WORDS: KIT HEATHCOCK IMAGES: KIT HEATHCOCK & MARK HOBERMAN
Sitting on the terrace at Terroir in warm winter sunshine and looking over the lawns where majestic oak trees have turned gold, we taste the new winter menu and any winter blues are promptly banished by hearty, beautifully executed dishes.
In a food world that’s constantly changing, a lovely thing about Terroir is its consistency. Chalkboard menu, classic combinations with seasonal innovative touches, chef Michael Broughton doesn’t go for glamour so much as for real good food. The restaurant interior, cosy and unassuming with a log ﬁ re burning, has the air of a French country restaurant, so quietly conﬁdent of its cuisine that decor is secondary.
In the ﬁfteen years since Michael opened Terroir on Kleine Zalze wine estate, it has featured regularly in the Eat Out Top 10 and, as food fashions come and go, Terroir stands the test of time.
The winter special set menu is the perfect opportunity for locals to indulge affordably. An amuse bouche sets the tone – a mini doughnut demurely seated on tart apricot jam sauce, the ﬁrst bite revealing an intense beef cheek ﬁlling, a lovely play of sweet-savoury contrasts. A trout and horseradish classic combination with wasabi caviar pearls, leaves space on the plate for the unusual twist of a warm leek and potato soup poured at the table. Crusty sourdough, baked in-house twice a day, mops the plate clean. If you have trouble deciding whether you like your lamb best slow cooked and falling apart or just waved over a ﬂame and still sweet and pink in the middle, our delicious main ticks both boxes – tender pink cutlets on a bed of braised lamb shoulder with fregola, pea puree, and pickled mustard seeds, it does winter proud with a hint of spring in the freshness of the peas.
We taste three irresistible desserts – a light and frothy pistachio souffle with a dollop of ice cream and dark vanilla caramel poured in at the table, a fabulous “Cutie pie” chocolate-hazelnut-marshmallow concoction with espresso ice cream, and a delicate Catalan Crème with saffron ice cream.
Terroir reopens 10 July after its winter break and the excellent value winter special – including two glasses of Kleine Zalze wine – continues until 30 September for lunch and dinner.
Terroir | 021 880 8167 | kleinezalze.co.za/terroir