This winter sees Cassia restaurant, located on the scenic Nitida wine
farm in the Durbanville valley, boasting warming comfort food favourites
on its brand new winter menu.
With modern and inviting décor inside, and an expansive deck outside overlooking the dam and vineyards beyond, Cassia has become a firm favourite for locals and visitors alike. Located a mere 20 minutes from central Cape Town, it’s ideal for guests wanting a true taste of the winelands, without having to drive for an hour to get the experience.
Having joined Cassia in 2009, chef proprietor Warren Swaffield’s philosophy is simple and a recipe for success: honest, uncomplicated flavours, generous portions and quality ingredients. As far as possible, he sources local ingredients, for example all the honey he uses, comes from bees kept on Nitida wine farm.
This is all evident in his brand new winter menu, which has classic comfort favourites, some Italian and Asian influences (inspired by ten years working in premier establishments in Europe and on luxury cruise liners) and a good helping of local classics.
Hearty winter starters such as the minestrone soup with chunky vegetables and herbed croutons, is warming and delicious. For something a bit more exotic, the Asian crispy duck salad is filled with winter greens and zingy citrus segments in a miso dressing. While the Camembert baked in phyllo pastry served with homemade Nitida grape chutney is already a local favourite.
On to mains, showstoppers include lamb shank that literally falls off the bone. For a twist, this is served with minted couscous and a butterbean and chickpea ragoût with Moroccan inspiration. The grilled kudu loin is perfect seasonal winter fare. It’s melt-in-the-mouth tender and served with a moreish vegetable risotto and rich juniper berry jus. Guests wanting something more traditional are also well catered for: the Good ol’ Cassia fish and chips is excellent: fresh hake in a crispy batter served with hand-cut potato wedges and zingy homemade tartar sauce; while the chef’s choice beef cut of the day dishes up the best beef with an excellent Béarnaise sauce – rich, creamy and with that necessary lemony tang.
Head chef Florent Hameau dishes up sweet wonders like chocolate fondant with heavenly rose petal cream and surprising sweet and sour pepper chilli syrup. Or try the deep fried ice cream with deconstructed koeksister for something new.
Owner of Nitida, Bernard Veller, is excited by this new menu. “It reflects the Durbanville terroir perfectly,” he says. The wine list makes the most of the area’s bounty, and Nitida wines, of course, feature prominently. Best of all they are all available by the glass, so it’s ideal to sample the farm’s wines that are particularly well matched with the food.
With this winter menu’s combination of hearty and lighter dishes, quality local wines, a stunning Cape Town winelands setting and professional service to boot, Nitida is set to be a hot spot this winter.
Cassia restaurant is situated in Nitida Wine Farm, Tygervalley Road (M13) Durbanville. Open Mondays to Fridays for lunch and dinner, Saturdays for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Sundays for breakfast and lunch and it is closed on Sunday evenings, but available for private functions. For bookings call 021 976 0640 or e-mail email@example.com. For more information visit www.cassiarestaurant.co.za.