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Janse & Co

Janse & Co
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Cost
Tasting menu of R550
Ambience
Groups, Special occasions
Food
Bistro fare, Light meals
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R100

Critic's review

Amy Ebedes

Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg (previously of The Kitchen at Maison) finally answered the long-awaited call for a fine-dining restaurant on Kloof Street. The much-anticipated restaurant ticks all the boxes, and Janse & Co has quickly entrenched itself as one of the best eateries on the bustling Kloof Street strip.

What sets Janse & Co apart is the use of ingredients that you won’t spot on the menu of many other restaurants. Expect the likes of num num, klip kombers, custard apple, soutslaai and much, much more. If you’ve never heard of some of the ingredients, flip over your menu: a concise glossary explains the more unusual ingredients.

Food
Janse & Co offers set menus, starting at three courses (R385) to seven courses (R785). Pick and choose from an extensive list of menu options. Liase with a partner to ensure that you cover all possible bases.

Start with the home-made charcuterie, served with six types of home-made mayonnaise. Dusted chokka with klip kombers (seaweed) is a highlight. Paired with a nasturtium aioli, the balance of sweet and saltiness is extraordinary.

The octopus is worthy of its Instagram fame. The subtle sweetness of persimmon pairs with the smokiness of charred, perfectly cooked octopus.

The trout is another highlight. It’s served with num num, the fruit of the Carissa tree, which adds not only a lovely tartness but a beautiful pop of colour. Crunchy fennel rounds off a delightful dish.

When planning your menu, don’t forget to account for one (or all) of the three desserts. The 55% milk chocolate coulant is a rich, sultry end to an outstanding meal.

Drinks
An interesting wine list of Cape wines complements the menu. Whites start at R230 and reds at R300. A small variety of wines are available by the glass (R65 for white, R90 for red). For the teetotallers, kombucha and kvass are available.

Service
The service is slick. The staff are well versed in the menu, and are able to effortlessly rattle off not only the elements of every dish, but the origin and background information of the more unique ingredients. They’re friendly and attentive, but never overbearing.

Ambience
This is a seriously sexy interior. You’ll covet every element of the minimalist, all-black décor, right down to the crockery and cutlery. Staff are also dressed in black, and seemingly appear from nowhere the moment that they’re needed. It’s a big space, but has been cleverly designed for an intimate feel. A pleasant outside courtyard flanks the back of the restaurant, which will undoubtedly be a highly coveted section come summer.

Best for…
A romantic date night or impressing out-of-towners

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

(August 2018)

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  • 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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    • Food

User reviews

  • I loved this place. I have seen some negative reviews and cannot believe those peeps visited the same place. We had a super enjoyable evening (23 August 2018) and the restaurant was quite busy for a normal Thursday evening. Loved the flexibility of the menu (compared to the other tasting menu options I have enjoyed at other fine dining restaurants). All the dishes were delicious, some more delicious than others! Great flavour and texture combinations. The wine is a bit pricey and one waiter frowned when we took pics of our food, but all in all a lovely experience. We will definitely go back there. Absolutely loved it!
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  • My husband and I enjoyed such a lovely meal here last Saturday. The food was fantastic with lots of subtle flavor combinations and surprises. We each ordered 4 courses which was the perfect amount for us. The service was smooth, efficient and friendly, and sitting by the kitchen provided a great experience and atmosphere. We’ll be back!!
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  • 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
  • WiFi

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