Situated in the beautifully revamped original cellar of the Manor House, the focus at The Werf Restaurant is on presenting contemporary farm to table dining using the best of available local, seasonal and ethically-sourced ingredients. This is offered in an eclectic environment of decor and cooking spaces where the kitchen comes out of the shadows and comes alive inside the restaurant.
Expect fragrant fermented breads, slow-roasted ribs and brisket sourced from the herd of Angus cattle on Boschendal farm, or house-smoked meat and fish, and accomplished desserts.
The Werf Restaurant is fast establishing itself as a foodie hotspot in the winelands. Our new shared meal experience, crafted by Chef Christiaan Campbell, is a testament to farm to table dining in a contemporary style. Share and savour these shared farm feast dishes at the beautifully revamped restaurant with views over the food garden towards spectacular mountain vistas.
Diners can sample a seasonal selection of fresh farm and garden harvest including vegetables, crisp salads and fragrant herbs. Make your shared meal choice from a daily seasonal menu with plentiful platters such as naturally raised Boschendal Angus beef, glazed lamb ribs, slow cooked shoulder, roasted lamb rump, burnt onions, Romesco sauce or ocean fish en papillote baked in parchment paper, octopus, squid, fillet of line fish, basil, parsley & dill garden herbs, buttered potato mousse and pickled tomato.
Freshness, authenticity and artistry characterise each plate and our dishes are constantly evolving in rhythm with the seasons.
Our daily menu is small and seasonal. What we offer depends on the daily harvest and creativity of our chefs. A sample menu below gives an indication of what to expect.
'origin showcased with authenticity'
Boschendal (Bos-en-dal) means bush and valley, and The Werf, the kitchen. Here happy cows graze and laze on the grass, chickens and ducks roam free, and more than 150 pigs feed in the forest (often on funghi earmarked for the menu). Ingredients are gently elevated from the earth to your plate. They don't simply embrace sustainability, they live it. Tables are made from wood from the estate, uniforms are made of hemp; wherever you look, nature is on display.
The menu is devised to devour what is being harvested prolifically in the garden. "We are confined to the garden, but it forces us back to our feet. We used to chop, now we try to show the whole ingredient – an expression of the whole vegetable," claims chef Christiaan Campbell proudly. "We use a combination of techniques, from modern to hot smoking and boiling in salt. There are not a lot of ingredients in a dish, just three or four main components. We do not use miso or soy – we make our own umami, like bokkoms."
The cuisine is stylish, earthy and humble. The menu is presented in four sections – garden, ocean, pasture and sweet. There are always two dishes and a dessert on the small, bespoke menu for vegans. The flavours of carrots with parsnip dumplings and dates or the roasted-aged beetroot with quince, num num and Eugenia berries, always delight. The farmed trout, warm, with a cucumber broth and cold-potato salad, works beautifully. Pasture takes centre stage – pork neck, a salt-baked rib terrine with porcini mushrooms and smoked-red pepper, or the grilled-Angus steak with pine-ring mushrooms. Both are heavenly. Leave a gap for the gorgeous desserts. The jersey-milk mousse with dulce de leche and malted-milk sorbet presented on a Sable Breton biscuit has sweet and salty in sync. The passion fruit with dark chocolate, meringue and macadamia nuts too, is perfect.
Allow enough time to explore the Boschendal estate, the second oldest wine farm in SA, dating back to 1685. Even better, plan an overnight, sophisticated 'farm stay' in one of the cottages and experience a true working farm, the deli, farm shop and manor house.
"We use what we grow. Here carrots are not delivered by a supplier, clean and of the same size. Here we wash them – we take them from soil to plate." Chef Christiaan Campbell