Set in a heritage building beneath two majestic oak trees on Paarl’s characterful Main Road, this homely bistro, owned by chef Zian Oosthuizen has been a local favourite since Zian took over the reins seven years ago. A Paarl native, Zian is known for his unpretentious seasonal fare that bursts with flavours the palate won’t soon forget.
Fruit and vegetables are sourced from nearby farms, and some of the herbs used come from the restaurant’s own garden. Meat is handpicked daily from a local butcher – Goede Hoop Vleis, who stocks a quality range of interesting cuts, such as free-range Karoo lamb, and Chalmar beef that is matured for at least 32 days.
One the menu at Noop
Hearty meat dishes make up the bulk of the menu, with mouth-watering offerings, such as Kalahari springbok loin; crispy free-range duck; pork belly; a variety of steak cuts with your choice of sauce; and a homemade free-range beef burger.
But vegetarians are not forgotten, with dishes such as creamy mushroom risotto; while seafood fans should try the Thai red prawn curry.
And leave room for dessert! Choices include a couverture-chocolate tart with homemade Madagascan vanilla bean ice-cream; and the Mzansi: a traditional malva pudding with vanilla anglaise and homemade koeksister ice-cream.
Wine lovers will be well impressed with the massive, excellently curated selection that features the well-known wine routes of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, as well as some lesser known gems from Elgin, Stanford, Cape Agulhas and Cederburg. (A selection of organic wines, is also available.) On the international side, oenophiles will be in heaven with a selection from France, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Chile. There’s also an owner’s cellar list, with vintages dating back to 1965. If it’s a special occasion, splash out on a bottle of French champagne.
The establishment is situated in an 18th-century Victorian abode that was tastefully converted into a warm and welcoming restaurant. Adding to the Victorian vibe is the 19th century-style cloth-bound menus that open with a foreword from Zian, followed by introductions to each of the courses – with intricate light fixtures and good tableware enhancing the overall experience.
With a warm atmosphere, a menu that combines French bistro fare with South African flavours, Noop is a good choice for a Winelands outing – no wonder Paarl locals keep coming back time and time again.