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A modern space with matching side plates.

Award winning chef George Jardine runs an efficient, hands on kitchen at Jordan Restaurant just outside of Stellenbosch. Situated on the similarly named wine estate, they are currently offering a winter special at R225 per person. It includes a 4 course set menu and 2 glasses of wine. This is a set menu that changes daily, as does the a’ la carte menu also on offer at R250 for 2 courses or R275 for 3. To add to the attraction of the special, they also have an open fire roaring during the cold winter days, and floor to ceiling windows from which to enjoy the spectacular view.

Not having been before, I was surprised at how ‘understated’ it all seemed, from the architecture and functional interior to the much heard about terrace. Never the less, I was pleasantly surprised. Understated kinda works here, where the man sitting next to us spent a good 2 solitary hours seated right in front of the window, staring out at the panoramic vista of the valley beyond, and as we left still sat nursing a grappa, a contented smile on his face. No hurry, it seemed, and not a newspaper in sight.

The service was friendly, efficient and we were immediately made to feel completely at ease. The food was delicious, each dish plated differently in a suitable and attractive way, with the amouse bouche of deliciously crispy crumbed lemon and sun-dried tomato risotto balls with hummus and caramelized beetroot served on a black slate tile , followed by a deep bowl of butter soft skate wing on curried lentils with candied apple and mint, springbok shank with game ravioli, braised pearl onions, forest mushrooms on a cauliflower cream and a red wine gravy and finished off with a vanilla poached pear sitting in a warm biscuity suryp -like a liquid version of the accompanying brandy snap- with sultanas and boozy ice cream that blew my mind (and almost had me licking the bowl clean). I have also heard high praises sung about a visit to the cheese room for dessert, but have yet to give it a try. If the dessert i had is anything to go by, I think I will be sampling more of these in the weeks to come (which means I will be back, of course). With the fire warming up my frozen limbs, and good food and wine elevating the mood I could easily follow my neighbor’s example and sit here all afternoon.

By the way: The wine list features mostly Jordan wines (also by the glass) with a selection of other notable quality South African Wine Estates, small but well put together.

Corkage: one bottle per table at R50 if it is not on the wine list. Also, the special is served with a choice of any wines from the chameleon range which includes a Sauvignon blanc/Chardonnay blend, a Rose and a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend.

Noteworthy: Food is fresh and locally sourced, selected by George daily. Jordan has been a winner in the Eat Out Awards’ top ten restaurants in 2010 and 2011.  Jordan has also achieved a 3 star rating  and are one of Rossouw’s Restaurants’ Top Rated restaurants.

Do: Come a little earlier and sample some of Jordan wine estate’s superb wines. From a family business of shoemakers in Parow to superstar winemakers in Stellenbosch, Gary Jordan, former geologist, is also a member of the Cape Winemakers guild.  A Modern winery tagged by Jean-Pierre Rossouw as a noteworthy futurist, Jordan, with 105 hectares of trellised vines, lies in the Upper end of Stellenbosch kloof, in close proximity to false bay (with its cooling sea breeze). The tasting room is a bit bland, but sit outside on the terrace where you might even be tempted to engage in a distracting game of fetch with the local border collie while you wait for one of the Matie student contingency manning the tasting room to bring out the next wine.

A brief summary of the ranges:

Chameleon range: “Wines that will change your life” White red and rose, Quaffers scoring good points.

Jordan: “Taking you around the vineyards in a glass” Some seriously good wines that even includes a barrel fermented Sauvignon blanc. Also a riesling and all the other expected cultivars with wooded and unwooded chardonnays on offer.

Reserve: “The ultimate expression of Jordan Terroir” Cobblers hill, a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet franc, Nine Yards Chardonnay and Mellifera Noble Late Harvest Weisser Riesling.

Bradgate: In honour of Alfred Jordan, original settler, who named the family home Bradgate. Includes a Chenin/Sauvignon blend, Syrah and a Cab/Merlot blend.

CWG: Produced for the Cape Winemakers guild, this ultimate range showcase a chardonnay and Bordeaux blend.

For tasting notes and more, click here.

If it is proof you need (and you haven’t found it in the pudding), have a look at the numerous awards received by clicking through to their website.
The special runs Tuesday to Saturday from May 15 to September 1st 2012.

To make a reservation: please phone  +27 (0)21 881 3612 or email restaurant@jordanwines.com

Jordan Restaurant is open for a la carte lunch from Tuesday to Sunday from 12h00 till 14h30 and a six course set menu on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 18h30.

Tasting Room: Mon – Sun (09:30-16:30) Tel: +27 21 881 3441

Other insightful opinions:

Eat out: Anybody who needs convincing that sometimes less is more should visit Jordan. There are no tricks, just incredible food put together with enough flair to make it stand out from the ever-growing winelands crowd. Indeed, the simplicity of the menu means there is nowhere to hide and the fact that chef George Jardine nails every dish so perfectly is a tribute to his ability… Read more 

Rossouws Restaurants:  Bold artworks spark this rather spartan winelands option, though the fabulous valley views and lovely deck draw attention. George Jardine’s open plan kitchen creates a seasonal menu of high calibre cuisine. Changing daily, typically listing four starters and four mains, three desserts (one being the selection of cheeses); the food is consistently detailed, excellently cooked and good value, starting with the bread. Clarity of flavour and fresh ideas are hallmarks, also generosity. Extensive use of a wood-fired oven adds rustic element. Service relaxed, good and the wine list is well-selected, priced. All in all, a delightful option for lovers of pure flavour….Read more readers reviews