The Tasting Room @ Le Quartier Français

Weeks ago I got a message with the words…”We have a surprise for you, you are invited to join us at The Tasting room” … The words made me jump out of my chair. What did I do to deserve such fabulous friends that spoil me with a dinner like this? Of course I saw most of the articles about the restaurant and read the stories about Margot Janse, she is Dutch like us, so we are proud and like to know everything about her cooking.
This year her restaurant is number 3 on the list of best South African restaurants and I am going to dine there!

The date and time are set, we organize a taxi, as driving back at night to Stellenbosch isn’t an option because someone has to be the designated driver. 

Oh My God…How am I going to get the right words on paper to describe our dining experience at The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français.

From 7 o’clock the restaurant fills up, all the staff is extremely nice and we saw many different faces during the meal at our table. Meal that’s a word that doesn’t fit in… I think. Our main waitress, was explaining most of our served dishes and wines. She did it with a smile and it was pleasure to hear her singing once in a while.

What we liked was that we started with two different plates and we could eat half of it and then swap plates and don’t forget the wine glasses, so there was even more to experience than the 8 courses.’

In every dish you could see that they went through a lot of effort, so many difficult cooking techniques and such a beautiful way of food decorating presented on the most gorgeous plates and bowls. It’s an experience I will never forget…

The restaurant doesn’t have a lot of decoration, it’s the colorful wall that gives the African touch, so all the attention goes to the people who work here and the food they serve and that’s more than enough. In a way it’s a kind of theatre where all your senses are activated, to hear, see and smell so you have an optimum dine experience!

My friend asked if the Chef was in the house and without asking anything more, somewhere in the middle of all the courses we were invited in the kitchen to say a quick hi. I don’t know if we were drunk with excitement from the meet and greet or if it was the gorgeous wines. But I can tell you that it was very special to meet a person like Margot Janse and that she made the effort to have a photo moment with us.

3,5 Hours later we leave the restaurant, still euphoric about all the spices we had tasted, trying to remember what we thought was our best dish and what was our best wine …
I am not going to tell you my opinion because I think…no I am sure, you have to go through things like this yourself. So if you have that special occasion or just like to have a really special wine and dine experience…book a table…relax and enjoy.
I will only tell you that this was by far my best wine and dine experience!

Tips from the Winelands, Western Cape
by Zeelandhuys

Quartier Français
Restaurant the Tasting Room
Cnr Berg & Wilhelmina Streets

 click to view website