11 Nov Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse – fine dining food adventure
Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse is an absolutely stunning guesthouse and award-winning restaurant situated in the quiet, picture-perfect Kamberg Valley just 35kms from Giant’s View Estate. This is fine dining decadence at its best, 7 courses with each course offering a taste explosion better than the last. I have had the privilege of dining at Cleopatra on two occasions and the culinary adventure that the chef and owners, Richard and Mouse Poynton, take you on is unlike any other and definitely keeps you coming back for more.
Cleopatra is steeped in history and heritage with the farm being bought by the Poynton family in the 1940s. It is set on the Highmoor road right in the Kamberg Valley and as such has a stunning Drakensberg Mountain backdrop. The farmhouse buildings are set overlooking a dam so the views all round are a sight to behold. To find a restaurant of this calibre in a remote area is quite extraordinary and their popularity is a testament to the chef’s talents and the unique offering that their dining experience brings.
Cleopatra create a wonderful experience from the moment you arrive at their restaurant. Firstly you are taken into their pub for pre-dinner drinks, next to a roaring fireplace, with a warm atmosphere surrounded by decor and artefacts that take you back to a different era. Before you are taken through to the dining room the chef comes to explain each dish on the menu from pan to plate with mouth watering descriptions which will get you raring to start the tasting thrills of the evening. The dining room is classy and intimate while keeping a relaxed atmosphere and the service is efficient and discreet.
Fresh ingredients are grown on the farm and picked just hours before being used in Richard’s kitchen. For those hard to find ingredients they source them abroad and fly them in to complete the perfect combination for each dish. Flying in fresh salmon from Norway and genuine Parma hams from Italy. Richard has an absolute passion for food and wine and in every dish it is flavour first, creatively mixing and matching ingredients bringing the perfect balance to each plate. Lashings of cream and butter are added to most dishes, meats are painstakingly slow roasted all day long while Jus and gravies are reduced down for the umpteenth time leaving only the tastiest delights behind.
Dinner is a 7 course affair, 5 plated meals with fresh pineapple granitas to cleanse the decadent palate in between. Meals includes a variety of dishes like the baby red onion tarte tatin with a buttery puff pastry and a moreish thyme and pecorino sauce. An oven-roasted tomato soup with coconut cream and chilli. A rich smoked salmon timbale with artichokes blended with cream cheese and served with a garlic aïoli complimented by the bite of the chef’s famous Kashmiri chilli relish. A locally grown duck is cooked for six to eight hours for the confit duck rillette and served on a Yorkshire pudding, the richness of the duck offset by salty feta and paired with steamed asparagus. For dessert, enjoy the likes of Marsala zabaglione served with Boplaas Hanepoot from Calitzdorp.For the full Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse experience then book into the luxury guesthouse for the weekend. You will then be able to gorge yourself on their unusual and exciting 3 course breakfast which is only on offer to in-house guests. Be sure to not book yourself in for too long as you may have to do a 30km run up the mountains each day to work off the consumed calories.
Book a weekend away or a special occasions dinner at Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse for a food adventure which promises to delight the senses and leave you with decadent mouthfuls of lasting memories. Booking is essential.