Lunch at Monneaux Restaurant

Monneaux | The Secret Life of Bee

Monneaux Restaurant is set in the lush gardens of the Franschhoek Country House & Villas. The tables look out onto the most magnificent surroundings which set the tone for a long lazy lunch. The husband and I were invited to experience the new menu from chef Calvin Metior who was most recently the executive sous chef at La Motte. We arrived on a beautiful sunny afternoon and were greeted with two glasses of ice cold L’Ormarins MCC.

Monneaux | The Secret Life of Bee

Before I set eyes on any food my very first impression of Monneaux came from the restaurant staff. I was blown away at their friendliness and seamless service. Clifford, the restaurant manager, introduced himself to us and offered to pair each one of our courses with a local wine of his choosing. He was confident and charming and I knew we were in very good hands!

Monneaux | The Secret Life of Bee
Photograph by Tasha Seccombe

The menu is divided into four parts. Snacks, small plates, mains and desserts. I love this concept as it lends itself to sharing and therefore being able to try many different things which is of course the biggest win. Kofi and Nerbert looked after us throughout the afternoon and were fabulous with suggesting what we should order and made sure our glasses were never empty.

Monneaux | The Secret Life of Bee
Monneaux | The Secret Life of Bee

We started off with the buttermilk fried chicken wings which were served with homemade mayo and some insanely delicious kimchi. With that we indulged in the chicken liver parfait served with chutney and flawlessly toasted brioche. The texture of the parfait was sublime. Extremely creamy and luxurious. It reminded me of foie gras on toast and there was not a morsel left. The chicken wings were juicy and crunchy and the kimchi was a refreshing bite in between the richness.

Monneaux | The Secret Life of Bee
Monneaux | The Secret Life of Bee

Next up on the small plates section came a beef tartare that totally rocked my world. The beef is aged and it is served with a coal emulsion, fermented garlic stems, burnt onion paste and warm ciabatta. The husband and I actually fought over this dish. It was supremely well balanced and was loaded with texture which I really appreciate in a dish. Calvin’s homemade mustard was a revelation and reason enough for me to keep going back!

With the tartare we had the local caught skipjack with sesame, lime, wasabi and avocado. This dish was light, bright and summer on a plate. And I mean look- it’s utterly gorgeous. I could eat this all summer long with a cold glass of Chenin Blanc in hand. Calvin’s plating is very delicate and incredibly beautiful. Things are meticulously placed but they remain looking natural and enticing.

Monneaux | The Secret Life of Bee
Monneaux | The Secret Life of Bee
Photograph by Tasha Seccombe

On the mains side of life was a perfectly cooked fillet of east coast hake with asparagus, chives and an oyster beurre blanc. I so appreciate when fish is cooked just right. It flaked apart delicately and the beurre blanc was sensational.

The honey glazed free range duck breast was served with turnip, cherry and coriander. The duck was beautifully cooked and ever so tender. Every element of each dish is so well seasoned. Calvin has tremendous respect for all of his ingredients. His focus is on seasonality, responsibly-sourced local produce and self-sustainability. He also loves making pretty much everything from scratch. He makes phenomenal kimchi, hot sauces, miso and mustard. He enjoys smoking all sorts of things in the garden and herbs and veggies have been planted all over the property so that the kitchen can have the freshest supply.

Monneaux | The Secret Life of Bee
Monneaux | The Secret Life of Bee

Dessert was the pièce de résistance. Calvin came out and told us he had just flipped out a spiced apple tarte tatin and it had our names on it. The tarte tatin serves two and comes with a heavenly ginger ice cream. The pastry was ever so crisp and crunched with every bite. The apples were cooked to tender perfection and the caramel was taken far enough that it wasn’t sweet and balanced out the dish perfectly. It was the most sublime end to a fabulous meal.

Monneaux | The Secret Life of Bee
Monneaux | The Secret Life of Bee

We are supremely grateful for the amazing spoil from Monneaux and Franschhoek Country House & Villas. I highly recommend visiting the restaurant as well as staying over at the incredibly luxurious house and villas. The accommodation is world-class and if that’s not enough to convince you there is a giant heated swimming pool with views for days that is just begging for a dip and a poolside glass of bubbles.

For reservations and enquiries, contact Monneaux on
+27 21 876 3386 or click here to book online.

Monneaux | The Secret Life of Bee
Monneaux | The Secret Life of Bee

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