Today we discovered Mariella’s Restaurant on the Capaia Wine Estate in the Swartland. It is located about 30 km from Cape Town just outside the quaint town of Philadelphia. Capaia farm belongs to Ingrid Baroness von Essen and was formerly a wheat farm which stole her heart. The family transformed the farm into Capaia Wine Estate. They also restored the old farmhouse, a beautiful Victorian house and opened a restaurant in the building in 2013. The restaurant was named after her only daughter, Mariella.
Today the restaurant is headed up by executive chef, Mark Hartlief. We were privileged to meet him and to chat to him for a few minutes. His menu is all about fusion, with mouth-watering dishes, served with Capaia’s excellent wines.
We were seated outside on the deck with a view over the rolling hills of the Swartland that you will find nowhere else. First of all we were presented with a canapé of duck liver pâté and smoked Kudu. Deon’s lunch was (again) Oven Roasted Crispy Pork Belly with creamy mashed potatoes and a Dijon mustard sauce. My choice was Chicken Cordon Bleu which was crumbed chicken breast filled with smoked kudu and mozzarella cheese and served with a decadent mushroom sauce and a side salad. For dessert we shared the dessert medley, three desserts with which to tempt you, according to the menu. And tempting it was for sure.
To conclude – this is gem hiding between the hills which need to be discovered by Capetonians and visitors. The scenery is beautiful, the service is good, the wine is excellent and the food is divine. That is all you need for a perfect lunch.