Le coin Français: Culinary Theatre in Franschhoek

Le Coin Francais Restaurant

A sense of occasion in every bite at this fine-dining destination.

Le coin Français embodies the essence of the Franschhoek Valley in heritage, cuisine and wine (it’s all in the name: hoek = corner = coin). It’s the culinary home of chef-restaurateur Darren Badenhorst , who opened Le coin Français in 2017, expressing local food heritage with classical French finesse and cutting-edge technique. “It was important for me that Le coin Français was truly a destination restaurant,” says Badenhorst. “I wanted to create a space where guests could really focus on the food, the wine and the complete culinary experience.”

Le Coin Francais Restaurant Chefs

Growing up in Durban, he’d immersed himself in ocean spearfishing, free-diving and exploring local coastal ingredients. Here in Franschhoek, he and head chef Miguel de Caries look to the wild ingredients of the riverside and mountain slopes for inspiration (early-morning foraging excursions are part of their routine) and source from local suppliers. “We’ve always championed the suppliers, farmers and winemakers that make this valley so remarkable,” says Badenhorst. “I try to create a golden thread of Franschhoek throughout the menu of Le coin Français.”

Exquisite attention to detail

Le Coin Francais Restaurant Dinner

Settling into the comfortable charcoal-linen chairs looking out over Franschhoek’s main street, you’ll need to decide between the eight-course tasting menu or the 10-course chef’s journey, which comes with three different pairing options: classic, premium, or non-alcoholic beverages. Then sit back and let the flavours sing. 

Both menus showcase the exquisite and artistic attention to detail that Darren and head chef Miguel de Caries execute to perfection. The menu evolves dish by dish with the seasons, the only fixture (there was an outcry when Darren once took it off the menu for one service) being the butter-poached BBQ langoustine with aerated Gruberg and snoek brandade velouté, served with pea-and-pancetta risotto. Redolent with creamy langoustine-infused flavour, the velouté is one to spoon up with delight, along with perfectly cooked risotto.  

Winter special

The seven-course menu (plus bread course and palate cleanser) offers diners an eminently satisfying Le coin Francais experience.

Le Coin Francais Restaurant Starters

For starters, choose between venison tartare and tataki with pickled shimeji mushrooms, beetroot and roasted fig; or cured line fish with lumpfish caviar, parisienne apple and edamame. Another tough choice for mains: confit duck leg with pomegranate and lentil, black carrot and black garlic; or chargrilled sustainable sea bass with pickled tomatoes, pine nut and caramelised white bean puree. A sweet finale flourish comes in the form of a coffee mille feuille of whipped coffee ganache, mascarpone, hazelnut crumble and hazelnut ice cream.

Le Coin Francais Restaurant Seafood

Good to know There’s also the option of substituting your starter for the signature langoustine dish (or adding it as an extra course) for a surcharge.
Valid 6 May – 17 August 2024
Cost R595
R995 (with classic beverage pairing)
R1 195 (with premium beverage pairing)

Le Coin Francais Restaurant Setting

Le coin Français is an intimate and sophisticated Franschhoek address for diners who enjoy the theatre of a menu as much as the substance behind its composition.

Good to know Booking is essential.
Opening times Tuesday – Thursday, 6pm – 8pm (last seating)
Friday – Sunday, 12pm – 2pm, 6pm – 8pm (last seating)
Contact 074 126 0022, reservations@lecoinfrancais.co.za
Address 17 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek
Book through DinePlan

Discover all of the Cape’s hidden gems – subscribe to our weekly newsletter.


The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 29 April 2024