If a long, lazy Sunday lunch in the Boland appeals, then The Kraal at Joostenberg could be your kind of place. Think off the beaten track. Think honest cooking at al fresco tables.
The Kraal in Muldersvlei, Stellenbosch, is open only for Sunday lunch. Up to 40 guests eat three courses at a set price (children pay less). Lunch at cream tables in a shaded, stone courtyard at Joostenberg Wine Estate. Originally a cattle kraal, the enclosure also kept pigs and mules over the years. With fruit trees and wild olives nearby, the new space has a stark Mediterranean feel.
We dipped Anette Myburgh’s crunchy radishes (picked that morning) in tapenade and aioli, mopping up with farm bread. Green asparagus was plated alongside smoked snoek and sweet potato croquettes with homemade chutney. With chilled Joostenberg wines (Myburgh Brothers Cinsault a delicious discovery) we dished up slow-cooked Wagyu beef shin from Somerset West, in herby salsa verde, with confit tomatoes.
Pears and salad leaves; pink and purple beets tossed in olive oil; perky broad beans with celeriac and courgette spirals in creamy horseradish dressing – salads all emphasised seasonality. Many ingredients were grown on veggie gardens or smallholdings at Joostenberg Estate or Klein Joostenberg farms.
Our kids made a dent in waffle-like potato crisps, and asked for extra strawberry sorbet. Adults enjoyed their sorbet the chef’s way, on strawberries with fennel syrup, baby fennel and mint.
Siblings Susan, Tyrrel and Philip Myburgh are busy. Tyrrel and Philip produce organic wines on Joostenberg Estate. Susan and chef husband Christophe Dehosse lure families after good value at Joostenberg Bistro on Klein Joostenberg farm. Chef Dehosse’s The Vine Bistro at Glenelly Estate delivers refined dining.
The Kraal fills a gap. “Our Kraal menus will be guided by what is delicious, in season and growing in our area. It’s about local flavours and our childhood food memories,” says Susan Dehosse. Her grandmother once ran a tearoom on the farm. “She opened the old manor house to guests over weekends. People would take leisurely drives and enjoy her delicious scones and chicken pies.”
“We’ll take something that Susan’s mom made during her childhood, or the nice melktert my mom made when I was growing up in Pretoria,” says chef Lanri Marais of her “family-style food with a fresh twist”. The adjacent winery will also be open for tastings. “We ask the farmers what’s available for the next Sunday and start making the menu.”
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