On the road to Rheenendal, tucked away from the world, you will find an almost mystical cottage, home to one of the Garden Route’s culinary gems. VegTable Private Dining Room is the passion of Brett Garvie, an undoubted artist who paints with plants on a canvas of plates and palates.
With unsurpassed vegetarian fare served up to even the most discernible diner, you will be forgiven for thinking that Brett is a vegetarian himself. The fine dining experience at the VegTable consist of a four course meal of fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruit, prepared so flavoursome, your taste buds won’t believe what they are experiencing.
Brett’s secret is his history as a botanist. With his intimate knowledge of the plant kingdom, he replicates flavours and combinations found in nature and interprets them in a meal. Marry that with the fact that he is a permaculture designer and a certified sommelier, and you have the recipe for VegTable’s success.
For him, VegTable is the next level of permaculture or, as he puts it: “the last piece of the puzzle.” He believes in simplicity and treading lightly on this earth. The cottage is also his home and with a small team of three, even time is used effectively and efficiently.
The cottage is located on an organic macadamia, pecan and chestnut farm but, with frequent visits from baboons, monkeys, porcupines and bush pigs, only the hardiest of herbs are grown on the premises. Brett relies on local suppliers and farmers to stock up his pantry and, with a menu that serves up only the freshest and seasonal ingredients, he often would get a basket of this or a bushel of that from the local network he has nurtured through the years. He will not serve anything that was not produced sustainably or ethically.
While food may sometimes appear rustic, ingredients are always of the highest quality. Wholesome goodness is his religion and his kitchen produces almost zero waste. The little waste there is, becomes fine dining for the bush folk and, during the winter, a means for survival.
The dining experience at VegTable is reminiscent of the private dinner parties as a friend’s house that served as inspiration many years ago. The dining room is small and intimate and, with a wood stove and fireplace, warm and cosy through even the harshest of Garden Route winters. From the spotless kitchen he and his two assistants have a clear view over the dining area. Throughout their food preparation, they make sure that guests are well looked after.
His approach to the dining experience is a testament to his love for people and his passion for their wellbeing. We live in a world of isolation where: “four people can sit around the same table, yet have meals from four different continents.” In this world Brett believes in bringing people together. Through his menu he strives to form connections through the sharing of a common meal.
Brett believes in promising less and delivering more but this little restaurant will definitely deliver more than what you expected. It can turn a geranium into ice cream and a one-time visitor into a convert for life.
VegTable Private Dining Room is open on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. The restaurant isn’t licensed so guests need to take their own drinks. It is essential to book.
You can contact them on 074 833 9516
You can find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Vegtable-Private-Dining-Room-281508398537197/
Or visit their website at http://www.vegtable.co.za/