Casual fine dining as a concept is tricky to get right. You need to strike a balance between formality and fun; between elegance and the everyday. Janse & Co, the Kloof Street eatery opened by former Top 10 chef Arno Janse van Rensburg, winner of the 2018 Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year, gets it spot on.
Says Eat Out critic Amy Ebedes: “Arno has answered the long-awaited call for a fine-dining restaurant on Kloof Street. It ticks all the boxes, and Janse & Co has quickly entrenched itself as one of the best eateries on the strip.”
Situated as it is on a street of casual eateries, Janse & Co delivers an unexpectedly dramatic experience. Said one of our judges: “It left me with a feeling of simplicity, elegance, a sense of refinement and a yearning to sit and enjoy the ambience again.”
Showing extraordinary adeptness at balancing flavours and textures in visually appealing dishes, Arno flexes his creative muscles with the use of unusual local ingredients, such as num num, klipkombers, custard apple, soutslaai and more. The plating is simple; understated yet memorable.
Subtle touch-points throughout the restaurant set it apart from any other dining space within the country. The wine and charcuterie displays add layers to the décor, and the individual cutlery boxes create an intriguing sense, first of surprise and then of action.
A focal point in the courtyard, where summer days and nights are best enjoyed dining alfresco under large trees, is a hydroponic walled garden. This is functional art at its finest, as the produce grown here is used on the menu.
Eat Out judging convenor Margot Janse says, “The combination of complex flavours, innovative ideas and clean presentations create a very exciting and unique dining experience.”
Janse & Co sets the standard for a new space in the country.