Babylonstoren is an old historic fruit and wine farm dating back to 1692, transformed into a beautiful hotel with 13 guests cottages newly built in the Cape Dutch architect style on the foundations of the original labourers’cottages. The heart of the property is its fruits and vegetable garden, laid out over 3,5 magnificent hectares, and its restaurant Babel.
Housed in an old cow shed, the restaurant is light and airy with a seamless mix of Cape Dutch architecture and contemporary glass walls that make for a simple yet modern environment.
Eating here is a journey of rediscovery of the honest essence of things.
- Starters focus on the visual effect of our salads: a choice of red, yellow or green.
- Main meals consist of a protein with delicious veggies from the garden and our famous potato wedges.
- Dessert subscribes to four flavours: salty, bitter, sweet and sour.
Babel ’s menu subscribes to a ‘pick, clean and serve’ approach that is totally seasonal and guided by what is in the garden. ‘Babel’s menu is the most comprehensive representation of what a working farm such as Babylonstoren produces,’ says restauranteur Maranda Engelbrecht. ‘Our early morning harvest is woven throughout our daily menu, thus ensuring that no two days are entirely the same.’ And the farm’s wines and larder products are incorporated into the menu too, all culminating in the tasty and often unconventional combinations.
Start with baked aubergine terrine with ginger and rhubarb or smoked trout with horseradish and nectarine viognier dressing, followed by miso marinated baby chicken with kale and apple kimchi, or fillet of beef with a Japanese mustard dressing. The unusual flavour combinations continue in the dessert options too, in that they all subscribe to four flavours: salty, bitter, sweet and sour. So you may opt for cucumber, radish and ginger sorbet with summer berries, or elderflower jelly and chocolate mint.
The philosophy is “simple, generous and honest”. The style of food leans towards simplicity, but played with unexpected flavour combinations and new varieties of fruit and vegetables in every meal. And while the meals are creative, Babel don’t like to tamper unduly with food. The meals are always clear in structure, so that fruit and vegetables gathered daily from the garden is often served whole or with the skin on – guests must be able to see what they are eating.