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On a rainy afternoon in early winter, I headed to Cape Town from the Winelands, and by the time I reached the Constantia valley it was pouring rain from all sides. I know what you are thinking – what can be more cosy than a rainy winter afternoon? Pair that with hearty food, wine and good company, and you’ve got a winner at Steenberg Bistro Sixteen82.

From the moment you step into the Sixteen82 bistro, you are immediately taken in by the minimalist decor with the fireplace as centerpiece. My brother and his fiancee, who recently got engaged after dating for 11 years, joined me for lunch – and with this backdrop, it quickly became a celebration of new beginnings, family ties and most importantly love.

So, in case you missed it, Steenberg Bistro Sixteen82 is running a great special during the winter, called the Hearty & Homely Lunch Special. The special, which includes a whole array of belly-warming food, is priced extremely well at R275 for 2 courses, R315 for 3 courses and R350 for 4 courses. The special runs until 30 September 2021, from Mondays to Fridays.

We opted for the 2 course lunch and kicked off with some pulled pork potstickers, served with a red cabbage and miso slaw, and a smoked fish taco, served with a quince salsa and curry oil. Biting into the potstickers, strategically dipped in the miso dressing, brings forth those great Asian flavours. My favourite was definitely the fish taco with just a hint of curry oil and a bit of a bite, cut with the sweeter quince salsa – heaven! *Expert tip: the taco is well-paired with Steenberg 1682’s Chardonnay Cap Classique NV with toasted flavours and a crisp acidity.

Reading the menu, I immediately knew what I would have for mains, opting for the pulled beef and bacon crumble pumpkin gnocchi with a tomato ragout and emmental cream. This dish literally screams winter and transported me back to Sunday lunch at my grandmother’s. It is a hearty, filling dish with classic flavours.

My brother, on the other hand, went for the fish of the day, a perfectly cooked Cape Bream served with a leek and corn tortellini, a tarragon bisque and shimeji salsa. This well-balanced dish was well executed and the table’s favourite. Definitely a must-have for that not-too-heavy lunch, but still enough to keep you warm. We also gave the mushroom and truffle risotto a go, served with cherry tomatoes and a macadamia nut crumble. I’d definitely recommend pairing this one with Steenberg’s The Black Swan 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, which is a medium-bodied white wine with lemon zest and summer melon prominent on the palate.

For a sweet au revoir, we shared an almond and chocolate streusel, served with salted caramel ice cream. The sweetness of the chocolate cremeux is balanced by the salty caramel and together with the variations of textures in the dish, make for a great dessert choice – if you are sweet tooth or not.

Click here to view the special menu.

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Author

Free State-girl, living in Stellenbosch. Love to explore small towns, read in Afrikaans and everything pop-culture. My favourite yoga move is 'The Pigeon' and one day I'd like to own my own vintage cinema.

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