I think it is safe to say that when you are still thinking about a meal you had 2 days ago it was a fantastic meal! Top restaurant lists abound these days but there are a few that are consistently at the top of any of these lists (local and international) and The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek is one of those restaurants. When I saw they were running a special where your companion does not pay for the meal there was just no way I was going to miss an opportunity to enjoy the cooking of Margot Janse.

The meal consisted of an 8 course African Inspired Surprise tasting menu and it truly was a 3 hour feast for the senses. We only received menus at the end of the meal so we never knew what was coming next and for some of the courses we did not receive the same plate which added to the element of surprise and that much more to taste.

The setting is smart but informal and the staff were exceptionally friendly and engaging. And if you manage to twist an arm or two you do get some extra cornbread and butter (trust me the butter is worth going for alone) or perhaps another dessert brought to the table.

A few highlights of the evening:

Olive Marshmallows

Chakalaka Cigars

The caramelised butter (Just amazing)

Eastern Cape marron served in a gooseberry consomme with lemon verbena

A perfectly poached quail egg covered in pea dust

Big Bay Oyster, sour fig, vichyssoise and roasted cos

Boabab, coconut, honeybush and caramel dessert

The Cake and Sweet platter which came with the coffee. Every element on the plate had a different flavour and texture which kept surprising and tantalising.

Many of the top restaurants in Cape Town offer specials during the winter months and it is
definitely worth keeping an eye on their websites and taking the opportunity to experience them.



Chakalaka cigars, Olive marshmallow, Foie Gras “chocolate”, Squid Ink “meringue”


Cornbread and Caramalised Butter


Beetroot, buttermilk labne, dill and cucumber granita


An autumn walk through Franschhoek


Eastern Cape marron, cape gooseberry, lemon verbena


Paternoster. Salted farmed kabeljou, black mussel, charcoal


Big Bay oyster, sour fig, vichyssoise, roasted cos


Dalewood lanquedoc custard, vinegar flings, leeks


Cake and sweets



Link to Vine of the Boabab, coconut, honeybush and caramel dessert: Boabab, coconut, honeybush, caramel

Chicken and Pork Terrine
Chocolate & Orange Curd Tart



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