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Greenhouse Chef Farrel Hirsch

Greenhouse restaurant: a modern African dining experience

South Africa’s culinary scene is as vibrant as ever. Greenhouse Restaurant Cape Town leads the pack, taking epicureans on an exciting, fine dining journey that explores the mysticism of southern African culture. 

Talented and creative, young Executive Chef Farrel Hirsch is celebrating all things local at Greenhouse. His boundary-breaking African Modern menu wows diners through a 9-course adventure. You will find the flagship restaurant of The Liz McGrath Collection at The Cellars-Hohenort in the historical Constantia Valley. The locals lovingly call the area ‘Cape Town’s vineyard’. It is here that the talented team retells Africa’s ancient stories as modern-day food fables. 

Greenhouse Food Stories

Farrel’s visual storytelling is a thrum of the southern African culture, which takes on a rhythm through the courses. Firstly, the adventure begins with the ultimate crowd-pleaser of freshly-baked ‘Veldt brood’.

This is served together with a playful opening act of ‘Greenhouse Snacks’ including king kone, fish & chips and steak & eggs. The iconic Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel 2019 plays its part too. Thus the scene is set for what promises to be a truly unique dining experience.

Greenhouse Restaurant Cape Town

Certainly, those yet to discover the restaurant are in for a treat. Think classic elegance, world-class hospitality, breathtaking Table Mountain views. Oh, and, of course, lush gardens.

Greenhouse consistently ranks as one of South Africa’s Top 10 Restaurants. In 2020, Greenhouse was the Global Winner in African Cuisine in the World Luxury Restaurant Awards. It is also the proud recipient of a 3-Plate Award by the JHP Gourmet Guide™ in 2020 and 2021.

Originally from South Africa, Farrel gained fundamental work experience abroad in the UK. He cooked in some of Nottinghamshire’s most acclaimed kitchens. On his return to South Africa, he worked at a number of top hotels and lodges, including Cape Grace Hotel and Spa, The Oyster Box as well as the Singita group.

He started his tenure at the Greenhouse Restaurant Cape Town as Sous Chef to Peter Tempelhoff for two years. He took the reins in November 2018. Farrel’s flair for innovation and fresh flavours, combined with the outstanding quality for which Greenhouse is so highly celebrated, brings a truly world-class experience to the table. 

Professional Pairings

Adding to the winning recipe is the charismatic Marlvin Gwese, who recently joined the Greenhouse team as Sommelier. He spent ten years as Head Sommelier at the Cape Grace Hotel. Zimbabwean-born Gwese first started his career as a wine steward at The Table Bay Hotel. He graduated with a Cape Wine Academy Diploma in 2013.

Under Marlvin’s watch, each of the nine courses has been expertly paired with an equally impressive South African wine. The selection spans varietals and geographic locations throughout our lands while staying true to the concept behind the cultural feast.

Menu highlights include ‘False Bay,’ a mouth-watering combination of line fish, octopus, tiger’s milk and seaweed enjoyed with a glass of Capensis Chardonnay 2018; and then ‘Nguni’- beef, beurre noisette, carrots and chilli. Farrel is a self-proclaimed ‘sucker for seafood’. ‘Changu’, the next course, is one of his personal favourites. Rijks Touch of Oak Chenin Blanc 2018 perfectly complements the ciabatta hake, smoked mussels, apple & fennel, mussel velouté with preserved lemon, and a cashew and coconut crumble.  

Between courses, a ‘Suigstokkie’ of blueberry, cherry and yoghurt plays on memory as much as the senses. It prepares the palate for the show-stopping ‘Oodhingu’ course of Springbok venison with turnips, pistachio and XO sauce, alongside Saxenburg’s sensational Merlot 2008.  

Greenhouse Restaurant Dish

The Finish

Obviously, the Greenhouse culinary adventure ends on a sweet note with two desserts, ‘Constantia honeycomb,’ a French classic of pain d’épices, spiced honey cake with citrus and almond granola, served with the Delaire Graff’s Noble Late Harvest. Finally, the ‘Tree of Life’ – a collection of South African sweet treats – follows.

Greenhouse Restaurant Interior

Hirsch says about the new menu: ‘As a food storyteller, I like to focus on preserving local culture and history through an affinity for sustainably foraged ingredients. We favour a distinctly African take on the fine dining experience, and we look forward to taking local diners on this adventure with us.’

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