A few years ago, Elgin was just a beautiful area you passed through while driving on the N2. There were a few good places for a pit stop, but very little eateries you could write home about.
Despite this, Gordon Manuel and his wife Emma decided to move there in 2008 with the dream of opening a top-class restaurant. Starting at the venue in South Hill, they later opened a restaurant on Thandi Farm where Hickory Shack now stands, before moving to their new home at Oak Valley Estate – The Pool Room. Almost 10 years have gone by since the Manuels decided to make Elgin home, and Gordon says that more people are heading to the valley for a holiday break or to try the interesting cuisine on offer.
Named for the crystal-clear pool found in its middle, The Pool Room is a chic, well-lit space dotted with eclectic farm decor, and surrounded by trees with a glimpse of the mountain beyond. There’s a wine bar where you can sample and purchase Oak Valley wine as well as a little farmstall. And although the establishment has been around for years, its recent je ne sais quoi can only be attributed to the Manuels.
Gordon has crafted a two-part menu that suits both the safe and adventurous palate: there’s the regular offerings that hardly change – featuring items such as salad, burgers, fish and gnocchi – and a discovery menu that’s more experimental, and Gordon’s real pride and joy.
A set menu that costs R560, and that you can have with wine pairings if you wish for R695, this menu features five courses of fine-dining dishes. We recommend the glazed pork cheek, red wine poached beef, and pear and gorgonzola tart. Gordon says that people are increasingly opting to try the discovery menu and he believes that because of this, The Pool Room an integral part of the valley’s evolution into a fine dining destination.
When Weekdays 9 am – 5 pm, weekends 9 am – 4 pm, Friday dinner 6:30 pm – 10 pm
Where Oak Valley Estate, 10 Elgin Close, Elgin
Cost According to menu
Contact +27 21 859 4111, [email protected], oakvalley.co.za
Photography Courtesy images