The allure of the Constantia valley is one that keeps drawing us back each time we visit Cape Town. With so many exquisite secrets to be explored, each visit uncovers a new culinary indulgence.
During our most recent trip, a million delicious things filled our thoughts and our conversation as we made our way to the picturesque The Conservatory at The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel. A lunch engagement steeped in history awaited us – A legacy to behold in every mouthful. What more could two foodies ask for than a mindful touch of home-cooking with the sophistication of a fine-dining experience.
This superb combination was executed in the most beautiful setting with dishes filled with inspired flavour. Executive Chef Tronette Dippenaar is the creative mind behind The Conservatory’s taste-bud-tantalizing experience.
From the moment we stepped into the exquisite property, we were met with the kindest welcome. We were seated in the most perfect spot, overlooking the gardens as we sipped on a gorgeous glass of Warwick First Lady 2018 and perused the menu. Much discussion took place as we discussed each dish. A selection which reminded us how our country’s seasonal changes bring with them unique and complimentary flavours. Tronette’s deft touch when handling these is nothing short of extraordinary. With so many incredible options, it took us some time to decide what our indulgences would be.
After placing our order, we took in the space for a few minutes in silence as we simply enjoyed the moment. Chef Tronette’s charisma and zest for food and fresh seasonal products was beautifully reflected in every dish placed in front of us.
We began with the Aged Boland Cheese Souffle with shaved Parmesan, gin cheese sauce, as well as the Springbok Carpaccio. Both took us on the richest journey of taste. A perfect beginning to our sensory exploration. Next came another Springbok sensation and the beautifully balanced Taste of the Overberg – Braised lamb shoulder, lamb cutlet, leg of lamb, minted pea puree, baby carrots, ratatouille, black garlic and lamb jus. Both prepared to perfection are certainly dishes we will be returning for.
After such a satisfying main course, we settled in for a bit before pondering dessert. Our ultimate indulgence came in the Liz McGrath’s Chocolate Plate – passion fruit, dark chocolate fondant, white chocolate ice cream. This signature dish is a decadently dreamy note to end off a wonderful meal.
We were transported into a wondrous world of flavour and imagination. The freshest seasonal produce, uncomplicated clean flavours and classical elegance with impeccable service make The Conservatory a truly unforgettable experience. It’s clear to see the passion and heart in every moment and mouthful. Thank you Chef Tronette and The Conservatory team for such a memorable experience.
Images courtesy of Dylan Louw Photography