Inside a gracious old Cape-style building is Faber at Avondale Estate, set against the backdrop of the Klein Drakenstein Range. The restaurant’s veranda overlooks vineyards and a sweeping valley, which is punctuated by Paarl Rock, the silhouette of Table Mountain and the Simonsberg.
Heritage and modernity blend beautifully here, with an understated elegance and a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. Everything from the far-reaching, sprawling garden – like a real-life Secret Garden – to the shaded veranda, with its vineyard pergola, hint at something special.
In the kitchen, chef Dale Stevens (in collaboration with Avondale Estate’s proprietor, Jonathan Grieve) concocts a selection of delectable dishes that not only taste and look good, but take guests on a memorable culinary journey. He creates a fine-dining, story-telling experience that will linger long after you’ve left.
Faber’s seasonal, ever-changing menu comprises wholesome offerings, and where possible, chef Dale sources from the on-site farm and garden – including edible flowers, herbs, vegetables and free-range eggs – it’s a practice they are fiercely proud of.
“We are mindful of using everything, rather than considering it as waste. You could say we apply the cooking principle of ‘nose-to-tail’ to our vegetables, too – I call it ‘root-to-leaf’,” says chef Dale.
The seasonally available organic ingredients heavily influence the menu. So if leeks and broad beans are ready to be harvested, the menu will reflect nature’s bounty with the likes of buttered broad beans, leek arancini, tomato veloute, parmesan and Kalamata olives, or grilled leek risotto with salted lemon, toasted almonds and kale.
Along with Avondale duck and Black Angus sirloin, sustainably sourced seafood is also a focus on the menu – think fire-roasted Struisbaai mullet or red roman, and heavenly Saldanha Bay trout. And when the granadilla vines are laden with ripe fruit, desserts like baked polenta with white chocolate mousse are paired with refreshing passionfruit sorbet.
A sumptuous setting
The restaurant is situated next to Avondale’s tasting room, in a historic 300-year old Cape Dutch-style building that oozes countryside charm.
Inside, the modern, open kitchen allows a privileged view of the culinary magic as it happens, and during winter, the cosy interior (adorned with indoor plants and wooden accents) is the perfect space to enjoy a wholesome meal and glass of estate red by the crackling fire.
On warm days, the verandah is the place to be, where sweeping vineyard and valley views set the scene alongside indigenous flower-filled gardens.
It’s all this and more that make an experience at Faber restaurant nothing short of magic.
Good to know Carnivores, rejoice! Every Friday, visitors can enjoy a steak – with a side of fries and a glass of Avondale red wine – for just R215.
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