Venues

Janse & Co

Janse & Co
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Cost
R110 avg main meal (minimum order: 3 courses)
Ambience
Groups, Special occasions
Food
Bistro fare, Light meals
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
No BYO

Critic's review

Rupesh Kassen

Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg, previously of 2016 Top 10 restaurant The Kitchen at Maison, brings his culinary expertise to Janse & Co, a new casual fine-dining restaurant in the heart of Cape Town.

Arno heads up this new venture with partner and pastry chef Liezl Odendaal, previously of Weylandts and Ellerman House. The space, which briefly housed YUZU Kitchen & Bar, has been completely transformed. Arno’s attention to detail and authenticity shows not only through his food, but shines through in this impeccably decorated space.

Food
The chef’s passion for seasonal and foraged ingredients is showcased in small dishes comprising two or three star ingredients. 20 options on the flexible tasting menu can be enjoyed in three to seven courses in a well-balanced range of vegetarian, seafood and meat dishes and desserts.

The experience begins with a bread course: ciabatta and cracker bread infused with whispers of the sea and earth. Local flavours like seaweed, buchu and caraway seed are subtly pronounced and served with a generous dollop of whipped olive oil. This sets the scene for the simplicity and clever play on flavours for the courses that lie ahead.

An opening plate of pressed and thinly shaved watermelon follows, topped with fermented cocoa nibs and beetroot kvass (a Slavic fermented drink) poured at the table. The dish is finished with duckweed and plays on the true flavours of summer.

An elegant plate of sous-vide trout arrives next, surrounded by home-made buttermilk and topped with trout roe and rose petals. This picture-perfect dish with floral notes and soft flavours delivers more on visual appeal and leaves me searching for more of a pronounced flavour.

In contrast, the 10-hour rolled suckling pig, with crispy crackling, bok choy, kimchi broth and lentil sprouts, is three mouthfuls of sheer joy. My only complaint is that there isn’t more of this sterling dish.

A sweet ending of local pecans and buttermilk ice cream with tart gooseberries is the star of the show, and a superb way to complete the experience.

Drinks
The well-curated and reasonable wine list offers an interesting selection of Cape wines, including favourites like Fram chardonnay and Waterkloof Wild Ferment merlot. A range of cocktails, beers and non-alcoholic drinks like vanilla-peach kombucha and lemon-ginger kvass is sure to cater to every palate.

Service
Warm, friendly and extremely knowledgeable staff members are in tune to diners’ needs without being intrusive.

Ambience
The contemporary Janse & Co space has been designed with different dining areas. You are welcomed by a floral mural into the first area with a harvest table that can seat 18 guests. Here you can marvel at the house-made charcuterie display and wine selection. The main dining areas give a full view of the hot and cold kitchens. Summer days and nights are best enjoyed dining alfresco in the courtyard, under large trees and surrounded by a hanging garden of herbs used in the kitchen.

And…
The restaurant is only a few weeks old, but holds great promise for an upscale experience on buzzing Kloof Street.

(January 2018)

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

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User reviews

  • I only put one star by the food because you have to rate it something. The food was such a disappointment. I wish we had booked a reliable option, Cape Town has so many to choose from, like Chef's Warehouse, La Colombe or La Mouette. The list of other options is endless. The balance on dishes was so bad, either too salty or too acidic. Our waiter failed to notice how badly the dishes were received which was a real shame. You cannot charge prices like this for food that has not even got basic seasoning right. We were all so disappointed. The only thing that kept us happy was that the wine was lovely and the decor. I understand now why it was so empty though.
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  • Unfortunately not living up to its expectation and certainly not worth the cheque at the end! After trying quite long to get a booking at Janse & Co, it was surprising to see the restaurant empty on a Saturday night. Not thinking much of this, we were anticipating a unique but also pleasant experience. The evening started well, however after a while, we were made to feel as if we were doing the restaurant a favour by being patrons. The 8 courses we ordered were below standard for a restaurant of its "reputation". When trying the recommended dishes, we found that the lamb was tough, the line fish was overcooked and the calamari very chewy. Apart from the food, we had to beg the waiter to fill up our wine and water glasses (both bottles were stored far away from our table). We really did not want to complain, however when we did mention our disappointment to the manager and waiter, we were told that the food on the menu was not the usual dishes and that the Chef was experimenting. We were also told that the dishes were meant to be served cold, which I highly doubt for both the cooked line fish and lamb. An overall 4/10 experience and a lot of excuses (without apology) from the team.
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  • Walked in to this new spot and felt very excited to try it out. The decor is beautiful and the outside terrace is lovely on a summer’s evening. Service was excellent. Everyone very knowledgeable and helpful. Interestingly on their website the reservations were fully booked but practically the entire inside was empty so definitely call to make a booking. Small but well curated wine list. The big disappointment was the food. We shared all our courses so tried a number of dishes. Some dishes were very tasty, the carrots winning the evening, but the sizes are minuscule for what you pay. We ended up around R750 a head for 3 small plates and wine. And we left hungry.
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  • NOTE: The average main meal price here is wrong. Well sort of. You can only order minimum 3 courses. Cost: R385 for three courses, R485 for four, R585 for five, R685 for six, R785 for seven AMBIENCE AND SERVICE: decor and interior is lovely. The staff are very informative and were able to give very good suggestions. 5 stars for both. FOOD: Each course was very true to the main ingredient. Each dish was lovingly prepared and the flavors were lovely. And for the first time ever at a fine dining restaurant that I have been to, the veg options were better than the meat. The winner of the evening by far was the carrot (with hollandaise sauce and lemon zest). Runner up was the chocolate dessert (brownie with ice cream, homemade aero chocolate and a lemon cream-sauce-thing). We also enjoyed the potato, charcuterie board, leek and pecan dessert. The chicken was slightly disappointing, as was the Kohlrabi. Only reason I am not giving the food 5 stars is that the portions are VERY small. You kind of need to order the 4 course option if you want to leave satisfied. Not sure if it's entirely worth the money - but it was certainly was very tasty, and I am still day dreaming of those carrots. Mmmm hollandaise sauce.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Serves food

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