A while ago I wrote about the new restaurant - called Bistro sixteen82 - that was due to open on Steenberg wine estate. Last week I attended the launch and unfortunately had to leave very suddenly due to an emergency. I had to set down my second glass of their 1682 Brut MCC without even taking a sip so you must understand it really was an emergency. Anyway, before I left I did have time for a quick walk through and was extremely impressed with the vibe. The vibe is my sort of vibe. It's your sort of vibe. Hell, it's our sort of vibe. So I thought it was only fair that I cruised in for lunch on Sunday. Just to let you guys know what it was like. As I sat there, sipping a glass of their Sauvignon Blanc and taking in the view I realised how much I do for you guys.
They have spared no expense with the decor. Harsh materials like glass, steel, aluminium and concrete are contrasted with natural, raw textures like driftwood, stone and timber. There are massive glass doors which fold and stack away to reveal what is surely one of the best settings in the whole of Cape Town. Rim-flow pools, with tables that are actually cut into the water features, really do make for a pretty special place. There is a path that guests can walk on to appreciate different viewpoints of the vineyards. The feature piece of the restaurant though is surely the massive lighting fixture hanging above their main bar. Loads - and I mean LOADS - of individually made glass balls have been painted in the colours to reflect grapes (that's red and green guys) and hang above a stark white bar which stands out beautifully against the dark colours of the rest of the restaurant. This place also has the best bathrooms I've seen in a while. Funky prints of close-up vineyards serve as wallpaper, the finishes are modern and clean and there are fresh, individual hand-towels. Do you guys also judge a place by its bathrooms? You should.
What's that? Do they serve food? Very funny. Now go make me a smoothie.
The restaurant is not open for dinners and closes at 8pm. As well as breakfast and lunch they will serve tapas from 5 - 7:30. They look pretty good with things like grilled octopus, whitebait and chorizo featuring. A little taste of Spain coming through nicely. Another cool feature is their Raw Bar where they will be serving...say it with me guys...raw stuff. So expect delicious charcuterie boards, cured salmon, ceviche, tartare, carpaccios, gravadlax, oysters, sashimi etc.
Back to the lunch I had there with The Bear and The Princess. I ordered the seared scallops with asparagus as a starter while the other two shared a duck salad. My starter was light and clean with the plumpest scallops I have eaten for a while. The duck salad was good too, with a nice smokiness. For mains The Bear enjoyed a steak roll and chips. This might sound like pub food, but the bowl of deliciously rich jus that it was served with made it far more advanced than that. The Princess enjoyed her main of mussels in a saffron cream but mentioned the actual amount of meat in the mussels was a bit disappointing. (I told you, she's a bit fussy). My main of beef tataki was incredible but absolutely tiny. Like, teeny tiny. I honestly reckon it should be twice the size to be considered a main. Dressed with ginger, radish, chilli and soy it was brilliantly seasoned but just not enough! We also nailed a bottle of Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc for only R50. Bloody hell. I though they were taking the piss. Luckily I had to get going because if I sat there all day paying cellar prices things could've gone wrong quite quickly...
All things considered Bistro sixteen82 is a show-stopper. Phenomenal views. Spectacular setting. A great menu. A talented chef (Brad Ball, previously of Olympia Cafe and The River Cafe). My only concern is that it becomes too touristy. But hey, if that's the biggest fault I could find with the place it must be a pretty good spot. Look, it helps that I can get hammered and stumble down the road to our house, but I would recommend this to anyone looking to enjoy a long, lazy, boozy lunch.
Phone them to book a table on (021) 713-2211.
P.S. How cool is it to write an article, and then tag it Cape Town AND winelands? Hey? Jeez I love this city.