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“Off the Hook”
Review of Tokara Restaurant

Tokara Restaurant
Ranked #10 of 252 Restaurants in Stellenbosch
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $12 - $22
Cuisines: French, Contemporary, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Large groups, Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Leading contemporary South African restaurant located atop of the picturesque Helshoogte Pass outside Stellenbosch, included on the 2014 Tripadvisor Travellers' Choice SA Fine Dining Top 10 list.
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Level Contributor
173 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Off the Hook”
Reviewed January 1, 2014

Nestled in the Foothills a Spectacular Setting.The Estate was first Class with Lots to taken in.Incredible Wines and Food with an Incredible View from the Dining Room.Definately if you want to be seen in Stellenbosch this is the Place to be.A must stop if just to Pop in and see how the other half Live.

Visited January 2014
Thank Ron F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,024 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Lahr, Germany
Level Contributor
284 reviews
156 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
“What a grand final!”
Reviewed December 31, 2013

We've been to Tokara's for New Years Eve dinner and started with some nice local Champagne on the wonderful terrace. The view with sunset is incredible. The 8 course menu started so so, all fresh ingredients with tasty crayfish and other seafood, but we missed a bit of finesse with the first 3 dishes. Rather disappointing in total so far.
But now: The vegetarian parmesan fondue was delicious and then topped by the famous Tokara beef filet - always a clear recommendation!
But the end was the best, the "Chocolade Handkerchief"! Even Belgians do admit that this creation of dark chocolade is World Class! Congratulations to this wonderfuk creation!
The wines pairing were the same like the food with average Whites (for us too oaky) and excellent red and Klein Constantia dessert wine.
We missed some framework programme; it was just the set menu, what they offered.
Reservation is a MUST!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Dils2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Tokara -- wine, food, and a view”
Reviewed December 26, 2013

We visited here in August 2013 for a meal. It's an hour or so from Cape Town -- an easy drive -- and while Cape Town is stunning, the Stellenbosch area is also very pretty, and Tokara's restaurant looks out over a long valley down to the city of Stellenbosch. The inside of the restaurant is visually striking as well. The food was very good, and of the wines (we tried too) one was good and one was excellent -- unfortunately already sold out at their adjoining vineyard store. And on the Rand-dollar exchange rate, a quite reasonable price as well.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Stephen E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
33 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Superb restaurant”
Reviewed December 18, 2013

Our local favorite. We went to other local hotspots, but this restaurant stays on top of our list. We had the chefs menu with a wine pairing. Great food, and awesome wine.
And the view stays fantastic here!!

Love to come back!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Alexander L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Poor Showing for such an excellent location”
Reviewed December 17, 2013

Visited for Lunch on a Tuesday. The menu was concise maybe 5 or 6 choices per course, typical new trend of listing ingredients like a shopping list to describe the dish.

Let me start by stating that the service throughout was efficient, polite and clearly the staff had been well-trained. That was the only saving grace for this meal!

The starter was Asparagus with a buttermilk, yoghurt and pumpkin seeds, goats cheese and white radish with a few nicely placed nasturtiums - sounds ok on the menu- probably the most boring mis-matched starter I have ever eaten. The dish was bland with no seasoning and frankly a waste of good asparagus. The other starter was a special of Trout & Baked Alaska with Smoked Salmon Ice Cream and Caviar - sounded interesting bearing in mind the chef here Mr Richard Carstens has a good reputation! How wrong - absolute disaster of flavours - meringue on a savoury starter always looked a bit risky - but it so didn't work!. Looked nice - but that's where it ended.

Mains were slightly better, however why do these chefs think it is unacceptable to put salt and pepper on the table - I wouldn't have minded if they hadn't if the Potato Anna on the Fillet of Beef had seen the seasoning pot but it hadn't. Its so stupid - everyone's palate is different - some prefer more salt than others but it shouldn't be for some "Prima Donna" chef to dictate that to us.

Dessert was the final straw. Please see the attached photos. A Chocolate Pave with Ice cream three pieces of Honey comb with some kind of disc tasteless meringue - or whatever it was meant to be. No colour on the plate not a mint leaf, a sliced strawberry, coulis - NOTHING! A child could have presented a better plate.

The cheese plate of Artisan Cheeses which was ordered was simply superb. A great selection and extremely good portions with nice compotes and chutneys served on the plate. Probably the highlight of the meal apart of from the wonderful setting.

The waiter questioned after the starter if we had enjoyed it and received no answer from each guest so one would assume he got the message. He also duly asked after the main course and got two favorable answers. The dessert was left, barley touched, and therefore no question was asked.

In fairness the desserts were left off the bill along with the cheeses - so I believe they got the message. However , there is a strong Front of House presence there and the Restaurant Manager was on duty (I recognize from the old Jardine's in Bree Street) - I think if he wanted to address the matter rather than just adjusting the bill with no explanation- a visit to the table might have tempered this review!

In all - a very disappointing visit. Not worth the prices they charge - you can get much better quality and execution of dishes elsewhere all over the wine-lands.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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