On the spur of the moment we drove to Jonkershoek yesterday afternoon and ended up having lunch at Postcard Café at Stark-Condé Wines. As it was approaching 2pm we didn’t expect to have any problems getting a table. On arrival the outside seating area was pretty full but we found a table that was free, and as so often is the case, seated ourselves as there was nobody on hand to receive us. After a couple of minutes a bustling waitress came up to inform us very bluntly that the table was reserved and that we couldn’t sit there. No alternative table was offered and we weren’t pointed in the direction of the front of house manager who may have been able to help. A handy tip would be to maybe put a ‘reserved’ sign on the table as I was looking out for any sign that the table was booked – like the one next to us that did have a reserved sign on it?! We got up and eventually found someone who gave us a table inside, though not very graciously, and fortunately after a rocky start things improved.
The Postcard Café is situated in the Jonkershoek valley and has amazing views, which is of course a great attraction. There are many great views to be found in the Winelands though, so that can’t be the only reason people flock to the Postcard Café. As the restaurant is on the Stark-Condé wine estate wine tastings are also offered quite innovatively on a decked area in the middle of the dam. Approaching the wine tasting centre on the wooden boardwalk is both different and interesting and makes a great addition to the gardens and views.
We studied the menu to try and figure out why the Postcard Café is so popular (after our visit I noticed their website actually states reservations are advisable!). The menu is quite interesting, with options ranging from light meals like salads, quiches and omelettes (spelled omelet) to heartier options like burgers, braised chicken and lamb stew. There are a few vegetarian options, as well as a salad that would have suited any vegans. All the options looked interesting and I struggled a bit to decide what to eat, eventually deciding on the Antipasto plate as it gives you lots of different things to eat, including olives, cheese, pork terrine and marinated mushrooms and is served with bread. Other options that I also wanted to try were sesame chicken salad, Teriyaki beef burger, Thai prawn curry and Moroccan lamb stew, so we will just have to go back! Fishop didn’t have that many options to choose from on settled on a cheese and tomato sandwich, without the ham and basil pesto that it was supposed to come with (which made it a fairly expensive cheese and tomato sandwich!).
Only Stark-Condé wines are served, although they do serve Castle beer for the beer drinkers as well. As well as an extensive breakfast menu, there is also a very good selection of cakes and homemade cold drinks and smoothies on offer during the afternoon so I doubt whether this place is ever quiet! Service from our (heavily pregnant) waitress was good and efficient and we were happy to relax a while and wait for our meals. Our meals came very tastefully presented and Fishop’s sandwich was made with three slices of bread instead of the usual two and my meal looked enormous and could easily have fed two less hungry customers. Fishop pronounced his sandwich to be just ok, while my antipasto was gorgeous and I happily munched my way through it, doing my best to finish it all. After lunch we walked around to take some pictures and agreed that the Postcard Café was well worth the visit.
The venue really is amazing with the mountains as a backdrop, and the menu is creative with food choices for most palates. Wine tasting is offered and food is tastefully presented and served with a smile, but even so, I’m still not 100% sure that all these facts combined justifies just how busy the restaurant seems to be. Whatever the case may be, I’m happy that it works so well, though maybe next time I will book a table instead of chancing my luck and expecting the lunch rush to be over by 2pm!
I’ll leave you with a final thought: did you know that MS Word suggests ‘foodie’ as a synonym for ‘glutton’….maybe I should stop calling myself a foodie quite so easily!
Ambience – 5/5
Service – 3/5
Food – 4/5
Value for Money – 3/5