Neil and Tina Jewell have made a name for themselves in Cape food circles. No one can talk about charcuterie without the name Neil Jewell entering into the conversation. I well remember going to their place in Franschhoek when he told me he had just finished smoking pig’s cheek. I was revolted—I am a carnivorous hypocrite. I will eat almost anything if I don’t know what it is. After he had served me a paper thin slice of some of the most delicious smoked something or other I was gone. Today they are at their new place at Spice Route in Paarl, serving delicious food to their fans.
Jewell’s is beautifully positioned overlooking the Paarl Valley with spectacular views. Sitting outside under the venerable oak trees is first prize but if the wind begins to pump –which it can do here—inside is charming.
Starters like the charcuterie platter with various kinds of salami, mortadella, and ham served with gorgeous breads and specialist butters is just the way to go. Get a platter and share it. The twice baked cheese soufflés are legendary and delicious as is the cheese platter with five great cheeses, some from Fairview, all carefully selected. If you still have an appetite try a Red sirloin steak perfectly done with mushroom velouté and straw potatoes. The pira baked linefish with an Asian salad dressing is heaven—nice and light. A small plate of five tasting portions of sweet things like madeleines, jellies, superbly rich chocolate truffles and fizzy sherbet is a perfect way to bring it all to a close.
Service is impeccable, the wine list is reasonable, and the whole thing is an occasion not to be missed. Get there and see for yourself. Get spoiled.
JEWELL’S AT SPICE ROUTE PHONE 021 204 4875