If you’ve ever done any research on what to get up to when you’re still in South Africa’s Western Cape province, but not in the bustling metropolis that is Cape Town, you’ll have come across The Spice Route.
The Spice Route is a modern twist to the historical pattern of awaiting seasonal cross-continental trading of old. The tourist honeytrap in Paarl (40min drive from Cape Town), is where one can journey with family and friends for the day, to experience a “sensory feast for today’s connoisseurs of craftsmanship and authenticity.” – The Spice Route
It’s not a concept entirely unique, but its different enough to have a draw, thanks to the collaborative efforts of some wine and hospitality business owners and enthusiasts. Enter The Spice Route to see artisanal produce carefully curated to be shared with the public.
“The vision for Spice Route is to offer local and international tourists a selection of hand-picked artisanal producers who put as much thought, skill and passion into their products as Spice Route Winemaker, Charl du Plessis, puts into his wines,” – Spice Route Wines Owner, Charles Back.
Amid my weekend escapades to the luxurious Majeka House and the breathtaking Val du Charron, my friend and I hightailed it to The Spice Route as we’d heard good things about it. The drive was relaxing, and the scenery had rolling hills and horsies! I was expecting either a super quiet and chilled ambiance, or hectic crowds; Turns out The Spice Route is the ideal in-between.
Hunger had me focused on settling in at the Bertus Basson restaurant, and stuffing my face.
Bertus Basson is a celebrated South African chef and restaurateur, and my tummy was keen to experience what one of his acclaimed establishments had to offer.
Bertus Basson built his Spice Route restaurant menu on favored traditional SA dishes, and any visitors to the farm can enjoy a leisurely lunch on the patio(South Africans say stoep), or under the oak tree.
(We got the traditional sunday lunch)
Stacey’s pickled fish, radish and coriander, and the Chicken liver parfair, onion marmalade, and ciabatta toast – Honestly my favorites from the meal. Living in Cape Town has made me accustomed to pickled fish around Easter time, and the succulent flavors coming from this BB dish, were incredibly spicy …which I loved. The Onion marmalade in the other dish was sooo good. I thought marmalade could only be like, regular jam. Bertus Basson introduced me to a whole new world.
Call me 😀 Lady Marmalade! (nooooo, doooont!LOL)
There was the Focaccia bread, whole roasted pears, olive oil mousse, and smoked aubergine puree. The pears presented such a different and interestingly sweet element. The bread was fresh and went down easy with that nice olive oil mousse.
I do not get aubergine’s though, so THAT puree was not well recieved by my taste buds
I’ve NEVER had kale, but I went ahead and tried something new with their Kale salad with beetroot, mustard dressing, and soy seeds.
Is Kale the lovechild of lettuce and spinach?
I mean, I could eat it again, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to love it. The salad was refreshingly crisp though.
Have the braised lamb pie with gravy when you go to Bertus Basson if you want to fill up easy. The best pies I ‘ve ever had, are still the exclusively Eastern Cape Shamrock pies, with Nanaga pies coming second. However, Bertus Basson serves a decent pie for Sunday lunch.
Get your carbs in with the crispy potatoes, sour cream, and green onions, or have the kids get their veggie fix with the broccoli and miso butter. For the meatlovers, the smoked pork belly, forgotten carrots (why were they forgotten?) and salsa verde wont placate the full hunger of your carnivorous soul, but the hectic smoke smell and delicious spicy taste is SO. DARN. DELICIOUS!
Cremora tart, crumble, pineapple and vanilla ice cream.
I. DONT. LIKE. FRUIT. IN. EVERYTHING!
8/10 Bertus Basson
A rather remarkable Sunday meal.
Every ingredient could be tasted individually, and the flavors came together so wholesomely that any customer is left full of satisfaction and sleepy contentment.
Are substitutions allowed?
The restaurant attempts to accommodate everyone’s dietary needs, but their menu is small and seasonal so sometimes you’ll have to just avoid the grub
…or have an EpiPen at the ready.
What of the drinks & booze?
Spice Route is all about wine and things so of course Bertus Basson has a liquor license, and offers you a choice of wine, beer and a few cocktail mixes.
There are non-alcoholic beverages, so the kids are good on juice and things.
Filtered still, or sparkling water, can be provided with your meals.