Dine on re-imagined heritage dishes at The Restaurant at Grande Provence
The new tasting menu of this Franschhoek wine estate eatery elevates SA staples like marog, rooibos and chakalaka to gourmet heights
If you’re in the camp that believes South African comfort classics like mieliepap, chakalaka and malva pudding can’t be improved upon, you might well reconsider after eating your way through the new heritage menu at The Restaurant at Grande Provence in Franschhoek.
Created by the recently appointed head chef Marvin Robyn, who has worked at a number of top fine-dining establishments in the Winelands, including Equus at Cavalli and Makaron at Majeka House, the new dinner tasting menu not only celebrates the heritage of Grande Provence Estate, which was established in 1694, but also some of SA’s favourite culinary treasures.
With his new tasting menu, Robyn showcases local ingredients like rooibos, buchu and morogo, as well as the familiar flavours of South African home cooking in a way that honours its roots but offers diners an exciting, elevated update of the originals.
The snacking plate of samoosas and bread course of fluffy mosbolletjies with home-churned herbed butter should tide you over nicely while you peruse the menu, where you can opt between three, four or five courses, with or without wine pairings from the estate.
For starters, you really can’t go wrong with the savoury, smoky slivers of ox tongue, served with shaved radishes, a sophisticated spin on the traditional sweet mustard sauce and pickled mustard seeds – a real treat of a dish, especially when paired with Grande Provence Rosé 2017.
Seafood lovers should definitely try the kabeljou – pan-fried to absolute perfection with a deliciously crisped-up skin - served on a velvety heerenboon mash, with fresh grapes and dill cream.
As far as meaty mains are concerned, it’s a toss-up between the braaied springbok loin with caramelised mieliepap disks, a spicy chakalaka and a buchu-and-honey jus, and the lamb rump with amorogo puree and rooibos reduction.
The finish line of the fine-dining marathon rewards diners with a host of proudly SA-inspired dessert options, not the least of which is the milktart with a citrusy naartjie ice cream and curried nut praline. As for Robyn’s take on malva pudding? Might want to try his malva ice cream with cheesecake mousse, plum jelly and marzipan, is all we’re saying.
Getting back to your roots has certainly never tasted better.
This article was originally published in the Sunday Times Neighbourhood: Property and Lifestyle guide. Visit Yourneighbourhood.co.za