This exclusive winelands town, situated just 75 kilometres from Cape Town, is famed for its Huguenot heritage, exquisite Cape Dutch architecture, prestigious wine estates (many of which include luxury accommodation), and an ever-expanding foodscape that includes world-class restaurants and fabulous cafés.
It was quite something to round up our favourites, because the (fine-)dining scene in Franschhoek is constantly evolving, with some big-name restaurants and chefs swinging open their doors as we speak. The news of the season is arguably Liam Tomlin’s Chef’s Warehouse at Maison that opened in November 2017. Other huge news was the opening of La Petite Colombe at La Quartier Français, with young chef John Norris-Rogers at the helm (under the guidance of La Colombe chefs, Scot Kirton and James Gaag). There is also the brand-new Reuben’s, which you’ll find in a spangly new spot just off on the main road. La Paris Deli and Restaurant on La Paris Estate opened in October 2017; Le Coin Français, the new baby of chef Darren Badenhorst (formerly Grande Provence), opened in November 2017 and, of course Bovine, by chef Oliver Cattermole (ex Leeu Collections), opened In Febbruary 2018!
There’s not much left to say, except Bon Appétit!
Opened by forager and nose-to-tail enthusiast Chris Erasmus in 2014, Foliage has added a certain culinary clout to the town’s already feted gastronomic scene. The reputation Chris gained at Pierneef à la Motte (voted one of the Top 10 restaurants in the country in 2013) has followed him to Foliage, and is reflected in his eclectic menu.
The food Locally sourced and foraged ingredients are the focus of Chris’s flavourful, contemporary dishes. His attention to detail, and the timing of the procession of finely crafted dishes is extraordinary.
The vibe The tastefully decorated interior (neutrals with pops of bright red), a fireplace for cosy winter evenings, and seating on the stoep for overflow diners creates a welcoming vibe.
X factor The open kitchen dominates the inner area, breaking down the barrier between chefs and diners. Ask to sit there, as it’s a great evening’s entertainment watching Chris marshall his team of six cheflings. Service on the night we dined was impeccable: our every whim attended to effortlessly.
Open May – September 2017: Monday – Friday, 7pm – 9pm (dinner only)
Saturday, 12pm – 2.30pm (lunch), 7pm – 9pm (dinner)
6 September 2017 – May 2018: Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 2.30pm; 7pm – 9pm
Contact 021 876 2328, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Foliage Restaurant
Reviewer Jackie Lange
2. Bread & Wine Vineyard Restaurant
Appropriately positioned at the entrance to Franschhoek – on Môreson farm – this popular eatery should feature on every visitor’s to-do list. Although not fine-dining in the strict sense, Bread & Wine’s feted country cuisine is caringly created and expertly executed by chef Neil Jewell. Add attentive service and beautiful surrounds, and it’s not surprising that the restaurant is always full – booking is essential.
The menu “Neil’s Nosh” changes according to the seasons and his whims. There are two pricing options: R360 for two courses, and R398 for three, with a choice of six starters, six mains and five desserts. Though Neil is known for his charcuterie and pork skills, we tried the butter-roasted kingklip with chicken-wing confit and pickled mushrooms – sublime.
X factor The delicious, citrusy Miss Molly bubbly that we had enjoyed with our meal. Arrive early, and do a wine-tasting at Môreson’s winery (next to the restaurant) before lunch.
Good to know Neil’s wife, Tina, gives bread-making courses, with wine and laughter thrown into the mix.
Open Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm
(From 16 May – 31 August 2017, Bread & Wine will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.)
Contact 021 876 4004, email@example.com
Where to find it Moreson Farm, Happy Valley Road, Franschhoek
Reviewer Jackie Lange
3. La Petite Colombe
We had the extraordinary pleasure of eating at La Petite Colombe within a week of its launch and, after just seven days of service, this relaxed and refined newcomer feels as well-oiled and established as its feted Constantia sibling.
The menu Heading the kitchen is John Norris-Rogers, a bright-faced young chef who spent four-and-a-half years honing his skills under La Colombe’s Scot Kirton and James Gaag. His self-assured demeanour belies his 26 years, as he dazzles diners with a theatrical array of nine superb and creative dishes (if you opt for the Full Menu; or five courses if you choose the Reduced Menu).
After arriving at our table to present his inspired Springbok Tataki course, John is quick to play down his fast-tracked trajectory when we ask about his brand-new baby: “I think it’s easier to step into an existing concept, than to start something from scratch.” Which is fair enough… but as similar as the two restaurants seem in terms of the slick and sophisticated overall experience, it definitely feels as though John has put his unique stamp on the menu here.
The vibe Everything about this 54-seater restaurant (housed at La Quartier Français where The Tasting Room used to be) oozes timeless elegance – from the background music (Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James) to the pared-down yet sumptuous interiors (by UK-based Beverley Boswell) – no wonder it’s fully booked for dinner until October.
Inside info The restaurant is offering an unbeatable winter lunch special – four courses for R395 – until end-October 2017.
Good to know The Full Menu (nine courses) costs R995; with wine R1 600.
The Reduced Menu (five courses) costs R695; with wine R1 100.
Read our full review.
Open Tuesday: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Wednesday – Sunday: 12pm – 13pm; 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Contact 021 202 3395, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Le Quartier Français Hotel, Franschhoek
Reviewer Nikki Benatar
4. Chefs Warehouse at Maison
If seven of the country’s top chefs – including Michelin-starred Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, Luke Dale-Roberts, Eric Bulpitt, Brad Ball, Rudi Liebenberg, Franck Dangereux and Reuben Riffel – rate Chefs Warehouse among the best restaurants in Cape Town, you can be sure that it is! So, we were super-excited to hear that Chef Liam Tomlin opened a new restaurant in Franschhoek! At Maison Estate, on 26 November 2017!
The newcomer moved into the space formerly occupied by The Kitchen, and is headed by chef David Schneider, who has worked alongside chef Liam, and Ivor Jones at Chefs Warehouse in Constantia.
As with Liam’s three other wildly popular restaurants, the emphasis is on serving superb “global tapas”, accompanied by the estate’s excellent wines. We’ve just booked our table!
Opening times Wednesday – Monday, 9am – 5pm
Wednesday – Saturday, 7pm – 8.15pm
Contact 021 876 2116
Location Maison Estate, R45, Franschhoek
5. Pierneef à La Motte
Named after South African landscape artist, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, this esteemed restaurant offers a similarly creative streak, as chef Eric Bulpitt, former head chef at Faber at Avondale, puts forth a vibrant array of dishes, adding his unique touch to the famed kitchen, previously headed by chef Michelle Theron.
We love the sense of whimsy, so often absent in fine-dining establishments, such as the Delft-style porcelain dangling from the rafters, and the bold chair backs that tell their own stories…Outside, ancient oaks and bubbling water features create a serene setting, with the overall atmosphere being sophisticated yet quirky.
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Thursday, Friday & Saturday (September – May; reservations only) for seasonal dinners, 7pm – 10.30pm
Friday & Saturday (June – August), 7pm – 8.30pm
Contact 021 876 8800, email@example.com
Where to find it La Motte, R45 Main Road, Franschhoek
6. Marigold Authentic Indian
This new addition to Franschhoek’s main street is another Singh-owned establishment (see Tuk Tuk below). Situated in Heritage Square – which also houses DV Chocolate Café and The Boutique Gallery – it’s added a touch of spice to the village. With Durban-born Vanie Padayachee (formerly at Le Quartier Français) at the helm, guests can expect rich, layered dishes tinged with authentic Indian flavours (informed by her recent travels to India).
The menu Marigold’s menu channels exotic, spicy North Indian food, as it effortlessly incorporates fragrant curries, delicious biryanis, Thali (a set menu of various dishes), charcoal tandoor-cooked meat and, of course, naan breads into its small-plates menu. There are even vegetarian options.
We love the chic, pared-back interiors and, in particular, the expansive street-facing windows, which add a touch of elegance to the restaurant’s natural palette and exquisite wood-panelled floors.
Open Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm; 6pm – 10pm
Contact 021 876 8970, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Heritage Square, 9 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek
7. Le Coin Français
After a seven-year stint as head chef at Grande Provence, Chef Darren Badenhorst has gone it alone, and opened up his own restaurant on Franschhoek’s Main Road. The French-inspired menu is aimed at “taking diners on a journey through interpretations of nostalgic food memories, and leading them through a unique culinary exploration of flavours, textures and interactive creations,” explains Darren.
The menu The three-course lunch menu is still in the pipeline; for now guests can enjoy a six-course dinner tasting menu (R595; R995 with wine) or the eight-course chef’s journey (R795; R1195 with wine).
The vibe The airy space is decked out with contemporary upmarket furniture in a neutral tones, but it’s the divine restored spiral staircase at the one end that we adore.
Insider info The staircase leads to a space that will one day become a private dining area, but for now it’ll make you feel like you’re in a restaurant somewhere in France.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 2.30pm
Tuesday – Saturday, 7pm – 8.30pm
Contact 074 126 0022, email@example.com
Location 17 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek
8. Reuben’s Restaurant and Bar
The striking new Reuben’s Restaurant and Bar in Franschhoek is a culmination of 12 years of passion. The exquisite glass-fronted eatery is where chef Reuben Riffel shares some of his signature dishes (tuna takaki, pork belly and peppered Springbok steak), as well as an assortment of interesting tasters (a poké bowl and smoked-pork croquettes), sharing plates, and hearty mains (butter chicken curry, prawn and squid pasta, Jerusalem artichoke and celeriac risotto, to name a few), and some dreamy desserts, too.
The vibe Ritzy marble floors, floor-to-ceiling atrium-style glass windows, with prime views of the bustling Main Road, and refined decor, which echoes the sophisticated dining offering.
X factor Aside from the fact that it’s another great prospect from one of South Africa’s most well-known chefs, we love that the bar is a main event in itself, serving an extensive selection of bubbly, wine, spirits, beers and ciders, liqueurs and aperitifs.
Open Monday, 12pm – 3.30pm; 6.30pm – 9pm
Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 3.30pm; 6.30pm – 9pm
Contact 021 876 3772, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 2 Daniel Hugo Street, Franschhoek
9. GRANDE PROVENCE
This is an essential culinary sojourn for any foodie worth their weight in gribiche. That said, you don’t have to be a connoisseur to enjoy all that’s on offer at this heritage wine estate. We were in Franschhoek on one of those magnificent 27-degree winter’s days, so we sat under the ancient oaks in the modern sculpture garden and drank in the views of the vineyards and the rugged mountains beyond, with the Berg River trickling past us.
The food Expect inspired seasonal dishes that look as exquisite as they taste. The bread course alone is a thing to behold. Every single thing on the Winter Menu (R450 for three courses) appealed, so our waiter recommended the most popular dishes, which exceeded expectations.
Don’t leave without trying the hot fondant for dessert!
The vibe Chic, modern, laidback, stylish – this is contemporary winelands dining at its best. Take a post-prandial amble around the grounds, popping into the art gallery and shop for some inspiring browsing.
X factor The seamless coming-together of tradition and innovation. Here, the state-of-the-art cellar and contemporary restaurant are perfectly at home on this 1694 heritage estate.
Open Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm; 7pm – 9pm
Please note From 1 June 2017, the restaurant is closed on Sunday evenings; normal operation will resume on 1 October 2017.
Contact 021 876 8600, email@example.com
Where to find it Grande Provence
Reviewer Nikki Benatar
10. CAFÉ BONBON
An imposing entrance, with flags flying and a friendly security guard, greets visitors to La Petite Dauphine, a working wine farm that’s home to tastefully decorated cottages and a restaurant. In summer, tables are perfectly laid on the shaded terrace overlooking the pond, while in cooler weather, the indoor dining room, filled with interesting objets d’art and flowers beckons. It’s the perfect spot for a celebration – on the hot autumn day we visited, a long Provençal-style table had been set up under a tree for a group of 20 revellers.
The food Husband-and-wife chefs Scott and Melanie Shepherd concoct tantalising dishes combining interesting flavours and textures using the freshest ingredients.
The service Waiters welcome guests warmly, are knowledgeable and happy to discuss the menu.
X factor The excellent coffee and slice of the deliciously decadent chocolate cake merits a tea-time visit of its own.
Open Monday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Wednesday, Friday & Saturday, 8am – 9pm
Contact 021 876 3936, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Café BonBon Country Restaurant
Reviewer Jackie Lange
11. The Werf
Nowadays, words like “farm to table” and “artisanal” are so commonly used, they’re almost parodies. At The Werf, however, chef Christiaan Campbell remains so passionately committed to ensuring that ethical and sustainable methods are followed on every inch of this nine-hectare estate, it’s almost a religion.
His honest, earthy, no-frills food philosophy – “Passion and flavour are our starting points; everything else follows” – are reflected in his “innovative country dishes”, which are as creative as they are comforting.
We love that Christiaan is exploring age-old food fermentation methods, adding a healthy (and, ironically, modern) dimension to the restaurant’s already bountiful offerings.
The vibe Housed in Boschendal’s original cellar, The Werf epitomises a particular style of plaas chic – heritage-Dutch-meets-modern-Afrikaner – arguably invented by Karen Roos, whose nearby Babylonstoren is a must-visit when in Paarl. The result is a familiar, unintimidating and oh-so current space.
X factor The overarching sense of warmth, generosity and abundance that envelops the entire estate. We were greeted by Johnny Pharo, whose toothless grin and “Thank you for visiting us today” as we stepped out of the car were very comforting (after a 45-minute ride with a restless toddler).
Good to know Boschendal’s gourmet picnics are among our favourites.
Open Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 2.30pm (lunch; guests to be seated by 2pm)
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 6pm – 9pm (dinner; guests to be seated by 8.30pm)
Contact 021 870 4206, email@example.com
Where to find it Boschendal, Pniel Road, Franschhoek Valley
Reviewer Nikki Benatar
12. Beleef Restaurant
When the owners of Ryan’s Kitchen in Huguenot Street put their building up for sale, chef Herman Steyn decided to fulfill his lifelong dream, and open his own restaurant. A boerseun from the Free State, Herman’s aim was to take locals on a trip down memory lane, and give visitors an authentic boerekos experience in a luxe setting. The interiors are rich and moody, inviting diners to linger longer.
The food Strictly seasonal with a farm-to-fork approach, the menu changes regularly. Our favourites from the winter 2018 menu were the Smoorsnoek starter with mousse, purée and a crisp – an umami medley of salt and sweet, and the perfect appetite stirrer. For mains I opted for the Ou Kaapse Kos – which was tamatiekos (tomato stew) lamb shank on the day we visited. The fall-off-the-bone meat was served on a bed of raisin-and-tumeric rice – the perfect balance of Malaysian spices. The gigantic soufflé served with custard-flavoured ice cream was a revelation – in more ways than one. Take a peek at the full menu here.
Opened 25 July 2018
Contact 010 110 8325, firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening times Daily: 12pm – 3pm; 6pm – 9pm
Where to find it 1 Place Vendome, Huguenot Street, Franschhoek
Reviewer Michelle de Bruin
13. LE BON VIVANT
Just off the main road, in a converted house, this restaurant dishes up outstanding food by classically trained Dutch chef-patron Pierre Hendricks. The cosy interior bursts with charm, thanks to whimsical touches (such as light fittings made of colanders and graters) and a cosy fireplace. A glass wall allows diners a glimpse into the working kitchen where Pierre and his team perform their culinary magic.
The food You’ll be impressed, as we were, with the unusual combinations on the à la carte menu. The chef’s modern take on traditional surf-and-turf is the pork and scallops (pork belly, with seared scallop, apple, baby onion and butternut) – delicious!
Don’t leave without trying a decadent dessert – such as crème brûlée or caramel soufflé. Adventurous diners should try the five-course chef’s surprise menu (R495 or R625 with wine).
Open Monday – Sunday (closed on Wednesday), 12pm – 3pm; 6pm – 9pm
Contact 021 876 2717, email@example.com
Where to find it Le Bon Vivant
Reviewer Jackie Lange
14. LEOPARD’S LEAP FAMILY VINEYARDS
This friendly and inviting family-oriented destination offers fresh food and affordable, easy-drinking wines. The modern glass building was designed by the talented team at Makeka Design Lab, with contemporary interiors by Christiaan Barnard. As you would expect from any Rupert family-related project, the winery has exceptional tasting facilities set around an imposing tasting bar where you can sit and sample the wide range of available wines, with friendly and efficient staff on hand to discuss your preferences and guide you through a tasting.
The food The rotisserie-based lunch includes a variety of meats prepared by chef Pieter de Jager and his team, complemented by a selection of perfectly prepared side dishes, fresh salads and vegetables sourced from the organic vegetable and herb farm garden. The meat is charged at a set price, and the sides priced according to weight. Desserts such as cake lollies, mini cheese cakes and baby meringues will delight small fries.
Before you leave Make a turn at the well-stocked gift shop, which specialises in kitchen accessories, crockery and interesting recipe books. And, of course, stock up on a few bottles (or crates) of vino. We recommend the Culinaria Brut Méthode Cap Classique – a zesty sparkling wine with subtle pink undertones (R140).
X factor On summer weekends (or those delicious sunny winter’s days), grab a corner on the sun-drenched verandah and watch the sun set over the vineyards, while your toddlers play safely in the nearby playground.
Insider info Don’t miss the South African Table Experience, that takes place every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, from 12pm to 1pm, until end-December, where chef Christiaan Visser shares delicious local dishes and anecdotes about the origins of your meal over an hour-long feast, overflowing with wine and great conversation.
Open Wednesday – Sunday, 11.30am – 3pm
Contact 021 876 8002, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards
15. La Petite Ferme
On a clear day, there is no place you’d rather be than in the view-drenched restaurant of this boutique wine farm. Trust us! With spellbinding valley views (arguably the best in Franschhoek), this elegant eatery’s laid-back ambience, vineyard-facing front lawn, and traditional rustic dishes make it worth a visit.
The menu is simple but appetising, with six starters, including Cured Franschhoek Trout Tartare, Bobotie Bitterballen and Mushroom & Beetroot Salad. Of the delicious-sounding six mains, we recommend the Slow-Roasted Lamb and the Wild Mushroom Arancini. The Valrhona Chocolate Torte was pleasant but didn’t blow me away, while my partner was mighty impressed with the attention to all the elements on the Textures & Flavours of Citrus.
Good to know Despite being a comparatively small winery, LPF produces some of the most sought-after wines in the country, caringly produced by winemaker Wikus Pretorius who comes with barrelfuls of experience from working in the wine regions of France, California and Australia. Enquire about the Chefs and Vines 2018 dinner series.
Inside info The farm was owned and run by two generations of the Dende-Young family, who worked tirelessly for four decades to build a formidable hotel, winery and restaurant, before selling it to Dubai-based businessman in 2015.
Stay the night La Petite Ferme has some enticing Winter 2018 Specials.
Open Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 3.30pm
Friday – Saturday, 6.30pm – 9pm
Contact 021 876 3016, email@example.com
Where to find it La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek Road, Franschhoek
Reviewer Nikki Benatar
16. HAUTE CABRIÈRE Restaurant & Terrace
After consulting at this esteemed Franschhoek stalwart, chefs Westley Müller and Nic van Wyk (previously of Towerbosch Restaurant at Knorhoek and Terroir at Kleine Zalze) took over the Haute Cabrière kitchen in November 2016. They say “good things come in threes”, which certainly rings true here, as the gourmet duo have been working closely with cellarmaster Takuan Von Arnim to create exciting new dishes that complement the estate’s renowned wines. The team has done an excellent job with their first collaborative menu and are well on their way to putting Cabrière back on the map as the go-to destination for a contemporary culinary experience.
The menu is a refreshing a departure from the classic French fare that Cabrière was known for. As the restaurant makes the switch from retro to modern, expect a host of well-balanced, well-executed dishes, such as the pork belly with puy lentils and choucroute sauce.
The vibe The cellar-turned-restaurant is dark and broody inside – perfect for a winter (or romantic) meal. If the weather permits, the terrace beckons with its sweeping views of the valley. The personable and attentive staff made us feel right at home.
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm – 2pm
Tuesday – Saturday, 6pm – 8pm
Sunday (lunch), 12pm – 2pm, reservations only
Contact 021 876 3688; firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Lambrechts Road, Franschhoek, Cape Town
Reviewer Michelle de Bruin
17. Tuk Tuk Microbrewery
Legend has it that The Singh (real name Analjit Singh) visited Franschhoek one day during the 2010 Soccer World Cup, and ended up buying half the village (well, three hotels and their adjoining wine farms, five restaurants, a spa, a gym, a micro-brewery, a wine studio and a gallery… when we last checked). The Taqueria, housed in the above-mentioned brewery, serves Mexican-inspired ceviche, nachos and tacos, which go down beautifully with a craft beer or two.
The food The menu offers a variety of small plates (to be shared preferably) that include fresh and tasty tacos and nachos, as well as four desserts. It’s perfect for a spontaneous pop-in, or a light bar meal.
The vibe It shares space with a state-of-the-art brewery, so the look is industrio-cool: vaulted ceilings, exposed-brick and sandblasted walls, and copper and stainless-steel service pipes overhead, with Mondrian-esque pops of colour here and there. Sit inside and watch the distillers at work, or grab an outside table for the best view of the high street.
Open Sunday – Thursday, 11am – 10.30pm
Friday and Saturday, 11am – 11pm
Contact 021 492 2207, email@example.com
Where to find it 14 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek, Western Cape
Reviewer Nikki Benatar
18. La Paris Bistro & Deli
What started out as a scenic wedding and function venue has now added bistro and deli to its repertoire. La Paris Estate – situated eight kilometres outside of town – is the quintessential Franschhoek farm. The grounds pay homage to the region’s majestic beauty, with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, ancient oaks and peaceful dam, with a jetty that crosses the water to an island in the centre (a wedding photog’s dream, we’re sure).
The food Open for breakfast and lunch (and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays), the menu boasts bistro-style fare with flair. Early risers have a choice between the classic fry-up, eggs Benedict and omelettes, as well as crumpets, and breakfast bowls, among others. Take advantage of the 70(!) locally sourced wines, and pop in for lunch or dinner. Apart from gourmet sarmies (on homemade bread, of course), platters, and a variety of salads, there are loads of option to choose from. Highly recommended are the mango-ginger prawns, which were oh-so delicious, served with couscous.
The vibe A succession of oak trees line the patio, beckoning you to grab a seat on one of the Malawian cane chairs. Inside, resident architect Ashleigh Ratcliffe has created a relaxed, yet trendy environment with French-oak floors that mirror the giants outside. Bambinos are welcome.
X factor The onsite bakery churns out fresh artisanal breads and cakes on the daily (we’re suckers for freshly-baked, homemade goods that are free of preservatives).
Open Wednesday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Firday & Saturday, 7pm – 10pm
Contact 021 867 0171, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Wemmershoek Road, R301, Franschhoek
TIG reviewer Michelle de Bruin
19. Tap|Eat at The Franschhoek Beer Co.
It’s no secret that the Franschhoek Valley is aburst with fine-dining restaurants and award-winning wine farms. But where do you go if you’re a beer lover (or dating a beer lover) and in the mood for a low-key yet splendid meal?
Luckily for us, Alex McCormack, Frank Rodriguez and Reuben Riffel identified this gap! Alex and Frank went above and beyond and produced a stellar range of craft beers, opening the Valley’s first microbrewery, alongside a tap room and restaurant.
Tap|Eat is where Reuben entered the picture and, in collaboration with head chef Nick Oosthuizen (ex-Foliage), developed a mezze-style menu that’s all about fresh, local, superb-quality ingredients.
Each dish is made with organic produce that’s sourced directly from the gardens on the farm, while the in-house baked breads are made using the beers on offer. Nick has an exceptional knack for layering flavours and textures, taking something seemingly simple like a tuna salad to gourmet level.
We love the beer cocktails and the beer-and-food pairing experience – two clever concepts that aim to introduce beginner beer-drinkers to the world of barley and hops. The cocktails just slightly hint at the idea of beer, while the beer pairing emphasises the unique character of each beer through beautifully-conceived and -constructed tasters.
The tuna salad, pork belly and bitterballen are also a must.
The vibe is laid-back yet elegant, owing to modern, sleek interiors. Parents will love how close the kids’ play area is. Order a few plates to share, or a burger with a side order of chips if you’re a beer-and-burger type of guy or gal.
X factor Founding fathers Alex and Frank and brewmaster Olaf Morgenroth spent two years travelling the craft-beer capitals of the world, tasting the best the international stage has to offer. When they came back they started experimenting with different recipes and ingredients and applied their collective skill and passion to develop a range of five beers that rival even the most established local craft beers on the market today.
Good to know Brewmaster Olaf loves to experiment. On your visit, ask what’s not on the menu and available for tasting. They do brewery tours, too. Make sure to book in advance.
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Contact 021 8762092, email@example.com
Where to find it R45, Franschhoek
Reviewer Michelle de Bruin
20. Ryan’s Kitchen
Ryan’s Kitchen is housed in a charming heritage building, with large windows overlooking Franschhoek’s Main Road. Inside, husband-and-wife co-owners Ryan and Lana Smith have created and elegant, yet unfussy, atmosphere.
The food You’ll find an array of bold local dishes here – testament to chef Ryan’s proudly South African roots, as well as his international experience (including a stint at St Petersburg’s Royal Astoria).
We love that the menu changes biweekly (that’s twice a month), meaning there’s always something fresh, new and exciting to sample.
Open Monday – Saturday, 12.30pm – 2.30pm; 6.30pm – 9.30pm
Contact 021 876 4598, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 1, Place Vendome, Huguenot Road, Franschhoek
21. Orangerie Restaurant
Located on the lovely Le Lude MCC Estate, Orangerie’s chic, all-white interiors – with the odd splash of colour – echo chef Nicolene Barrow’s intriguing menu: purist European execution (a spin-off of her experience in world-famous international kitchens) tinged with personal flair and modernity.
The menu Expect fine, fresh ingredients – sourced seasonally from the surrounding forests, meadows, mountains and seas – judiciously combined to create memorable and exquisite-looking dishes.
The vibe Orangerie’s French-inspired interiors – white-and-black tiling, atrium windows, with potted plants and floral arrangements providing pops of colour – create a soothing and civilised atmosphere.
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm – 4pm
Contact 021 100 3464, email@example.com
Where to find it Le Lude, Bowling Green Avenue (Lambrechts Road), Franschhoek
22. Rupert & Rothschild Restaurant
Situated in the light, airy and modern Tasting Centre on the family-run estate of the same name, Rupert & Rothschild Restaurant is the perfect spot for a business meeting, special celebration or casual meal with friends. The glorious vineyard and mountain views create a relaxed atmosphere for diners to enjoy chef Carmen Muller’s culinary creations.
The menu The concise Chef’s Menu showcases Carmen’s skills beautifully, but if you’d prefer, opt for the champagne, wine and food tasting menus, where you get to savour some of the exquisite Rupert & Rothschild wines too.
The vibe The Afro-French interiors, with artworks from the Rupert Art Museum and French oak furniture – create a sense of understated elegance.
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm
Please note From 19 June – 2 July 2017, the restaurant is closed for maintenance.
Contact 021 874 1648, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons, Klapmuts Road, Simondium, Franschhoek
23. CAFÉ FRANSCHHOEK
If you’re visiting Franschhoek on an event weekend, we recommend this popular street café conveniently situated opposite the Town Hall.
The food If you’re after a quick breakfast, light lunch, comfort dinner, or a glass of wine and a snack, you’ll find it at this casual eatery. Tables are placed close together, which is rather lovely as you’ll hear smatterings of foreign languages.
We love sitting a pavement table, watching the passing parade. There’s a large dining area inside the restaurant and an outdoor seating area upstairs, where you can relax over a glass of bubbly and take in the beautiful Drakenstein mountains.
Open Monday – Saturday, 7am – 9pm (summer)
Monday – Saturday, 8am – 8pm (winter)
Sunday & public holidays, 7am – 6pm
Contact 021 876 4542, email@example.com
Where to find it Café Franschhoek
Reviewer Jackie Lange
The Franschhoek Valley has recently seen a handful of chefs leaving esteemed establishments to open their own restaurants – first chef Arno Janse Van Rensburg left Maison to open Janse & Co; then Darren Badenhorst left Grande Provence to open Le Coin, and now chef Oliver Cattermole has left Leeu Collection to open Bovine with his wife Becky (who heads up operations and back-of-house).
The wholesome all-day eatery, which opened on 3 February 2018, is decidedly casual, and the menu features dishes inspired by local farm favourites, such as brioche burgers (with a choice of six different types of meat patties), fish and chips, nachos and tacos, steak, and a variety of bar snacks.
Not surprisingly, the focus is on the best quality, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. The local thrust extends to the drinks menu too, where you can choose from a range of tipples, such as craft beer from Woodstock Brewery and Black Elephant Vintners’ wines, Jorgensen’s vodka, Karoo-made tequila, and Terbodore coffee.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, from 11am
Contact 072 426 7964
Location Huguenot Road, Franschhoek
25. Village Grill & Butcher
There’s something familiar about this popular steakhouse, conveniently located at the entrance to Franschhoek Village, that’ll make you feel as if you’ve been here before, even if it’s your first time. It could be the friendly service, or the crackling fire… In any event, the elegant décor belies the fact that outside is an enclosed, well-kitted-out kiddies’ playground.
The food Though its name suggests you’re at a meatery, a quick skim over the varied menu reveals it’s anything but. A while ago, consulting chef Laura Truter tweaked some of the popular classics, giving them a posh edge. For example, the calamari starter – deep-fried squid with paprika seasoning, toasted sesame seeds and lemon aioli – is an elegant version of regular calamari rings.
The vibe Familiar, friendly, casual and comfortable.
X factor The steak! Sourced from Ryan Boon, a butchery in Paarl that specialises in pasture-reared and sustainably sourced meat, my 300g rib-eye steak with Madagascan green-pepper-and-brandy sauce was rich, flavourful and juicy. For sides, I chose hand-cut potato wedges (crispy and utterly moreish) and garden vegetables (cooked al dente, the way I like them). Delicious.
Open Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 021 876 2344, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Main Road, Franschhoek
Reviewer Nikki Benatar
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