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“A restaurant that has unfortunately started to believe its own hype” 1 of 5 stars
Review of The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais

The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais
Le Quartier Francais | 16 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek, South Africa
218762151
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Ranked #13 of 62 restaurants in Franschhoek
Price range: $78 - $145
Cuisines: African, Contemporary, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français is South Africa's most lauded fine-dining restaurant. It is the stage to award-winning Relais & Châteaux Grande Chef, Margot Janse, and her unique African Inspired Surprise Tasting Menu. Here, in this intimate setting, serious diners have the opportunity to experience a true journey of taste. With a menu that continues to evolve and astonish The Tasting Room, and its African Inspired cuisine, creates a dining experience unlike any other. One where surprise and nostalgia take centre stage. In The Tasting Room every African Inspired dish is exceptional and engaging. Truly refined with a distinct feminine touch and, at the same time, unexpectedly exciting ... exhilarating in fact. It is this contradiction that results in The Tasting Room menu's outstanding balance and ensures that the cuisine is nothing short of a theatrical masterpiece.In The Tasting Room the journey extends further than just phenomenal cuisine; it moves fearlessly into the captivating realm of stories and magic. A place where each plate, and its African inspired elements, have the ability to captivate the hearts and minds of diners.The Tasting Room is open Tuesdays to Saturdays for dinner only. 19h00 till late.Please allow at least 3 hours for your dinner.
Sligo
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“A restaurant that has unfortunately started to believe its own hype”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Don't waste your money on this overpriced restaurant, although it used to be exceptional they seem to have lost it. The 8 course meal with wine tasting was 1200R EACH plus tip...
As this was rated as one of the top restaurants in South Africa, and recommended by a friend who lives in Capetown we paid it to treat ourselves (this was over double the cost of the best meal we had in South Africa) and were looking forward to an exceptional meal. (Our friend has since apologised and told us it never used to be like that!)
The dill was off and the smell of it overpowered everything else that came out. Although three of the courses were quite tasty, there just wasnt enough of it (e.g. a single crayfish, 8 single leaves and some cheese as a salad and some other miserable looking portions, some of which we could not eat) and they didn't compare to nearly all the other food we had in South Africa. In fact, had the meal not taken so long, I would have eaten again in Reubens (A much better also award winning alternative) down the road had it been open.
The wine was just mediocre and didnt compare to the local calibre of wines we tasted during wine tasting at some of the local vinyards.
The service was just average where staff seemed to be repeating the same spiel every time, totally different to the great staff at other local attractions (although there was one really good waiter).
I only hope this review can save some other poor unfortunates like ourselves who heard the hype and paid through the nose for it. We were bitterly disappointed as we felt we had been ripped off & this was the worst experience we had in South Africa.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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498 reviews from our community

78% Recommend
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Rating summary
    Food
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    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Whittlesea, South Africa
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
102 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“NEVER MISS!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

We make 2 annual visits to Franschhoek and we never MISS Le Quatier. Why? 'Cause we like places that make you feel special. Le Quatier does that without trying. Maybe it's a Franschhoek thing!

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Artistic food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013 via mobile

U can see lots of effort, creativity, and thought has gone into each dish. The food becomes almost a show in itself. Each dish is unique - you're guaranteed to be wowed by the unique combinations of flavour, colour, and taste.

But sometimes it feels that the dishes are dreamed off not because they will be the best tasting, but because there's a pressure to create something new all the time, to live up to the Tasting Room's reputation as one of the most innovative places in South Africa. As a result, the dishes look and sound interesting, but sme don't deliver on the taste aspect.

It was our most expensive meal in South Africa - they do have a cheaper 5 course tasting menu which isn't bad either if you're on a budget.

Personally, I will remember sme of the dishes we had that night for the rest of my life. But overall, if you're not a huge foodie and have extremely deep pockets where R800 meals are common, I don't think the Tasting Room offers that much extra over the other gourmet restaurants just below it, like Roundhouse in Cape Town or Tokara near Stellenbosch.

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Rosemary Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“WOW! When Food becomes Art”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

Thank goodness we got copies of our 8 course meal and took pictures - what an explosion of flavors coupled with the fun of not knowing what you were going to get next, the absolute visual fantasy of each dish, the perfect pairing with local wines - absolutely one of the top 5 fine dining experiences we've ever had!

Visited January 2013
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Very disappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013 via mobile

Totally pretentious service . Over described food which didn't live up to its expectations. Food slow to arrive. over 3.5 hours and still not finished. Bad lighting and decor and gloomy. Had to request a candle to help brighten things up. Expensive by South African standards where the food overall has been excellent.

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