Clos Malverne restaurant with views of the vineyards. Image by Liezel Malherbe 9Lives

Clos Malverne restaurant with views of the vineyards. Image by Liezel Malherbe 9Lives

When booking at the restaurant at Clos Malverne in Devon Valley, we mentioned that it was a special occasion, so they placed us at a table overlooking the estate. We settled on the four-course food and wine-pairing menu. Each course and wine was carefully explained and our waiter looked after our palettes with courtesy and laughter.

Although a finicky eater, I’m still prone to experimentation, and the Norwegian Salmon Ceviche, with a creamy miso paste, wasabi and salad greens set my taste buds aglow with anticipation. The Saldanha Mussels served in a delicious Thai green curry paste were, according to my partner, the best tasted in years.

The Norwegian Salmon Ceviche dish.

The Confit of Duck Arancini with thyme, cashew nuts, roasted onion sauce and a mushroom panna cotta with marinated aubergine, roasted pine nuts with basil and phyllo wafers put many Johannesburg fine dining restaurants to shame.

Choosing the grilled fillet as a main course, I declined the biltong and spring onion ‘pap’ croquette, and substituted it with mash. The fillet was perfectly done and the matured cheddar sauce worked well without being over-sweet.

The grilled beef fillet main course.

The grilled Springbok Loin was tender, tasty and perfectly served with a cauliflower puree, butternut and goats cheese Arancini and a red wine jus.

I find dessert is often the nail in an over-fed tummy, however the raspberry and pear crumble with cassia bark and white chocolate ice-cream sounded too scrumptious to miss. The fruits were fresh and tangy, and the crunchy crumble beautifully served. Served with ‘Happy Anniversary’ emblazoned around the plate in a dark chocolate sauce and a complimentary glass of Champagne, it was this personal touch that will make us return.

Happy Anniversary Raspberry and Pear Crumble dessert. Images courtesy Sue Charlton.

The food and wine servings were small enough to enjoy. The delicate glassware and crockery was impressive, and nothing beats proper linen napkins and silver cutlery. Clos is not just about good wine; it is also about good food.

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