Tucked away in Tokai, Steenberg Vineyards is a welcoming respite from the everyday bustle of the inner city. More importantly, it is a key part of the idyllic Constantia Wine Valley.
Steenberg Vineyards Has It All
Steenberg offers plenty for its visitors. Especially with its five-star hotel accommodation and spa, golf course, award-winning wines and two in-house restaurants in Tryn and Bistro Sixteen82.
Best of all, Steenberg lies a mere 30 minutes from the city centre. This makes it wonderfully accessible for both local- and international-guests.
What I love most, though, is, as you drive up its entrance – all thought of city life fades.
Sprawling Southern Suburbs suburbia, traffic lights and busy roads switch out for neat vineyards, lush gardens (attractively dotted with brightly coloured Edoardo Villa art sculptures) and imposing mountain views.
Somehow, Steenberg Vineyards manages to encapsulate soothing farm life. Just with an upmarket, refined touch of modernity felt at every turn.
Bistro Sixteen82 at Steenberg Vineyards: Where Quality Lunches Abound
I was recently invited to visit Bistro Sixteen82 for a wonderful lunch experience.
I was seriously blown away by this beautiful bistro. Everything from the food to the service and restaurant setting is of the highest standard.
This becomes immediately clear upon entering the upmarket Bistro Sixteen82-and-tasting-room facility in one.
With tasteful interiors – like plush wine tasting- or comfy dining-couches, a staggeringly beautiful, teardrop glass chandelier/bar feature, walls of ‘wine’ and floor-to-ceiling windows, it has a classy edge to it, without being over-the-top in its opulence.
The bistro itself offers both cosy indoor and picturesque outdoor seating.
The seating really allows you to soak up the beauty of the gardens that surround both the bistro and adjacent tasting room.
The exteriors are particularly tasteful with reflective water features and distant mountain views that atmospherically set the tone. (Especially on a moody, overcast day.)
Bistro Sixteen82: Darling of the Cape Town Culinary Scene
Bistro Sixteen82 first opened its doors in 2009. Since then, it has been well-known and loved among culinary enthusiasts from Cape Town and beyond.
Equipped with the skills and mastery of their executive chef, Kerry Kilpin – it’s easy to see why this cosy, yet ultra-elegant bistro is so popular.
With a menu that revolves around the seasons (as much as whatever is freshest and best on the local front), Bistro Sixteen82 offers perfect breakfast, lunch or late-afternoon tapas-style dining.
Dine at the Cape’s Oldest Farm
Steenberg Vineyards has a rich history that makes it a unique, long-standing part of Cape heritage.
First established in 1682, Steenberg is the Cape’s oldest farm. Something that Bistro Sixteen82 poignantly pays homage to through its name.
Although there is certainly nothing outdated about either Steenberg or this elegant bistro.
An Inspired, Loving Twist to Traditional Staples
Even the most traditional dishes or desserts (like bread and butter pudding) are given a creative, inspired twist that takes your breath away. First with the plating and presentation – and then with the taste and textures that permeate your taste buds.
Chef Kerry cooks with love and passion – and this shows in her food. Everything from the hearty mains to the decadent desserts are like a warm, enveloping hug (in your mouth).
It is easy to see why this charming bistro, with its varied, excellent menus, has raked in accolades both locally and internationally.
In fact, Bistro Sixteen82 even made it into the ’20 of the World’s Best Winery Restaurants’ list, as decided by Wine Access, a renowned Canadian magazine.
Winter Warmers: Weekday Lunch Specials at Bistro Sixteen82
As we hurtle towards winter with icy haste, few things can be more satisfying and soul-warming than a good, hearty main and a decadent dessert. Perhaps with a good, strong cup of coffee or sinfully dark hot chocolate to go with it.
Happily, for lunchgoers visiting Bistro Sixteen82, hearty, wholesome winter lunches are the order of every day.
Best of all, the bistro is also running an excellent (weekdays-only) winter lunch special.
Note: This offering is only valid until 30 September 2021 for tables of up to 10 people maximum.
Enjoy two-, three- or four-courses from their delicious lunch menu and save.
Pricing is as follows:
– Two courses: R275 per person.
– Three courses: R315 per person.
– Four courses: R350 per person.
Note: Lunch hours are from 12:00 – 15:00 pm daily.
However, this winter lunchtime special can only be redeemed on weekdays. It therefore excludes weekends and public holidays.
To enjoy this wonderful winter lunch special, please contact the bistro directly on: +27 (021) 713 2211 or email them at email@example.com.
Bistro Fare at its Beautiful, Bountiful Best
Although we visited over a weekend and did not enjoy the lunch special, we were fortunate enough to try a three-course option (starter, main and dessert) from the bistro’s most current, freshly thought up menu.
Both the food and drink menus immediately impress. The meal- and drink-variations are some of the best I have encountered anywhere.
With everything from creative starters (such as our fresh, flavourful apple and cranberry salad, with quinoa, red cabbage, sunflower seeds and sumac vinaigrette) to hearty, yet innovative mains and tempting desserts – choosing what to order is the trickiest part.
When we were conflicted, we relied on our excellent, unobtrusive waitress, Gwen. (She, like the bistro’s other staff, was efficient, professional and a joy to deal with.)
Super Starters, Marvellous Mains and Dreamy Desserts…
Our tasty starter (R95) was the perfect introduction to both the bistro’s delicious fare, as well as to its tasteful plating and presentation style. Our starter was an easy 9/10 for me.
From there, we were perhaps even more eagerly anticipating our mains. (Although, to keep us content, we also received some lovely fresh bread pieces and olives for our table.)
My friend, Alicia – who favours more vegetarian-style cuisine – opted for the wholesome, tasty roasted garlic and broccoli risotto with pecorino cheese, onion and macadamia nut crumble (R98/148).
This, she said, was excellent and easily worthy of a 9.5 to 10/10 rating.
Although the menu was sorely tempting, in the end, I went with one of the meals of the day.
In my case, it was the excellent pumpkin gnocchi, pulled beef, bacon, crumbed tomato ragout with emmental cream (R195).
Now, I am always a fan of gnocchi but I know, sometimes, ordering this can be a hit-and-miss, with starchy or dense gnocchi ruining the day.
But honestly, Chef Kerry’s is now officially the best gnocchi dish that I have tried.
It was absolutely faultless and so perfectly complemented by everything from the tender, perfectly cooked pulled beef to the soothing, creamy pumpkin flavour.
More than that, though, it was visually stunning and absolutely popped with colour on an otherwise dreary grey day.
Call it fanciful – but I swear the rain clouds parted and the sun beamed out onto our table as our mains arrived.
Perfect in Every Way
My main garners an effortless 10/10 rating. It was beautifully presented, stylish and colourful, while also tasting (more than) great.
This is easily one of the most impressive meals I have had. It was perfectly balanced and full of warm, rich flavours.
Yet perhaps the best part about our main(s) was that, while beautifully plated, they were in no way finicky ‘art on a plate’. These were mains as they should be: hearty, warm and satisfying.
I also was impressed by how quickly the food was served, despite the bistro being quite busy.
Food was brought to our table hot, yet not scalding hot. So, in essence, our lunch mains were altogether perfect.
Dessert Menu of Your Dreams
If we thought the bistro’s starters and mains were hard to choose between, nothing could have prepared us for the oh-so-tempting dessert menu.
At a glance, everything from my divine banoffee bread and butter pudding (with caramel, vanilla mousse and pecan nut praline ice-cream) (R92) to Alicia’s orange and yoghurt mille-feuille (with cardamom gel, honeycomb and calamansi ice-cream) (R88) was sorely tempting.
Although, I think we both chose excellently in the end.
My dessert was one of the most mouthwatering, heavenly desserts I have had.
Not only was it pretty as a picture but it was also hugely filling and well-priced for its size.
It was, however, quite rich and for this reason only, is a 9.5/10 overall for me.
If ever a traditional dessert has been taken and jazzed up, it was my banoffee bread and butter pudding. 🙂
My friend rated her dessert 8/10 (only because she is French and therefore, a mille-feuille purist) but considers the honeycomb 10/10 on its own!
Again, this dessert was a feast for the eyes.
In addition to our gorgeous desserts (seriously some of the most beautiful desserts you will see), we also both ordered some hot chocolate.
This was dark Swiss hot chocolate ganache and steamed milk (R37) and, like everything else we ordered, was divine. An easy 9/10; no sugar required.
Sustainable Fishing Practices that Support Local Fishermen
Another thing that really stood out about the bistro’s sustainable approach to food is their ethically sourced fish. They have a wonderful initiative in place concerning this.
When you order their ethically sourced fish, you receive a little wooden fish with a scannable card. By scanning this, you can track where your catch of the day was caught.
This promotes more conscious, ethical eating. The ethically sourced fish comes directly from the fisherfolk to the restaurant. All proceeds go to the fisherfolk.
Since its inception, this practice has both safeguarded our fishing industry and those whose livelihoods depend on it.
In the initiative’s first year, Chef Kerry invited the fishermen to enjoy a meal at the restaurant and see how and where their catches ended up.
Then, in the second or third year, where previously the fishermen had to take out loans in their off-season, the proceeds from the ethically sourced fish (from Bistro Sixteen82 and other local eateries) became enough to sustain them.
To me, this is a truly heart-warming story and yet another example of how Chef Kerry and her team are setting a very high quality standard for local dining and sustainable, yet innovative cooking methods.
How It Rated Overall
Honestly, our entire experience at Bistro Sixteen82 – from the moment we arrived to our last mouthful – was pretty faultless.
And, judging from the contented conservations and appreciative comments from our fellow diners, this feeling was mutual.
Bistro Sixteen82 is a truly memorable culinary experience for so many reasons.
Not only is the eatery beautifully decked out – with eyecatching touches like the vineyard stumps mounted against the ceiling or the comfy couch seating – but it runs like clockwork.
The staff are well-trained, polite and welcoming. Overall service is efficient and attentive – even with fewer table checks due to COVID-19.
Another thing worth noting is that, during COVID-19 times, they have implemented strict protocols and safety measures to keep both staff and diners safe.
Everyone entering the estate – and again, at the bistro/tasting room areas – has a temperature check done.
I am normally extremely cautious and avoid indoor dining during COVID-19 whenever possible. Yet even I felt perfectly safe inside the socially distanced restaurant and tasting room vicnities.
As for the food and drinks (including their impressive, award-winning wines and other beverages), it is of the highest quality and most varied nature.
Chef Kerry and the entire bistro team have created a culinary paradise in the Constantia Wine Route.
A Word of Thanks
I would like to thank Steenberg Vineyards and GC Communications for hosting me for this wonderful lunch experience.
A special thanks to Shannon Petersen, as well as to Chef Kerry Kilpin and the entire Bistro Sixteen82 team for this memorable three-course lunch.
Finally, as always, thank you to my dearest friend and trusty travel partner, Alicia, for joining me.
For more information on Bistro Sixteen82 at Steenberg, please contact: +27 (021) 713 2211 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit their website or find them for yourself at Steenberg Vineyards, Steenberg Estate, Steenberg Road, Tokai, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
Author: Tamlyn Ryan
Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.
Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.