The Elgin Valley holds a special place in my heart. There is something, for me, that is incredibly magical about the valley. Lushes and green, rolling hills of fruit orchards and vineyards, and some of the best wines produced in this country…what is there not to love really?
Yesterday was a good day as it saw me getting to visit one of my most favourite wine estates in that valley, Paul Cluver, to experience their new look SALT restaurant and it certainly was an experience to be remembered.
The restaurant is the brainchild of legendary chef duo Craig Cormack and Beau du Toit, with Mechell Spann at the helm. It originally opened early in December of 2017, but has recently undergone a major revamp and is ready to welcome food and wine enthusiasts to this award-winning wine estate.
The new look restaurant is minimal in its approach, which is perfectly suited to the incredible vineyard views which you get to see out of the large glass windows framing the backing of the space. Regular patrons will recognize this element of the former look and feel which gives the impression that you’re outside, yet you’re not, but if you do wish to dine outside visitors also have the option to enjoy a long leisurely lunch outside on the shaded patio area, which overlooks the garden and pond.
The restaurant will be open for breakfast and lunch and will celebrate the use of only the freshest and seasonal ingredients, meals will be wholesome but offer an unusual twist. Diners can expect some popular breakfast items, with one or two unusual dishes, and lunch is a choice between a two and three-course menu.
“Our ‘SALT’ philosophy is to have an authentic approach which means using only the best ingredients to cook honest, no fuss, but tasty food, ‘’ says Craig. “It’s about keeping it real.”
In time to come there will be a picnic offering, perfect to enjoy on the lawn, but don’t think just stock standard pate’s, cheese and bread…this picnic will take some the celebrated menu items which will be perfectly curated to be enjoyed as a picnic like no other.
As far as the food goes listed below is what you can expect to see on the menu. We got to enjoy almost all of these as tasting dishes, and they were beyond amazing. Stand out dishes for me was the Ham Hock Terrine, Chicken Confit, Smoked Lamb Shoulder, Salt Water Fish and all the sweet things!
Smoked Ham Hock Terrine
Pickled cabbage, crispy coppa, apple and ale cured homemade mustard.
Cured and seared game fish, sesame, miso mayo, baby marrow, tapioca crisps.
Prawn satay, chilli jam, spring onion dressing, chicken liver pate.
Tomato Salad with Wasabi and Pine Nuts
Textures of tomato, wasabi cream cheese, pine nuts, crispy onions, edible flowers.
Forgotten carrots, carrot and yogurt puree, pickled carrots, almonds, buffalo mozzarella and harissa dressing.
Smoked Lamb Shoulder
Seared lamb loin, pea puree, chakalaka, braised lettuce, olives, spring vegetables and sage cream.
Salt Water Fish
Grilled red pepper, pickled mussels, corn puree, corn salsa, grilled corn, baby corn, parmesan crumb and chives.
Sweet Potato and Leek
Salt block glazed sweet potato, sweet potato fondant, puree, braised leeks, pumpkin seeds, burnt butter and ancient chilli relish.
Coconut Simmered Beef Brisket
Pak choi, garlic and onion puree, beef fillet sashimi, charred onions, gooseberries, and gooseberry achar.
Crispy Pork Belly
Lentils, babaganoush, grilled aubergine and wild mushrooms.
Poppy seed soil, meringue, berry compote, jelly, milk ice cream, honey and lava salt tuilles
Poached, baked, jelly, pickled, puree, labneh shard, vanilla crème pat and muesli crumble.
Chocolate mousse, coconut jelly, ginger crumble, salted sesame seed ice cream.
Banana Rum Baba
Butterscotch, cashew brittle, peanut butter ice cream, banana fritters, cinnamon crème fraiche.
With this majestic award-winning wine farm and SALT being a mere 60-minute drive out of Cape Town just do it! Trust me on this one
The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 08H30 to 16H30, and pre-booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.
For more information or to book contact 021 844 0012 or email salt(at)cluver(dot)com