As Winelands restaurants go, there’s a lot about Bistro 13 to like. It starts with friendly staff, home-baked breads and a small menu. It finishes with memorable desserts, were the soft nougat, poached fruit and crunchy almond meringue is particularly special. There is also the restaurant’s proximity – from Cape Town’s CBD it’s only 40km along the N2.
Meet the Chef
Chef Nic van Wyk leads the kitchen team at this Welmoed Estate restaurant, with Roxy Laker managing its customers. Van Wyk trained at La Colombe, and later partnered chef Michael Broughton at Terroir.
Bistro 13 is Van Wyk’s first solo gig, and his plates have pulled in the crowds since the restaurant opened in September 2014. Stellenbosch Vineyards has an adjacent tasting room, so their well-priced wine ranges dominate the wine list, alongside Van Wyk’s personal wine favourites from other farms.
Modern Decor for All
A fireplace keeps the modern, minimalist space cosy, and in good weather it feels as if the cleverly designed front section extends from the open kitchen to the shady deck. Bistro 13 attracts winemakers and people after business lunches on weekdays. At weekends you’ll find relaxed families eating while toddlers play on the jungle gym, and older kids tumbling about in soccer friendlies on the lawns.
The short menu is easy to navigate for lunch or dinner, but if you struggle with indecision, I’d recommend the Feed Me Experience. Select any two starters, two mains and one dessert – or leave it to the chef – and enjoy great value in a five-courser in taster portions.
Our Personal Favourites
Van Wyk won’t serve fish unless it’s a sustainable species, and you’ll be in luck if yellowtail is on offer. Easily overcooked, this panfried fish floats on a beurre blanc sauce cleverly balanced with harissa spice. It’s smartly partnered with fried-to-crispy chickpeas, roasted cauliflower, and aubergine baba ganoush puree.
This is bistro fare, so Van Wyk gives a nod to traditional Afrikaans bredie with slow-braised lamb shoulder with potato and green beans. The cheffy twist? It’s deboned, with puffy onion rings, and white pepper sauce poured over. As he puts it, bredie made posh.
Feed Me Experience
Any five taster dishes at R240 per person (price valid until end of August) for lunch or dinner excluding Sundays. R300 per person including paired wines.
Who What, Where:
021 881 3044
Words: Kim Maxwell