Babel at Babylonstoren
A Cape Dutch farm, surrounded by the Drakenstein Mountains, Babel restaurant on the farm Babylonstoren embodies the motto “pick, eat, serve”.
A large , well tended garden on the property provides the majority of the fruit and vegetables served and is worth a visit, provided it isn’t too hot.
White-washed walls of the old structure house a modern interior- think white walls, Phillipe Starke- esque Ghost chairs, a small water trough in the centre of the room filled with pastel coloured blooms and a large tiled wall at the back where the menu is hand-written; specials are changed on a daily basis, according to product availability.
Salads are grouped according to colour: red, green and yellow, each with a vast assortment of ingredients, all of which are visually pleasing. It’s evident that much care has gone into creating the combinations, with respect to flavours and textures too.
We opted for the green salad with smoked chicken in a whole grain mustard as an extra (R85), and a dish of grilled aubergine, roasted macadamia nuts and tahini (R85).
The salad was lovely and crisp, especially since it was a sweltering day out.
The roasted aubergine was a tad bitter, in a way that only aubergine can be occasionally and the tahini was dolloped on with too much of a liberal hand. The nuts were delightful.
A bottle of Glen Carlou Chardonay and plenty of iced water accompanied the meal.
Dessert was a beautifully composed ‘sour’ on the menu: panna cotta scented with star anise and served with spiced plum and cherry, star anise sherbet and lemon curd ice cream.
The other dessert was a special of the day- a peanut butter parfait with banana yoghurt ice cream monkey nuts and celery. I felt the teeniest pinch of fleur de sal would have lifted it to the heights to which it belonged.
Service was competent. The waiter was slightly anxious that I was taking photos and I’m afraid he over-compensated, thinking it was for a newspaper. I tried my best to put him at ease. I suspect since our visit, service would have tightened and wait staff must have gotten used to many bloggers and eager visitors with cameras and note pads.
The shop across the restaurant sells an array of pretty wares and a small selection of garden produce.
I’m looking forward to return before the summer is over.
Date visited: 19 December 2010
Contact Babel: http://www.babylonstoren.com/food/
Tel: 27 (0) 21 863 3852 between
08h30 – 17h00
Open Wed- Sun 10am – 4pm for lunch only
Click here for a beautiful photo journal of hip Dad (though he is no hispster) and my good friend Matt’s visit to Babel.
Matt blogs at http://www.imnojamieoiliver.com/ .