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As part of the La Colombe group, it comes as no surprise that the food at little sister La Petite Colombe is of the same exceptional standard. There’s a choice between a grand chef’s experience menu and a smaller, spring-inspired one. Regardless of which you opt for, you’re bound to be blown away. The experience starts before you’ve even been shown to your table, with a stop at the bar for a sake-based cocktail with a zingy kalamansi foam, developed following head chef John Norris-Rogers’ recent trip to Japan.
Once at the table, the snacks arrive in an elaborate mobile garden and feature a spiced coconut chawanmushi with miso-glazed chicken; smoked snoek pâté served in a crisp wafer with a curried labneh topping; and a porcini parfait with a hazelnut centre, encased in a sherry gel and served lollipop-style. Then on to the bread course – a home-baked oat-and-honey sourdough loaf accompanied with an irresistible miso corn butter, sweetly moulded to resemble a piece of baby corn.
The tuna that arrives next is undoubtedly the dish of the day: seared tuna, crumbed avocado and a punchy apricot chutney all generously drizzled with a herbaceous coriander dressing. The lamb rump main course is introduced by a small Japanese-style grill placed on the table quietly smoking an impossibly sticky lamb rib. The rest of the dish arrives comprising a perfectly pink rump topped with a green crumb, as well as butternut puree, baby veggies, bright salsa verde and olive tapenade, all brought together by a rich, glossy lamb jus.
Dessert is a joyous celebration of tropical fruit, with chocolate and coconut tart, nestled alongside a pineapple parfait; passionfruit ice cream and curd; and shards of lime meringue. Lastly, when you’re nearing capacity, the petit fours are presented and include a tobacco-and-caramel chocolate cigar, whiskey-infused toasted marshmallows and a tiny, perfect
coffee macaron. Though it sounds gargantuan, you end this feast feeling relatively light and fresh – a nod to Norris-Rogers’ clever use of flavours and textures.
There’s a lengthy wine list that comprises a mix of local and international names, with a pleasant focus on wines from the surrounding Franschhoek area and beyond. You can opt to have a paired wine tasting with your meal, or choose by the bottle or carafe.
Impeccable, attentive, warm and knowledgeable – the service here is the standard to which all front-of-house teams should aspire.
Set in a glass-windowed dining room, you’re surrounded by natural light and peeks of the Franschhoek mountains.
A celebratory blowout meal.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.