Looking for a less formal option in Franschhoek? On the eve of the Franschhoek Uncorked festival, Greg Landman visits the lovely Café Bon Bon at Le Petite Dauphine, and finds comfort food with big flavour and a great place to take the kids.
This is Cape comfort food at its best, made with love and care, delivering maximum flavour in generous portions with no glamorous flourishes. Do not expect your plate to looks as if it has been painted, but expect it to look delicious.
Start off with the oak smoked snoek fish cake with crunchy bits of ginger, a succulent treat with a hint of chili, served on a bed of glass noodles. Alternatively, try the free range chicken salad with a tangy basting sauce and baby green leaves.
Their speciality is grilled lamb rump served pink with roasted olives, artichokes and gnocchi. If that seems a bit daunting, try the lightly smoked trout, served with beetroot relish and ricotta croquettes. Whichever way you go, do save room for the pièce de résistance, one of their fabulous cakes, perhaps a lemon meringue piled so high it looks like a hat, or the carrot cake, rich and moist, lavished with cream cheese icing. The cake of the day might be a superbly rich pear frangipane, and if it is, do not miss it.
They offer the entire range of wines from Haut Espoir, as well as their own label, La Dauphine, and some local gems like the ever popular Chocolate Block from Boekenhoutskloof.
Service is very good, with staff showing good knowledge on the making of the dishes.
Very popular with families, the restaurant is located in a beautiful old farm house with a cosy and charming interior. The terrace is much vied for when the weather is good and there are many long tables outside with groups of guests having fun. Their rooster, Hendrik, makes his presence known – much to the delight of the kids.
They have a special kiddies’ menu, so need to get stressed in wondering what they are going to eat.
Have you been to Café Bon Bon? Tell us about your experience in the comments.