All Opulent, Opulent Taste

Contemporary heritage on a plate

Catharina’s Restaurant at Steenberg has embarked on an adventurous journey with Executive Chef Archie Maclean breaking new ground on the culinary frontier, exciting palates with his ‘contemporary heritage’ cuisine.

August 2016

All Opulent, Opulent Taste

Creating a sensory experience that resonates the spirited life and times of the feisty Catharina Ras, Chef Archie pays homage to Steenberg’s 17th century founder.

The new menu at Steenberg’s gourmet restaurant in Constantia, is interwoven with fresh indigenous ingredients Catharina would have hunted, grown and prepared herself. By revealing hints of her thrilling life in this sensory culinary narrative, Chef Archie brings the ‘contemporary heritage’ dictum to life.

“Catharina is the adventurous one and I need to follow in her shoes,” is how the chef describes his role. “As a farm, Steenberg has such a deep and colourful history and we want our restaurant experience to bring the adventure of Catharina Ras to life. This is the crux of our contemporary heritage food.”

Taking a leaf from Catharina’s adventurous book, he serves up contemporary comfort food, allowing guests to revel in the abundance of fresh produce, cooked simply and presented beautifully. The restaurant embraces the past, but keeps evolving with the current to maintain a fresh and innovative attitude. The menu centres on simplicity, and lets the finest quality ingredients do the talking.

“When I started delving into the life of Catharina Ras, I just knew I had to include ingredients she would have served at her table,” says Chef Archie, whose menu is interwoven with unusual accents not readily found elsewhere.

As a seasoned huntswoman of hippo and lion, warthog, ostrich, crocodile and zebra served with indigenous veld food would have been regular fare at Steenberg in her day.

Experimenting with these ingredients took Chef Archie on his own journey of discovery creating some wonderful umami flavours by incorporating traditional staples such as chakalaka, maize meal and sour figs, making dining at Catharina’s a true culinary adventure.

“We want to take people outside their comfort zones, to try something new when they dine with us. Our guests need to leave in awe, having experienced something absolutely amazing,” he adds.

Catharina’s offers diners a 3-course à la carte menu as well as an 8-course tasting menu. Signature dishes include seared tuna wrapped in crisp salmon skin; salmon trout served with a horseradish and sour fig risotto; panfried crocodile tail; and grilled Zebra loin.

While the tasting menu at R1 100 per person including wines from leading estates, is interlaced with Archie’s more adventurous dishes, the à la carte menu also includes the more familiar for a quick lunch or informal dining.

Both menus are available for lunch and dinner and guests at the same table will be able to order from either menu.

Catharina’s Restaurant is open 7-days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For bookings contact +27 (0)21 7137178 or email For more information visit


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