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Review: Winelands fine dining at Ryan’s Kitchen in Franschhoek

Since chef Ryan Smith moved to Place Vendôme from his place in town, Ryan’s Kitchen has become one of the places to eat in Franschhoek.

Food

The menu, which changes every fortnight, offers items like a totally delicious tapioca mushroom ‘pudding’ with sautéed exotic mushrooms, and grilled goat’s cheese with a fennel and apple salad – a brilliant idea; nice and fresh, yet rich at the same time.

Seared Tuna, fennel Kimchi, lemon and Rooibos jelly, ginger granite at Ryan's Kitchen. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Seared Tuna, fennel Kimchi, lemon and Rooibos jelly, ginger granite at Ryan’s Kitchen. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Among the fish options you’ll find tandoori-cured Cape salmon with eggplant and raisin ratatouille and a beautifully spiced baked angelfish with lemongrass and coconut velouté. The knockout, however, is the twist on traditional Cape Malay pickled seafood, which is cooked in a bag. Carnivores will love the peri-peri duck parfait with lemon jelly and green-bean chutney, and the simply sensational venison carpaccio with orange-sesame dressing and caramelised chicory. The granadilla soufflé with mango ice cream is a refreshing way to end after all those rich flavours.

Eskimo Pie, Madagascan Vanilla, seasonal apricots at Ryan's Kitchen. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Eskimo Pie, Madagascan Vanilla, seasonal apricots at Ryan’s Kitchen. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

More recent summer dishes include wildebeest tataki with compressed apple, pickled baby turnips and meringue; a bobotie pancake with pineapple and chilli; seaweed-crusted impala loin with glazed chicory, cherries and blackpepper gel; and an elevated version of eskimo pie.

Drinks

The wine list is well chosen, with many local treasures and some from further afield.

Chef Proprietor Ryan Smith and co-owner Svetlana Smith. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Chef Proprietor Ryan Smith and co-owner Svetlana Smith. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Service

Service is impeccable, with Ryan’s charming wife, Svetlana, often there to keep things moving like a well-oiled machine.

Ambience

The interior is crisply modern, with some designer touches to keep it from being too precious. The atmosphere is one of casual elegance; laid back and confident, this is a good place to spoil yourself. The open-plan kitchen allows you to see the food being prepared without you having to lift a finger. It’s all very appealing.

The exterior at Ryan's Kitchen. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The exterior at Ryan’s Kitchen. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

And…

Bookings are absolutely essential at this popular spot.

Have you treated your taste buds at Ryan’s Kitchen in Franschhoek? Tell us all about it in a review and we’ll pledge a meal for a hungry child through Stop Hunger Now SA.

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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