Set amongst the vineyards of Nitida Wine Estate, Cassia Restaurant exudes charm and ambience.
Cavernous to a degree, the dining area has the intimacy for a business lunch, a couple having a romantic meal or just a family dinner. Overlooking the beautiful lake, with a spacious wood-decked, outside eating area for those that enjoy the alfresco lifestyle.
Easing into the meal with a refreshing glass of the Nitida Sauvignon Blanc 2012 was pleasantly surprising, displaying lingering flavours of sweet citrus with undertones of peaty muskiness.
With an extensive and wide-ranging menu, starters were original and enticing, something about the evening and the atmosphere led me to the Durbanville Wine Valley Regional Dish – Lamb sosaties with cumin pumpkin, ‘stampkoring’ and pumpkin pickle, and offered at R65.
With a fusion of spices and modern Cape Malay, there lingered a moderate kick to enliven the taste buds. A delicious and aromatic dish which was more than enough to respond to my anticipation and appetite.
The chef’s preference for starters and main course to be ordered together threw me somewhat, but that aside, the service was good and not overly familiar. My small party of six were left to chat and attended to without need for request.
Coming with a recommendation from the Chef, I opted for the 280 gram rib-eye steak served with chips and a béarnaise sauce on the menu at R125. Ordered medium, served medium, perfection. The béarnaise sauce was creamy and a delightful accompaniment to the steak and the rustic style chips.
For a Wednesday night, the restaurant appeared to be quietly busy with almost half the tables taken, all attentively served and attended to.
For dessert I decided to extend the boundaries of my palate and go for Pavlova with balsamic and pepper strawberries for R55. Combined with the sultry creaminess of the balsamic and the slight bite of the pepper, the strawberries were nothing short of a riot of taste and deliciousness, the sweet meringue casing immediately putting to one side any lingering doubts I might have had about the suitability of such a combination.
With its great atmosphere, service, location and food quality, this would most definitely be a restaurant worth a visit and one that I would be keen to revisit.
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