My Honest Review of Pink Valley in Stellenbosch, South Africa

pink valley review

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The Pink Valley

This past weekend we had the pleasure of enjoying a long, boozy lunch at the Pink Valley Wines Restaurant. Nestled in the magnificent Helderberg mountains near Stellenbosch, this hidden gem has no shortage of breathtaking views to feast your eyes on. Your eyes, however, will not be enjoying the feast alone. Their mouthwatering small plates were a truly memorable culinary experience. Keep reading for my honest review of everything we had to eat and drink on the menu…

Quench Your Thirst

Pink Valley menu

Craig and I arrived half an hour early for our reservation. While we waited for the rest of our party to arrive we sipped on some hot drinks and read in the sun. I ordered the Mint Green Tea from their selection of loose leaf teas and Craig ordered an Americano.

I desperately want to be the kind of girl who drinks green tea but I struggle to stomach it, I just find it incredibly bitter. This was however the nicest green tea I’ve ever tasted and I managed two cups (I usually only manage two sips). 

Craig said his coffees were great, he had one double shot and one single shot Americano. He is a major coffee snob so anytime he has anything positive to say about coffee I know it’s a top notch brew.

Once the rest of our guests arrived we ordered a bottle of wine. As the name suggests, Pink Valley specialises in Rosé. In fact they make and express a single specialist Rosè wine which makes them unique from any other South African wine farm. I don’t drink myself, so I didn’t partake in the boozy portion of our lunch but I enjoyed the use of Walter Battis paintings on the wine labels. 

Pink Valley

Craig is more of a whiskey than a wine drinker so he opted for a Jameson (not his first choice but their selection was quite limited which is fair enough since they specialise in rosé). I ordered one of their signature Homemade Mixes with elderflower, lime, cucumber and indian tonic. You can add gin but I enjoyed it as a virgin cocktail. Having delicious non-alcoholic substitutes is not common for a wine farm so I really appreciated that Pink Valley had a selection of drink options for me.

Pink Valley mocktail

The mocktail is served with a little marinated olive bowl topper which is a tasty touch!

Full Belly, Happy Heart

foods at Pink Valley

Our lunch was a belated birthday celebration for my brother and my family would definitely be considered foodies. My mom has a culinary background and both of my siblings are creative in the kitchen. My dad is more enthusiastic about eating than cooking but I reckon after a few more episodes of MasterChef Australia and he’ll be embracing his inner chef. Taking all of this into account and the fact that Craig can be fussy, our crowd isn’t an easy one to please. Nonetheless, Pink Valley Restaurant managed to deliver and then some!

Knead To Dip

We started with the Sweet potato potbrood with curried butter. A pot brood is a traditionally South African bread. Translated directly from the Afrikaans ‘Potbrood’ it is a pot bread. The name comes from the cast-iron pot or ‘potjie’ it is baked in which gets placed in hot coals. I am a sucker for freshly baked bread and this local treat did not disappoint. The sweet potato gives the bread a honeyed flavour and paired with the salty, curried butter it made for a delectable combination. I would suggest ordering two portions if you’re sharing between more than four people (we were seven in total).

Share It

Next we tucked into their small plates and ordered a few to share. We picked the:

Spinach and mozzarella balls with sweet mustard

Paprika hummus with sundried tomatoes, olives and pita

Braised pork belly with garlic aioli

Sticky glazed skaapsterjies (sheep’s tail)

Truffle chicken with mushrooms

Cured duck with parmesan crisps

Charred gem lettuce with apple and walnuts

I would recommend all of these with the exception of the duck dish. It was my first time eating cured duck and the texture put me off (like chewing soggy biltong or jerky). All of the other dishes were exceptional. I especially enjoyed the paprika hummus, maybe it’s my Greek heritage but I’m partial to Mediterranean flavours. I love the sharing style of eating tapas too. You get to try a little bit of everything and you’re less likely to overdo it. I often find restaurant portions too large and I was taught to finish the food on my plate as a child, so I’m usually left feeling uncomfortably full. After sharing a few small plates I was satisfied but still had room for desert.

Somethin’ Sweet

Pink Valley food

The dessert menu was far too tempting to resist so we continued the tapas theme and ordered one of each to share. Our dessert selection consisted of:

Churros with milk tart dip

Belgian chocolate cheesecake with raspberries

Frozen parfait with orange blossom

Who doesn’t love deep fried doughnut batter covered in cinnamon sugar? And the milk tart dip was an excellent pairing. For the non-South African readers, milk tart is a traditional custard tart with vanilla and cinnamon flavours.

The Belgian chocolate cheesecake was the star of the trio. I don’t like overly cheesy cheesecake and this one was more chocolate than cheese. The combination of fresh raspberries and berry coulis kept the decadent dessert from becoming too rich. I would highly recommend it and will probably order the full portion for myself next time!

Unfortunately the frozen parfait with orange blossom was disappointing. The parfait lost all of its creaminess and turned icy from freezing. To add insult to injury, the orange blossom was so perfumey it tasted like you were eating your gran’s fancy guest soaps (anyone else’s gran have fancy guest soaps?). I wouldn’t order this again and I’d advise against trying this one, everyone at our table agreed that it sadly missed the mark.

Final Thoughts

To conclude my review of the Pink Valley Restaurant, I’ve scored the elements that makeup a good dining experience out of 10:

Atmosphere7
Scenery/ Views8
Drinks10
Starters and Mains9
Desserts8
Overall42/50

I would return to Pink Valley Restaurant again, especially to try some of the dishes that I found on the online menu (included below to tempt your tastebuds) that weren’t available during our visit. They also do a Harvest Table where they offer a set three course menu which I would love to try. Be sure to add this lovely spot to your itinerary when you’re next near Stellenbosch.

menu of Pink Valley

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