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La Petite Colombe Franschhoek - a fine dining destination in her own right

Chef John Norris-Rogers’s Franschhoek establishment delivers an impressive meal,effortlessly.

by: Katy Rose | 02 May 2018
La Petite Colombe Franschhoek

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A warm welcome
Sometimes, fine dining can feel insular, isolating and downright intimidating. Not today. From the very beginning, the dining room at La Petite Colombe is modern and light, but without being cold and cavernous.

La Petite Colombe Tasting menu

Yellowfin tuna, aubergine, miso, kalamansi, avocado

You enter a relaxed environment with attentive, and responsive service from the front of staff. The team made us feel welcome and integral. A bustling open kitchen sits off to the side of the dining room, open and exposed to the patrons, but not immediately visible from our table that is close to the tall windows that lead out to a lush courtyard garden.

Beautiful local wine pairings
The Winter Lunch Menu has the option of the additional wine pairing - which we selected with enthusiasm! The selection reflects a strong preference for wines from the Franschhoek valley, with a few specimens from the rest of the Western Cape. 
In-depth explanation from the Head Sommelier, Andrew Cook, almost bordered on geeky, wine science until he expertly guided the conversation back to the here and now.

La Petite Colombe Wine Pairing

Dessert wine pairing: Thelema Late Harvest Semillon, Vondeling Sweet Carolyn

Food with thought
Throughout the whole menu there is a seam of thoughtfulness, of care, and of course, immense detail. Without a doubt, the dish of the day was the Springbok Tataki:

La Petite Colombe winter special

Springbok Tataki - smoked chestnut, pear, prune, quince.

Head Chef John Norris-Rogers takes this dish and winterises it in just the right way. Flavours of quince, rooibos and pear come through, giving the dish a comforting warmth. The springbok loin, tender, juicy, wild - is delicious. The springbok flesh falls apart in your mouth like a slice of fresh tuna would - it's a luscious texture that carries the autumnal flavours beautifully.  Showing that winter food, and in indeed venison, does not have to be heavy and overbearing. This dish is fresh yet comforting, warming, and yet light 

A beautifully constructed plate built on the foundation of quality South African ingredients. Ultimately, all of them are more than the sum of their parts.

La Petite Colombe Winter Special Fish main course

Line fish, cauliflower risotto, smoked mussel veloute, crispy squid

La Petite Colombe Franschhoek

Foxenburg goat's cheese, poached figs, brioche,lemon, hazelnut

Meet the chefs
Towards the middle of the meal we are ushered to a stand-up bar counter on the edge of the kitchen (ensuring that you don't linger longer than absolutely necessary!) In today's foodie culture, there can be no doubt that the chef is the superstar, the rock star, the striker. The Meet the Chef’s interaction offers you a chance to glimpse beyond the curtain, to sneak backstage, to feel engaged with the people working long and hard to present this food to you. 

La Petite Colombe Met the chefs

Meet the chefs - egg noodles, wagyu beef, scallops, gochujang

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An afternoon well spent
At La Petite Colombe you will find food that is refined, but doesn't take itself too seriously. Meeting all the staff was almost as rewarding as the the meal itself - the warmth and welcome we experienced gave the meal a depth that is hard to describe. We left with none of the gluttonous guilt that often accompanies a fine dining meal, and for that I will sincerely thank Chef John and the team at La Petite Colombe.

We enjoyed the La Petite Colombe Winter Special at R395 per person for the 4 Course Lunch Menu.
Valid from 9 April 2018 until 31 August 2018. Weekday lunch only, excluding public holidays, T’s & C’s apply. 

ALSO READ: La Colombe, Constantia announces new executive chef

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