A certain southern part of Constantia now known as Constantia Uitsig is a special part of Cape Town’s history. Starting off as a piece of land granted to Simon van der Stel in the year 1685, the area become a vineyard shortly after owing to van der Stel’s knowledge of viniculture. He may be long gone but to this day the quality of wine produced here is notable, the 2013 Chardonnay Reserve being an Uitsig favourite of mine – especially when paired with the pan roasted linefish with oyster velouté, turnips, sweetcorn and peas dish at Open Door, the new restaurant which has opened on the farm.
Some might remember that particular building as being the old Tokai Primary School and even the River Cafe, but make no mistake, Constantia Uitsig has not yet seen a diner of this caliber and I’d like to introduce you to it.
Open Door, the third venture from the owners of Bocca and Burrata, is all about blending the rustic charm reminiscent of the building’s school days with contemporary dining. The extensive wine selection is magnificent too, take a look.
It was a tough choice to make when faced with the menu. The items which sounded most appealing on the day consisted of a lemon butter poached crayfish tail, kale, parsnip puree and preserved lemon for starters. For mains, a braised lamb neck with butternut, roasted garlic and baby carrots. All rounded off by a baked cheesecake with lemongrass foam, coconut soil and sour cream for dessert. Open Door’s menu changes seasonally and consists of the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients around to pair perfectly with any number of the wines available.
With a spacious terrace that’s going to be a hit in summer for long and lazy, wine-fueled lunches complemented by a cosy indoor seating area to fend off the cold, Open Door will become the new force to be reckoned with in the Constantia Wine Route.
Photography Claire Gunn