Around the table with chef Shani Kleynhans


The Tables at Nitida is an all year round favorite, for it’s big lawn where kids can play till they drop, and a cosy fireplace in winter to warm up and escape the winter chill. In a relaxed setting, The Tables makes for the ideal restaurant to bring your family, or host birthday parties and baby showers. Where The Tables sets itself apart from the crowd, is that while being a family restaurant, it doesn’t take shortcuts on the menu. An original menu that changes every season boast dishes that will appeal to foodies, and that’s where The Tables is hitting the sweet spot of offering a creative tasty meal in a relaxed ambiance.

The woman behind the creative menu is Shani Kleynhans. Shani grew up in a small town in the beautiful Baviaanskloof in the Eastern Cape. She always dreamed of being a chef, and is making her childhood dream a reality at The Tables. After having travelled around the world for a year, she joined Three Fat Fish in Jeffrey’s Bay to study in-house under Brent Mills, who taught her the tricks of the trade. She counts Heston Blumenthal amongst her favorite chefs, and describes her passion for food as her way to travel the world whilst being in her own kitchen.

We asked Shani a few questions to get to know her better:

Which flavours did you pick up on your travels that you love using in your dishes now?

In general I just love bringing together something that people know traditionally how to eat, and then adding something they would never expect from a meal to compliment it.

Have you been experimenting a lot with flavours recently?

We are in the process of changing our menu to our new winter menu from end April for beginning May 2016, so definitely a whole lot of exciting flavours and combinations to look forward to!

Your restaurant is popular with families. What’s your trick to make kids love their food?

We are indeed a firm family favorite with many, I think the trick here is our lovely big lawn next to us, kids run all their energy out on the lawn, and then are hungry and ready to eat up all their food, while mom and dad can just sit back and relax and enjoy a lovely glass of wine and a great meal :-)

What is your favorite food & Nitida wine pairing?

With our new winter menu, many of the hearty dishes we are planning the make will pair greatly with the Nitida wines, you have to come and see what we up to and enjoy for yourself :-)

Many of our OmniBlend customers are foodies themselves; would you be willing to share with them how you prepare your meals?

Customers are welcome on the day if they enjoyed something, to ask how it was made, I’m happy to share so that they can go and try and make it at home. Our Nitida cellar is just around the corner from us, they can grab a nice bottle of wine to go with that :-)

What are you using the OmniBlend for?

We use the OmniBlend for making our salad dressings, purees, pestos etc, and it really does work great for that. Then we also use it for milkshakes and cocktails. It’s an all-rounder!

What is your experience with the OmniBlend so far?

OmniBlend is a really good, high quality product, it’s strong and durable, and the after sales service you get from OmniBlend is great no matter how old or new your blender is, their service is always prompt and good. / Facebook

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