A friend, who happens to be involved in the hospitality industry, once told me that Cape Town has the best restaurants during winter. Not only are some of the city’s most well-established eateries lowering their prices in the hopes that you’ll swap your comfy duvet for a candle-lit dinner, but they make you an offer you just can’t refuse.
And this is exactly what I thought when our waiter seated us at the detectible Dish at Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa. Recently voted by TripAdvisor readers for its excellence, scoring 4 out of 5, the hotel is no stranger to prestigious awards. So I was curious to find out if Dish was included in its many accolades. Stylish dining combined with chic French flair - this is exactly what Dish is.
Its new Sunday lunch menu has just been introduced by recently appointed Executive Chef Oliver Cattermole. And, according to the press release, the new menu is a “contemporary take on classic, traditional French dishes”.
For starters we had the market vegetable salad with roast walnut emulsion and the woodland mushroom veloute with semi dry tomatoes. Most of the restaurant’s fresh produce comes from the hotel’s very own herb garden. And one can tell from the menu that Cattermole prefers sourcing local produce rather than travelling the far corners of the globe for exotic types that one can’t even pronounce.
The simple yet refreshing salad was a crisp explosion to the senses with the walnut sauce complementing it perfectly, while the soup gained a mixed response. It was subtly-flavoured and delicious on the pallet.
Mains of thyme roasted aged beef with duck fat roasties, glazed carrots and Yorkshire pudding was next on the list - yes it was as deliciously wholesome and yummy as it sounds.
The portions were also generous, something which is sometimes lacking in fine dining establishments. It’s exactly the type of meal you’d expect for a winter sunday lunch and it didn’t disappoint.
To end we had the sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream - pure heaven on a plate and one doesn’t mind not counting calories when faced with a blissful combination of warm and cold.
Overall the ambience of Dish was warm and comfortable. Yes, it’s a five-star hotel, but the unfussed atmosphere makes it a welcoming place where the waiter doesn’t faff over you - to be seen and not heard - is the perfect description. The service was impeccable and top class.
And to top it all off, our view was the best Mother Nature could offer. Seated in the conservatory in the middle of a garden, we got a front-row seat in the company of the majestic Franschhoek Valley.
The current Sunday lunch menu at Dish is seasonal and R195 per head for a three-course meal. Not bad, considering what you get and money well spent.
I’ll be back and next time I’ll come hungry... very hungry.
Le Franschhoek hotel and spa: 021 876 8900 or http://www.lefranschhoek.co.za/
For reservations at Dish and Le Verger restaurants: firstname.lastname@example.org - IOL