La Petite Colombe, Franschhoek, SA
A belated Valentine’s meal at this special restaurant was an amazing food experience. La Petite Colombe sits within the boutique hotel ‘Le Quartier Francais’ within the heart of the beautiful town of Franschhoek, South Africa.
The head waiter Morné warmly welcomed us warmly and showed us to our table. The generous spacing between the tables provided privacy but with a friendly buzz from our fellow diners and the staff. Simba our jovial and lovely waiter for the evening introduced himself and walked us through the tasting menu.
Having demolished the sour dough bread with sesame and roasted yeast butter – the meal kicked off with a plate of fine art of tuna, aubergine, avocado and many more tasty morsels. We later found out that over 40 steps were needed to make each plate and the result was food heaven. Quite simply one of the best courses of food I’ve ever had.
A bowl of Wagyu beef with seared scallops came next. Our waiter poured over the warm bone marrow broth and we were left to savour each mouth-watering bite.
At this point of the meal, we were invited up to the chef’s table for a palate cleanser, a chance to see the kitchen and to meet the chefs. Chef Neil provided an insight into the workings of the kitchen and the incredible task of preparing the world-class food with sous-chef Carine and her team of 30 chefs.
Returned to our seats, the next course was a sumptuous plate of Asian duck break with a Mozambican langoustine which worked wonderfully together.
My Mauritian sea-bass came with a delicately curried haddock sauce, charred cauliflower and a subtle slaw of creamed leaks which all came together superbly.
Rach had opted for lamb and this involved a miniature table top braai to put the final touches on the rib. Served with the rib was sweetbread and tender filets of Karoo lamb steak deliciously brought together with a salsa verde.
From the dessert options, I selected the goat cheese. The plate which was a miniature work of art combining velvety tones from the cheese wrapped in a caramelised layer with complimenting textures such as pickled cherries, brioche and ice cream. Within every bite I discovered something new and lovely.
To finish, a little wooden box of ‘La Petite Colombe Treasures’ – a final taste sensation of chocolate with hints of raspberry on a bed of flaked cocoa.
We both agreed that La Petite Colombe has been one of the finest dining experiences we’ve ever had. Everything worked to perfection from the warm restaurant ambience, the friendliness of the staff to the world-class taste of each and every course. This will be a place to return to.