dsc_0014.jpg A friend asked for my annual list of winter specials so I’ve rounded up a few delicious meals from venues with proven track records that I know to be good. As a rule I find better value by opting for smarter restaurant tables – those places you would like to eat at but can’t justify the expense ordinarily.
Please post feedback about your meal experiences or recommend other good winter specials not listed here…

Constantia Uitsig Restaurant, Constantia Uitsig wine farm, Constantia. Tel 021 794 4480 (closed during July). Lunch: two courses at R190 (no wine), three courses at R220 (no wine). Dinner: three courses at R250 (no wine).

HQ, Heritage Square, Cape Town CBD. Tel 021 424 6373. Not specifically a winter special but stylish steakhouses are worth knowing about and HQ’s 2 for 1 Mondays is luring crowds during winter months. On Monday nights pay ‘Two for One’ for HQ’s signature salad, 250g aged Namibian sirloin and chips at dinner. Spend: R155 for two. Wash it down with ‘Two for One’ cocktails (only pay for one cocktail) from the selected menu. Or at lunch on Mon to Sat, order 125g sirloin, salad and chips. Spend: R99pp.

Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine. Jordan wine farm outside Stellenbosch. Tel 021 881 3612. Family-friendly. Spend: a surprise chef’s taster plus three courses of the day at R225pp, including two glasses of quality Jordan white or red wines. See Winter special lunch at Jordan.

La Colombe, Constantia Uitsig wine farm, Constantia. Tel 021 794 2390 (closed during June). Lunch: three courses with a wine carafe at R280pp. Dinner: five-course tasting menu with five wine pairings at R390pp.

La Mouette, Regent Road, Sea Point. Tel 021 433 0856. ‘2 for 1 Winter Special SALE: buy one six-course Tasting Menu and get one free.’ Spend: R240 for two people. Additional wine pairing at R180pp. The June menu features duck liver parfait on toast, white bean soup with a smoked tomato twist, and braised beef shortrib with polenta. dsc_0020.jpg

Planet Restaurant, Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town CBD. Tel 021 483 1000. Spend: R220pp for four courses, or R300pp for six courses (meat or complete vegan menu) of their Journey Menu. Feel elegantly cosy surrounded by flickering stars and orbiting planets inside the Nellie’s revamped formal restaurant. Exec chef Rudi Liebenberg’s Journey Menu includes dishes such as salmon trout compilation; rooibos-cured ostrich fillet with lentil salad, labneh and sweet and sour pickled beetroot; creamed celeriac soup with herbed cheese and garlic croutons; roasted kingklip with curried onion sauce, tomato salad and coriander potato croquette; and so on… For the finale, a dessert titled ‘Hey Apple’. Coffee and friandises are included.

Terroir at Kleine Zalze restaurant, Stellenbosch. Tel 021 880 8167. Family-friendly. Spend: two courses at R170pp; three courses at R195pp from the Green Season menu. One glass of Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection wine is included. Lunch or dinner. Starters include Michael Broughton’s delicious gnocchi or squid with tomato jam and rouille. Mains: beef fillet with béarnaise and mushrooms, or wild mushroom risotto with asparagus and porcini foam. Tip: A three-course meal from their regular a la carte menu will set you back over R300, so the winter deal seems sweet.

The Foodbarn in Noordhoek. Tel 021 789 1390. Extremely family-friendly. Spend: three courses at R165pp, four courses at R185pp, five courses at R215pp – each course includes a taster of Steenberg wines. Lunch or dinner excluding Sun. Franck Dangereaux’s sample course: A pork and cinnamon springroll on mash with rocket and garlic jus. Or lemon panna cotta with thyme meringue and berry sauce. See The Foodbarn winter special review

*The Greenhouse at Cellars-Hohenhort, Brommerslvlei Road, Constantia. Tel 021 794 2137. Peter Tempelhoff’s Winter Surprise Special menu paired with Klein Constantia wines. Dinner only (closed during July) Spend: R240pp for five courses (no wines) or R295pp for five courses including wines. Quote ‘Winter Surprise Special’ when making a reservation.

The Roundhouse, Stans Holt, Camps Bay. Tel 021 4384347. Chefs Eric Bulpitt (ex Jardine) and PJ Vadas are collaborating in the kitchen. Lunch spend: R180pp. Order The Express Menu ie any three courses from the Winter Special Dinner menu. Dinner spend: seven courses at R240pp (no wine) or R260pp (wine tasters included) of the Winter Special Menu. Dishes could include Karan beef tartare with oyster mayonnaise, bone marrow and beer gel, or celeriac roasted in goats butter, onion and juniper purée, cider-fermented apple and hazelnut milk. To finish, lemon soufflé with cheesecake icecream.