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The Kitchen at Maison

The Kitchen at Maison
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Cost
3 course menu R395 (R595 with wine); 4 course menu R495 (R795 with wine); 5 course menu R595 (R950 with wine); 6 course menu R645 (R1045 with wine)
Ambience
Classic elegance, Comfy & casual
Food
Bistro fare, Modern
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

John Maytham

Food
The Kitchen opened after its two month mid-year break in 2016 with a significantly different approach to the menu. Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg continues with the valley- and farm-to-plate philosophy, delighting in Asian flavours and ingredients, but he adds the inspirations gained from a visit to South America, and moves away from the starter and mains structure.

Instead, every dish, except the Angus prime rib on the bone, is offered in a small plate size. The idea is that the table orders a variety of dishes and everybody tastes everything, in a cross between a tapas- and a tasting-menu approach.

Local trout is offered ceviche style, the citrus pickling courtesy of blood orange, and the delicious whole is topped with a sweet-potato quenelle and accompanied by corn tortilla chips. The perennial favourite, suckling pig, is given a complete makeover, served with salt-fermented parsnip and celeriac, and nestled in a subtle and intriguing homemade kombucha sauce.

Duck breast is turned into prosciutto and served with gooseberries, spring onion and sriracha (a hot sauce from coastal Thailand). The charcuterie and cheese platters remain on the menu for those who are not in an adventurous mood.

Desserts are also unusual. Dark-chocolate mousse gets a citrus touch, arriving with segments of three different types of orange, and South America pays a visit via some delightfully crunchy deep-fried quinoa seeds. It harmonises surprisingly well. All quite different; all quite delicious.

Drinks
The estate’s own wines – all very drinkable – are served by the glass or by the bottle, and there is a short and eclectic selection of other wines that are personal favourites of owner Chris Weylandt.

Service
The staff are amiable and personable, and very well-informed about all of the unusual elements on the menu.

Ambience
The décor is cool and stylish, which is not surprising given that the farm is owned by the founder of the Weylandt’s stores. But this is design as background; the primary elements are the light and the beautiful natural backdrop of the Franschhoek valley.

And…
The expanse of lawn in front of the restaurant is a wonderful place for children to play while parents sample the delights of the menu.

(September 2016)

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  • Hetta van Deventer Terblanche

    Food
    Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg creates contemporary, fresh and colourful dishes and demonstrates an affinity for Asian flavours. The food looks farm-to-table fresh and sophisticated, yet not over worked.

    The Kitchen at Maison follows the seasons and is well-known for utterly delicious seafood dishes like oysters with wasabi, herbs, quinoa and melon, or tempura lobster tail with nam jim aioli, sour corn and avocado. The artisanal charcuterie platter is light enough to order as a starter.

    More substantial dishes, such as barbecue beef short ribs with apple, gooseberry and mustard, or a new variation on the old favourite of broccoli chicken, are satisfying and nourishing – ideal to keep the Boland chill at bay. Expect fresh vegetables in innovative variations, like cucumber crackling or a side dish of carrot, ricotta, carrot purée and onion candy.

    The dessert menu shows a clever focus on cheese, giving you the opportunity to finish the table wine or just simply to sip a glass of wine with cheese on the side. For those who crave something sweet and decadent at the end of a meal, dessert is not only beautifully presented, but delicious.

    Drinks
    The wine list is dominated by the estate’s wines, offered by the glass from R48 upwards. In addition, the owner has hand-selected favourite wines from elsewhere, making the wine list more representative across varietals and styles.

    Service
    Staff members are friendly, well informed and eager to please.

    Ambience
    Surrounded by vineyards and gardens, the restaurant is a modern, vibrant space with earthy tones – uncluttered and elegant.

    And…
    With its family-friendly vibe, this is a wonderful spot to spend a lazy lunch.
    (September 2015)

  • Eat Out

    Food
    Created by chef Arno Janse van Rensburg, this is not your typical wine farm fare. Instead, The Kitchen @ Maison serves modern food with a strong Asian theme that references the Maison brand’s multi-cultural influences. Get into the swing of things by enjoying their excellent sourdough bread, some pungent, creamy home-cured ham and a delicious yellow tomato chutney. A starter of yellowtail sashimi with compressed watermelon and pickled leek hearts is fresh and well balanced. Staying with seafood, a serving of monkfish with kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts is a standout, the earthy and nutty flavours balancing nicely with the dense fish. Move on to a very successful braised beef short-rib with kimchi and carrot purée, and round the experience off with a lovely gooseberry tart served with a delicious whiskey ice cream.

    Wine
    The list is devoted to estate wines, but these do pair well with the mix of Asian and more classic dishes. The wine service is very good – the wines are perfectly chilled, presented and poured.

    Service
    Neatly turned-out waiters are pleasant, informed and eager to serve.

    Ambience
    One enters through a light-filled tasting room into a contemporary and minimalistic space that is all clean lines and uncluttered elegance. It’s a family-friendly affair, with the interior leading seamlessly into the garden and vineyard beyond, with rustic tables outside and an inviting daybed hanging from one of the oaks.

    (August 2014)

  • Owned by interior master Chris Weylandt, the restaurant serves tapas and bistro fare with a serious, contemporary twist. Starters include an excellent charcuterie platter and heavenly smoked bone marrow with crisp sage, fish roe and pickled mustard seeds. Mains, such as wild mushroom tortellini and Karoo lamb rack, are exquisitely plated. The Maison estate wines are on offer. While the wide stoep overlooking rolling lawn is prime position, inside is immaculately styled and sleek. (EO Mag 2014)
  • Food
    Expect tapas and bistro fare with a serious, contemporary twist at this estate restaurant owned by interior master Chris Weylandt. Chips are ‘Heston-style’: triple-cooked and dusted with herbs. For starters the charcuterie platter delivers excellent cured meats, saucisson and pork terrine paired with pickled ginger, olive purée and confit fennel. The smoked bone marrow served with crisp sage, fish roe and pickled mustard seeds is a rich and heavenly delight. While the menu is small, the selection of dishes is varied, and mains such as wild mushroom tortellini and Karoo lamb rack with aubergine are exquisitely plated. Many dishes are served on wooden boards, such as the 500g beef rib (cooked to perfection) paired with a deep and satisfying jus. If you’re keen on nibbling and quaffing, the tapas dishes of local cheeses, beef short rib croquettes and olives are perfect. Desserts are as beautiful as they are delicious, boasting interesting combinations such as pumpkin and white chocolate tart or chocolate and peanut butter meringue with rum cheesecake.

    Wine
    The Maison estate wines are on offer, and they’re happy for you to taste to make sure you’re satisfied with your food and wine pairing. There is a wide choice, from fragrant viognier to spicy shiraz and even straw wine and ruby port. Everything, including MCC is available by the glass. Alternatively try a honey blond ale made by the chef himself. The homemade lemonade and pomegranate and elderflower rooibos coolers make a refreshing alternative for designated drivers.

    Service
    Knowledgeable, eager-to-please and friendly service make dining here effortless. The waitrons have good wine knowledge and are eager to make suggestions from the estate’s list. Parents will be happy to know that blankies and tomato sauce are brought with a smile, too.

    Ambience
    The wide stoep and rolling lawns are the places to be, overlooking the vineyards and mountains. The vast, rough bench seating outside accommodates a multitude of groups and the giant ‘bird’s nest’ couch swinging from a tree provides endless entertainment for kids and adults alike. Seating inside and on the stoep is on immaculately styled wooden chairs and sleek tables with white walls and accents of neatly piled logs.

    And...
    Do a wine tasting in the lounge area – you’ll feel like you’re sitting inside a décor magazine. (Lisa van Aswegen, September 2013)

User reviews

  • Dining in Cape Town is one of our favourite things to do when on holiday and I was so excited to have a booking at The Kitchen at Maison as it was one of the top 10 restaurants in South Africa. I have previously dined at other of the top 10, and top 20 restaurants and their food were just delicious. As we arrived at the restaurant, something just felt welcoming about the restaurant, while walking in, I was amazed at the décor and thought it was well designed. There were some of the pieces I just admired and would have loved to have in my house. We were seated at our table and had a look at their menu. It was a tapas style menu where you can select the number of courses you would like to enjoy from their menu. Their items on their menu sounded interesting, and I was looking forward to tasting some of the dishes. As the food arrived, it tasted interesting indeed. The three "best" dishes of the evening were their Perlemoen, Octopus and Chicken with popcorn. Their dishes had an acquired taste, and I was not a big fan. I also have to critique the plating of the dishes as some of them did not look very appetising as it looked like it was just slammed on the plate. Upon making the booking, I inform them that it is a special occasion, my husband birthday. Usually, restaurants would either do something special or at least acknowledge the special occasion, especially being in the top 10. This was not the case that evening. The head chef, Arno was unfortunately not there the evening we dined at the restaurant. I asked one of the staff members who the chef was in Chef Arno absence as I was hoping to meet Chef Arno, but he was unable to advise us. I found this very strange and wondered if there was not a miscommunication as you should surely know who the chef is for the evening. After we have completed our meal, I found that the entire experience was not the best and I was disappointed with their food as well as their staff, to the point where I did not even feel like ordering dessert. After informing one of the staff members that we were disappointed they just looked at us and said sorry. The bill took some time, and we ended up paying near the kitchen as we did not want to wait any longer. The Kitchen at Maison is such a beautiful restaurant, and I have seen so many great reviews and wonderful photos of the food that I hope this was only an evening thing, without their head chef present, if not I am amazed at them being in the top 10. The Kitchen at Maison based on our dining experience you, unfortunately, do not get the DBM stamp of approval.
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  • Being on the Top 10 list, and seeing the amazing photos on Instagram, The Kitchen at Maison suddenly moved to the top of my list of must-go restaurants. The atmosphere and ambience are unrivaled, with excellent service and a wonderful selection of wine, craft beers and soft drinks - but we went for the food of course. We expected small portions, so that wasn't disappointing, but when food looks better than it tastes - it's difficult to not be disappointed. Simple flavours, maybe we expected the taste sensation of the Chef's Warehouse, but nevertheless a beautiful evening. Go and try it for yourself.
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  • I booked for four of us on Sunday 06/02/2017. It was my sons birthday and his Chef colleague was going back to Germany on the Monday. My son is also a chef. They were so looking forward to trying the new flavor combinations and a very interesting menu. We arrived and decided on the 3 Course wine pairing with the option of a 4 course if need be. Everything well until the 3rd course was placed in front of us and the wine was nowhere to be found. Eventually the staff brought us the wine for our 3 rd course. We didn't get the same explanation and by then our food was cold. The food overall was very nice but the service really let them down and in someway spoilt the overall experience.
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  • Incredibly disappointing, minuscule portions and very expensive. Expecting flavours to be knockout at the price - but on the whole underwhelming. An experience definitely not to be repeated!
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  • Returned after a year! What happened?! The food is disappointing. You'll be going home hungry after the compulsory minimum of 3 plates with a serious dent in your pocket. Possibly the worst dessert I've ever had. Luckily we ordered the chips - best thing about the meal.
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  • Utterly disappointing.
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  • The Kitchen @ Maison couldn't match the high expectations we had. Mainly the service was disappointing and not good enough for the status of La Maison. We arrived earlier, because we planned to relax in the garden before dinner, but we weren't allowed and had to find a different place to kill our time. During dinner, the waiters were unfocused. We had five courses but they skipped one. We went from the first to the third course, forgetting the second. We found out when we got our main course quicker than we thought. We ended up eating the second course after the main, with no excuses being made. Later on they also forgot to bring our wine. The rest of the evening we got little attention from the waiters, probably because they felt ashamed about their mistake. Maybe one waiter per table would be better. The food was nice, but not exceptional. The wines are great, the prices relatively high. The setting is great. We are surprised that they made it a top - 10 restaurant in South Africa. We've been to several better restaurants.
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  • The meal started with some seeded breads, delicious steamed buns, a lovely butter, and pickled carrot. I had the suckling pig main with apple slices. The crackling was just crunchy enough to add texture, but soft enough to enjoy. There is an option of ordering extra side dishes. We picked the chips with aioli. A single serving was enough to share with the table of three and was done perfectly, with soft and crispy bits. My highlight was the dessert: the tonka bean custard, topped with naartjie fruit cells, and what I would call, a layer of citrus sorbet. The combination of delicate tonka custard and sorbet was a perfect match between sweet and sour. Very refreshing. My partner had the sourdough waffle with ice cream. This dessert had many deep flavours, with salt to enhance the sweetness. Sadly the salt was a bit overpowering. The waiters were very attentive, if somewhat reserved. The decor of the restaurant is stylish yet simplistic, with a little store at the front. The relaxed atmosphere is achieved by a beautiful lawn with chickens and a lovely view of the mountains. The fortress-like decorated bathroom is quite the talking point.
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  • So this is my first review on this page. Yesterday my sister and I went to The Kitchen at Maison in Franschhoek for a meal we won through a KLM competition (it included everything except the tip-which we gave generously). Everything was perfect. The setting is gorgeous. The layout and decor is beautiful and simple. The staff are excellent beyond compare. Attentive, knowledgable, polite, profession and charming. It was really the best service I have received in the area so far. The waiters really went out of their way to make sure it is the best experience of our lives without being over eager. As we got shown to our table outside, overlooking the beautiful mountains in a relaxing atmosphere, two waiters pulled out our chairs and the one asked if he can offer us some water to drink while we decide on the wine. We asked for sparkling water and the way they served it was really professional-our glasses were never empty and the sparkling water was kept in an ice pot not far from the table (no clutter on the table). We could not decide which wine so the waiter gave us a tasting of all of their wines-he also let us taste different vintages of all the varietals which really impressed us. After the wine tasting the chef sent us compimentary seawood salted bread & black sesame bread served with a confit lemon butter and umami tomato salsa. Because we decided to order the shared meal of a slow roasted WHOLE suckling pig leg (with trotter intact) (served with small side dishes of corn & black garlic, pineapple & mint salsa, diced cucumber with dukkah, homemade corn tortillas, gooseberries & a bigger side of slow roasted red pepper, tomato & Buffalo mozarella) we chose the 2014 Viogner which paired perfectly with the crispy and fall off the bone pork dish (R250 per bottle for the wine and the shared meal was rather expensive at R850). One of the chefs also comes to the table to cut the pork for you so it is easier to dish up. The food was served very quickly after we ordered and was exquisite. Perfect in every second. Clever combinations, cooked to perfection and served in style. The wine was sublime and went down a treat. Again, the waiters were very professional and our glasses were never empty. After a long lazy lunch we were really full and did not have space for dessert so rather ordered some coffee which was also surprisingly good, even for a coffee snob such as myself. I highly recommend The Kitchen at Maison. Although a tad expensive, it is a wonderful experience and perfect for a special occasion.
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  • I totally agree with Paula, went there on the 8th of October, will never waist my money again, I visit restaurants to experience the chefs vision on my plate, not to order hand cut chips (wedges) for R60 extra?.... food is like a painting........ I want to taste what his plan was with the meat or fish and blow me away with what, accompanied that specific protein. The ambiance I found pretentious, the waiter tried hard to sell us an side order, and when we refused he lost interest, and gave all his attention to the foreigners sitting next to us. Totally dissapointed!
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  • Lovely setting but very expensive. R165 for the line fish, which comes with nothing else. Also strange combination of flavours, I thought. And if you want any sides, you are going to pay an extra R55 for fries, and R60 for greens. Ridiculous prices! Service mediocre. Lovely staff, but lacking training. Bread came to the table with two condiments, but no knife so had to use the one placed with the fork, which was obviously for the main. When the main came, I had to reach over to get a knife from one of the other place settings. I will not go back at those prices. There are better restaurants charging less!
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  • I came here with my partner and our good friends using the Tram. The service was absolutely shoddy as we were treated less than. Another much older couple complained of the same thing. We decided not to waste our oennies there and instad head somewhere else where we would be better received. I would like to add here that we bought countless bottles of wine from the other wineries and would've definitely done the same here, had the service matched the good wine. The older couple spent far more money on amazig wines throughout the trip so that was an even greater loss for Maison. Perhaps treat all customers well, you never know just how much they will contribute to your business.
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  • Nice setting , great garden . Food very mediocre , far too small portions and therefore very very expensive . Friendly staff but interior could do with some touching up . Could be a great place with a bit more attention to detail and more generous portions .
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  • Lovely setting under the trees. The service had the wrong attitude. The food is just ok, not spectacular. Waited over an hour for our lunch to arrve, one side dish arrived once we were all finished. I eat out a lot, and I have never payed so much money for so little food. Trust me when I say, I don't mind paying for good food, but don't charge me R155 for a piece of beef short rib the size of a credit card, without any sides. (Chips will cost you an extra R55). Every single dish was so pathetically small it was almost comical. Obviously the table next door had the same issue, since they simply sent the food back as soon as it arrived due to the obvious rip off. My son had the fish, which had a hair in it, but let's give credit where it is due, it must take an immense amount of skill to lose a hair in such a small piece of fish. The place is a rip off, plane and simple.
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  • Enjoyed an evening meal on the outside patio. A lovely welcome followed by their fresh bread and two tasters - a potato and apple and a sweet red pepper. Both a little sweet for my taste but definite appetite stimulants with a flute of the Maison rose champagne. Dry and delicious. The special bone marrow starter was well prepared but SO little of it. The beef specials were sublime, both in the preparation and presentation. I had the 250g fillet and my husband enjoyed the 400g rib-eye. We chose two side dishes; the chips with their tomato sauce, suitably piquant and available for purchase in the deli, and the variety of mushrooms with anchovy and blue cheese. Delicious. The choice of blue cheese and figs was disappointing as was my husbands white chocolate dessert. Neither met the standard of expectation. However Levi's choice of the dark chocolate pate for me was excellent.
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  • The setting and decor are lovely. The wine was excellent. Unfortunately our party of 6 were all a bit underwhelmed by the food. We felt that the plating was pretty but the flavours were just not there.
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  • I can't believe this place was nominated as a finalist on the Eat Out awards. Place is beautiful, service is poor with waiters overloaded. The food is very underwhelming, apart from the breads and a nice tempura mussels, we were disappointed with almost all our food. I'm never trusting Eat Out again, especially since we had a similarly bad experience at another "top 10" restaurant.
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  • We got married at The Kitchen at Maison estate in April 2014. This was the perfect spot for an informal wedding. The setting is absolutely amazing! We loved the rustic look, Weylandts furniture, amazing food and friendly service. Our guests felt right at home. What a beautiful day! We'll return to The Kitchen again and again to reminisce about our dream wedding day!
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  • We managed to get a last minute table on the lawns on a beautifully sunny day in Franschhoek, for a late lunch. Beautiful setting and perfect ambience for the (lazy) Winelands lunch that we had envisioned - I am still dreaming about my seared tuna steak with jalapeno salsa and a green pepper sorbet! Delicious! Can't wait to return.
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  • On the positive side, The Kitchen at Maison has a setting that is spectacular especially if you are sitting outside under the beautiful old Oak trees. We ordered a cheese platter and a salad as we just felt like something light to eat. The cheese platter was superb! The salad however was very disappointing with loads of iceberg lettuce and not much else. The waiting staff are a bit slow. Maison wine is superb. The mains looks really interesting and delicious coming out of the kitchen. The resident chickens wander around and try to partake in your lunch! To round it up, great setting, great wine, some of the food was great, however a bit overpriced. Would definitely go back.

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  • Our most favourite restaurant! Really worth the drive out the Franschhoek. Amazing food that feels fresh and fun, beautiful setting and superb wines. The wooded Chenin Blanc was a favourite.
    Love the animals that are sometimes running around (chickens, pigs etc), adds a certain charm and genuine feel to the place. Will go back time and time again.

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  • It is seldom we go to an estate for a wine tasting where every wine you taste is just superb. From the reds to the whites, each wine was an absolute delight.
    Our meal was fantastic and the ambience is casual and family friendly. We had loads of fun in the lovely big swinging cane chair outside!

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  • Got to enjoy a wonderful Sunday lunch with my family. My children were brilliantly looked after with hot chocolate and mini whisks, science beakers of tomato sauce, chickens and pigs and loads of room to play outside on the grass.
    Make no mistake though this was as enjoyable for the parents as it was the children. The food was amazing and the wine was brilliant.
    To top it off the service was excellent. Will definitely be back soon.

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  • Had the most amazing Sunday lunch here in summer. We sat outside at the big table under the tree and it was absolute bliss. Food was great and wine sublime! Service also brilliant. Would go back in a heartbeat. Rather pricey but with a cool, relaxed atmosphere that forces you to unwind I'll take it!

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  • New favourite in the Winelands! Such a delight to visit - venue, design, decor, food and atmosphere. Its stylish in an un-fuzzy way. Almost feels you are having lunch at a friend's house. We have had pizza, house salad, lamb, pork belly and line fish - all delicious, generous portions, an well presented. Coffee is great, and lovely to have out in the garden. This restaurant is perfect for both families and romantic couples - and everyone else. And we really enjoyed the wine.

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  • Awesome setting, great food and fantastic wine!

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  • Great, food, 6 wonderful wines - don't miss the Chenin Blanc and Shiraz, absolutely gorgeous indoors and outdoors decor (courtesy of owner of Weylandt's, who also owns this.) Perfect for families who love good food but due to smaller kids still around, are doomed to Spur or similar usually. You have a classy "adult" experience, whilst the kids are enjoying themselves in the garden.

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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Dinner
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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