Greenhouse At Cellars-Hohenort’s Superb New Seasonal Menu
We sampled the new Greenhouse winter menu, featuring tempting seasonal dishes, and had some of the best food we've had all year at this exceptional eatery.
Deservedly a regular fixture on South African top 10 restaurant lists, Greenhouse at the Cellars-Hohenort in Cape Town has recently appointed a brilliantly talented new head chef, Farrel Hirsch. With a fresh winter menu featuring tempting seasonal additions, the future is looking bright for this exceptional eatery.
Patrons of Greenhouse can embark on either a full tasting Journey or a less extensive Discovery experience. We visited the restaurant recently for lunch and were extremely impressed by the conceptual yet absolutely delicious dishes on offer.
‘With our winter experience, the aim is to continue Greenhouse’s sterling reputation for sourcing unusual, meaningful ingredients and lending them an extraordinary treatment,’ says Hirsch.
The nine-course tasting Journey comprises a duet of conceptual canapes, a trio of intriguing starters, a single main followed by a traditional palate cleanser, and two desserts.
One of the meal’s many highlights is a dish that is particularly associated with Greenhouse, titled ‘the butcher bird’s pantry’. A unique presentation device hammered out of copper and made to resemble an acacia thorn bush – upon which the ‘butcher bird’ or Fiscal Shrike routinely stocks its insect kills – is used to ‘spear’ a selection of morsels. Greenhouse has retained this unconventional plating on the winter menu, and the ‘thorns’ with quail bites are particularly delicious, as well as great fun to eat.
Also exceptionally good is the ‘seafood potjie’, which features a brilliantly theatrical moment during which your server steams blue prawns at the table, then adds a delicate cream sauce to your bowl of perfectly cooked hake, samphire and black rice.
The XO pork belly (pictured above) has an aromatic walnut and ginger glaze, and is served alongside a silkily textured, slow-poached egg cooked carefully at 62 degrees, and slivers of braised shitake mushrooms. To soak up the dish’s flavourful ponzu- and dashi-inflected sauce, bao buns are steamed and served alongside the pork in a bamboo basket. We could probably just have eaten this dish and gone home happy…
The main course of ‘tshisa nyama bokkie’ pairs perfectly cooked, tender springbok fillet with sweetbreads, carrot, cashew, pap and morogo.
Both desserts served as part of the Journey experience were exceptional too, with the delicate pineapple passion (pictured above) being our personal favourite.
Earlier in his career, Farrel Hirsch served as sous chef at Greenhouse before moving on to roles as head chef on North Island in the Seychelles and at the Four Seasons in Johannesburg. He has returned to his former kitchen with fervour, and his consummate skills are on show in this absolutely wonderful seasonal offering.
Both vegetarian and vegan menus are also available at Greenhouse, and you can elect to pair either tasting menu with specially selected wines.
The winter menu is being served until the end of August 2019. Dinner is served Tuesday to Saturday from 6-9pm, and lunch is served on Fridays and Saturdays only, from 12 noon until 2pm. The full Journey is R1300 per person, with Greenhouse wine pairing at an additional R700 per person. The reduced Discovery menu is R900 per person, with wine pairing at additional R500 per person. And of course, booking ahead is essential: visit the restaurant’s bookings section to make your reservation.
News Flash: Greenhouse Winter Special
Greenhouse is also offering a brilliant winter special: a new three-course set menu that is available for dinner only, until 31 August 2019. (The full tasting journey is also still available during this period.)
The Winter Special is a carefully edited dining experience that starts off with Greenhouse’s famed amuse-bouche, followed by two starter options: gamefish with lime, dill, liquorice and kohlrabi; or the XO pork. The main meal options include the exceptional ‘tshisa nyama bokkie’. There are also two dessert options, and the meal is concluded with petits fours. It costs R650 per person, with an optional wine pairing at an additional R350 per person.
Dinner is served Tuesday to Saturday from 6-9pm, and lunch is served on Fridays and Saturdays only, from 12 noon until 2pm. Book your reservation via the restaurant’s bookings section.
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