La Petite Ferme – Spring Menu

Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to taste the new Spring menu at La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek.  The venue consists of a luxury boutique hotel as well as the restaurant which I’d heard of before and had always wanted to go to!

The restaurant offers a truly unique culinary experience.  Each dish is meticulously prepared using international techniques and flavours while making sure to use only the best, freshly sourced ingredients grown locally in the valley of Franschhoek.  This ensures that the menu is perfectly in season.  Presentation and flavour take top priority and you can rest assured that each dish not only delivers a flavour sensation like no other but is also picture perfect.  Definitely Instagram worthy 😉

I was able to bring along a plus one which was a win as we both ordered different dishes and then shared so I was able to have a taste of more of the menu.  There are still so many dishes that looked absolutely incredible that I definitely want to go back and try!

We started off with the Ostrich Carpaccio and the Saffron smoked lime and chilli prawn.  Both were delicious but my favourite would have to be the prawns.  They had such an incredible depth of flavour and were paired beautifully with spring onion and jeera egg fried rice; pickled ginger; char grilled red pepper and tomato gel and a basil pesto soil.  The Ostrich Carpaccio came with fresh apple, candy-striped beetroot, kohlrabi salad, smoked artichoke cream and wholegrain mustard.  I absolutely loved the smoked artichoke cream and wish there had been a little more of it as it really brought some necessary flavour into the dish.

For mains we had the Ginger & Chilli Pork Belly and the Duo of Line Fish.  The absolute standout was the pork belly which was my favourite dish of the day by a long way!  This dish is definitely one of the best I’ve ever tasted and left me very sad that I had to share half of it!  Accompanied by a sweet, tangy apple cider reduction, a deliciously creamy roast pumpkin puree, hazelnut praline dust and the most glorious clouds of crunchy black salted crackling.  Then to make it extra special the pork belly had a thin layer of apple tart ta tan over the top of it which just married everything together.  I’m salivating just writing this it was that good!!  The duo of line fish was trout and tuna and I must say I was slightly disappointed by it.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still good, but after having the pork belly there was really no comparison.  The line fish came with potato scales (which looked suspiciously like packet bought Lays chips), avocado spuma, smoked tomato dust, black rice, grilled pineapple and a bacon and Gorgonzola sauce which came poured over the tuna.

After we had indulged in the starter and main we went outside to relax on the beautiful lawns, drink wine and let our stomachs digest some of the food before attempting dessert.  We chose to share the Rose and White Chocolate Mousse which came with raspberry jelly, lychee compote, crisp meringue shards and raspberry powder.  This dessert was definitely a win and I could have eaten the whole thing!  The mousse was perfectly light and airy so as to balance out the indulgent sweetness and paired with the crisp, crunchy meringue it was the perfect pairing of textures on the palate.

I can’t wait to try out their Summer menu in December!

A xx

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The Gardens Collectors Club

I was recently invited to go and experience the newly renovated Gardens Collectors Club, previously known as Chalk and Cork, located on Kloof Street in Cape Town.  I had heard great things about Chalk and Cork for a while and had been meaning to go and try it out when one of their incredible chefs contacted me and asked if I would like to come and review their menu!  I was so excited to discover that they had also just undergone a massive change to not only their menu but had renamed themselves as the new and improved Gardens Collectors Club.

Located in between NY Slice and Tiger’s Milk on Kloof Street, this cute little restaurant boasts stunning minimalist interiors and a new outside patio area with a bar that is sure to be the perfect spot for sun-downers on hazy summer nights.  The staff greeted us enthusiastically and we were instantly made to feel at home.  The service was truly impeccable, and I was impressed with our waiter’s intimate knowledge of the menu as he gave us informed recommendations of what items were sure to tickle our taste buds.  I took my best friend Gaby with as my plus one and they were completely accommodating to her diet as she is gluten intolerant.

I ordered their absolutely mouth-watering deep fried chicken wings (not so gluten friendly) and Gaby ordered a gluten free based pizza.  The chicken wings came with pickled cucumber and a yogurt herb dip that provided the perfect respite to the spicy tang of the wings.  Gaby ordered the Salsiccia Pizza with the cauliflower base.  With a topping of bacon, spicy Italian sausage, buffalo mozzarella, basil and tomato it truly satisfied the taste buds.

The wine was exquisite and to top it all off they provided us with complimentary desserts, the Bloedlemoen gin and grapefruit sorbet cone for Gaby and a chocolate brownie sundae for myself.  I’m very particular with my brownies, I love them still gooey and fudgy in the middle so I was a bit nervous that I would be disappointed my worry was for nothing as I was blown away by an absolute flavor sensation!

I would highly recommend that you pay them a visit if you’re ever in the beautiful city of Cape Town.

A xx

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Burger & Lobster

I’ve walked past this spot many times when walking along Bree street in Cape Town, and for some reason, even with people flowing out onto the sidewalk its been so full and the sound of laughter and conversation trickling out from inside, I never thought about venturing in and seeing what all the fuss was about.

Then it happened.  I was meeting a friend for drinks and we had no idea where to go.  After some research on her part she suggested that we go and enjoy a 2 for 1 drinks special at Burger & Lobster!  Who passes up a deal like that?  And so, for the first time I stepped into this beautifully grungy, perfectly dimly lit restaurant that had me enchanted and intrigued as soon as I had one foot through the door.  There was a tank of live lobsters back lit by an eerie blue light along one wall, a long bar along the opposite wall and tables placed perfectly all around.  The music set the perfect ambiance, vibey and at a level where you didn’t need to shout to be heard (one of my pet peeves at any restaurant).  So far so good!

I had such a great time there I just had to go back to try out what the place was really all about – burger and lobster.

And so on my return I was filled with excitement as I knew that this experience could only be better than the one I’d had before.  And wow was I blown away.  This restaurant knows how to treat their guests well and from beginning to end we were entertained and waited on by one of their fabulous managers who made us feel like we were the only ones there.  The evening started off with the most delicious cocktail I’ve had to date – perfectly mixed and with just the right amount of sweetness that I didn’t feel as though I’d drank a glass of pure sugar.  All of their cocktails come presented as a work of art, so beautiful you don’t want to take a sip!  But once you do they’re so delicious you just can’t stop.  For mains I decided to try the best of both worlds and ordered their famous Wolf Burger.  I can honestly say that I have never had an experience like it before.  The brioche bun was light, sweet and buttery.  The 100% pure beef patty was cooked to perfection and smothered in truffle infused mayo.  The lobster was soft and tender and drizzled in lemon butter.  And to make it even better there was gooey brie cheese stuffed in there too.  I’m salivating just writing this it was that good.

When I thought I could eat no more, our waiter arrived with a dessert tray that looked so delicious I was agonizing over what to choose.  Luckily I have a separate stomach for pudding! I went with a slice of “cake” consisting of a brownie base followed by a layer of Reese’s peanut butter cup deliciousness followed by a layer of lighter than air chocolate mousse.  Could there be anything better?

The evening continued late into the night with more cocktails, more laughter and more great conversation.  It was a night I definitely won’t forget!

Things to know:

  1. There is a 2 for 1 happy hour EVERY DAY from 4-7pm
  2. The last Thursday of every month is ladies night with bottomless bubbles and a burger/lobster roll for just R349 so ladies get involved!!

If you’re in Cape Town make sure to pay them a visit, I promise you it’ll be worth it.

A xx

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Beau Constantia

So first of all I want to apologise for not posting last week!  I have just recently got a new job and things have been a little crazy.  I’m really going to try post something each week because this blog just makes me happy and I love seeing all your comments and likes!

Beau Constantia is another one of the many wine farms in the Constantia area and lies just up the road from Eagle’s Nest and Constantia Glen.  It’s located at the very top of Constantia Nek in Cape Town overlooking False Bay.  The views from the wine tasting area are completely unobstructed and breath taking.  This wine farm has a slightly more upper class feel to it so it’s a great excuse to dress up a little and flaunt what you’ve got!  I promise you won’t feel overdressed.  Plus there’s the added addition of Chefs Warehouse restaurant downstairs which has been acclaimed as the 4th best restaurant in South Africa.  I haven’t yet had the opportunity to enjoy their mouth watering fine dining experience so that’s definitely on the Bucket List for me!

Their tasting consists of four wines, one white and three reds, however we managed to swap out one of the reds for their delicious rose which I would definitely recommend.  The cheese and charcuterie platter is presented in a gorgeous little wooden box which just shows the effort they put into their presentation.  Now I’m going to talk about something that may be a little surprising but here it goes…

THE TOILETS! I can’t help myself from mentioning them as they are definitely a part of the experience of going to Beau.  Each cubicle has a massive glass window looking out onto the stunning vineyards below.  A loo with a view, who would have thought?!

To top it all off, we got a surprise complimentary taste of their exquisite MCC champagne which made the overall experience quite unforgettable.  These guys are definitely in my top 10 wine farms to go to when visiting Cape Town!

A xx

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Foxcroft

Now this was a fine dining experience.

As the chef puts it:

“At Foxcroft, we aim to cook with the same intensity and thoughtfulness as fine dining but in a more casual and approachable format. As a cook, deliciousness must come first and anything not actively contributing to that must be removed.”

— GLEN FOXCROFT WILLIAMS

That perfectly summarises the experience you get when you treat yourself to an experience at the famed restaurant located in Constantia, Cape Town.  The ambience is casual, welcoming and warm unlike some fine dining restaurants where you feel judged as soon as you enter the room.  Not at Foxcroft.  You can come dressed however you like.  I on the other hand will find any excuse to dress up and when I go to a restaurant that has a four course set menu with complimentary home made bread and roasted garlic, well, the heels come out that’s for sure!

The service is excellent with the waiters constantly being on the lookout for whenever you need a refill.  You choose two tapas starters, one main and one desert from a menu that looks almost too exotic to be edible.  The wine is as excellent as the food and there’s a wide range to choose from, so if you’ve spent your whole budget on the food you can go with wine from a slightly lower level of the range.

This was one of my most memorable dining experiences for sure and I hope to be back soon!

A xx

P.S. please forgive me for the bad quality photos…my camera had to be taken in for repairs but it will be back before my next post so fear not!

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