The home of one of South Africa’s most lauded gastronomical experiences, The Tasting Room forms part of Franschhoek’s Le Quartier Français boutique hotel owned by Susan Huxter. Acclaimed chef Margot Janse has imbued the restaurant with a very distinctive identity, both in terms of food and design.
Thanks to the African surprise menu of five or eight courses, there’s no guessing what’s for dinner – and that’s a good thing. The one guarantee is local-is-lekker ingredients like venison, waterblommetjies, mebos, sour fig, baobab and buchu, transformed into gastronomical delights.
Thanks to designs by Margot’s brother, theatre designer Herbert Janse, the connection between the restaurant interior and the food is thicker than water. On the one hand, Herbert brought it all down to earth, doing away with the tablecloths and other frills to place the emphasis on the food. However, elements such as a funky colour scheme and whimsical elements such as the Parisian candy foil wallpaper in the entrance foyer, a chandelier made from 2 000 balls and the 7km of colourful rope fashioned in the shape of the Franschhoek mountains, are directly inspired by the nature of the food.