The Proof of the Pudding is in the Tasting Room
One of South Africa’s best known and most highly decorated dining establishments goes by the straightforward name of The Tasting Room, and a novel taste explosion is certainly what you can expect here. Staged within the family-owned boutique hotel, Le Quartier Français in the heart of Franschhoek, dining is almost a mystical journey of revelations.
Award-winning executive chef Margot Janse has endeared herself to diners with her innovative take on South African noveau cuisine and her all-embracing slogan of, “I have no signature dish, South Africa is my signature”.
For the last 18 years Chef Janse has been enchanting the crowds with her unique combinations of ingredients and flavours rounded off by the stunningly artistic presentation of her dishes. She has made a name for herself as a magician capable of turning basic South African ingredients into a fairytale experience of tastes and colours.
Pork with salt-baked guava and chickweed has been lauded as the best way to eat the meat. Her artful arrangement of cucumber and horseradish consommé over a pile of octopus, daikon and mushrooms to appear like a mini rockpool is both delightful and delicious. Her masterful guise of savoury dishes presented as sweets is just sublime, with fynbos macaroons or a foe gras chocolate bar for example.
The service at the Tasting Room is impeccable and the restaurant has recently added the Grolsch Service Excellence Award to its numerous accolades, which include Wine List Awards, Travellers Awards and a spot on the S Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants in the World list among many others.
Despite this impressive pedigree, The Tasting Room remains an uncomplicated down to earth venue with a relaxed, intimate vibe. Guests are encouraged to ‘dress for the experience you want to have’ as there is no dress code, allow up to 3½ hours to enjoy their dining experience and leave their mobile phones at home.
Naturally the wine list consists of the unique Cape Town luxury of exceptional vintages from the best wine farms in the local surrounds.
This wonderful establishment can be found just under an hour’s drive from the Mother City, and while getting there may be easy, getting in is another story, and it is recommended that you do your booking at least 30 days in advance. Be certain to make a note of this in your diary when booking your luxury Cape Town Accommodation.
Image credit: Flickr – Linda Robinson