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La Madeleine

La Madeleine
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Cost
R195 avg main meal
Ambience
Groups, Special occasions
Food
Bistro fare, French
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R60 (wine); R120 (champagne)

Critic's review

Alida Ryder

Food
La Madeleine has been an iconic establishment in the Pretoria food scene for 30+ years and is, for some, still the epitome of classic French cuisine. Chef and owner Daniel Leusch develops the menu each day according to what he finds at the market and therefore there is a never a written menu and you'll be surprised with every visit.
Their legendary pork cheek dish will most probably always be on the menu though, as if it is removed, regular patrons will not be pleased. The pork cheeks are slowly cooked, resulting in the unctuous meat melting in your mouth. Other stand-out dishes are the excellent bouillabaise, which is subtly flavoured with star anise, lending just the right amount of anise-flavour to the beautifully-cooked seafood. The prawn bisque is another stand-out, with the flavour of roasted prawn shells and sweet, succulent meat dominating the luscious soup.

For a sweet end, their decadent dark chocolate mousse is a crowd favourite and the almond-flavoured crème brûlée is beautifully silky, albeit a little runny. The almond cake, paired with fresh strawberries and white chocolate, is an absolute smash hit. Some dishes can be a little under-seasoned, but the overall flavours are well-balanced. Plating is a little old fashioned but this is not the place you come for fine dining – this is the home of comforting, classic French country food.

Drinks
Their wine list is quite extensive, offering numerous French and local options. Prices are a little steep. If you are looking for excellent French wines, this is the place to go. They also offer a list of dessert wines (including the famed Klein Constantia Vin de Constance) and a few French cognacs and brandies.

Service
Service is where this establishment shines. Chef Daniel comes to every table to announce the menu options for the day in his very charming way. He is also known to crack a joke or two whilst doing so. The rest of the staff are excellent at their jobs and are quick to clear plates, fill glasses and are always at hand if you need something.

Ambience
Set in an inconspicuous home in the leafy suburb of Lynnwood Ridge, you don’t expect much on arrival. It simply feels like you are walking into an old friend’s home. The decor could do with a bit of an upgrade but the fireplace creates a very cosy dining experience.

And...
Go there on Sundays, when you can expect a 3-course classic French meal for an absolute steal.

(September 2016)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food

User reviews

  • Quant little french hide away with great French food at an affordable price
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Stunning and cozy setting, personalized service - feel super special that the Chef explains all the dishes, refreshing not to look at a menu. The food and drinks suggested by the Chef and waiters to pair are always spot on and absolutely delicious and well presented. The waiters are fantastic and it never feels as if they overdo or overlook anything. Wish I could go once a week but cannot afford it. Considering the quality of the food and everything that goes with it, it is understandable that it doesn't come cheap.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food
  • Always the most tender steak and great service.
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Dress code
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Wheelchair

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