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Pay for one tasting menu, and the other is on us…

Squid ink cigars - small

We’re extending our Companion Fare in The Tasting Room to September. This means you pay for one dinner and the other dinner is on us. We have just ten spots to fill, so you’d better be quick.

Try our great accommodation packages in the hotel, www.lqf.co.za, or the deals in Delicious, right next door so you don’t have to fine dine and drive. To book email restaurant@lqf.co.za and quote ‘Wednesday companion fare’

We’re extending our Companion Fare, on a Wednesday night in The Tasting Room to September. This means you pay for one dinner and the other dinner is on us. We have just ten spots left to fill.
Try our great accommodation packages in the hotel, www.lqf.co.za, or the deals in Delicious, www.delicioushotels.com, right next door so you don’t have to fine dine and drive.  To book email restaurant@lqf.co.za and quote ‘Wednesday companion fare
Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Franschhoek, Le Quartier Français, The Tasting Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Beetroot sponge, spinach & onion puree, buttermilk labne, dill & cucumber granita

Beetroot sponge, spinach and onion puree, buttermilk labne,
dill and cucumber granita
Beetroot sponge:
• 50ml Beetroot Juice
• Pinch of salt
• ½ gelatine leaf
• Salt
Take 1 flexi pan half sphere mould (600 x 400 mm / 400 x 300 mm)
Place the gelatine in a small bowl with ice water and set aside.
Place the beetroot juice and salt in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat and add the softened gelatine leaf.
Place a fine strainer over a medium mixing bowl and strain the beetroot juice
Take a medium bowl and fill with ice, poor the beetroot mixture into a slightly smaller bowl and
place it on to the ice.
Whisk the beetroot mixture continuously until it is aerated and cold. The gelatin will have set it.
Scoop the mixture into a piping bag and pipe into flexi pan half sphere mould. (spray with ‘Spray
and Cook’ first) Scrape all excees off, using a spatula – so the tops of the half sheres are flat.
Refrigerate.
Beetroot crumbs
Panko crumbs
• 50gr
Beetroot juice in spray bottle
• 20 ml
Preheat oven to 80C
Spread the crumbs in a thin layer on an oven tray and spray with the beetroot juice, making sure
all the crumbs are pink, but not soaked. Dry out in the oven for 30 minutes.
Buchu powder
• 200gr fresh buchu, leaves picked off the stems
Leave the buchu to dry and blend until very fine using a spice grinder.
Buttermilk labne:
• 500 ml Buttermilk
• 40cmx40cm piece of muslin cloth
Hang the buttermilk overnight in the muslin cloth.
Once drained, discard the extra whey and place the buttermilk in a small piping bag.
Spinach and onion puree:
• ½ Onion, thinly sliced
Single cream
• 125ml
100gr
Baby spinach
Unsalted butter
• 10gr
-for onion puree
Warm up a medium pan, add the butter and sliced onions and sweat until soft without getting any
colour on the onions. Season with salt. Add the cream, and reduce over high heat for 5 minutes.
- For spinach puree
Boil a pot of water add some salt.
Blanch the spinach in the boiling water for 1 min
Remove the spinach with a large slotted spoon, drain and place directly into a blender jug.
Blend until very smooth, add the creamed onions and blend again.
Pass through a tamis.
Cucumber and dill granita:
• 150gr Cucumber, diced
• 10gr Dill, stems removed
• 5gr White wine vinegar
• 2gr Salt
• 1gr Xanthan gum
Blend all the ingredients in bar blender and pass through a fine sieve, pour into a tray with a wide
base, and freeze.
Scrape the frozen mixture with a fork to form fine flakes.
Keep frozen.
Serving:
Scoop the centre out of the beetroot sponges and fill it with some of the spinach and onion puree,
then take the two halves and stick them together. Carefully roll in the beetroot crumbs.
Pipe 1 tablespoon of buttermilk on the plate and drag across with a small spatula. Place the
beetroot ball on the plate, scoop some of the granita next to the ball and sprinkle with some
buchu powder.

Beetroot recipe

The blushing beetroot recipe as seen on South Africa’s Masterchef.

Recipe

Beetroot sponge:

  • 50ml beetroot juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ gelatine leaf

Take 1 flexi pan half sphere mould (600 x 400 mm / 400 x 300 mm), then place the gelatine in a small bowl with ice water and set aside. Place the beetroot juice and salt in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the softened gelatine leaf.

Place a fine strainer over a medium mixing bowl and strain the beetroot juice. Take a medium bowl and fill with ice, pour the beetroot mixture into a slightly smaller bowl and place it on to the ice.

Whisk the beetroot mixture continuously until it is aerated and cold. The gelatin will have set it. Scoop the mixture into a piping bag and pipe into flexi pan half sphere mould. (spray with ‘Spray and Cook’ first) Scrape all excess off, using a spatula – so the tops of the half spheres are flat. Refrigerate.

Beetroot crumbs:

  • 50gr panko crumbs
  • 20 ml beetroot juice in spray bottle
  • Preheat oven to 80C

Spread the crumbs in a thin layer on an oven tray and spray with the beetroot juice, making sure all the crumbs are pink, but not soaked. Dry out in the oven for 30 minutes.

Buchu powder:

  • 200gr fresh buchu, leaves picked off the stems

Leave the buchu to dry and blend until very fine using a spice grinder.

Buttermilk labne:

  • 500 ml buttermilk
  • 40cmx40cm piece of muslin cloth

Hang the buttermilk overnight in the muslin cloth. Once drained, discard the extra whey and place the buttermilk in a small piping bag.

Spinach and onion puree:

  • ½  onion,  thinly sliced
  • 125ml single cream
  • 100gr baby spinach
  • 10gr unsalted butter

-for onion puree

Warm up a medium pan, add the butter and sliced onions and sweat until soft without getting any colour on the onions. Season with salt. Add the cream, and reduce over high heat for 5 minutes.

- For spinach puree

Boil a pot of water add some salt. Blanch the spinach in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove the spinach with a large slotted spoon, drain and place directly into a blender jug. Blend until very smooth, add the creamed onions and blend again. Pass through a tamis.

Cucumber and dill granita:

  • 150gr cucumber, diced
  • 10gr dill, stems removed
  • 5gr white wine vinegar
  • 2gr salt
  • 1gr xanthan gum

Blend all the ingredients in bar blender and pass through a fine sieve, pour into a tray with a wide base, and freeze.Scrape the frozen mixture with a fork to form fine flakes. Keep frozen.

Serving:

Scoop the centre out of the beetroot sponges and fill it with some of the spinach and onion puree, then take the two halves and stick them together. Carefully roll in the beetroot crumbs.

Pipe 1 tablespoon of buttermilk on the plate and drag across with a small spatula. Place the beetroot ball on the plate, scoop some of the granita next to the ball and sprinkle with some buchu powder.

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Our new look Tasting Room

the tasting room

Herbert Janse, Margot’s brother, flew in from Holland and spent an intensive couple of weeks redesigning the Tasting Room. With a background in set and theatre design he certainly has theatrical flair, and has created a stage worthy of the cuisine. “The décor reflects Margot Janse’s food,” says Herbert. “The unexpected.”

new look 2

There are teasers throughout. Antique crystal bulbs dating back to 1910 have been placed irregularly on the ceiling. Herbert found them in Holland: “they’re early electric bulbs that were once used at fairs.”
There’s also a set of crockery stuck upside down to the celling—almost like a wink from the chef herself.

There are teasers throughout. Antique crystal bulbs dating back to 1910 have been placed irregularly on the ceiling. Herbert found them in Holland: “they’re early electric bulbs that were once used at fairs.”

There’s also a set of crockery stuck upside down to the celling—almost like a wink from the chef herself.

Head on over to our Facebook page to see more photos, or come see for yourself.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Food, Le Quartier Français, Margot Janse, The Tasting Room,
comment-notesComments: 1


  

The New Sweets are Savoury

Sweet seems to have been done to death over the last few years; so those in the know have decided to replace it with sweets that are savoury. Things like horseradish or olive oil ice-cream, butternut sorbet and other tastebud confusing delights are making an appearance as desserts on restaurant menu around the glob.

We’ve tried this trend and, while it messes with your mind a bit, it’s pretty damn cool. Your eyes expect the dish to taste like one thing – because it looks like ice cream, obviously – and your palate experiences something completely different. Welcome to food’s version of The Outer Limits.

Posted by: Sue Huxter
Posted in: Margot Janse, The Tasting Room, Trends,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Niche Hyperlocal Cuisine

Man that’s a mouthful. Doesn’t it sound ridiculously complicated?

Basically – for us laymen – it’s what Margot’s been doing in the Tasting Room for the last few years. Which is using local ingredients to create African inspired cuisine.

But to pass as niche hyperlocal cuisine it needs to be truly local, both biologically and culturally.

It’s worth remembering that definition because, as this trend continues to grow, there are bound to be a few impostors who try get in on the action.

Posted by: Sue Huxter
Posted in: Margot Janse, The Tasting Room, Trends,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award

Our very own Wayve Kolevsohn, who you might have met during a recent dinner in The Tasting Room, placed second in The 2011 Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award.

She had to jump through a number of hoops including: written exams, blind tastings and a grueling practical assessment to beat out a number of talented competitors for spot number two.

Posted by: Sue Huxter
Posted in: Franschhoek Restaurant, Le Quartier Français, The Tasting Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

2011 in a Nutshell

2011 has been another whirlwind adventure. It’s been packed full of travel, worthwhile causes and awards. Here’s our 2011 what we go up to cheat sheet.

We appeared in the 2011 UK Condé Nast Readers Travel Awards, the 2011 Travel & Leisure World’s Best Awards and placed 10th overall in the African and Middle East Lodge and Resorts category. In addition we made the Condé Nast Traveller Gold List 2012 in the Best for Food category.

Le Quartier Français introduced a new Petite Garden Suite and a wheel-chair friendly Auberge Room to our line-up. All our Auberge Room bathrooms received a serious facelift – think more Dolly Parton than Joan Rivers– and we completely reimagined the The Tasting Room. Oh and our mini-bars went totally local. Nice!

The Tasting Room was included in the World’s Top 50 Restaurants for the 7th consecutive year. We also placed third in the recent Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards. This year marks the 8th year we’ve made their list. 2011 will also go down in history as the year when our Tasting Room team met, experienced and survived the now legendary Dr. von Paris.

Margot Janse – our talented Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef – appeared as one of only four guest chefs at 2011 Savour Tasmania. She also took time out of her busy schedule to cook in Holland and help raise enough money for our Isabelo initiative to feed 100 pre-school children, five days a week, in 2012. In addition Margot and Neil Jewell cooked for the Peninsula School Feeding Association and raised much-needed funds for hungry school children throughout the Western Cape.

Tina and Neil showcased their unique and perennially popular Bread & Wine Bread Baking and Charcuterie courses in Australia. Neil also cooked for a full house in the UK. In fact his cooking courses were rated the highlight of the 2011 UK cooking class calendar.

Lastly at the beginning of December we launched our baby sister hotel, Delicious. This offering unpacked the traditional hotel offering, giving the guest everything they need without the additional wallet-lightening add-ons. If the reviews are anything to go by it’s already changing the face of South African hospitality.

It’s really been quite a year!

Posted by: Sue Huxter
Posted in: Le Quartier Français, Margot Janse, The Tasting Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Keepsake Eats

In 2011 one of our favorite trends has to the eatsake: an edible keepsake that guests get to take home with them after their dining adventure.

The tastiest eatsake, that we’ve experienced thus far, is Margot Janse’s after-dinner take-home Tasting Room bonbons. They are so delicious that Margot now hides them from us so that we can’t have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even as a sometimes-snack.

Seriously, they are to-die-for.

Posted by: Sue Huxter
Posted in: Franschhoek Restaurant, The Tasting Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Introducing Dr von Paris

We recently got had in the Tasting Room. Dr von Paris (great fake name) ducked out before the bill arrived. Fake credit card details and a mobile number that belonged to some poor lady, who had never eaten in the Tasting Room, left us all feeling like we’d been Punk’d. We do however think that the name the good Dr came up with was inspired … von Paris. Brilliant.
For the next week we are running a tasty competition – our own version of homage to Dr von Paris – come up with the best false name, post it on our Facebook page – and we’ll reward the name we like the most with dinner for two in the Tasting Room … and you won’t even have to duck out before the bill arrives.
Go on get posting!

Dr von Paris (great fake name) ducked out before the bill arrived. Fake credit card details and a mobile number that belonged to some poor lady, who had never eaten in the Tasting Room, left us all feeling like we’d been Punk’d. Apparently the good doctor has been visiting a number of top restaurants in and around Cape Town. Good to know that even those with fake names have excellent taste!

After we came to terms with the fact that the doctor would not be returning, to settle his dinner bill, we realised that the name he decided to use for his reign of restaurant-terror was inspired, brilliant in fact.

So – in our own version of homage – we will be running a tasty competition motivated by Dr. von Paris’s fabulous con job. From today until the 15th of May 2011 you need to come up with best false name, post it on our Facebook page, and we’ll reward the name we like the most with dinner for two in the Tasting Room.

The best news is that you won’t have to duck out before the bill arrives. Nice.

Posted by: Sue Huxter
Posted in: Competition, Franschhoek, The Tasting Room,
comment-notesComments:


  

The Tasting Room Experience

There is a great article, about The Tasting Room experience, in The Australian Travel Online. It offers a really comprehensive look at the inspiration behind the incredibly popular Surprise Menu and much more.

We’ve included the article below so, if you’re looking to escape your Monday morning for a few delicious minutes, give it a read.

Posted by: Sue Huxter
Posted in: Margot Janse, The Tasting Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


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