The menu at Makaron offers generous portions on four or six ‘small plates’ by chef Lucas Carstens, which are not quite tapas and not quite main courses. Starters include the likes of heirloom tomato with white balsamic jelly, ricotta and gazpacho granita (icy cool and intensely tomatoey); and coal-roasted cauliflower with cabbage, sweetcorn and parmesan. It’s Cape comfort food at its best.
Go on to cured Franschhoek trout with tart beetroot apple kraut, and beef tartare with spicy accompaniments. Mix and match with your guests so you get to try as much as possible. Mains include butter-poached kingklip with black garlic and brinjal and Chalmar sirloin with umami butter and crispy onions.
The sweet ending of quirky little melktert ice-cream sandwiches and passion fruit with meringue shard and coconut is the perfect way to go.
A serious wine list shows careful thought went into matching offerings with the cuisine.
Smooth and friendly.
Coolly modern without being too glitzy. The indoor and outdoor spaces are delightful, making this a great spot for winter or summer.
Have a drink before or after in their gorgeous bar lounge that is open in the evenings.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay their own way. Read our full editorial policy here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
An inspired list with interesting varietals and very clever wine pairing suggestions.
A high staff-to-patron ratio means that service is swift and professional – you certainly won’t be kept waiting.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Aboslutely positively smashing. Great food, ambience and attentive service. A must return to visit!
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!
A stunning addition to the restaurant scene in Stellenbosch. Food, service and decor all merged to make a wonderful evening. Hats off to all.
There are very few places that exemplify excellence in hospitality, Makaron Restaurant is one - the food, service and wine is sublime!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.