Based at the Solms-Delta wine estate outside pretty Franschhoek, Fyndraai offers something different from most restaurants in the Cape Winelands. True to the ethos of the farm, cuisines from every cultural group that has influenced the Cape are represented on the menu here. There are hints of Europe and Asia, dishes from Afrikaner culture and from traditional African cooking, recipes inspired by the spices of Cape Malay cuisine, and even some ingredients favoured by the indigenous Khoi people. Together, these culinary influences create a unique menu that comes with a glossary almost as long as the list of dishes, so that you can make sense of it all.
Dishes obviously include plenty of local flavour, like smoked ostrich carpaccio with a num-num sauce (an indigenous berry), bobotie, game steaks and a starter finished off with biltong dust (a meaty snack similar to jerky). Desserts are largely inventive affairs, many featuring herbs from the estate’s garden. For me though, there’s no finer order than the banana-infused malva pudding – a sticky sponge dessert that is given a high-end facelift here.
Between courses, there’s plenty to look at, aside from the magnificent Winelands scenery. Inside the restaurant, a bright mural charts the history of music in the Cape, while Perspex-covered excavations allow you to see the heritage of the building. Next door, the Museum van de Caab covers the social history of the estate, stretching back more than three centuries.
If all of that isn’t enough, there are wine tastings, a range of special-interest guided tours on offer and if you fancy a more secluded lunch, you can purchase a picnic to enjoy in the Solms-Delta grounds.