Culinary Quest: Grande Roche Hotel

You cannot miss the right note when performing a symphony – even an epicurean one.

Chef Kevin Grobler works to ensure that the right tone is struck, consistently, at his own culinary cathedral.

He and his team never miss a beat as they churn out seasonally-inspired edible art that fills people up. And that’s why everything from Afternoon Tea to Dinner service at his restaurant, ushers in hoards of the ravenous and appreciative.

Years on from its opening, and months following its menu and interior facelift, this restaurant is still exciting, exacting, and worth it.

This is Grande Roche Hotel’s Restaurant

Switch gears from the bustling inner city tempo of Cape Town, for the sedate pace of the Winelands, and bite into some of the most delicious cuisines this side of the country, at an estate lauded as the grand dame of the Cape.

A feast of the senses is probably the aptest way to describe Chef Kevin Grobler’s dining design here.

Dining here is a vibrant realization of accessible glamour, heart, and hearty meals – to be enjoyed by people willing to throw themselves into the theatre of fine dining.

From sunrise to sunset, at the Grande Roche Hotel restaurants, diners get piques of pleasure in morsels. Plates of glazed, descaled, prodded, and posed ingredients show the quiet confidence of the kitchen team and the globalized recipes made with locally-sourced ingredients.

Expect choices like Spinach Tagliatelle, Miso Crème Caramel, perfectly fluffed Eggs, Seafood Laksa Curry, Pepper Crusted Venison Loin, Peanut and Coffee Meringue, and so much more to rotate into your menu, depending on when you visit.

My favourite is the Confit Duck prepared so well it comes close to my favourite Duck Confit at a lauded Los Angeles joint.

3 Plates R550 per person | 4 Plates R650 per person

The Chef’s Deal

From what I’ve seen when there (nods, smiles, people pausing to savour etc.) the resident head chef is a masterful manipulator of flavours into what most diners would never even dream up, but end up pleasantly surprised by.

The sauces can come off a bit too sweet or rich for some palates though.

While carving his chapter in the food & dining world’s history books, Chef Kevin Grobler ran the kitchen at award-winning chef & Restaurateur Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen’s Michelin-starred JAN in Nice, France.

He’s seasoned.

He’s adaptable.

And the Grande Roche menu is a testament to Chef Grobler’s ability to deliver the right note, for the most part.

The wrong note in a meal which you’ve set time and money aside for, can derail more than just your stomaches’ steady status quo. It dismantles any prior good faith in the region the eatery calls home. There’s a taint that carries to the team that made it possible, and to the very ingredients now marred with distrust.

With an understanding of exactly how striking the right note across the board influences, the Grande Roche Estate team craft a delightful drinking and dining experience for their visitors – hotel guests, table bookings, and hopeful walk-ins alike.

Good Bars, bar none?

Serving up everything from Negronis to the house’s take on an Old Fashioned and their patently delicious Paarl Sour (Auchentoshan American Oak, Lemon Juice, Sugar Syrup, Flat Rock Red, Egg white), Grande Roche’s bars add to the estate experience.

Pick your poison from non-alcoholic drinks to beer, wine, imported luxury teas, cocktails, and more, and then enjoy an hour or three of lazy revelry indoors or outdoors on the elegant furnishings fit for fine dining and food coma languishing.

My favourite hangout is The Clubhouse – complete with tropical viridian print wallpaper reminiscent of the famed Banana Leaf Martinique Leaf Wallpaper of The Beverly Hills™ Hotel.

With the additions of dark furnishings and mixes of industrial-style light fixtures hung at different exposed lengths, the boho jungle-vibe Clubhouse feels like getting exclusive access to members-only watering holes like SOHO House.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Grande Roche’s hotel keeps a good balance between formal & relaxed hospitality, as well as being streamlined with an exemplary ‘Zero Waste’ strategy.

The restaurant is also gorgeous, with its warm shades of gold, mustard gold, splashes of fern green, and the rich complimentary browns in the restaurant and bar.

Head to Grande Roche Hotel for articulate dining opportunities which test diners’ individual palates and their sense of adventure.

The Grande Afternoon Tea is not to be missed!

Enjoy a glass of sparkling wine or grape juice on arrival and tantalize your taste buds with options like Cold Cut Bruschetta, Grilled Onion Cups, Lemon Meringue, Custard Slices, Assorted Macaroons, Chocolate Cake and Peanut Cremeux…

Grande Roche Hotel.(2023).

By My Recommendation:

+27 (0)21 863 5100
1 Plantasie St, Paarl, Cape Town, Western Cape 7646, South Africa

Leave a Reply