My friend Darryn, he who pretty much wins every single competition he enters (yes yes, I know, very annoying) won an amazing 3 course meal for two at the Franschhoek Kitchen which is on the beautiful Holden Manz wine estate, situated just a little bit outside the Franschhoek city centre. I was very lucky to be his plus 1 for this truly special treat and came fully prepared, loose fit pants and all…
The restaurant is an absolute stunner and you just know you’re going to have an amazing time when you sit down and you’re told “have whatever your heart desires”. Yes please!
It was really pouring down outside, which was a slight bummer, but they had the fire going inside so it was nice & cosy and the cold weather also meant it was the perfect conditions to sip on their ”voluptuous” premium red wine, the Big G 2009. The Big G is a 50% Cab Franc and 50% Cab Sav and has a really great dark ruby colour. It’s both fruity & spicy with a touch of dark chocolate and it certainly went down like a treat.
Now executive chef, Cheyne Morrisby, according to his Twitter profile has actually made Kate Moss eat and is the giver of many food orgasms. I have to say, that sounded pretty damn impressive to me, and I was very very excited to start digging in.
For starters both Darryn and I couldn’t resist the sound of the grilled tiger prawns with lemon & pea risotto and garlic croutons (R65 for starter portion / R140 for main):
Then for mains, Darryn copied me again and we both had the crisp duck breast with watermelon, sweet miso, sweet potato puree and a red wine & star anise syrup (R155):
I will admit… I was a little nervous ordering the duck. You see when I travelled through France a few years back I pretty much ate only two things over the 3 weeks I was there: Duck & chocolate fondant. The French just seemed to have mastered these two dishes and I wanted to consume as much of it as possible before heading back home. Since then I’ve at least had some fondants which matched up, but on the duck front, things have been quite disappointing. BUT… I am happy to report… that this duck dish kicked those Frenchies’ butts… hard.
For dessert, Darryn opted for the special of the day - cheesecake with salted caramel sauce:
My chocoholic side instantly zoned in on the 70% Belgian chocolate mousse with salted caramel (R48):
I just have to show you a close up of the texture of that mousse:
So by all the “beautiful, amazing, incredible” references above, it should come as no surprise that my Miss K Kiss-o-Meter rating for the Franschhoek Kitchen @ Holden Manz is:
The service made us feel like total VIPs, the setting was breathtaking and the food… well I had to have a 4 hr afternoon nap afterwards. Nuff said.
Next time you feel like heading out to the winelands, do try to pop in. Call them on 021 876 27 29 to make a reservation.