Skye Bistro is a fine dining restaurant situated in the heart of the spectacular KwaZulu Natal Midlands and has a reputation as being one of the best eateries on the popular Midlands Meander. From scrumptious farm style breakfasts to tasty light lunches to sumptuous dinners, the restaurant’s varied menu is reported to cater for almost every palate and I was quite eager to experience first hand what they had to offer.
Forming part of the award-winning Fordoun Hotel and Spa in the beautiful Nottingham Road area, the Skye Bistro has a unique appeal that differentiates it from other restaurants in the area. Dining at any five star establishment can sometimes be an intimidating experience given some of the over the top settings I have encountered in previous reviews, but this was not the case here.
The dining room’s finishing’s were classy and attractive, yet neat and functional and the decor, with its country theme, was a perfect match for the picturesque surroundings. The lunch menu sported a number of delicious sounding dishes and it was difficult to make a choice, but my mom and I decided to share a Greek salad for starters with the grilled beef fillet with French fries and roasted vegetables (R110), as our main course.
Trimmed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil the Greek salad consisted of a sizeable helping of a variety of fresh, leafy greens, sun dried tomatoes, onion and feta cheese. We both loved it and were especially impressed with the presentation of the dish, which was superb. At R50, the Greek salad was not cheap but when you consider that Fordoun has a five star rating, it was not particularly expensive either.
Served with a choice of red wine jus, mushroom jus, or green pepper sauce the beef fillet proved to be an excellent, value for money meal. The meat was tender and juicy, the vegetables crunchy and flavoursome and the French fries wonderfully crisp and tasty.
My mom was similarly impressed, remarking that the portions were “more than generous”, the meat “superb” and the sauce (she selected green pepper while I opted for mushroom), “absolutely wonderful”. Overall, she described the meal as “exquisite” – an evaluation with which I most certainly agree given that the presentation of the meal was every bit as good as the taste.
For dessert we shared a chocolate ice-cream sundae (R30), which was most delightful. It was deliciously sweet and wonderfully rich and the large scoops were an added bonus. My mom was equally complimentary, describing the sundae as “absolutely decadent”. Truly, this was a luncheon to remember. From our starter to the main course to the dessert, we could not fault it in any way.
Head chef Regis Drouet and his team certainly know how to prepare a fine dish and I was pleased to learn that they use only the freshest possible ingredients, most of which are sourced from local suppliers. Furthermore, in keeping with current health trends, only organic vegetables and hormone free meats are used in the preparation of meals.
The dinner menu, too, appears rather impressive with dishes such as the medallion of beef fillet on potato puree cake (R135), the grilled pork fillet with pumpkin and roast coconut chutney (R120) and the chicken breast with apricot (R96) being among the most popular. A number of fish and shellfish options are available for seafood lovers while dishes such as the vegetable stir-fry with Chinese noodles, oyster sauce and ginger soya in a bamboo basket (R80) cater for vegetarians.
Wine lovers will be pleased to know that the restaurant has a private wine collection of over 63 local estate wines, sparking wines and French champagnes all personally selected by owner Jon Bates. Bates and his son Richard are at the helm of Fordoun, and besides being excellent hosts and astute businessmen; have a keen interest in preserving the environment having donated part of their land to serve as a breeding habitat for the endangered wattled crane and oribi antelope.
I was impressed with the Skye Bistro. The food was excellent and reasonably well priced, the service first class and the ambience pleasant and uplifting. It is certainly deserving of its status as one of the best restaurants in the area and is a must visit on the Midlands Meander.
The Skye Bistro is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sunday lunch carveries are served every Sunday between 12.30 and 3.30 pm. The cost is R175 per person with children under 12 half-price. Booking is essential.
Skye Bistro Contact details
Telephone: +27 (0)33 266-6217
Cell: +27 (0)82 334-2189
Physical address: Nottingham Road, Midlands, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
GPS Co-ordinates: S29° 19’ 38.2” E30° 01’ 50.6”