The décor at Terroir is unpretentious and unremarkable. A few big windows look out over the grounds at Kleine Zalze, and artistic photographs of food adorn the walls. However, if you look above the opening in the wall that allows you see through into the kitchen, you will notice a collection of framed awards, unobtrusively on display. The restaurant has garnered a string of awards – among them, seven Eat Out Awards in a period of eight years – that attest to the fact that it is serious about producing outstanding food.
The kitchen is run by award-winning chef Michael Broughton, who bases his menus on what is in season and locally available. No shortcuts are taken in the kitchen: the pasta is handmade, stocks and purees are made from scratch, and the bread is freshly baked.
On his chalkboards you will find French-inspired fare: honey glazed pork belly with cider jus and baby beets; saddle and shoulder of Karoo lamb, shallot puree, basil, and honey carrots; or hot seared and smoked salmon, bacon foam, and apple vinaigrette. Although the vegetarian options are limited, they are refreshingly creative and strike a perfect balance of textures, colors and flavors.
The French word terroir refers to the natural environment in which a particular wine is produced. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the dishes, which are made from seasonal local produce, are paired with specific wines produced at Kleine Zalze or in the Stellenbosch region.
The exceptional food is matched by outstanding service. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and attentive, yet unobtrusive. Without prompting, they ask after special dietary requirements and convey these to the chef. The manager, who is always present, ensures that guests are comfortable and content.
The atmosphere at the restaurant is, no doubt, better in summer, when you can sit on the terrace and really take in the beauty of the wine farm. However, in winter, when things are quieter, the restaurant runs a ‘winter special’ which makes the restaurant far more affordable. Whatever the season, Terroir should make it onto your to-do list.