Winter Menus Part I: Terroir

I’m often asked, ‘What is your favourite restaurant in the Cape?’ – or SA for that matter . And I usually say: ‘Terroir‘. And it’s official. It’s Terroir. Not only is Michael Broughton a fabulous chef (did you know that he’s self-taught? And that he dreams of being a preacher?), but he’s a great and humble guy, married to a really lovely wife and has redheaded offspring (big tick in my book).

Anyway, back to the food. Last year around this time I ate Michael’s duck liver parfait, which has stuck in my mind for a whole 12 months. It was silky smooth (I think he said he made it in his thermomix?). This year – and almost totally out of character for Broughton – I ate a piece of fish in ‘umami broth’. A delicately cooked fillet of white fish in the most incredible few mouthfuls of stock I have ever eaten. (He whispered that he called it his “eat your heart out Asian chefs” broth’. I would tend to agree.)
I also had crispy-skinned Norwegian salmon with Thai Puy lentils and bacon foam (he made the bacon!). I’m not normally one for foams, and froths – or skidmarks, but this foam was more like a to-die-for sauce with a scattering of snipped chives and tomato concasse. Heaven. (I would probably have preferred a piece of Franschhoek trout on my plate, but I’m certainly NOT complaining).

Next was a perfectly cooked barbequed beef fillet with smoked potato puree and the most intense red wine shallots, which were jammy and delicious. There were also enoki mushrooms and little shoots on my plate. (This is food worthy of much savouring).

By the way, I also knocked back some caramel and ginger glazed squid with tomato jam and yuzu mayonnaise…

…AND Pea and ham soup with one delectable, melt-in-the-mouth oxtail ravioli and a poached quail egg (yes, it was a tasting menu).

To finish it all there was banana saverin – a rum-spiked little tart with sticky banana, caramel, white chocolate ice cream and sugared pistachios (Hello?!).

With all these new restaurants opening – and closing – can we not forget our old favourites like Terroir and Margot Janse’s Tasting Room in Franschhoek? These are plates and chefs to be remembered and lauded.

You can try Michael’s winter menu at R175 for 2 courses, or R198 for three courses, which includes a glass of Kleine Zalze Cellar wine (can I recommend the Chenin Blanc – and I’m not talking about the Bush Vine, but the entry-level chenin. It’s beautiful. And it keeps well if you’re into cellaring.)

Terroir is open for lunch Monday to Sunday and dinner Monday to Saturday % 021 880-8167 or email

PS Bear in mind that Terroir is closed for a short spell over winter, so it’s a good idea to call ahead regardless of the fear of not getting a table.

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7 Responses to “Winter Menus Part I: Terroir”

  1. Colleen May 25, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    Oh my…….each one of those just looks like a little bit of Heaven on a plate. I have never had the privilege of visiting there yet. One day………

    • bern May 25, 2012 at 7:08 am #

      You need to go Colleen. The environment is so unpretentious and lovely – and so are the staff. And, well, the food…

  2. Gina May 25, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Hi Bern. Is it child friendly?

    • bern May 26, 2012 at 7:14 am #

      Hi Gina. I would say that if you’re sitting outside on a lovely day, yes. There’s a huge expanse of grass just in front of the outside terrace and a jungle gym a little way off. xB

      • bern May 26, 2012 at 7:15 am #

        Though not sure there’s a kiddies menu…? Anybody know or taken kids? Sure they would make a plan though!

        • jane broughton June 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

          Terroir doesn’t have a kids menu as such, but happily prepares kid-sized portions of fish and chips, steak and chips, and homemade vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Best for kids in good weather, as you said Bern, when you can sit outside and kids can run around in the garden and use the swings.thank you for this lovely review, so appreciated by us!

          • bern June 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

            Hi Jane! Thanks for that. But probably best leaving the kids at home and enjoying Michael’s food experience UNDISTURBED! xxB

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