Two Saturdays ago, I jumped in my car on a perfect summer’s day and took a drive into the countryside to have lunch at the Table at De Meye. This fabulous eatery that is dripping with charm is set on De Meye Wine Estate near Stellenbosch and is a celebration of local seasonal ingredients that are prepared with much care and attention. I can easily see why it won Best Country Style Restaurant in the 2011 Eat Out Awards.
Owned by Camilla Comins and her husband, the renowned photographer Russel Wasserfall, it has to be one of the homeliest restaurants around. Camilla is in the kitchen with her brother Jason Comins making a formidable chef team, while Russel with his boundless wit is there to welcome guests and see to the front of house affairs.
The space is small, but being a gorgeous summer’s day, the tables were spread out all over the lawn and under the trees inviting guests to really appreciate the true meaning of a long, lazy al fresco lunch.
The menu changes weekly as they are only open on Saturday and Sunday and is posted up on their website for you to get excited about before your visit. Due to their popularity and need for careful planning around these two days, it is essential to book. It is also essential to keep to your original booking as there is no walk-in trade to compensate for last-minute cancellations.
On the wine front, as it’s on a wine farm, the De Meye wines are sold. My lunch was washed down by the delicious Shiraz rose.
This was the menu on my day:
Smoked snoek paté served with their fresh bread and farm butter, and poached prawns with a special pink sauce.
De-boned barn-reared whole roast baby quail stuffed with bread and sage stuffing with a pea and pomegranate salad, a Moroccan-style carrot salad and roast hasselback potatoes. Served on platters to your table which make this so very convivial.
Layered chocolate and lemon curd ice cream served in a slice with a blueberry coulis and a fork biscuit
Not only was this food perfectly cooked and completely delicious, but as I mentioned before, its all the little details and touches that made it extra special for me. The farm butter comes from a guy who churns it in a vintage churn using Jersey cow milk, and their legendary sourdough bread is home-made on the premises using a pomegranate poolish which they have been carefully nurturing for over two years. Your lunch will be served on collectible vintage crockery, all mismatched and exquisite with delicate silverware and napery.
I could bang on for ages about how the quail was the best that I have ever eaten, and how the pea and pomegranate salad knocked my socks off, but I might come off sounding a bit gushy. I could say so many wonderful things about Russel who I deeply admire as a photographer, and with whom I have been fortunate enough to work with in my career. But I will leave with a parting comment that I look forward to any future encounters with him, Camilla, Jason and anything they do around food.
*PS the service staff were wonderful too.
De Meye Elsenburg Road, Muldersvlei, Stellenbosch
Lunch 12.30 – 4pm – Saturday & Sunday (and public holidays) – Booking essential
Oh and be sure to pick up a little treat to take home from their restaurant deli shops, like cordial, biscuits or jams.
I look forward to connecting with you again