Le Quartier Francais
As French restaurants in Cape Town go, this double-venue gem is quite the ticket. It was arguably Le Quartier that transformed Franschhoek from pretty wine-producing valley into the country’s foremost culinary destination. That was more than a decade ago; step inside today and you have a choice between two extraordinary restaurants, each quite different yet overseen by the same dynamic chef. The internationally respected Margot Janse decided some time ago to separate her ultra-fine gastronomic venue, The Tasting Room, from the more down-to-earth bistro-style iCi. You’ll need deep pockets and a reservation (unless you’re a guest at the hotel; see Sleep) to work your way through the five- or eight-course fine-dining experience served in the stripped down, ultra-minimalist exclusive confines of The Tasting Room. Here Margot’s enthusiasm for slightly off-centre cooking means that every dish sounds more than a touch curious, but is ever-inspired by available, fresh, local ingredients, sourced from small suppliers personally known to her. If you’re not up for making such a substantial investment, book at iCi, a modern, comfortable lounge-style environment with a gorgeous terrace looking onto the garden; sit in oversized leather armchairs and feast on such simple brilliance as springbok lasagne, wood-roasted chicken, or a salad combining watermelon, goat’s feta and nasturtiums.