Claim it now to manage your contact information, photos and menus whenever you like.
Dining at Chris Erasmus’s Franschhoek restaurant is like feasting in a forest – albeit in a cabin with a fireplace. Along with his bearded team, the chef is helping to translating Franschhoek’s natural environs into a cuisine of its own.
This is the home of a creative and resourceful chef, who’s not afraid to take chances. While some of Chris’s gambles will inevitably divide the room, others are certain triumphs.
To start, the warm barbecued pumpkin dish with a careful stack of sprouts and spring onions, which somehow all comes together, takes one into the mountains and farms of the valley. It’s one of several great vegan dishes on the menu.
The Franschhoek trout tartar also features sprouts, which unfortunately slightly overpower the delicate flavour of the fish.
For mains, a guinea fowl, duck and chicken ballotine feels like a haute version of the flavours of a country chicken pie. The creamy chicken liver parfait served with it is the winner, though.
The barbecue whey-braised brisket is beautifully cooked, if slightly too salty, but the highlight of the dish comes with is a magnificent, melt-in-the-mouth forest mushroom ragout.
Don’t miss the caramelia delice on the pudding menu – if it’s available. Beneath a layer of dark chocolate lies a glorious peanut butter mousse, and a pale green, subtly flavoured cannabis leaf marshmallow. There’s also tooth-achingly sweet (but great) honeycomb.
The icy blueberry and poplar boletus nougatine is a more subtle sweet option – the plate is dusted with a buchu and honeybush sherbet that will delight fans of sour sweets.
There are missteps – the bread is unfortunately leaden, the salty brisket, and the menu, while hyper-seasonal, does seem to have a large range of cold dishes, even on a chilly winter’s night. But when Chris’s experiments do pay off, they’re thoroughly worth it.
Kick off with a glass of house kombucha, to aid digestion. Then, surrender to the carefully selected wine pairings of the chef’s menu. There’s also a great list of good quality wines available by the glass.
This is a restaurant run by people who seem to be having a blast. The bearded chefs in the open kitchen might be jiving to Journey, and relaxed, confident servers ensure the guests have an equally good time.
While the food might be fine dining, the ambience is more of a cosy bistro. Red walls, exposed brickwork and a roaring fireplace make for a warm, welcoming space.
The food equivalent of a walk in the woods.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.