Posted on | June 5, 2012 | No Comments
Meerendal has been on the fringes of Durbanville since about 1792. Perhaps before the fringes of Durbanville were fringes of anything. Pinotage, the South African invented grape, has been grown there since the early 1950′s. The Meerendal koppie (Afrikaans for hill or literally “little head”) is good to walk up to see the view over Table Bay towards Cape Town and Table Mountain. Its also the only place Rose and I have run off suspended under the empty-eiderdowny wing of a paraglider: hanging in front of a pilot known as Wayne “Little Wing” Heuer.
The Meerendal Bistro lies at the foot of the koppie and has been doing breakfasts and lunches for a few years and has recently re-opened for dinners. After a late Friday afternoon photographing Waterfront flats on a Kodak compact we had a great hunger and a great thirst. We went through the northern suburb checklist. Its not that long. The family owned Italian place? No way, the accordian player prowls the floor on Fridays. What about the other wine farm? Nyet, I like their burger but am not feeling burgerish. I had received the Meerendal email newsletter a week or two ago and actually read it. Here was the news that the Bistro was now open on a night. It is on the way home to Philadelphia from Cape Town (sort of) and the trip from the restaurant home is along quiet back roads.
Thats the beauty of Cape Town: urban mass to quiet wine estate in about 25 minutes. It was about 18:30 so the home-bound rush hour traffic that starts at 14:00 in Cape Town on Fridays had long since fizzled out. The Bistro is part farmstall, part wine tasting room with a long sheltered deck running along the outside and looking over the vines and valley below. Main courses were in the R60 to R120 price range with the average price being about R75 to R80. We had chicken liver pasta on tagliatelle with red onion and wafer thin parmesan (R65) and yellowtail (a fish) with a small tower of rosti, spinach and a tasty pool of carrot coulis (R85). Estate pinotage rose was R25 per (big/full) glass and the chenin blanc was a bit more. Lots of home baked bread: raisin, white, wholewheat and butter for the table. Denzel, the manager, ran the front end smooth, steady and single handed. There were unlabelled bottles of 2005 pinotage for R40 and oldish bottles of chenin blanc for R35 in wooden half barrels in the tasting room. We had tastes of them and they were better than similar priced shop stuff. Another treat was a taste of the 2005 Heritage Pinotage. At R380 per bottle we didn’t take one home but it was an elixir with a maze of flavours.
Tel: +27 21 975 1655 | www.meerendal.co.za