A brainchild of celebrated South African chef extraordinaire Reuben Riffel, the food at Reuben’s Franschhoek is the most triumphant return to form for the talented chef. The elegantly relaxed atmosphere lends itself to an alluring dining experience that while new feels rather nostalgic - a gem and a local’s favourite waiting to happen.
Not to fall it tapas but there are so many great options, ordering a wide selection for the tables seems the only sensible thing. Starters such as the beetroot-smoked Franschhoek salmon trout joyfully show off produce hailing from the valley. Trying to narrow down what to order for mains is something of a Sophie’s choice – everything sounds good and after the starters have hit your expectations out of the park, you’ll be itching to get stuck in the spinach risotto with pine nuts, celeriac, butternut, burnt butter and grand brie. But none will quench your venison craving like the Springbok steak with walnuts, butternut-honey, bacon candy and pickled cabbage - succulent steak with a balancing whack of acidity from the pickled cabbage.
Chef Reuben has always had a penchant for a decadent dessert, popularising the once risky chocolate fondant at his previous spot, well Rueben’s Franschhoek stays true to form, but on top of the gooey chocolate fondant there is an addictive array of options such as the lemon yuzu tart and spiced créme brûlée to name a few.
The wine list offers a decent scope from middle range to top end wines, with a deliberate emphasis on Franschhoek farms. A curated selection of brandies and gins is available to enjoy with your meal or relaxing in the summer-ready back courtyard.
Friendly and courteous service delivered with the warm Franschhoek smile.
The long dining room exhibits an airy light touch to its decor making it both cozy and inviting without being homely. Boasting art clad walls and a slick glass wine cellar, the decor is gorgeous, modern while remaining approachable. The diner place and imposing views of the majestic mountains are just that extra double cherry on top to win you over.
The best showcase of celebrated Chef Reuben’s repertoire.
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A new location brings a new menu for chef Reuben Riffel, but one that does well to blend new dishes with time-honoured classics. Loyal diners will be happy to reacquaint themselves with the signature pork belly with fynbos honey, as well as Reuben’s always-delicious chilli-salted squid with a fragrant salad of dressed Asian greens. Another classic worth a try is the tuna tataki with lime mayonnaise and toasted sesame seeds. If you like tataki, this is about as good as you’ll find anywhere.
The new menu also offers taster plates for sharing, while main courses are a globetrotting lot, jetting from peppered picanha steak to butter-chicken curry and excellent Vietnamese pho.
Desserts lean towards classic bistro fare, with oozy baked camembert and bacon jam, chocolate fondant and – pick of the bunch – a spiced up crème brûlée with roasted pears and white chocolate soil.
A liquorice toffee from Darling Sweet is a thoughtful touch to finish off the meal.
There's a decent wine offering divided by cultivar. The focus is, rightly, on Franschhoek cellars, with selected estates from further afield. Great selection of local craft gins for summer G&Ts.
Waiters smartly turned out in blue denim and black waistcoats are unfailingly friendly and efficient.
The new Reuben’s is a gorgeous space of screed floors and walls decked with art. Arrive past the glassed-in wine cellar to a long restaurant filled with bistro-chic tables and striking blue banquettes. Stylish, yet cosy, there’s a fireplace for chilly Franschhoek nights.
Long-time fans will be pleased to see the silver airplane wing making up the bar counter in the outside courtyard. It's an idyllic spot for summer evenings.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.