Babel’s popularity makes booking a table for lunch easier said than done, so when there is an opening you have to jump at it.
We called in early February to book a table in the first week of April, and lucky for us the weekend that we wanted was still available. It was only later that we realised just how lucky we were to get the table that we did – our booking happened to fall on the Easter Weekend and the day after the Two oceans Marathon.
I have read a number of reviews and heard a lot of great things about Babel, and so it quickly moved up my list of places to try. As a ‘new’ vegetarian I am always super eager to find places that cater to my new holistic lifestyle choice.
Although Babel is not an exclusive vegan or vegetarian restaurant, they are most famously known for their vegetable dishes. All the vegetables that are used in their dishes are grown on the grounds of Babylonstoren - home-grown, freshly-picked, cleaned to serve, and super delicious.
I crave simple, well thought out, quality menus. Don’t bring me a book filled with hundreds of choices, because I never know where to start looking. I find large menus intimidating and force me to lose my appetite. Simple menus are the way of the future. Show me what you can do and do it well.
Babel have a farm-to-fork philosophy, which means that their food and menu is based on what is available in their gardens for the season.
This seasons menu is very simple and sustainable. With a few of their gardens currently on hold because of the scarce rain in Cape Town, the Autumn menu explores water-friendly cooking methods. For March and April, Babel serving deletable meals that include a variety of freshly grown pumpkins including Turk’s Turbans, Atlantic Giants and Wit Boerpampoen. Along with their water-friendly cooking methods, Babel have switched out their cotton napkins for biodegradable ones.
First things first, “what would you like to drink?”
I ordered one of the house wines – the Babylonstoren Chenin Blanc (I like sweeter wines).
Gone are the days of bread, Babel’s entrees were a lush harvest of freshly picked, home grown fruits. The best part – apart from a baby carrot, they were all fruits that I have never ever come across. A White Winter Pearmain apple, a num num, and a baby carrot were among the few fruits and vegetables harvest that we could pick from.
As an Introduction, I ordered the green starter - Rolled lotus leaf with roasted quince, pickled lotus root and or di latte. Topped with roasted almonds from the first almond harvest at Babylonstoren, pesto, tomatillo and vanilla-and-quince vinaigrette.
I then Progressed onto my main meal. I ordered from the vegan menu - Roasted pumpkin with fynbos honey and citrus zest paste, served with cinnamon-and- cumin-spiced lentils, and topped with pumpkin crisps, savoury granola and pickled okra.
To Complete the meal, I order the vegan Sweet and Spicy dessert - Fresh persimmon with honey, ginger, fig and coconut ice cream.
After lunch had settled, we went for a walk through the grounds. I wanted to see the gardens where all the ingredients had been grown.
All-in-all, an absolutely amazing and memorable experience at Babel and on the grounds of Babylonstoren.