Chef Reuben Riffel’s elegant new venue is grand and lofty yet with a relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere so characteristic of the chef patron and his food, which are so loved by all. It exudes the warmth of both he and wife-partner Maryke and the exemplary service is a sure sign of how happy their staff are.
Despite having cut the ribbon the night before everything proceeded without the slightest glitch. Well-known signature dishes like his Beef Cheek and Pork Belly are even better than I remember and new items totally sublime. And although the menu is divided between Tasters, Sharing Plates, Mains and Desserts, my friends and I decided to share the love over every dish as we indulged a good portion of the list. I highly recommend this approach.
Highlights included the ‘Tuna Tataki', sliced raw and served with roasted shiitake and yuzu; ‘Beef Cheek’ with pommes purée, Thai peanut salsa, shiitakes and porcine;
‘Pork Belly’, with cider jus, parsnip, Indian pickle, fynbos honey, sweet potato mille-feuille; and multiple orders of the ‘Sweetcorn’, a yummy mash combining polenta, smoked paprika, belnori goat’s cheese, served with caramelized garlic, and herb roasted tomatoes. I still managed to find room for a few mouthfuls of warm chocolate fondant and stout ice cream — made with stout beer from the Franschhoek Beer Co (FBC), one of Riffel’s other new ventures in the valley.