Country-style fine dining is what French-born Franck Dangereux’s cooking is all about and the large menu boasts everything from classic techniques to modern twists that create an exciting yet comforting experience.
Both an a la carte and wine-of-the-month pairing menu are available with different choices on each. The a la carte option features dishes that are seasonal and changes spontaneously according to what’s available.
Starters might include a beautifully plated French classic of bouillabaisse. The rich yet delicate fish soup comes served with grilled fish, prawn, mussels, a saffron and garlic potato mousseline, rouille and croutons. There’s also always more than one vegetarian option like the silken raviole stuffed with wild mushroom and ricotta and enrobed in a truffle and fontina cream.
Move on to mains like risotto - something Franck has perfected along with his sauces - served with porcini, parmesan and asiago with a dollop of mustard seed mascarpone. The fish course, while interesting in concept, doesn’t quite hit the mark. The sustainable piece of swordfish is a touch over-cooked and topped with a corn galette, which is more of a nacho than galette. The basque piperade and Dalewood Boland cream it’s served with is delicious.
Meat eaters will be utterly satisfied with the perfectly cooked pasture-reared beef sirloin. The tender and tasty cut is served with a golden mashed potato fritter that soaks up a robust red wine jus.
For dessert, the strawberries and milk is a happy plate of red and pink hues. The combination of fresh and stewed strawberries, vanilla s’mores, meringue shards and strawberry milk sorbet create a nostalgic pink milk flavour in the best possible way.
The wine list is extensive and well thought out, albeit on the pricier end of the spectrum. Carafes are listed throughout the a la carte menu as pairing suggestions, else there’s a selection of bottles by the likes of Savage Wines, Keermont, Silverthorne, and Cederburg.
Attentive and warm. If you need help with the many options on the menu, the team are at the ready to assist.
The Noordhoek Farm Village is an idyllic spot for families over the weekend. The Foodbarn’s interior has recently been upgraded but keeps that country charm with beautiful lights, comfortable tables and natural light.
A lazy lunch or dinner. The restaurant also offers a pensioners special, making it a wonderful spot for the entire family.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.
From the get-go, the menu is confusing. A large folder contains the four menus available: a tasting menu, French classics, an a la carte menu and an additional vegetarian menu. Dishes are repeated across the four menus, and ordering across all four menus is possible. It is initially overwhelming, but after some guidance, actually incredibly simple. A little bit of simplifying of the presentation of the offerings would go a long way.
The food is bold and rich, and portions are very generous. There is no place for flavours to hide here. Starters include the likes of prawn fritters, creamy white fish soups and beer-battered courgettes. The ravioli is a soft, pillowy parcel swimming in a creamy and peppery sauce. Tomatoes provide a much-needed tang to balance the boldness of the dish. The steak tartare is a miss. Balsamic vinegar gives an overpowering sweetness and the excess mayonnaise is scrapped off onto the side plate. It’s almost as if the meat – which should be the star of this dish – is an afterthought, with no complementary flavours on the plate.
The famed risotto is a hearty bowl of decadence. It’s rich, heavy and creamy with a hearty umami punch from the truffle jus and porcini. Onion shells add a lovely, sweet crunch. The mashed potato fritter that houses the steak au poivre is also highlight. It’s crispy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside. It’s ideal for soaking up the sauce. The sauce is rich, but not creamy, with a delightful sweetness from the brandy and a lingering peppery aftertaste. The steak is a touch tough and could be of slightly better quality. Other mains include duck à l’orange, fish ‘grenobloise’, slow-braised ox tripe and karoo lamb rack.
For dessert, choose between the likes of pear feuilleté, homemade sorbets and crepes Suzette. The mont blanc – an assortment of chestnut mousse, chestnut purée, meringue, toffee and almond milk ice cream – is a sweet, earthy end to an indulgent meal.
The confusion of the food menu continues here. Seemingly, there are only glasses of the Foodbarn house wines available (R50 for white, R60 for red) with a host of wines available by the bottle. On further enquiry, it appears wines by the glass are listed throughout the extensive food menu as recommended pairings. This makes it rather cumbersome to find your varietal of choice. Non-house blends have a hefty price tag at around R100 for a glass of white, to R165 for a glass of red.
Service is friendly enough, but our waiter is seldom seen, despite it being a quiet evening. The evening is saved by the manger who steps up to the plate on multiple occasions.
The Foodbarn is a highlight of the Noordhoek Farm Village. It’s bright, clean and elegant. You’ll be mesmerised by the beautiful mural that adorns the wall.
Feeling hungry? Try the three- or four-course wine pairing menus, and keep an eye out for their winter specials menu.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.