A couple of weeks ago we took a drive out to Hartbeespoort Dam for lunch at the Silver Orange Bistro. I had seen a lot of good reviews of this restaurant and I have been wanting to try it out for some time now.
Silver Orange Bistro
The Silver Orange Bistro is situated on a lovely out-in-the-country citrus farm, less than an hour from Johannesburg’s northern suburbs. We arrived a bit early for our reservation (they are a must) and took the opportunity to take a stroll through the groves to work up a bit of an appetite.
Farmhouse used for special functions
Mandarin Tree, I have never seen so much fruit on one tree
We slowly made our way back to the restaurant where our table was waiting for us on the inviting terrace. This was just the place to be on a sunny winter afternoon. Seating is also available inside in several beautifully decorated rooms so be sure to specify if you have a preference when you reserve. We were warmly welcomed with a glass of sangria and a plate of amuse-bouche served on a decorative spanish tile.
Sangria and amuse-bouche
Though the setting is rather relaxed, it can be said that the menu is rather upscale and inventive. The restaurant also has a no under-12’s policy so if you are looking for a place to go with young children, this is not it.
You could go home with a new family member
The wine list is more like a wine book, it is absolutely huge. There are also several different Champagnes and Cap Classiques (sparkling wine) to choose from and I decided to start with a flute of Cap Classique while perusing the menus.
In addition to the regular menu, a couple of different starters and mains were offered as specials of the day. Vegetarian choices were limited to one starter and one main on the regular menu however when I called to reserve, I was told other items such as a grilled vegetable salad could also be arranged.
As for the starters, all ranged between 60-65 ZAR which I considered really reasonable considering there were some fairly fancy items such as frog legs, garlic snails and crocodile carpaccio. For my starter, I chose the Halloumi and Avocado Crystal Wrap (60 ZAR) off of the menu. I love both halloumi and avo so this was just perfect for me, I loved the freshness of this wrap. Little droplets of smoked paprika mayo and sweet chili sauce added just the right amount of zest to this dish.
Halloumi and Avocado Crystal Wrap
The Frenchie surprised me by ordering the Duck and Fig Samoosas (60 ZAR); I would have bet my dessert that he would have ordered the snails. The samoosas were complimented with plum and ginger sauces which he enjoyed.
Duck and Fig Samoosas
After much deliberation, the Frenchie decided on a lovely bottle of Steenberg Shiraz (260 ZAR). The full-bodied wine complimented our meals just perfectly and was a great choice.
I felt the service was really outstanding and professional at the Silver Orange. Always attentive but never rushing or hovering. Our wine and water glasses were always topped up just when needed. Timing between courses was perfect, not too slow and not too fast.
Let’s move on to the mains. I was in the mood for a nice pasta so I decided to just stick with the Red Pepper Pesto Pasta (95 ZAR) from the menu. I loved the creamy goodness of the combination of pesto, rocket and parmesan and farfalles always make for a pretty dish.
Red Pepper Pesto Pasta
The Frenchie went with one of the specials of Confit of Duck (Confit de Canard) served on a bed of mash and veggies (165 ZAR). He declared the duck cooked to perfection and very flavourful.
Duck Confit on a bed of mash and veggies
We probably should have stopped after the mains, but neither one of us could resist the temptation of the dessert board. The Rooibos & Honey Malva Pudding (60 ZAR) was screaming my name and I had to have this as I just love anything Rooibos. This was fantastic and I can’t remember if I even allowed the Frenchie a bite.
Rooibos & Honey Malva Pudding – oh so pretty
The Frenchie selected the Chocolate Springrolls with Vanilla Ice-Cream (60 ZAR) which were a bit lighter than my malva pudding but very tasty as well.
Chocolate Springrolls with Vanilla Ice-Cream
An expresso to finish off the meal and that was our wonderful lunch at the Silver Orange Bistro. When all was said and done our bill came out to 901 ZAR before tip, or about 73 USD. While not exactly cheap, we did order 3 courses each and wine. I thought this restaurant offered excellent value for money compared to many places we have tried around Johannesburg. If you are looking for a great meal in a beautiful setting, I highly recommend the Silver Orange Bistro; we will be sure to return soon.