menu for the conservatory restaurant swellendam

With the winter finally concluding (we’re extremely grateful for the rains but the seasons seem to change later each year and we need our Vitamin D!), we’re looking forward to warmer, longer days and sunny skies – yip, summer is coming!  That, of course, means a new menu for The Conservatory Restaurant.  This season we called in the expertise of mega talented Chef Jason Whitehead to consult on the new menu for The Conservatory and we couldn’t be happier and more excited with the final product.

Menu for The Conservatory Restaurant

When our wonderful Chef Obie (very sadly) left us to marry his fiancé in Bloemfontein a bit earlier this year, we decided not to replace our Head Chef position, but rather to empower and upskill the ladies that have been working in our kitchen since Chef Wander joined us in 2011.  We have been so heartwarmed at the way Elizabeth & Griets have risen to the occasion.  Chef Jason was the obvious choice as consultant chef, as he has been visiting us yearly on his own personal retreat for 6 years and we hold precious places in each other’s hearts.  He spent a week with us at the end of September (most definitely not on retreat this time!) to train Elizabeth and Grieta.  We’re so grateful for the way Chef Jason mentored our two willing and talented chefs – he really took them under his wing and opened their eyes to new ways of cooking and presenting.  They still need a bit of practice on the the refinement of presentation, but my word, their tastes rock!

Menu for The Conservatory Restaurant

Of course we’re sharing a few sneak peaks of the new menu at The Conservatory Restaurant with you.  This menu is bright and bold and filled with dishes that look and feel like summer on a plate.  Some dishes filled with familiar tastes but also new and surprising twists.  While others are an entirely new experience in themselves.


Warm Spring Vegetable Salad or summer on a plate as we like to call it.

For starters there are vegetarian and vegan options that are as flavoursome to taste as they are colourful and delightful on the eye. Lemongrass & Citrus Glazed Seafood and Kudu Carpaccio, a familiar favourite, are the meatier starter options.


Asparagus Soup with Basil oil, Parmesan Brioche and Truffle Butter – one of our favourite starters and vegetarian too.

Chef Jason adding the final touches to the Lemongrass & Citrus Glazed Seafood starter.

It’s important to note here that all seafood used on our menu is sustainable and off the SASSI green list.  Chef Jason is the Brand Ambassador for SASSI and in keeping with Schoone Oordt’s local, fresh, organic where possible, small farmer, earth friendly food style, our seafood is no exception.

On to mains and it’s an impossible task to single out only one dish as a favourite.  We’ll start with Pork Neck, Charred Cauliflower and Hazel Nuts with Herbed Mascarpone and Beurre Noisette.  It’s a unique taste combination made with (of course) locally sourced ingredients that make it just that much more special and in keeping with Schoone Oordt’s food style.


Pork Neck, Charred Cauliflower, Hazel Nuts with Herbed Mascarpone and Beurre Noisette

Vegetarian main options include Fried Halloumi with Spring Onion Croquette and Wild Mushroom Risotto (Vegan) while Pescetarian options include Local Trout with Asparagus, and Sustainable Line Fish, Coriander Endives with Vanilla Butter, Sweetcorn, Lime and Grapes.  Chef Jason is a huge advocate of nose to tail eating and he applies this principle to vegetables too.  Nothing in the kitchen is wasted.  The skin and offcuts from the trout are used in the fishcakes, for example.

Local Trout with Asparagus, Miso Velouté and Trout Cakes

Sustainable Line Fish and Coriander Endives with Vanilla Butter, Sweetcorn, Lime and Grapes

We’ll never leave out the meat-lovers, though.  Our Grass Fed Beef Fillet with Goats Cheese Barley, Beetroot, Peas and a Shiraz Jus paired with a glass of Joubert Tradouw Syrah is true fulfillment on a plate.


Grass Fed Beef Fillet with Goats Cheese Barley, Beetroot, Peas and a Shiraz Jus

For the final course we’re spoiled for choice once more.  From White Chocolate & Strawberries, to Chef Jason‘s favourite Yoghurt & Liquorice (inspired by Liquorice Allsorts!) all the way to Apple Crumble Tart and Lemon Verbena Cheesecake.  Each option a delectable treat and visual feast – you’ll have to try them all.


Pliable White Chocolate with Strawberry Textures and Rosemary Shortbread

Yoghurt & Liquorice with Blueberries and Oranges

The proof is in the pudding they say, so come experience for yourself and support our new kitchen warriors – we’d love to have you over for dinner!

Booking is essential, phone: 028 514 1248


The tired but happy faces of a team that cooked up a storm and got the entire menu done in one short afternoon.

To Chef Jason Whitehead, thank you for your wonderful work on this new menu for The Conservatory Restaurant. We are absolutely thrilled to share these new tastes with our guests!


  • Hi,
    I would like to know if you are open for lunch. We are driving from Knysna to Stellenbosch on Friday 23rd November this year & would love to stop somewhere beautiful for lunch. Your place stood out especially with Jason Whitehead’s new menu and the hotel looks stunning.

    If not could you recommend anywhere? I have been looking and most restaurants only seem to open in the evenings.

    Thanks so much for your time.
    Best regards

    • Hello Natalie

      So good to hear from you and thank you for your kind words!
      We’d love to have you over for lunch, but I’m afraid that we only serve (sublime) breakfasts, afternoon teas and dinners.
      You’re more than welcome to pop in for afternoon tea. It is a selection of homemade iced tea, homemade lemonade, teas, coffees, fruit, something sweet and something savoury.

      Alternatively, we can recommend Ikigai or Tredici for proper lunch.
      Perhaps you will visit us for a stay over and dinner sometime in the future?

      With love from all of us at Schoone Oordt

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