Venues

Makaron Restaurant

Makaron Restaurant
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Cost
R180
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Fine-dining food, French, Modern
Payment
Amex, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Ingrid Jones

Food
When you walk into Majeka House, the boutique hotel where Makaron is situated, the seduction starts right at the entrance and is an indication of what to expect on your plate. It seems as if Head Chef Lucas Carstens and his team has taken a cue from their surroundings, because they ensure that the servings are ample and voluptuously presented. Every meal is a mini Baroque painting on a plate, especially the vegetables that are served as a side dish. From the juicy beets to the delicately roasted whole, skinny purple carrots. No boring carrots julienne or cauliflower florets here. The produce is all ethically sourced and seasonal and makes for an authentic food experience.

The deliciously salty parmesan risotto and truffle has become the one standout dish for everyone who has tasted it, but the raw beef served with warm lettuce, garlic and crispy onion is begging for the same attention. The best of the best, though, is the duck fat roast potatoes with soft, fluffy white inners hiding seductively under crisp skins that melt in your mouth. That alone is why you should go. They have introduced Sunday roast into their offering and seasonality ensures that the menu changes every Sunday.

Drink
Restaurant manager and sommelier Esmé Groenewald has curated a sommelier’s wine list celebrating the best of the region and is at hand to explain what to best complement your chosen dish. The wine list is very extensive, ranging from the very affordable to the very expensive in taste and price. A favourite is the Catherine Marshall Sauvignon Blanc 2015 from the Elgin region.

Service
The waitrons are very courteous, knowledgable and just within range to see to your every need. There are even cigar suggestions when you want to linger longer after a hearty meal and want to hang out in the very trendy cigar lounge.

Ambience
It’s trendy, upmarket and quirky. The restaurant area is modern and almost Swedish in its sparsity, but with quirky South African elements paying homage to our warm and inviting diversity. It’s quiet, serene and feels exclusive.

And...
After a great meal, you might not want to leave. Why not book into one of the luxurious rooms and stretch out on one of the iconic blue loungers in the garden.

(September 2016)

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

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  • John Maytham

    Food
    Chef Tanja Kruger’s culinary imagination and technique deserve to be celebrated across the land. This is fine dining at its best – playful in conception and plating; deeply serious in its approach to the quality and ethical sourcing of ingredients; and richly satisfying to all the senses. It starts with a bread and butter(s) presentation that is breath taking in variety and quality. The bread soup shot glass contains an unctuous mixture of sourdough starter and bacon; the Indian flatbread with aubergine chutney is spicy and impossible to resist. That much abused and over-cooked local fish, hake, shows what it can do when treated with the proper respect – given the Japanese backdrop of miso, daikon and ponzu emulsion, its firm flesh and briny flavour emerge as the star of the show. Another often maltreated modern darling, quinoa, is successfully re-invented as the basis of a creamy cauliflower risotto, with the salty deliciousness of blue cheese adding to the mix. Lamb shoulder is slow cooked and served on puy lentils and smoked aubergine, all dark and rich, alongside slices of pink, just-cooked and melt-in-the-mouth lamb rump. The menu is seasonal, so the dishes described here might not feature on your visit. What won’t change is the respect for the ingredients, and a firm commitment to classical techniques, married to a thoroughly modern delight in imaginative combinations and exquisite presentation.

    Drinks
    Sommelier Esme Groenewald has mustered a wine list of great quality and variety, covering the familiar and the unusual, both in terms of producers and varietals. Put your faith in the wine recommendation that accompanies each dish – the level of thought and experimentation that has gone into the suggestions guarantees satisfaction. There is also a craft beer pairing suggestion for all the savoury courses.

    Service
    Service is efficient, knowledgeable and friendly. The occasional lack of polish adds to the charm.
    Ambience It’s a big room that has been made charming and welcoming through the clever placing of tables and matching of the modern and the antique. The vintage cutlery is a particular delight.

    And…
    Make an evening of it. Book into the guesthouse, treat yourself to the (six course) chef’s personal pick menu with matching wine, and recover the next morning with a treatment in the on premises spa.

  • Eat Out

    Food
    This restaurant has everything going for it – a passionate and well-travelled chef, Tanja Kruger; an enthusiastic sommelier, Esme Groenewald; a vegetable and herb garden designed by the Babylonstoren gurus; interiors by a former VISI art director; and a peaceful location in a Stellenbosch suburb. Add to that Tanja’s playful take on fine dining and determined focus on top-quality suppliers and sustainability, and it becomes a memorable occasion. A decadent amuse bouche of ‘Kentucky fried’ quail’s legs is followed by herbaceous nettle soup with sunchokes done three ways. The dish of tuna served with a dragon cracker and radish provides a great blend of flavours and textures, while roasted chicken with dumplings, sweetcorn and chives is a lovely, comforting dish with the crispy skin balancing the textures. A whimsical approach to plating heightens anticipation as the meal progresses.

    Wine
    An inspired list with interesting varietals and very clever wine pairing suggestions.

    Service
    A high staff-to-patron ratio means that service is swift and professional – you certainly won’t be kept waiting.

    Ambience
    The restaurant design and interiors have been expertly chosen, from the James Mudge furniture and Gregor Jenkin tables to the beautiful vintage cutlery collected with great care.

    (August 2014)

  • Food
    Tanja Kruger has spent more time in the food capitals of Europe honing her craft. The cuisine still uses the freshest ingredients to achieve the maximum in flavour and visual appeal. Her take on chowder is far from the soupy thing you might be thinking of, using sustainable fish like hake and superbly fat mussels, garnished with gnocchi, chorizo and deliciously light corn veloute; it’s more French than American and thoroughly delicious. The palette of pasture-reared chicken with a nasturtium beignet, barley and pea risotto and lemon veloute is a visual tour de force. If you’re feeling carnivorous, try the free-range cut of the day done to perfection. Weighing 400g, it’s served with onion rings and béarnaise. The tarte tatin of the day or the Fifty Shades of Chocolate should satisfy your sweet tooth perfectly. The menu changes seasonally.

    Wine
    Some of the best wines of the Cape, very carefully chosen by sommelier Josephine Gutentoft and the owners, some of which are suggested pairings by the glass to accompany the food.

    Service
    Service couldn’t be nicer or more professional. A delight.

    Ambience
    Coolly modern and elegant with interiors by designer Etienne Hanekom. It’s just theatrical enough to bring a playful element into the serious business of eating. The outside area has been refreshed design-wise and is perfect on a gorgeous Stellenbosch afternoon. Do take time to have an aperitif in the glitzy bar or smoke in the clubby smoking room.

    And...
    Make sure you visit the washroom – it’s worth the trip. (Greg Landman, September 2013)

User reviews

  • Once, twice, three times again.. i'll be coming back to a great and unique experience. Once again we had a warm welcoming at Reception and enjoyed an apéritif in front of the fire before we were taken to the restaurant by friendly and helpful staff. The food was superb, first we had an amazing amuse bouche with a very interesting story.. and our main courses were delicious, the meat was tender and the flavor combinations were a perfect marriage! Compliments to Chef Tanya! Well done on the new menu! Esme, thank you for the wines that were so beautifully paired with our food. I loved the desert wine "Cellars foot" from Swartland. it was perfectly paired with my white mouse desert! We thoroughly enjoyed our evening. Once again thank you to everyone that made our night unforgettable!
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  • During a recent "night out", I did not even know that we will have our dinner at the restaurant kitchen. Yes literally in the kitchen! After experiencing it, I would say it is the best spot in the restaurant....(they also have aircon) ! Watched them preparing all the meals were absolutely fantastic and super fun. The service and attention to detail by the Chefs is second to none. You will definitely appreciate more what is on your plate knowing the fact how hard the Chef is putting it on for you ! Another fun is while the other guests were served by the waiters, we got the privileged to be served by the Chef itself ! The 5-course of meals paired with a great choice of wines was beyond amazing and we can't wait to plan a return visit. A must go if you are looking for the perfect evening out! The rule of the kitchen is....Leave room for dessert :)
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  • had eaten on the kitchen table in Makaron was a fantastic experience, dining and be served by the chefs them self is some thing unique for the cape. see the kitchen be busy wile you eat is like sitting in a 3D food show . (Master chef SA LIVE) bringing 6 totally different top dishes out with the right wine is fantastic. one of the great things and story the chef told us was the Pink Vienna sausage, if they they did not told the story then we possible think it was one of there great amuse bouche creations. over all the new menu and my experience was one fantastic and a recommendation to all food lovers put there
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  • Terrible manager ruined birthday evening - you would expect far better service considering how much money is expected to be spent. Asked us to leave as we had a gurgling baby with us despite stating this when making the booking and despite them bringing a baby chair to the table. The manager smiled while we were leaving. Not once did he apologise but kept on grinning. I am glad I did not waste any money there.
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  • Our visit to this best guarded secret in the Winelands for a special occasion was extremely pleasant.
    Four out of six guests travelled from "up country" for our annual end of the year reunion dinner.What a pleasant culinary experience!
    From the warm welcome, attentive but discreet service to the extremely creatively paired menu consisting of beautiful tasty dishes and , for us, undiscovered wines, we could not have asked for more or better.
    For what you get in the total experience, it must be the best value for money in the Cape!
    The pretentious arrogance and exorbitant prices for mediocre wines to which "foreigners from northern provinces" have lately been subjected to in the beautiful Cape, was completely absent.
    For our group, this will be a fixed appointment on future visits to the Winelands.
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  • A restaurant hidden away in residential Stellenbosch with a five star chef creating the most divine food that's hard to beat in quality, originality or tase! Superb.

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  • We went there for a celebration and can honestly say we had a great experience and was well worth it. The food was excellent (understatement), the service was impeccable and the management were great. Overall a fantastic evening where the chef came out to personally introduce herself at end of evening to all tables - nice touch!

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  • What a special place! Had dinner there last night. Chef Tanya and her team excelled with beautiful presented food. Josephine and front of house staff, you are doing it right. Well done. We will be back soon.

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  • Aboslutely positively smashing. Great food, ambience and attentive service. A must return to visit!

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  • We had an amazing experience from start to finish at Makaron! Delicious food, perfect wine pairing and a cozy seat next to the fireplace. The Chocolate Fondant… the best I have ever tasted! I’ve already recommended Makaron to all my friends and followers on social media!

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  • A stunning addition to the restaurant scene in Stellenbosch. Food, service and decor all merged to make a wonderful evening. Hats off to all.

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  • There are very few places that exemplify excellence in hospitality, Makaron Restaurant is one - the food, service and wine is sublime!

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  • Altogether - a bespoke experience. The style made me feel like a prop in the pages of a wallpaper star magazine. The ambiance eclectic and warm, the food simply delicious and with a generous helping of great service on the side, marvelous!

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  • What a surprise! The decor is eclectic/elegant/Bohemian yet works really well. The surprise came with the food. Interesting flavours, textures and colour. Everything we had on our plates was superlative. Wine (waiter recommended a Cinsaut) at R35 per (big) glass worked well with the food. Afterwards we had a drink in the very cosy and comfortable lounge. I must recommend this restaurant!

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  • We went for dinner there on Friday night and it was a decidedly mixed experience. The food started off terribly but got better through the evening, while the service was unimpressive. For starters, my wife ordered the beetroot black pudding, and one of the elements was beetroot tartare, which consisted of raw beetroot and garlic. Raw garlic is extremely overpowering, and there was way too much of it on the plate. They did replace it with the cauliflower dish, which was better but it just seemed like the chef didn't taste the beetroot tartare? The mains were much better, especially the smokey mash. The fondants were really nice as well. The service was a bit slow, especially with the water. It was stored in an ice bucket away from the table (to keep cool obviously, which is nice) but then I had to get up to fill my own glass because it stood empty for around 10 minutes). I had far higher expectations of a top 20 nominated restaurant.

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  • Was blown away from the second I entered the doors of Makoron. Each course was fit for a king. The bubbly as well as the wine pairing was exceptional. The service was top notch. A resturant that I will without a doubt be returning to.

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  • Makaron Restaurant is a must food experience!
    The restaurant is elegant and stylish and there is attention to detail from the restrooms straight down to every cutlery piece. The food not only looks gorgeous but taste delicious as well. The service is excellent, but sincerely warm and friendly, something rare in fine dining.
    We selected the Makaron Restaurant for our celebration dinner - our first wedding anniversary. The waiter, the manager and even the Executive Chef with her little plates of goodies at the end made our day very special.

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Menu

Set menu - Makaron-Restaurant-New-Menu - Updated September 2017 Compile your menu from 4 to 6 small plates per person
4 small plates R450 – R770 with wine pairing
5 small plates R565 – R940 with wine pairing
6 small Plates R675 – R1100 with wine pairing
For groups of 5 and more the same amount of dishes must be selected

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Accommodation
  • Booking required
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • StreetSmart affliated
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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