Klaasenbosch (as The Cellars-Hohenort was then known) had its humble start as a farm and guesthouse in the 17the century, providing room and board to sailors of the Dutch East India Company. It wasn’t until 1993 that well-known property developer, Liz McGarth, bought the estate and restored its historical beauty. The launch of the luxurious Cellars-Hohenort Hotel was shortly followed by the opening of its critically acclaimed restaurant: Greenhouse.
Reached by a long winding road against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, situated in the heart of Cellars-Hohenort’s renowned garden, its location is perfect for a glass restaurant.
As you’d expect, the restaurant is enclosed in a glass box, enhancing its bright and airy atmosphere. Glass panels overhead give you the illusion of being outside, while glass “walls” provide unhindered views of the pristine garden that surrounds the perched glasshouse.
Enhancing the alfresco narrative are potted plants dotted throughout the restaurant, floral artworks mounted on botanical-printed wallpaper and granite floors. Elegant bar trolleys and sleek floor lamps create an air of sophistication.
At the helm of the kitchen is 31-year-old chef Farrel Hirsch, who worked as the restaurant’s sous chef from 2014 to 2016 under Peter Tempelhoff (with stints at The Test Kitchen, Four Seasons The Westcliff in Johannesburg and North Island, Seychelles, before and after that). Chef Farrel rejoined Greenhouse in November 2018, introducing his own menu in March 2019, which we had the pleasure of sampling recently.
Nuanced yet assured, Farrel’s dishes pay homage to the exemplary culinary language Greenhouse has always been known for: seasonality, sustainability, diverse flavours and an immersive dining experience, while still allowing his personality to shine through.
“We definitely want to keep up the theatrical experience and continue to challenge flavours. I love finding new foreign flavours and combinations that I’d never imagined would go well together. It’s finding the unknown that excites me, and I love sharing these discoveries with our guests. Not to taste is not to know”, he says.
For guests, this means a rich culinary journey, you won’t soon forget.
The Greenhouse won the three-plate award at the Jenny Handley Gourmet Awards, held in October 2019. For those who aren’t familiar, this award is based on authenticity, excellence and consistency of the highest regard, and Greenhouse won “hands down”.