As I pass through the main gates to one of the restaurants at the Steenberg Golf Estates, I cannot help but notice the majestic mountains framed by a sparkling blue sky and rows of perfectly manicured vines, that have been newly cultivated. I head up the mountainside to the wine shed where the estate’s wine is produced and a stylish restaurant has been created.
Bistro Sixteen82 is, executive chef, Brad Ball’s baby. The creator in terms of concept and food, Brad shows great enthusiasm when asked about his part in making this restaurant a sustainable one. There is no doubt, as a concept, it is brilliant. The bistro serves breakfast, lunch and tapas until 7:30pm. No late nights for the staff, who are all well trained and delightful to deal with (a nice change).
Tuna tartar packed with asian flavours and lots of spice
In terms of buying locally, he is a star. Within minutes of meeting Brad, he was able to tell me all about his purveyors. His proteins are all locally sourced. His fish are all on the SASSI( South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) green list. Hake, fresh every morning and Guernet are some of the fish Brad is using in his menus. Mussels are all from Sadhwana Bay, if red tide is happening then no mussels, a little pain for being green. Prawns are no longer imported from India but rather arrive in from Mozambique. Even though the consistency is not necessarily there, another bit of pain for trying the green route, he believes that it is well worth it.
For those who are not aware of this SASSI list, if you are in South Africa, the FishMS service, allows consumers to make on-the-spot choices about the seafood with just one SMS to 079-499-8795. Type in the name of the fish you want to order, send it and wait a minute or so for the answer as to whether or not your fish choice is a sustainable one. We all should have that number on our phones.
Back to the Bistro….the décor is made up of large glass windows bringing the newly manicured gardens and water features into the restaurant. It is wonderful to see that there is no hiding the working wine shed where grapes are being fermented and wines are being bottled behind large, soundproof glass. Once one arrives into the restaurant, the natural color tones and furniture complements the feel of the space. As an added bonus, the tables and chairs are all locally sourced.
Brad’s restaurant is, on the inside, respectful of the sustainability issues but they could have done so much more on the outside.
Tons of space and the herbs and vegetables are located in a shady part of the back garden
The landscape architect could have easily incorporated herbs and vegetables into the surrounding gardens rather than hiding a small patch in the back. Worms and some sort of composting should have also been part of the original plan rather than an after thought, which has left both Brad and his counterpart at Catharina’s scrambling to figure out what to do with their waste.
Rather than talk about what could be done or should be done about waste, I took matters into my own hands and decided to pair up a farm with animals and a restaurant, such as the Bistro. After a 10 minute conversation with Warren from the Barnyard, and a meeting of the animals, it was agreed that he would be thrilled to take Brad’s waste from his restaurant to feed his animals. The Barnyard is a place where animals and kids have a chance to interact while parents can have a coffee and some daily specials. It is also about 200 meters(210 yards)from the Bistro. I have introduced them by email so we will see what happens.
I will return to Bistro Sixteen82 for its beauty, serenity and lovely food. I will also return to see if the gardens are blossoming with newly planted fruits and vegetables and if the waste has been dealt with!