award-winning Chenin Blanc and Shiraz.
'source to sauce, excellence all the way' Many locals and visitors are drawn to Kleine Zalze wine estate and its picturesque setting, not just for wine and golf, but discerning food lovers flock too. A visit to this multiple award-winning estate, named the best new-world producer for the second year, suggests that you may want to start your sojourn with a wine tasting. Chef Michael Broughton is a maestro of simplicity, of creating comforting dishes that are robust in flavour, yet served with finesse. Self-taught, and legendary for instilling the foundation of fine dining in many a chef, he is known for his sublime sauces. "No single word could define our cuisine, but I'd say it's grounded in classic French methodology. We try to keep abreast of modern trends and expectations, but flavour is key," says Michael. He finds inspiration from books, technology and travel. "I often become intrigued by a single ingredient. This thought often germinates into a few ideas with added supporting ingredients which blossoms into a dish and sometimes not...this process could take a day or a few years." Be warned to take it easy on his delicious breads (baked twice daily with 'Sandy', a sour-dough starter that originated 14 years ago) preferably whilst sipping a Kleine Zalze MCC. Leave space for what will be a superb lunch or dinner, al fresco in summer, inside for a cosy meal in colder months. The fennel-cured and smoked trout with horseradish and Vichyssoise is best paired with the Kleine Zalze barrel-fermented Chenin Blanc. A generous portion of braised shoulder and grilled rack of Karoo lamb au jus with fregula, pickled mustard seeds, peas and bagna càuda, is hearty and comforting – a perfect companion for their Shiraz. The desserts, of which you will only manage one as dishes are generous, will have you delving into your diary to book a return visit. First time for the superb pistachio soufflé, second for the poached pineapple and third for the ultimate, the decadent crunchy hazelnut-centred cutie pie. "If you love what you do you will teach yourself, if you don't you'll have to be taught." Chef Michael Broughton