Venues

The Restaurant at Grande Provence

The Restaurant at Grande Provence
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Cost
R395 A la carte and Set lunch Menu;R695 A la carte and Set dinner Menu; R1500 for Grande Provence gourmand degustation menu with wine (includes 2 imported wines)
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Fine-dining food, Modern
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
500
EatOut_500_Web

Critic's review

Linda Scarborough

Food
Grande Provence is a good place to bring out-of-towners. It lives up to its name, with a winding approach off the main road, spectacular views of rolling vineyards and mountains, and beautiful heritage buildings. The food makes use of classic French techniques, but plays with modern flavours from around the world and closer to home, too.

After some breads and dips, a starter of black risotto with wild mushrooms abounds with savoury flavours, with a petite portion of confit free-range chicken thigh nestled amongst the fungi. One of the highlights of the meal arrives early on in the form of butter-poached lobster. It’s deftly and delicately prepared, with subtle flavours of ponzu, kombu and dill, and served on a bed of quinoa. Vegetarians have a goat’s cheese croquette on offer, served with pickled baby beets and rooibos gel. Those wanting to try more local flavours will enjoy the confit guinea fowl with estate shiraz bouillon, and there’s a delicious-sounding 62-degree hen’s egg with pork belly and hollandaise for the breakfast-for-dinner fans.

Moving onto mains, a dish of tender and beautifully prepared 18-hour sous-vide lamb with toasted barley and pickled butternut will prove popular for comfort eaters, while the farmed cob is lighter and subtly fragrant with coconut laksa, smoked crab butter, and baby vegetables. The vegetarian ‘fool’s truffles’ of carrot-and-pine-nut purée with cauliflower gratin and baked rosa tomatoes, and 12-hour sous-vide beef cheek with smoked pommes, confit pearl onions and mushrooms round out the offering.

For dessert, the cheese course is as far from crackers and cheddar as possible. Various cheeses are whipped into froth and curled into shavings, served with a crisp of parma ham. Sadly, the promised maple-and-ginger glazed mosbolletjie doughnut is absent on the day of our visit, with no explanation. Another option to end the meal, the hot fondant sphere, is regrettably rather cold on the inside, and arrives with an unexpected crumbed crust, aerated espresso crème, red-velvet cake crumbles, and a clumsy plastic squirter filled with Amarula.

Unlike some other fine dining experiences nearby and closer to the city, a three-course meal at Grande Provence is just that. No special amuse-bouches or palate cleansers between courses, or petit fours to end. So it does seem quite expensive at the price.

Drinks
The drinks list is impressively arranged, with an index to help you find what you’re looking for. All the reds and whites are from the estate, with a sprinkling of real champagnes, but this is no hardship. The Grande Provence chardonnay is particularly delicious, although pricey at R75 a glass. Each dish on the menu has a suggested wine for pairing, which is very helpful whether you’re having one glass or many.

Service
Staff are extremely sweet, but could be better trained and informed about what’s on the plate. The manager is present, but does not stop at all tables to check in.

Ambience
The dining room is elegant, light and comfortable, with a crackling fireplace and banquette seating down one side. White ostrich leather and lime green touches make it feel fresh and modern. Glass doors open out onto the outside seating area, which is first prize on warm days.

And…
Dedicate an hour to walking off your lunch in the beautiful gardens or the gallery, eyeing the good selection of modern South African art.

(July 2016)

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Hetta van Deventer Terblanche

    Food
    Darren Badenhorst is a talented young chef who creates modern fine-dining food and draws inspiration from many other world cuisines. His food is beautifully presented, without sacrificing taste. He has an harmonious approach to playing with different textures and flavours on the plate, knowing exactly when to stop. Lunch and dinner offer a three course menu option, but for dinner little surprise tastings are offered in-between courses. The menu follows the seasons, but you may experience delectable dishes such as ocean risotto with barrel-smoked langoustine, white mussels, seaweed brittle, turmeric confit patagonica and crab. Salt-cured duck dim sum in a ginger flavoured umami-rich broth is just the thing to warm up a winters’ evening. The menu offers a variety of meats, game and vegetarian dishes. Dessert is a highlight – you may find honey bavarois or spheres of chocolate mousse. If there is a comment to be made on this almost faultless menu offering, it is a request for more emphasis on local products, sensitivity towards Sassi green listed fish and less imported ingredients.

    Drinks
    Wine recommendations accompany all dishes. The wine list draws exclusively from the Grande Province portfolio, at a 100% mark-up on the cellar door price.

    Service
    Service is attentive, warm and friendly. Staff members are knowledgeable about the menu and wine.

    Ambience
    The outside area, shaded with trees and decorated with exquisite art and water features, is beautiful and perfect for lunch or a sultry evening. The restaurant features a modern style, with comfortable high back chairs, dark smoky hues of grey and blue contrasted by crisp white. It is an elegant space, a mixture of modern chic blended with industrial touches.

    And..
    Get family and friends together and book a traditional French-inspired rustic picnic lunch during the summer months (Nov-Apr) to soak up the exquisite beauty of Grande Provence and the Franschhoek Valley.

  • Hetta van Deventer Terblanche

    Food
    Darren Badenhorst is a talented young chef who creates modern fine-dining food drawing inspiration from many other cuisines. His food is beautifully presented without sacrificing taste, and his harmonious approach to texture and flavour means he knows exactly when to stop.

    Lunch and dinner offer a three-course menu option, and for dinner little surprise tastings are served between courses. The menu follows the seasons, but you can expect delectable dishes such as ocean risotto with barrel-smoked langoustine, white mussels, seaweed brittle, turmeric confit patagonica and crab. Salt-cured duck dim sum in a ginger-flavoured umami-rich broth is just the thing to warm up a winter’s evening. The menu offers a variety of meat, game and vegetarian dishes.
    Dessert is a highlight: you may find honey bavarois or spheres of chocolate mousse on the menu. If there is a comment to be made on this almost faultless menu offering, it is a request for more emphasis on local products, sensitivity towards Sassi green-listed fish and fewer imported ingredients.

    Drinks
    Wine recommendations accompany all dishes. The wine list draws exclusively from the Grande Provence portfolio, at a 100% mark-up on the cellar door price.

    Service
    Service is attentive, warm and friendly. Staff members are knowledgeable about the menu and wine.

    Ambience
    The beautiful outside area, shaded with trees and decorated with exquisite art and water features, is perfect for lunch or a sultry evening meal. The restaurant features a modern style, with comfortable high-back chairs, and dark, smoky hues of grey and blue contrasted by crisp white. It is an elegant space, a mixture of modern chic blended with industrial touches.

    And…
    Get family and friends together and book a traditional French-inspired rustic picnic lunch during the summer months (from November to April) to soak up the exquisite beauty of Grande Provence and the Franschhoek Valley.

    (June 2015)

  • Eat Out

    Food 
    Headed by chef Darren Badenhorst, Grande Provence serves modern food bursting with flavours and textures, and prettily plated to boot. For dinner, the tasting menu comes with all the trimmings: an amuse bouche, palate cleanser and pre-dessert. The menu changes according to the seasons, but you may experience delights such as pulled Karoo lamb fashioned into a crispy croquette and served with smoked tomato and charred harissa. On the dessert side of things, the 'Galaxy of Textures' will have any chocolate lover weak at the knees: dig into espresso mousse served with macadamia nuts, morello cherries and some sparkly gold and silver leaf sprinkles.

    Drinks 
    The wine list and pairing suggestions on the tasting menu are dominated by estate wines. This is is no hardship, as anyone who knows the farm’s fine wines will tell you.

    Service 
    The attitude is friendly and unassuming, although it could do with a bit of attention to detail.

    Ambience 
    Deep blue-grey colours and snazzy white leather high-backed chairs make for a stylish, industrial space. The outside area beneath the enormous acorn tree, among the impressive statues and a bubbly fountain, makes for a relaxed dining experience.

    And...
    There’s lots to do here. Start your visit with a wine tasting at the smart tasting room, and don’t forget to have a look around the edgy art gallery.

    (August 2014)

  • Food
    New young chef Darren Badenhorst is adding his own stamp to the excellent cuisine one expects from this venue. Starters include fabulous Cajun-spiced soft shell crab with red pepper aioli; rich tom yum goong risotto with shellfish cream; and a teriyaki duck and wild mushroom broth served with a smoky prawn wonton – all of which are great. Mains include braised pork belly with apricot and apple crumble; bone marrow chicken ballotine with pommes duchesse; and roast quail with truffled gnocchi. Everything is most imaginatively presented; almost too good-looking to eat.

    Wine
    The award winning wines of the estate are the focal point.

    Service
    Professional and friendly. It’s great having staff who know how the food is prepared.

    Ambience
    The restaurant is delightfully modern, with long skinny windows looking out onto the vineyards and French doors opening into the courtyard. The atmosphere is one of elegant simplicity on which plenty of money has been spent. The room is light and airy, making for an atmosphere of total relaxation, in an area where they specialise in that sort of thing. When the weather is great, outdoors is the place to be, right next to the little pond.

    And...
    Do a tasting before your meal and take some wine home. (GL, October 2012)

User reviews

  • My wife took me here for a nice birthday dinner on Friday and we had a great time. Excellent food and service and the ambience is great with the nice fireplace. Oh and they make a brilliant Shiraz.

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  • Very nice place with most incredible food. Wines were good too.

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  • We got there for late lunch, still being able to order at 15,00. Sat outside and it has cleared up on the end, which certainly enhanced our experience. I opted for two starters - risotto with shrimp and quail with various curried additions. Both were excellent, though I would prefer if they simply leave salt on the table so I can add that to taste. My partner's kingklip with nice additions (like spicy fish ravioli) was just brilliant. Only the service was somehow aloof and I waited for my wine glass forever. Otherwise 100% perfection.

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  • Absolutely fabulous. The food was fantastic with Darren creating a one-off starter dish for my husband; service and ambience superb. Did not get to see wine list as we were guests but what was chosen was great. Will be back.

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  • The Restaurant at Grande Provence undoubtedly serves the best food we have had in South Africa ever. Must have been there at least 10 times in the past year, and have always had superb food. Expensive, but worth every single cent. Very highly recommended

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Specials

Picnic for two at Grande Provence

Traditional French-inspired rustic picnic for two: ZAR 275.00 per person sharing. Single basket applicable R325 per person
(only available from 01 March 2016 – 30 April 2016 and 01 November 2016 – 30 April 2017, weather dependent).

Father's Day at Grande Provence

Tuck into a special menu with starter options like butter-poached barbecue lobster or confit guinea fowl; mains of sous-vide Karoo lamb neck or cauliflower gratin with rosa tomatoes; and a dessert of chocolate-and-hazelnut pot de crème. The cost of the lunch is R395 per person and includes a gift of buchu whisky liqueur and a wine-tasting voucher for two. Booking is essential.

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Accommodation
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Fireplace
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Wheelchair

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