Le Soufflé

Le Soufflé
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Classic elegance, Comfy & casual
Bakery fare, French
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Gwynne Conlyn

This is a Joburg classic. As far back as the 1970s, Irene and Marc Guébert were well-loved for their Le Français restaurant in Rosebank, thereafter Ile de France in Dunkeld West and Cramerview.

A move within the pretty Pineslopes shopping centre now has the glass-fronted Le Soufflé look and feel even more welcoming. Guests spill onto the verandah in summer and, in winter, soak up the sun streaming through the windows.

Naturally, the restaurant prides itself on that classic French dish, the soufflé. Here it’s served in a variety of savoury options like the favourite, a combination of smoked salmon, fresh salmon and spinach. For sweets, even those who don't have a sweet tooth will go weak at the knees at the thought of their famous chocolate chip soufflé.

French classics reign: in winter the hearty, slow-cooked cassoulet lends a warm feeling of comfort and wellbeing. Another excellent choice (and all-year favourite at this establishment) is the traditional provençal bouillabaisse.

They offer a variety of other meat and fish dishes, but a casual lunch begs for one of their hamburgers, like the French burger with goose liver and port wine. Also a good call would be one of their famous pies, served with mash: duck and cherry, for example, or beef and Guinness. You’ll also find a list of crunchy salads, good enough to enjoy either as full portion for lunch or as a starter at dinner.

And watch out for the blackboard specials – there’s always something fresh and interesting to try.

Le Soufflé offers a good wine list that will sit comfortably with everyone’s pocket. Also take note of their popular food and wine pairing evenings. Events are announced in their regular e-mails, if you sign up.

The service is friendly in an old-fashioned way; soon you’ll be on first name basis with the waiters. Broad, welcoming smiles make for a happy experience.

The cozy brasserie is cleverly designed: they are able to cater for private gatherings for up to 100 people. Checkered tablecloths add to the French feel.

Have a look around: among the patrons there will undoubtedly be a number of people who have been following this charming couple from the start. They’ve also gained fans among younger diners in search of something authentic and of high quality.

(August 2014)

  • Their loyal clientele is evidence of consistency. Highlights are, of course, the soufflés both savoury and sweet; bouillabaisse; hamburgers, and duck and cherry pie. (EO mag 2014)
  • Food
    Marc Guébert’s small bistro continues to be an absolute gem. The maestro keeps customers happy with a selection of light-as-air savoury and sweet soufflés including shrimp and asparagus, duck and orange, smoked snoek and sweetcorn, and his signature, chocolate and Grand Marnier. You’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. There are French brasserie-style staples as well as dishes given a French twist. The speciality French burger with goose liver and port wine is a must, as is the grilled calf liver with onion and bacon.

    The wine list is aimed at offering good-value-for-money.

    Attentive. Guébert is a genial host and knows his regulars by name.

    Red and white checked tablecloths gives it a French bistro feel.

    It serves the best croissants in town and the brioche is pretty damn fine too. Order them for an authentic Parisian breakfast. There’s a breakfast soufflé too! (JW, October 2011)

User reviews

  • I loved this restaurant so much that we had to go twice in one week. There were too many good dishes to try. The service is fantastic. Not overbearing, but you won't notice how quickly the wine bottle disappears due to perfectly timed refills. The food is simply exquisite and the menu offers a huge variety of french inspired classics. The souffles are obviously the main attraction and the dessert souffles are divine!
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  • Had lunch yesterday, Sunday 20/10/13. We ordered fillet which was badly prepared and badly cooked. Béarnaise sauce was not good! Also tried the mussels in tomato, far too much minced garlic used. The Bouillabaise was prepared in a curry broth? Very disappointed!

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  • We had lunch on Sunday 14th July, Bastille Day. It was a superb lunch. All our guests enjoyed their meals. I had a grilled salmon, very juicy and tender. Absolutely delicious. Highly recommended restaurant. Thank you to Marc and his staff. We will come back very soon.

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  • We were so looking forward to our evening at Le Souffle given that we had eaten there several times at the old venue with all its wonderful bistro ambience and excellent food. Oh what a disappointment. From the "yet another N Suburbs upmarket restaurant (new location) with no bistro ambiance, to the mussels in tomato sauce starter ( where the tomato sauce was like something out of a can, to the "picture perfect to look at" souffles that were leathery on the outside and definitely not light and fluffy on the inside, to the miserable selection of vegetarian options (two I think!), where the pasta with tomato sauce seemed to use the same" tomato soup out of a can" as the mussels, the fishcakes that were inedible and the Thai curry that looked like some sort of unappetising brown sludge.
    On the positive side the steak was excellent.
    My friend mentioned our disappointment to the maitre d, who sadly did not seem interested.
    Subsequently I have spoken to three different sets of friends, who all had similar experiences. Don't think we will be back! What a great pity, as it was a lovely restaurant before worthy of the rave reviews.

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  • I would like to say that we enjoyed our evening at Le Souffle, having eaten there on many previous occasions, before their relocation. Despite making a reservation we were given a table by the swerving hatch, which had no reservation sign on it, in between two big parties of 12 people. We asked if we could be moved, but were told the other tables had been reserved. - but obviously not by us. I think the bigger premises might be their downfall. Needless to say as we couldn't talk or move we decided to eat elsewhere - a wise decision on our part.

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  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Child friendly
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair

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