My date at Clos Malverne

Last week Friday, I was one of  four  lucky KFM listeners to be treated to a free wash and blow wave at Salon Sanz, courtesy of the Sechaba G show. I had taken the day off  work and almost didn’t make it to the salon because I was feeling ill but being the tough cookie that I am, I summoned the energy and drove to the salon – which was just about 50kms away – and I’m glad I did.

The salon itself wasn’t anything particularly glamorous but the staff were lovely and the lady who did my hair was friendly and did a great job. I also made new acquaintances, shared some laughs and took some selfies.

Having just had my hair done, I was hesitant to do the boring thing and drive home so I decided to further enjoy the day and take myself out to lunch.  I whipped out my mobile phone and searched the internet for the best restaurants in Stellenbosch and so the experience begins…

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According to Tripadvisor, Clos Malverne is one of the best if not THE best restaurant in Stellenbosch.  I wasted no time and immediately called the restaurant to make a lunch reservation for one.

Clos Malverne restaurant is a delightful culinary hotspot with an incredible view – as is to be expected in the winelands. It is located on a family-run wine farm in Devon Valley and when I arrived, I was seated and welcomed with a glass of Clos Malverne’s Sauvignon Blanc Brut Reserve which was delicious and refreshing, the ideal welcoming drink if you ask me. I looked over the menu and went for the four course meal from the a la carte menu – a marvelous choice, especially since it only cost R348.

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Each course was accompanied with a glass of wine and for my first course I chose the Seafood Arancini which consists of mussels, calamari, prawn, lemon-white anchovy veloute and hot sweet chilli sauce served with Clos Malverne Sauvigon Blanc. I am no food critic but I do love and appreciate good food and my first course was absolutely delicious! The sauce was creamy with a sweetness to it that complemented the seafood which came in a round, grilled/fried ball. The texture when I bit into it was a combination of crisp, sticky and moist. I felt a sense of euphoria and in that moment, I wished to spend the rest of my life visiting restaurants and eating such delectable foods. The wine was light and crisp, perfect with the meal.

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My second course was Morrocon Style Smoked Duck Breast Salad with butternut, feta and cashew bulgur wheat salad, topped with a coriander and lemon youghurt dressing. It was beautifully presented and the duck was cooked medium rare (I think). This particular meal was served with red wine – Clos Malverne Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot. I know I’ve had duck before but can’t remember what it tasted like. This felt like my first time eating duck as it had a taste I didn’t recognise to be duck, it tasted more like biltong – soft and moist biltong. I enjoyed my second course although not as much as I enjoyed my first which will turn out to be my favourite of the four courses. The Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot was more on the sweet side and I didn’t enjoy it so much (my friends would be shocked) but it was a perfect pairing with the meal which was salty, although not overly so.

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After my second course, I am feeling full and slightly tipsy since the Cab would be my third glass of wine. I am at this point, ready for my third course which I was hoping would arrive soon so that I can at least get a few bites in. You see, most of us are guilty of overeating. We hardly ever eat for nutrition purposes but for pleasure. If you eat a meal and still feel “hungry” after you’ve finished or while you’re still eating the meal, then my friend, you are eating out of pure greed. Drink water and wait 10 minutes after a meal and you’ll find that you are in fact, NOT hungry. I digress, but I was trying to make a point which is that I was afraid that I would not be able to eat my third course if I had too long to wait before it arrived. Luckily or unluckily, I didn’t have to wait long for my third course.

My third meal was the Line Fish of the Day which if I recall correctly was a special type of salmon, a non-pink kind. This particular salmon is white, like Kingklip. The fish came with fennel and lemon mash, a tomato and prawn broth, confit of leek topped with parsley-lemon butter and crispy vermicelli served with a second glass of Clos Malverne’s Sauvigon Blanc. This too was delicious but I was so full, I only ate half the meal.

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Now on to the fourth and final course, the dessert. I had the Decadent Nutella Chocolate Brownies with Cherry Ice-cream, Salted Fudge Crumbs and a Cherry Coulis served with Clos Malverne Pinotage le Café. Dessert is almost always my favourite part of any meal and it takes a lot for me to hate my dessert or not finish my dessert and in this case, I was tipsy and full by the time the dessert arrived. However, despite my challenge, I enjoyed the dessert and was impressed with the creamy texture of the ice-cream which I was told was made at the restaurant. The chocolate brownie was rich and moist but I couldn’t finish it. Mustering some self-control I stopped eating and asked my waiter for the bill.

I had a very pleasant experience at Clos Malverne. The staff were polite and friendly and the food was scrumptious. It was also my first time taking myself out on a lunch date and I plan to do it more often. If you ever find yourself in Stellenbosch and famished, be sure to visit Clos Malverne and do try the 4 course menu. Even though I didn’t polish off all my meals because that’s asking a lot of someone like me, I am glad I got to taste each dish and I can’t say I regret spending so much because I didn’t. I would spend R348 on a one course meal at other restaurants and I wouldn’t have had five glasses of wine either,  so definitely worth it me thinks ;).

Clos Malverne is open from Tuesday to Sunday 12:00 – 17:00 . For more information, visit www.closmalverne.co.za .

Keep your eyes peeled for Wednesday’s post which is a second part of today’s post featuring my outfit of the day.

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