On yet another lovely summers day we had lunch at Sansibar, which is the bar and more informal restaurant at Asara Wine Farm. Asara Wine Farm houses a large hotel complex and in addition to the two restaurants and deli also offers wine tastings. Like a lot of Winelands wine farms Asara has some great views and seems very popular with foreign visitors. According to their website Sansibar is open Monday to Sunday from 11:00 to late and when we arrived just after twelve there were already a couple of people on the terrace for lunch.
Service was good, as should be expected from a five-star hotel and award-winning wine estate. We got a table outside on the terrace with views over the mountains and started perusing the menus (not that I haven’t already studied it on the internet of course!). The lunch menu is quite an informal affair, with some what I would refer to as some pretty standard pub classics; burgers, fish & chips, club sandwiches etc. It is a solid enough menu but with little on offer for vegetarians other than a couple of cheese options and nothing at all for vegans.
Brian ordered the beef burger while I selected the slider mini burgers. I had a glass of Asara’s Classic Collection Sauvignon Blanc which was nothing special and Brian had bottled Peroni. They don’t do any beer on tap, but at least they have a selection of beers which is more than I can say for a lot of the restaurants on wine farms.
The restaurant stayed fairly quiet and we had a very relaxing wait for our food, in fact we could easily have stayed there all afternoon! The food arrived however, so we had to snap out of our chilled out state and eat. Brian’s burger was huge and weren’t skimping on cheese as the burger was covered in it. My sliders were presented very nicely and I looked forward to tucking in when my plate arrived.
The beef burger tasted good though not the best we’ve had in Stellenbosch. My trio of sliders comprised a chicken breast burger with cheese and sundried tomato relish, a mushroom burger with truffle oil and a quail’s egg and bacon burger, the latter two being beef burgers. Strangely my beef burgers tasted completely different from Brian’s and not really in a good way. The texture and taste of the meat reminded me of pre-packaged burgers though I’m sure they must have been home made. I couldn’t really detect any truffle oil on the one burger and while the quail’s egg looked really cute neither it nor the bacon really added to the flavour of the dish. The sundried tomato relish on the chicken breast burger was also quite overpowering and I had to scrape most of it off and it was an unremarkable burger otherwise. The fries again were ok but I didn’t feel the need to finish them. Brian managed to finish his burger but only just!
The food at Sansibar was ok but the view was better and I don’t think I would rush back anytime soon. We looked at the menu for Raphael’s which offers more upmarket options (at more upmarket prices!) but I’m not sure that I’d visit Raphael’s on the strength of the cooking at Sansibar. The online menu for Raphael’s bear little resemblance to the menu we saw by the way – the menu we were presented with contained a more limited selection than the online version.
Ambience – 4/5
Service – 4/5
Food – 3/5