lunch at la petite colombe in Franschhoek

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Last week Friday I had the pleasure of experiencing the winter special menu at La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek. The food was exquisite. The attention to detail on every dish was inspiring. This was hands down my favourite fine dining experience in the country so far. Every single course was a celebration of its ingredients and it was evident that a lot of love and care went into each element. The winter menu is exceptionally good value for money and runs until 31 August so if you haven’t been I suggest you get yourself there with a touch of speed.

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

We were also fortunate enough to be treated to the wine pairing along with the winter menu. Andrew, the sommelier, was outstanding and the wine choices were flawless. They complimented each dish beautifully, some were old favourites while others I had never experienced before. The Saxenberg ‘Limited Release’ Sauvignon Blanc Sémillon 2011 (Stellenbosch) was a particularly delightful white blend that I am still dreaming about today.

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

It is almost impossible to pick my favourite dish. The tortellini of prawn, quail, curried hake velouté, cauliflower and coriander was as good as it gets. The textures and flavours sang together. The tiny little angel hair like wisps of fried sweet potato were a revelation. They were so good we asked one of the chefs how to make them!

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Another highlight for me was the “meet the chefs” which is a R70 supplement and you get to head to the kitchen (glass of wine in hand of course) and enjoy a surprise course right next to the pass. Ours was a play on eggs & soldiers. The soldier was toasted brioche with a foie gras filling. Let’s just say I could have eaten one hundred of those fine morsels. It was sublime!

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Another major ‘ooooh’ moment was after dessert when we received our La Petite Colombe Treasures. That little nugget of gold was something else. It was full of creamy chocolate ganache, nuts and popping candy! We were all utterly charmed and it left you with a feeling of delight and playfulness. 

Here’s a look at the utter perfection we were lucky enough to experience:

Caraway sourdough, home churned butter, sesame and roasted yeast

Môreson Solitaire Blanc de Blancs (Franschhoek)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Poached oyster, pernod, grapefruit, verjuice, dill, apple, celery

Colmant Brut Chardonnay 2006-2013 (Franschhoek)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

or

Yellowfin tuna, aubergine, miso, kalamansi, avocado

Mullineux ‘Old vines’ 2016 (Swartland)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Tortellini of prawn, quail, curried hake velouté, cauliflower, coriander

Saxenberg ‘Limited Release’ 2011 (Stellenbosch)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

“Meet the chefs”

Eggs & Soldiers

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Palate Cleanser

Blood orange sorbet

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

 

Linefish, soubise, smoked mussel, squid, endive, chorizo, creamed leeks

Rickety Bridge ‘Paulina’s Reserve’ Semillion 2015 (Franschhoek)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

or

Seared duck breast, turnip, Jerusalem artichoke, rhubarb & lavender

Haut Espoir Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Franschhoek)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Foxenberg goat’s cheese, goats milk caramel, kouign amann, guava, tamarind

Vonderling ‘Sweet Carolyn’ 2007 (Voor-Paardeberg)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

or

Valrhona Itakuja crémeux, pineapple, mango, macadamia, passionfruit, lemongrass

Thelema ‘Late Harvest’ Semillon 2014 (Stellenbosch)

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

La Petite Colombe Treasures

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

It was an absolute delight eating chef, John Norris Rogers‘s carefully constructed menu. It’s not often that I leave a restaurant and immediately start thinking of when I can go back! Take advantage of this amazing winter special menu and allow your taste buds to be treated to some of the finest food in the land. The service is flawless, the setting is beautiful and it really is an all round wonderful experience.

Winter Menu:

R395 / with wine pairing R795
There is also an entire vegetarian menu so veggies there is a whole lot of deliciousness for you too.

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

La Petite Colombe | The Secret Life of Bee

Thank you to the La Petite Colombe team!

 

 

chefs warehouse at beau constantia

Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia | The Secret Life of Bee

Some meals are just special. Everything works in harmony. From the flavours and textures on the plate to the perfectly chilled wine in your ice bucket and expertly executed service. This was one of those meals.

Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia | The Secret Life of Bee

Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia is a sensory treat. Set in one of the most beautiful locations over looking the Constantia wine valley surrounded by vineyards, forest and wild proteas. The setting matches the food which is almost too pretty to eat. The attention to details is astounding. Each flourish adds flavour and texture and nothing is placed on the plate without careful consideration. The oysters were a major highlight for me. Just wow. What a way to start the meal. Adorned with flavours from the garden and a paprika oil drizzled over them. They were spectacular.

Here are some of the highlights from this utterly sensational meal:

Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia | The Secret Life of Bee

Middle Eastern Beef Tataki, Buttermilk Dressing, Persian Dressed Cucumbers and Char Grilled Brick Pastry

Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia | The Secret Life of Bee

Tomatoes on Toast, Confit and Pickled Tomatoes, Curds and Herbs

Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia | The Secret Life of Bee

Linefish Escabeche, Pickles and Lime Labne

Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia | The Secret Life of Bee

Saffron Risotto with Cajun Spiced Brisket, Sour Cream and Fried Onions

Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia | The Secret Life of Bee

Char Grilled Blesbok, Pickles, Burnt Butter and Beetroot Sauce

Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia | The Secret Life of Bee

Wild Honey and Lavender Crème, Honeycomb and Smoked Cassia Bark Ice Cream

Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia | The Secret Life of Bee

Lemon Posset with Berry Coulis

Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia | The Secret Life of Bee

The service is seamless. Just the right amount of attention without becoming overbearing.  The courses are perfectly timed and plentiful. It really is exceptionally good value for money and you will not leave hungry. They also have a sublime cheese platter but by the end of lunch we had lost count of the amount of courses we’d had and needed to roll ourselves home. I cannot wait to return for another spectacular meal.

Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia | The Secret Life of Bee

Make it your next restaurant mission to dine at Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia.

Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia | The Secret Life of Bee

the table at de meye – this is how to lunch

The Table at De Meye | The Secret Life of Bee

I spent a gloriously long and utterly delicious afternoon at The Table at De Meye in Stellenbosch. This is one of my favourite restaurants around town and it’s an utter crime that I do not frequent it more often. The food is down to earth with a farm to table focus, highlighting local farmers and producers.

The Table at De Meye | The Secret Life of Bee

Run by husband and wife team Luke and Jessica, The Table has the feel of being in your friend’s back yard. You are lovingly served a generous family meal on platters to share around the table. Luke explains the origin of each tasty morsel from the tomatoes that have ripened in the sun in their own garden to the life altering crusty sourdough baked by Fritz Schoon. Everything that passes your lips is ethically sourced from the very best producers. From the free-range happy chickens to the giant courgettes they’ve just pulled out of the garden.

This was our three course menu of the day:

Starter: Tomato tarte tatin with goats cheese ricotta & baby leaf salad

The Table at De Meye | The Secret Life of Bee

Fritz’s sourdough bread from Schoon De Companje with natural farm butter

The Table at De Meye | The Secret Life of Bee

Main course: Free-range roast chicken with tarragon, verjus and cream served with super crispy golden potatoes and a cabbage, bean and grape salad. Bliss.

Schoon De Companje

The Table at De Meye | The Secret Life of Bee

And finally dessert… what a masterpiece! Yoghurt panna cotta with pistachios, roasted baby figs and fig sorbet.

The Table at De Meye | The Secret Life of Bee

It was truly one of the most exceptional desserts I have ever eaten. It was one of those, ‘angels begin singing in perfectly pitched voices’ kind of moments.

The Table at De Meye | The Secret Life of Bee

All that went down swimmingly well with a few bottles of the De Meye unwooded Chardonnay. Now the very best part about this restaurant is that after you have sufficiently indulged in all the scrumptious food there are blankets on the lawn for that much needed afternoon nap. The husband was snoring away while mum and I polished off the rest of the vino.

The Table at De Meye | The Secret Life of Bee

The Table at De Meye | The Secret Life of Bee

So pop into your car one of these weekends and take a drive out to the Winelands and experience the delight that is The Table. It’s open for lunch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12:30. The abundant three course menu is R325pp. Make sure to book well in advance.

The Table at De Meye | The Secret Life of Bee

 

For the love of Cape Town

Just in case you are wondering why I live where I do.

Quite simply, here’s why…

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Not a bad way to start the day. Cucumber ribbons were at the ready!

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And then what beach day is complete without the ultimate picnic?

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Happiness.

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Lunch at The Kitchen at Maison in Franschhoek

Maison Estate is truly a treat for the eyes.

I could definitely make a couple of these with the amount of wine I polish off
I could definitely make a couple of these with the amount of wine I polish off

 

It is just so much of everything I love. From the location and design to the interior and the food. Everything hits the spot. And that’s all before you’ve even tasted the wine! My personal favourites are the Shiraz and the Chenin Blanc. Today we went with the Shiraz as it was a tad chilly and we were all set on some meaty main courses.

These birds know what's up. Living the life.
These birds know what’s up. Living the life.

 

Homemade bread, butternut & cabbage
Homemade bread, butternut & cabbage

 

The butternut was creamy and luxurious and I am such a fun of an unusual accompaniment with table bread.

Lamb & gooseberries
Lamb & gooseberries

 

Pork (not the prettiest dish but packed with flavour)
Not the prettiest Pork dish to snap but full of flavour and excellent texture

 

Handcut chips with homemade tomato sauce & mayonnaise
Hand cut chips with homemade tomato sauce & mayonnaise

 

Chocolate cake & salted caramel with granadilla sorbet & gooseberries
Fudgy chocolate brownie like cake & salted caramel with gooseberry sorbet

 

Lunch at Foliage Restaurant in Franschhoek

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Charcoal roasted beetroot, turnip & fennel salad with 17 year old vinegar dressing

A few weeks ago we trekked out to Franschhoek to check out Chris Erasmus’ new place, Foliage Restaurant. It was a wonderful lunch with great food and shared with great friends. Here is a taste of what you can expect if you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods.

A real treat for the eyes and the palate. This beautifully textured beet salad was the perfect way to start the meal accompanied by a glass of bubbles. The salad was dressed with a 17 year old vinegar dressing and had flavour bursts of apple and parsley purée.

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Wild boar, pea & Parmesan croquettes

The husband never surprises me with his menu choice when we go out. If there is pork- it’s always pork, pork or more pork. It’s his favourite meat and he claims it gets a pretty bad rap here in SA. I must say I think babe is making a comeback. People are realising what a healthy clean meat it is and it does not always have to be the fatty belly that gets all the glory. We swapped out beef for pork fillet and made delicious individual wellingtons for a dinner party a few weeks ago. Anyhoo- back to THIS pork. It was like butter. Tender from top to bottom with a sensational crunch from the crackling. The pomme purée and everything in fact throughout our whole meal was seasoned ever so perfectly.

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Fenugreek roasted free-range pork belly with dandelion pomme purée & pan juices

 

Now this here cauliflower was a sneaky little number that came out of nowhere.

I would gladly become a veggie (which is saying a lot) if I could eat vegetarian food this good every day. It had a caramelised outer crust that gave way to a super creamy and luxurious interior. The Parmesan cream was swished away with eager fingers until the plate was spotlessly clean. Truly a vegetarian triumph in the kitchen. I find vegetarian food often an after thought for a lot of chefs. Not for Chris. This was carefully planned and calculated and so much love went into this dish. It is an absolute winner and was hands down my favourite main course of the day.

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Pan-fried cauliflower, Parmesan cream, beets & cashew nuts

Lastly but certainly not least was one for the meat lovers. The braised kudu shank boudin (sausage) was served alongside grilled springbok and a glorious hunk of roasted bone marrow. Yet again we acted as excellent dish washers and made sure the plate went back to the kitchen looking like it had never been used except for the very empty marrow bone.

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Braised kudu shank boudin, grilled springbok, roasted bone marrow, river cress, mushroom & oyster, honeybush jus

Next time, which I hope is very soon, I will make sure I run around the block a few times in between courses so that I can make some space for dessert! They sounded beyond delicious and I was unfortunately too full of wine and delicious savoury notes to venture into the sweet section. At least it is something to really look forward to!

For bookings and more information about Foliage Restaurant and its Head Chef Chris Erasmus check out their website.

Babka

If you’re in the V&A Waterfront and your sweet tooth needs attention, look no further than the Babka from Cooked in The Watershed.

Babka
Babka

It was so good that i’m going to make it my mission to perfect one myself. Will experiment in the kitchen asap! Will then have to invite people over immediately so I don’t eat the whole thing myself!