I recently had the luxury of working my way through La Petite Colombe’s Winter Tasting Menu (available Monday to Friday until end August). This piece serves as a little insight into my experience.
After a scenic drive through the countryside, we arrived at La Petite Colombe – a beautiful restaurant situated in the heart of Franschhoek.
Entering John Norris-Rogers’ acclaimed restaurant, I knew I was in for a culinary experience of note, having experienced La Colombe in Constantia a few months back.
Upon arrival I was immediately welcomed by friendly staff and seated in the centre of the spacious restaurant. Whilst sipping on the complimentary glass of bubbles, I took the time to take in the minimalist décor and the stunning natural light.
The taste experience was initiated with a light caraway sour dough loaf, served with home-churned butter topped with a sesame and roasted yeast dust. It was the most impressive table bread I have had to date.
The second course was the poached oyster accompanied with fresh sago bubbles and a Pernod foam; an incredible combination of ingredients culminating in a gentle sweetness.
The yellowfin tuna was the other dish on option. It had simple, gentle flavours that worked well together considering how complex the ingredients were.
My favourite dish – a new addition to the menu – was the tortellini of prawn with quail. Each flavour, although all very different, has been carefully selected and is held together magnificently by a subtle, curried-hake sauce.
“Meet the chefs” was an optional extra where I had the opportunity to approach the Chef’s Table and learn more about the La Petite Colombe kitchen. While the informative and humorous chef educated me on the kitchen’s processes, I was treated to their nostalgic egg soldiers made with quail egg yolk, pea mousse and a foie gras toast. And after a zesty lime palette cleanser, I was ready for the heavier courses.
The linefish of the day was Seabass. It boasted a crispy skin and rich, oceanic flavours. The Semillon wine served with the fish was light and crisp; a perfect pairing.
The other main was the springbok. I often find that springbok flavours can overpower a plate, but La Petite Colombe’s springbok dish did no such thing. Paired with beetroot, turnip and rhubarb, this tender dish was as vibrant as it was delicious.
The dessert options are completely palate dependent. The cheese option is creamy, sweet, fruity and rich; yet remains light. The crèmeux option is served with an alluring assortment of chocolate ganache, popping candy and pleasant wisps of piña colada.
The final course arrived in the form of a treasure chest. It was filled with dark chocolate macaroons and gold dusted, crispy white chocolate fudge served on bitter cocoa nibs.
To conclude, La Petite Colombe’s Winter Tasting Menu is extremely well-considered. The different flavours and textures don’t ever overpower. Instead they work together to create new taste sensations. The staff is wonderfully attentive and the sommelier is amiable and extremely knowledgeable. All in all, an unforgettable culinary experience!
Thank you to the team at La Petite Colombe. We’ll be seeing you again soon.
La Petite Colombe Winter Lunch Menu
Valid from 09 April until 31 August 2018
(Weekdays only ~ excluding public holidays)
R395 per person for 4 courses
Tel : (021) 202-3395
Photos by Author and Claire Gunn Photography
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