Words by Greg Landman
The area is a centre of good living, the sort of place where one feels the strain of modern day life melt away. The Steenberg estate boasts a superb hotel—very much in the country style—upmarket and elegant, a prize-winning golf course, two excellent restaurants and some of the very best wines available.
What’s not to like, as we say in Sea Point?
Chef Archie Maclean reigns supreme at Catharina’s, his cooking devoid of any frills and fancy French nuances.
This cooking relies on the very freshest of ingredients given some imaginative methods, great to look at and even better to eat. There are many ways to eat at Catharina’s—a la carte –a special lunchtime menu to get you in and out sooner rather than later—and a tasting menu which can—and frankly should –be paired with some of their superb wine.
The smoked salmon salad(R135) is packed with crunchy greens and anointed with a deliciously light lemon soya dressing, while the Steenburger(R145) is a hefty offering—man-sized –with all the trimmings—bacon, avo, blue cheese, fried egg, a carnivore’s delight. These are on the lunch menu.
The pork belly (R175) done sous vide- is satisfyingly rich—just enough fat to make it moist and yielding and with red wine jus to help it all along, and the pan fried sea bass (R235) with pickled shimeji mushrooms and cabbage and pineapple beurre blanc is a gastronomic tour de force. These two are from the lunch and dinner menus.
The Amarula crème brûlée with churros and chocolate sauce is a great way to end it all. Service is smooth and friendly at this very special place and if the weather is good take advantage and sit outside—under the trees.