That’s a pretty big title. I know. My lunch of the year! But the more I think about it the more I am like – YA! This WAS the lunch of the year! Faber at Avondale absolutely blew my mind and is cooking the kind of food that really works for me. Faber’s food is seasonal and sustainable with a focus on supporting organic, free range and low carbon producers. Where possibly, their veggies and fruit are picked from Avondale’s organic garden. And my goodness can you taste this in the plates that reach your table!
At the time of writing this, I have just seen Faber was nominated in the Eat Out Top 30 restaurants in South Africa. I am so pleased they are getting the recognition for the incredible food coming out of their kitchen.
We started our lunch with a wine tasting which I always recommend when dining at a wine farm as then you know which wines to order with your lunch AND you get to enjoy a wine tasting – WIN WIN! Avondale makes really beautiful wine and we particularly enjoyed their Anima Chenin Blanc and La Luna their classic Bordeaux Blend.
Snacks to start
We started with snacks – and MAN I love snacks! We had a big pitcher of lemonade served icy cold made with lemons from Avondale’s garden. Whilst sipping on this perfect summer drink we snacked on pampoenkoekies, beetroot crackers dipped in smokey hummus, fresh sourdough, butter, olive tapenade and a truly decadent pâté.
This whole snack board is an absolute feast and really sets high expectations for the lunch to come. I am not a fan of pampoenkoekies – I am sorry but I am decidedly English and sugar with veggies is a hard no from me. However, the pampoenkoekies from Faber are divine! The inside is smooth and savoury with only a light sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon on the outer crunchy crust.
The beetroot crackers have a solid *crack* when biting into them and where perfect for scooping the hummus or pâté. And the pâté itself was my true highlight – if Faber starts selling a deli range, please put my name on the top of the list!
Starters at Faber
I started with the pressed Oak Valley pork belly with gorgonzola cream, parsley compressed apple, fynbos honey and cracking. This dish is rich and decadent and perfect as a starter portion. I was a little nervous about the gorgonzola cream as I am not a huge blue cheese fan but the pork, honey and gorgonzola cream combo was absolutely heavenly. And that gorgonzola cream was so delicious that I pretty much sent my plate back clean!
Jono opted for the steamed new asparagus with parsley salsa verde, fried Avondale hen egg, peas and tanglewood cheese. The asparagus was incredible and we absolutely loved this dish! This is the perfect light summer starter. I am actually cooking asparagus tonight and wondering if I should steal their fried egg idea…
Jono had the Kalk Bay Cape Bream for mains served with peas, baby marrow, green beans, curly kale and aromatic broth. Jono kept with the lighter dish theme and again we were impressed with a solid 10/10 dish. The Cape Bream was cooked to perfection with a brilliant crispy skin and the aromatic broth was perfect for dunking stray potato chips into!
For mains, I went with the steak and veggies! But obviously Faber’s steak and veggies was a step up from your standard fair. I had the aged grass fed flat iron steak served medium rare with roasted organic baby beetroots, charred onion and glazed oxtail with a flavour packed jus. I’m now the biggest fan of flat iron steak and loved it paired with the slightly sweet baby beetroots and salty umami packed jus. I have rekindled my passion for oxtail since our visit to Tjing Tjing Momiji and was delighted by the sticky delicious oxtail hidden through the plate for extra pops of flavour.
Before my steak arrived the waiter popped out and asked if I would like a glass of red wine with my main course. I was so impressed. The service at Faber is exceptional! The waiters are the perfect combination of friendly and personable whilst still being professional and respectful of your space and experience.
There was a young couple next to us with an unhappy newborn. One of the waiters, to the parent’s delight, picked up the baby and rocked her around the restaurant until she fell asleep and then tucked her into her baby carrier. The parent’s were so happy to finish their lunch in peace. I can without a doubt say that the waitstaff really made our experience better.
And beautiful dessert to end our time at Faber
I am having SUCH a cheese phase at the moment. It kicked off with a fancy dinner at Shortmarket club that ended with cheese and dessert wine. Now dessert just isn’t complete without a sneaky cheese board. You can keep your chocolate dessert (unless it is the chocolate fondant from Botanicum – then I want it)!
We finished with a poached Packham pear with pecan nut streusel, wood sorrel and cream cheese ice cream and a dreamy cheese board. The cheese board was a selection of local cheeses served with preserved kumquat, quince from the gardens and toasted sourdough.
I am a huuuuge fan of the phantom forest cheese (the one with the black outside and creamy middle). And am next level obsessed with the quince. This was a fantastic cheese board and a definite recommendation.
The pear was a beautiful dessert which was perfectly light for a summer day. The cream cheese ice cream was sensational and really added a layer of richness to the dish.
You can probably tell by now – but in case it isn’t clear, I would highly recommend a visit to Faber. Their food is exception, the staff are wonderful and the wine makes it even better!
They are offering a steak night special every Friday from 18h30 between 1 August 2019 and 30 April 2020. You can join them for welcome bubbles, their amazing bread board and Aged grass fed rump served with seasonal veggies for R215.
- Location: Avondale, Drakenstein Rd, Paarl
- Opening times: Lunch: Wednesday – Sunday: 12h00 – 15h00. Dinner: Thursday – Saturday: 18h30 – 21h00
- Contact details: Book via dine plan or their website
Disclaimer: We enjoyed our lunch as guests of Avondale and Faber. However, all images and opinions are my own.