The Restaurant at Grande Provence in Franschhoek is turning up the heat this winter with a hot new menu. Using fresh, locally produced ingredients Executive Chef Darren Badenhorst embraces a variety of cuisine styles and cooking methods from around the work to show off his culinary creativity.
Situated in the opulent Franschhoek Valley, the Jonkershuis dining area is the perfect setting for lunch or dinner.
Badenhorst says he tries to make use of everything on the estate in every way shape or form- from olives to wild herbs. His new menu is all about being luxurious while still being accessible.
“I would like my guests to feel challenged by my methods and ingredients while simultaneously imparting a sense of comfort and familiarity of the home style characteristics and depth of flavour. This is the key to satisfying the wide spectrum of nationalities who visit our restaurant and at the same time staying true to what South Africa as a whole has to offer,” he says.
We tried out the three course à la carte menu that is a visually appealing as it is appetising.
For starters there was a vegetarian dish, a “Monochrome of forest green”.
A woodland of baby courgette, tempura kale, wild herb and whipped tarragon crème, river sprout pesto cups, charred asparagus and pickled mushroom.
While this was not my favourite of the three courses, I enjoyed fresh flavours of charred asparagus and the mushrooms.
Other options on the menu include a six hour cured, 30 second seared and nine minute cold smoked local trout with harissa, yuzu pearls, dill cucumber texture and candied lemon korokke.
There is also a confit terrine with caramelised onion soubise, smoked local pork belly in a a red and black kidney bean cassoulet.
For mains we had the beautifully plated pork crackling encased line fish, barrel smoked pommes, pea sprout salad,cucumber and pickled seaweed terroir and coastal foraged samphire.
Badenhorst also served a slow cooked Karoo lamb neck- which was cooked on the bone for 18 hours- with roast garlic and parsnip purée, minted haloumi, charred baby broccoli shoot and varieties of peas.
The slow cooked lamb was a definite winner for me, I loved how soft and flavourful the meat was.
Dessert was an almond and orange calisson with whipped rose water parfait and white chocolate crunch pearls.
There is also a condensed milk teurgoule-style sago pudding, frozen pistachio crème with shaved coconut and basil.
A perfectly paired Grande Provence wine is recommended for each dish by winemaker Matthew van Heerden.
* The menu is served daily with a three-course lunch option at R450.00 per person and dinner at R725.00 per person with an additional course and other surprises on the night.
An elaborate 6-course gourmand dégustation menu is available by prior arrangement.