Chef Nicolene Barrow worked at Le Gavroche, Michel Roux’s famous London restaurant, and obviously used her time there well. This is French cooking without the frills, at its best when simple, no blobs of things here and there to indicate flavours. The gruyere soufflé is superbly rich served on a bed of spinach and baby peas with a light cream sauce while the crisp and tart duck-liver parfait with apple chutney and tiny apple spears is served with warm toasted brioche – a perfect touch. The sugar-cured Franschhoek salmon trout with cucumber, spring onion and a light ponzu dressing is a perfect way to wake up any lazy taste buds. A crispy skinned chicken breast is stuffed with tarragon chicken mousse and served with a potato bake sliced so thinly it is a miracle of lightness. Mains also feature ginger-glazed pork belly and Peking duck breast with a delicious fresh plum sauce. If you can resist the superb hot raspberry soufflé served with rich French vanilla ice cream, you are strong indeed.
A small but well-chosen list with some superb local wines also features La Lude's own excellent MCCs and well-priced wines from the Baccarat label.
Smooth and knowledgeable.
The room looks out onto a small garden with a pond – very French – with the Franschhoek Mountains in the distance. All is light and calmly civilised, which is perfect for lunch.
Do a wine-tasting before your meal and take some home to relive the moment later.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.