Venues

Racine

Racine
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Cost
R100 – R150 avg main
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Bistro fare, French
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
No BYO

Critic's review

Graham Howe

Food
Meaning 'root' or 'origin' in French, Reuben Riffel’s new restaurant, Racine, is located at the winery where he started out on his stellar career.

A refreshingly short menu highlights slow-cooked winelands fare, with the accent on offal dishes and organic pork. You can expect to find everything from ginger and tamarind braised beef cheek and slow-cooked pig’s cheek to grilled ox tongue.

The flavours are earthy, bold and robust, enhancing the slow-roasted main ingredient with Asian umami dressings and sauces. Share a tapas selection of Mediterranean-inspired starters, like Reuben’s signature chilli salted squid, or an unusual dish of crisp pigs’ tails in hanepoot and thyme syrup.

Artisanal ingredients sourced locally appear in all the dishes, from the charcuterie and cheese plate to the Franschhoek trout platter. The glazes, salsas, pickles, sauces and syrups are delicious, enhancing but never overwhelming the main attraction. Portions are generous and easily shared.

A chalkboard menu offers three starter, main and dessert specials daily. Vegetarians will find limited choice of roasted beetroot salad or pasta with tomato or baked pumpkin.

Drinks 
A short wine list focuses on craft beers, wines from Chamonix by the glass and bottle (with no mark-up on cellar-door prices) as well as other brands from the local Franschhoek area.

Service 
Staff members are attentive and efficient, with good background knowledge on the composition of signature dishes.

Ambience 
The vibe is relaxed family dining by day, intimate by night. In summer you can sit on a wooden deck in a zen fern-and-stream grove; inside the wooden and rietdak interior of the whitewashed stone tasting room makes for cosy dining.

And… 
A short kiddies’ menu caters for children with penne, burgers and ice cream, while an express menu offers charcuterie, pasta and sandwiches for those on the go.

(July 2014)

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User reviews

  • Me and three of my closest friends had the privilege of having lunch at this great restaurant a while ago. The restaurant is beautifully situated in a small little piece of forest - like a Hobbit house. The menu is perfectly balanced, the staff and service immensely interested and friendly. And then the Food. The food is beyond amazing. Rib eye steaks grilled to perfection and the most gorgeous mussels I have ever eaten in my life. The whole experience was made complete by a something sweet called Salted Caramel Parfait. In.My.Life.I.Have.Never.Made.Noises.While.Eating. This time I did. Back in June when I visit Cape Town :)
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  • I’d like to thank you (and the staff of Chamonix) for the exceptional service that was delivered during our stay from Friday 24 April – Sunday 26th April. My fiancé and I travel a lot and as locals, we were utterly blown away at the fantastic service received from you and the staff esp Brywell . Thank you for accommodating us and ensuring that my fiancé’s birthday is celebrated in the best way possible.
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  • It is not often that I take to social media to publicise bad dining experiences, but after a really poor food experience I felt compelled to do so. Our waiter Melussi was amazing and certainly deserves heaps of praise from the management. The same cannot be said of the chef. We had no option to return everything excepting the mussels (which were delicious) , duck salad and squid. All of our meat dishes were over cooked and below standard. Even the simple Greek salad was smothered with a honey mustard salad dressing and when returned came back floating in balsamic vinegar!

    We have great respect for Reuben and have had some memorable meals at his Restuarant Reubens, but unless his presence is felt in the kitchen of some of his newer establishments his reputation will be destroyed.
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  • Had the privilege to eat at Racine today for the first time. Setting fabulous! My wife raved about the sirloin steak prepared exactly as requested. I had the Miso braised beef cheek with roasted marrow bone as a side. What a wonderful combination. Probably the most tender meat I ever tasted. I have to warn Racine that next time I may be tempted to order the marrow bone 3 or 4 times! Something special. I have to compliment Racine that the price of the Chamonix wine is exactly the cellar price.

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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food

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