Baba au rum with pear, vanilla ganache and caramelized hazelnuts.
Pictures: Megan Baadjies
Baba au rum with pear, vanilla ganache and caramelized hazelnuts. Pictures: Megan Baadjies
Springbok Shank
Springbok Shank
Bobotie Bitterballen
Bobotie Bitterballen
Set on the slopes of the Franschhoek mountains, La Petite Ferme
has been around for more than three decades.

During a short stay in the town last week, I was told by many of the locals that the restaurant boasts incredible views of the wine valley and a spectacular sunset.

Unfortunately I missed out on all that because my reservation was well after sunset, so I was counting on the food to make up for what I missed.

Our waiter was vague when he talked us through the menu. But he did point out the signature dishes - the pumpkin-crusted Franschhoek trout and the braised springbok shank.

I heard another waiter more convincingly recommend the same dishes to a couple behind me. Thankfully the chef came by for a quick chat and with his help we were ready to place our orders.

As a starter my partner had the cured Franschhoek trout tartare with buttermilk and horseradish curd, pickled red onions and trout croquette. I liked the fresh trout and particularly loved the pickled onions but it’s not the kind of dish I would go for.

Springbok Shank

I prefer something warm and homely with a fancy twist and that is exactly what the bobotie bitterballen is - slow-roasted Cape Malay spiced beef brisket, apricot royal, raisin gel and puffed rice.

This was my favourite. The beef brisket is deep fried and rolled into balls. The meatiness on the inside works well with the crispy texture outside.

Unless you’re vegetarian, the options for the mains are limited.

Neither of us are and we didn’t want another fish dish so we were left with only two options to choose from: braised springbok shank for him and slow-roasted lamb for me.

The shank, which comes with deep-fried pomma anna, beetroot and bacon hash and plum and five spice jus reminded me of a Sunday lunch.

The meat fell off the bone, as a good shank should and the sauce worked well with the tender meat.

Lamb is a La Petite Ferme classic with aubergine, garlic mashed potatoes, mint yoghurt, macerated prunes and lamb jus.

Bobotie Bitterballen

The restaurant has used the same recipe for 30 years, making few changes with the season.

For dessert, the baba au rum with pear, vanilla-whipped ganache, caramelised hazelnuts and rum syrup is the perfect dessert to beat the chill.

To complement the autumn menu there is a wide selection of wine from the La Petite Ferme cellar.

For bookings and enquiries, call 021 876 3016.