One of the best views in the Stellenbosch winelands has to be from the Jordan Restaurant dining room, but when the dishes start coming out of the kitchen, all attention turns to the magnificent food. This is not a restaurant where the view is meant to distract from middling food, but one where the views of wine farms and farmland convey the provenance of what you are eating. The kitchen serves seasonal, contemporary food and the quality of the ingredients is evidenced in the dishes.
Go for a leisurely lunch. While the restaurant is open on Thursday and Fridays for dinner (adding Saturday night service during peak season), I prefer lunch. If the weather is warm, meals are served al fresco on the patio and in the colder months behind floor to ceiling glass. Many restaurants are designed with the kitchen as the nucleus oand tables are positioned to allow diners to watch their food being prepared. Here the tables are positioned to take advantage of the vista and diners face away from the gorgeous open plan kitchen.
Jordan Restaurant is located on Jordan Wine Estate, a vineyard that is particularly known for its excellent Chardonnays, but I elected for a Syrah. While waiting for the first course an enormous bread platter was served from Jordan Bakery as well as crisps and aioli. I ordered a standout roasted root vegetable salad with parsley sauce and fresh and fried buffalo mozzarella that looked almost as beautiful after I had eaten every last morsel.
The springbok shank was a hearty main course and beautifully prepared. The meat fell off the bone with one flick of the fork and several perfectly pink slices of springbok loin were served on top of the creamiest polenta I have ever tasted. Accompanying the springbok was a bit of braised kale and a rich bourguignon sauce. The last time I dined at Jordan, I elected to end my meal with cheese. At Jordan Restaurant instead of wheeling a trolley piled high with cheese to the table, diners make a trip to the cheese room to make their selection. I fully intended to order the cheese platter again, but I was too tempted by a honey and poppy seed soufflé served with ice cream and creme anglaise.
The Wine Estate is located outside of Stellenbosch and about 50 minutes from Cape Town. Seeing as I wanted to have a glass of wine and not worry about driving, I hired a cab and asked the driver to wait for me. Jordan Restaurant snagged the fifth spot on the South African 2014 Eat Out Awards and it is easy to see why. With all of the excellent restaurants in CapeTown and the winelands, I planned my whole Saturday around having lunch there. It is just the kind of restaurant that you will want to return to again and again. I was just there and I am already thinking about that cheese room.