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We dined for lunch at the Cassia Restaurant on the Nitida Wine Estate in Durbanville with my Uncle and Aunt, Rob and Rose, on Sunday 25th April 2010. It was a disappointment.

The restaurant is a modern, attractive building with large windows giving wonderful views over the lake and vineyards.

Three of us ordered the camembert starter which arrived looking attractively like a small Cornish pasty. The reality was that it was too doughy and one was left with a relatively cold chunk of cheese in the middle. Rob was not impressed with his small tomato dominated squid.

The ladies then had chicken breast stuffed with feta and peppadews which they really enjoyed. Rob and I had the lamb stew which included very tasty dates, beans and couscous but at its core had tasteless meat which was cold.

Lisa, the manager, should have credited us with the cost of the lamb stew but instead took the cheaper option of offering us a free desert. She shouldn’t have bothered. Rob and I ordered a cheese plate which arrived as an over busy bread and vegetable plate with three small pieces of cheese hiding in the corner.  The ladies had sorbet which is difficult to get wrong.

We drank wines from the estate. The Nitida Pinotage 2008 (4/10) had a lovely colour, less attractive bouquet and tasted like it wasn’t yet ready to come out of the bottle. In complete contrast, however, the Nitida Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (7/10) was beautifully dark red, had a nice, full bouquet, tasted very smooth and left a lovely clean finish. Interestingly the restaurant did not bother to quote the vintage of the wines on their menu.

On Sundays the restaurant has a live singer singing Cat Stevens type songs. In my view the taped music that played during his cigarette break was far superior. Nelson tried to give us good service but was badly let down by the kitchen.

Not a place to return to.

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