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.
A beautiful setting with views of the mountains surrounding Franschhoek are a large part of the appeal here. Sit outside in the sun and soak it all up, or opt for a table inside the light-filled conservatory, or venture even further inside and sink into one of the plush chairs in the tasting room. Lunch is a stylish affair with starters offering the likes of an heirloom tomato salad with fresh basil, nuggets of crispy fried goat’s cheese and a Kalamata olive purée, perfect for those wanting a lighter option. Crispy Patagonian calamari with an Asian slaw and roasted garlic aïoli is a good combination of flavours and textures, while sugar-cured Franschhoek trout with cucumber, spring onion and ponzu, a Gruyere soufflé and a duck liver parfait with apple chutney and toasted brioche round out the list.
For mains, choose from hearty dishes such as glazed pork belly with thyme-and-apple chutney, potato gratin and buttered cabbage; Peking duck breast with carrot purée, baby spinach and fresh plum sauce; crispy-skinned chicken Supreme stuffed with tarragon chicken mousse with creamy corn purée and roast chicken jus. Desserts run the gamut between a traditional vanilla flan and a coconut sponge with filled baked meringue, lemon curd, granadilla ice cream and tropical fruit; chocolate molten cake with raspberry sorbet, honeycomb and pistachio, to a black cherry-and almond-clafoutis with buttermilk ice cream. Lighter options include seasonal fruit with a butter biscuit crumble and mango sorbet, or a local cheese platter with bread.
The stars here are Le Lude’s Brut and rosé MCCs, but dessert wines from other estates are also available if you must stray.
Friendly and knowledgeable.
Glamorous yet comfortable, with great views of the mountains from outside tables.
If you’re not very hungry, opt for one of the bubbly tastings and choose a selection of canapés to pair with it.
Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.
Had the best experience here. Good food, Great MCC, Great Staff.