Yet another one of those (seemingly?) unvarnished places to eat in Cape Town with a hidden gem: the chef. While most restaurateurs dream of being named chef of the year, Franck Dangereux (who created La Colombe) earned the title six times and then gave up the limelight to start the type of laid-back unpretentious restaurant he wanted to dine in. In Noordhoek he found the perfect venue: a traditional A-frame thatched roof with exposed bricks (originally a farm stall), and asked his wife to decorate it-the result is an airy space with lots of personal elements, and an upbeat French jazz soundtrack you can move your shoulders to. Franck, in the meantime, has gone to work once again making magic in the kitchen. Only now he does it without all the bells and whistles (or outrageous prices) typically associated with fine dining (seated here, you’re not expected to wear shoes-or even a shirt). Franck has taken the “little baskets and other bits of fluff” that irritate him, and there’s no deconstructive or molecular gastronomy here either. What you get are amazing flavour combinations using fresh ingredients bought locally; fish comes from within 50km of Cape Town; beef is free range (“happy meat”, he call it); herbs, salads, blueberries come from locals who arrive on his doorstep. The exception (weakness?) is for hugely expensive scallops from the USA; these he serves seared, with avocado and blood orange butter sauce and a salad of baby mesclun and sunflower sprouts. A truly special experience Time called the best-value fine dining experience in Africa (just how Franck feels about the “fine dining” label?).