Opening and operating a restaurant in Franschhoek is not easy, but chef Herman Steyn at Beleef makes it look exactly that.
The restaurant is like a modern farmhouse without the kitch, and a menu that has heart and soul but with finesse.
At Beleef it’s back to basics, but with a real forward-looking approach to food.
It all starts with the bread, and then as a starter, I chose the liver parfait, citrus and quince, which was a real taste of home cooking in a fine-dining setting.
And that’s what Chef Steyn has perfected: his food is rooted in the rich culinary history of South Africa without tasting dated.
Portions are generous and flavours familiar.
For the dish of the day (Ou Kaapse Kos), you might be served a Cape Malay-style curry or something equally tasty and filling.
I opted for the beef, potato, marrow and carrot, a test of sorts. I wanted to see if the chef could deliver that Sunday roast on a plate but still keep it delicate and appropriate for the setting - and he over-delivered.
To continue satisfying my curiosity I ordered the peppermint crisp tart for dessert, because it was the closest thing to trifle I could find.
I never get my hopes up when I spot a dish that is deconstructed, because instinctively I think it’s unnecessary. I was ready to be disappointed - but I wasn’t. You almost have to rein yourself in when sitting down for a meal at Beleef because you want to stop gushing about the flavours.
Chef Steyn deserves all the compliments, and the best one would be for locals to arrive at the doorstep of Beleef with overseas visitors who want a taste of South African cuisine, and the best we have to offer.
Call 010 110 8325, visit www.beleefrestaurant.co.za to make a booking!