Arkeste by Richard Carstens

1 Review
Fine-dining food
Phone Number 0218768415 Opening Hours Lunch Dinner

Lunch: Wednesday to Sunday 12noon to 2.30pm

Dinner: Wednesday to Saturday 6pm to 8.15pm

Is this your restaurant?

Claim it now to manage your contact information, photos and menus whenever you like.

Please or signup in order for you to claim this venue.


Menu - Arkeste A-la-Carte Menu - Updated in September 2023


R240 avg main meal
Fine-dining food
R150 per bottle
R240 avg main meal
Business meetings, Coffee, Family friendly, Special occasions, Views
Amex, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
Child friendly, Dinner, Food, Licensed, Lunch, Serves food, Takeaways, Wheelchair, WiFi

Critic's review

Set on Franschhoek’s Chamonix Wine Farm estate, Arkeste is a culmination of chef Richard Carstens’ 30-year career. His decades of experience translate to a fundamental understanding of seasoning, flavour, balance, seasonality and sustainability – and a dining experience that’s impeccably executed, and free of artifice. The ever-changing a la carte menu is concise and clever, offering diners an escape clause from the commitment required by a tasting menu. Choose an exceptional quick lunch or a long dinner that is just as good. Through Richard’s unique viewfinder, the everyday becomes the exquisite. An unassuming-looking white pepper squid starter turns out to be a sensation: a bowl of creamy risotto topped with golden, crispy nuggets of squid – clean and pure in flavour – served with a creamy, frothy sauce balanced with soft notes of citrus and ginger, and the crisp texture of fried parsnips bringing it all together. A main course of waterblommetjie bredie manages to encapsulate the concept of seasonal dining and distil the Cape cookery dish to its essence: a deep, dark pool of bredie-tasting jus upon which rests a melt-in-the-mouth lamb tail, glazed to perfection, with a single steamed waterblommetjie – only in season for about one month. Another triumph is the roast confit duck with sunflower seeds, umeboshi, greens and sauce Cantonese – the duck breast soft, pink and beautifully rendered; the fatty duck tail golden and crispy; and the sauce Cantonese starring the restaurant’s house-made umeboshi, balancing it all out.
Ending things on a magical note, a dessert of caramelised apple sorbet, puff pastry, apple and brandy mousse seems deceptively simple, yet reveals layers of complexity and unbelievable balance. The brandy mousse is light but substantial, its brandy flavour not overwhelming the sweetness of the tart, caramelised apple. The tartness of the apple doesn’t obscure the flavour of the caramelised apple ice cream, and the puff pastry is just enough to offer a contrasting dry texture to the palate.

Compiled in collaboration with sommelier Germain Lehodey, the wine list is a well-balanced curation of local wines, including those from Chamonix, and offers price points for all budgets. Although the a la carte menu doesn’t offer wine pairings, a sommelier is on hand to advise and recommend wines. There’s also a selection of local beers, whiskies and spirits on offer.

The service is casual but caring. Richard serves many of the courses himself, ensuring guests know what they are eating. The level of service here is what you want: a waitron who does what needs to be done but isn’t all over you.

Arkeste is set in a wooden cottage shrouded by trees, with a tranquil stream that runs underneath it. The interior is newly renovated, with Scandinavian and Japanese influences, creating a clean and modern, yet warm and inviting ambience – a perfect match for the food. It is design that complements the food – as all restaurant décor should aspire to be.

There was a problem with your submission. Errors have been highlighted below.
  • How would you rate Arkeste by Richard Carstens?
    This field is required.
  • This field is required.

Promoted Restaurants