There’s not a lot I won’t do for a slap-up brunch with decent Eggs Benedict, cold bubbly and great coffee. Even if it means hauling the grumbling teens out of bed for a long-ish drive into the countryside and braving nippy breezes, I’m game. Add a dreamy view of faraway mountains, and I’m 100% on it.
Last Sunday I found a place that delivers all of the above, faultlessly. Decent Eggs Benedict? Make that a benchmark experience.
So good were our breakfasts, actually, we ordered seconds of nearly everything. Those sausages! That bacon! The breads…
I’ve thought of hardly anything since.
My first visit to Jordan Wines had been only a few days prior to our brunch, when I drove there for a media menu preview. I got horribly lost along the way and nearly turned back home, and boy, I’m glad I didn’t. It’s an absolute gem, set in a landscape so rapturously beautiful you’ll feel as if you’re driving through a movie set. The long and rather bumpy country lane winds its way past several small independent wineries, before halting at the Jordan Winery cellars, tasting rooms and Bakery @ Jordan.
This cosy new café/deli/bistro and inhouse bakery had opened only days before, after a transformation from its previous incarnation under chef George Jardine. It is now owner-run, offering simple, hearty breakfasts and lunches from Wednesdays to Sundays, with platters served Mondays and Tuesdays.
Owners Kathy and Gary Jordan took over the winery in 1993 and have been making world-class wines ever since. In 2009 they opened High Timber in London in partnership with acclaimed restaurateur Neleen Strauss, showcasing their own label with other other notable South African wines. Some of the wines under their label can only be bought from the Tasting Room on the estate, at exceptionally good prices. The Bakery also serves Den Anker ale, and Jordan Wines are stocked at Den Anker wines in V&A Waterfront.
Snug in a corner next to the Tasting Room, The Bakery houses a dining room, bakery and deli. Shelves and fridges display delicious home-made rusks and biscotti, jams and preserves. There are cheeses & charcuterie, as well as free-range eggs and bottles of the peppery estate-pressed extra virgin olive oil at R90 a pop. Long, glass-topped counters show off the day’s baked temptations, against which all resistance is futile. Choose from buttery savoury quiches, cupcakes or brownies and little tartlets, fudge squares in exotic flavours and carrot or cheesecake.
Ace baker Hatley Nyambara turns out ambrosial breads from his wood-fired ovens in ‘Hatley’s Corner’. Take home still-warm sourdough, ciabatta and Cape seed loaves, or baguettes, brioche and rye. We stocked up royally after our meal, and once home fell upon the sourdough as if we hadn’t eaten for days. It is simply superb, especially with a little drizzle of Kathy Jordan’s olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt flakes and slices of juicy ripe tomato. As good as cake, any day.
The Bakery was warm and buzzing on Sunday, with guests of all ages and several small children all sitting happily cheek by jowl. Service is extraordinary: the waiters all appear to be lit by an inner glow, radiating joy and true enjoyment of their work, which makes for a very happy experience as a diner. Smooth, slick, warm and friendly, they made us feel pampered.
The Bakery dining space opens out onto a terrace, a wooden deck and additional alfresco seating areas underneath the trees, all with views of the dam, mountains and surrounding vineyards. It’s a peaceful place with a real feel of family and caring. The friendly family dogs trail around, and a gentle notice on The Bakery’s door advises guests on how to best interact with them.
Our party of 4 had the Avocado Eggs Benedict on sourdough, a classic – and perfect – Eggs Benedict, 2 Full-house Breakfasts with fantastic pork bangers, slow roast tomato, bacon, home-baked beans and poached eggs, and a Vegetarian Breakfast with avocado, halloumi, potato & kale cake, baked beans, tomato and poached egg. The herby pork bangers are from topnotch Paarl butcher Ryan Boon, and home-smoked bacon from Neil Jewell. The hollandaise with both Benedicts had us awestruck – I could eat it by the bowlful. Lashings of freshly brewed house brand coffee, two complimentary glasses of bubbly and fresh pineapple, ginger and orange juice cocktail completed a grand, satisfying brunch.
Breakfasts are from 09h00 – 10h30 Wednesdays to Saturdays, Sunday brunch from 09h00 – 12h00, with lunches from 12h00-15h00 Wednesdays till Sundays. Until August, only platters are served on Mondays and Tuesdays. Bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org
WEEKEND BRUNCH AND LUNCH MENUS, THE BAKERY @ JORDAN
9am – 12.00pm
Homemade granola, double Greek yoghurt, rhubarb compote R65
Eggs Benedict, Neil Jewel’s herb smoked pork loin, two poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, sourdough bread R85
Avocado Benedict, two poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, rocket, sourdough bread R80
Scrambled egg, smoked trout, brioche R90
Pork sausage, bacon, tomato, homemade baked beans, two eggs (poached or scrambled),
and toast R95
Avocado, halloumi cheese, potato & kale cake, homemade baked beans, two poached eggs,
slow roast tomato R85
Continental: freshly baked bread with homemade apricot jam, local cheese and
cured meats R75
12.30pm – 3pm
Soup of the day R75
Salad of the day R65
Anker Ale beer battered hake, triple cooked chips, tartare sauce R95
Pressed winter vegetables, aged cheese gratin, tomato emulsion R80
Confit chicken leg, black truffle mashed potato, chasseur sauce R100
“The Prospector” Burger: beef patty, Hatley’s potato and brioche bun, shiraz onions, bacon, mature Boerenkaas, pickled gherkin R90
Grilled Chalmar sirloin steak, rocket, fried egg, triple cooked chips R150