Bosjes Kombuis a true hidden gem

Food & Wine
The term hidden gem is often overused these days, but when you sit down in the Bosjes Kombuis just outside Ceres it’s the only description that comes to mind.

Tucked away off the R43 en route to Ceres and nestled next to an 18th-century Cape Dutch manor house on the Bosjes farm, the Witzenberg and Slanghoek mountains are the backdrop to the contemporary restaurant space.

Celebrity chef Pete Goffe-Wood has crafted a no frills seasonal menu that is brought to life by executive chef Kim Cox.

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SMALL TOWN: Bosjes Kombuis, above and left, just outside Ceres offers a hearty meal in the middle of the Breede River Valley in a modern setting that appears to be what the future of small-town dining should be. Bosjes is a family-friendly restaurant and has a great outside play area for the kids and burger with fries that will keep them smiling.Pictures: SUPPLIEDMAINS: Sea bass with mash.

The soup of the day is a great way to start your meal and if you’re lucky you’ll get the sweet potato soup which didn’t disappoint. Creamily smooth, the balance of spices is just right. If soup is not your favourite food, then try the sesame chicken salad or a farm platter which includes chicken liver pate, cured meats, farm bread and home-made pickles.

You have a choice of mains that include roasted Mediterranean vegetables, marinated chick peas and quinoa, the beef of the day (which is grass fed) or a deep fried mushroom quiche.

But my choice is the pan fried sea bass. The fish is perched atop creamy mash potatoes and there are wilted greens and a mussel velouté on the plate. It’s a tasty surprise on the menu that is well worth it. I didn’t expect to find a perfectly seared sea bass on a menu at a Kombuis restaurant near Ceres, but that is all part of Bosjes’ hidden gem quality.

The fish is prepared in such a way that you can still enjoy that natural salty taste but there are crisp and clear flavours to accompany it. The skin wasn’t removed which made it even more flavourful and a pleasure to eat.

The aroma of the plate reminded me of a seafood platter, and it’s because both the mussels and the sea bass were prepared just right.

This is hearty food in the middle of the Breede River Valley in a modern setting that appears to be what the future of small-town dining should be. Gone is the garish boere kos label and kitch decor and it’s been replaced by a modern Kombuis style dining room and fearless and flavoursome menu.

The dessert offering is a testament to this and on the recommendation of one of the staff I decided to order the almond panna cotta with poached pears and home-made shortbread. It was smooth and not too sweet, but it wasn’t the knock out I needed to end off my meal.

That came courtesy of Chef Kim’s home-made trio of ice creams that I was served. It was a cinnamon, coffee and vanilla ice cream and to my surprise the vanilla was not so vanilla at all. It was the star of the ice creams and a joy to the palate because there was a secret ingredient in there that had me scooping up the last of the ice cream and I still couldn’t figure it out. Other dessert options include local cheese, farm pickles and crisp bread as well as malva pudding with vanilla ice cream and a home-made ice cream sundae.

Bosjes Kombuis is a family-friendly restaurant which doesn’t appear obvious from the clean lines and contemporary decor. They even have a great outside play area for the kids and a burger with fries that will keep the young ones smiling.

A meal at Bosjes Kombuis will not disappoint – it’s a tranquil setting and a tasty menu that will draw you into the beauty of the Breede River Valley and make you never want to leave.

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