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The youngest addition to the Chefs Warehouse stable of restaurants is a baby no more, but has adapted the sharing menu model to its home in Franschhoek, giving the diner a true sense of place. The farm provides most of the raw ingredients – from hens’ eggs to pork charcuterie. Warm bread and freshly churned butter at the beginning of the meal provide a welcome introduction, and there’s a distinct hands-on feel to the food throughout the menu.
The signature dish of beef pastrami with horseradish and a warm pretzel roll is sublime and worth the visit alone. The sharing plates bring seasonal ingredients to the fore. As is traditional of a Tomlin restaurant, there’s an exceptional risotto – rich and packed with flavour, it has you going back for spoonful after spoonful.
The menu maintains a nice rhythm throughout, varying between intense richness and bright lightness that ensures each dish is appreciated as the pace changes. Dessert is an added option, but is certainly not executed as an afterthought. Simple and clean flavours come through, with a balanced offering across the dishes that includes a zesty and creamy posset and a peanut butter and dark chocolate tarte.
The wine list features local Franschhoek wines; but, with a food menu this varied, a sequence of wines by the glass would not go amiss.
The service is attentive and warm, even if you’re outside instead of in the main dining room.
The old farmhouse spreads out onto the lawns, where the shade of old oak trees combines to create everything a Winelands meal should be.
Don’t miss the Cooks Shop on your way out – it’s brimming with cookbooks, tools and gadgets for your kitchen at home. And if you want to linger, stay for a Maison Estate wine tasting or even a flight of unusual whisky tastings.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.