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“Book ahead.. Just do it!”
Review of The Tasting Room - CLOSED

The Tasting Room
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $110 - $150
Cuisines: African, Contemporary, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais is South Africa's most lauded fine-dining restaurant. It is the stage to award-winning 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.
Palm Desert, California
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Book ahead.. Just do it!”
Reviewed September 29, 2012

Executive Chef Margot Janse is a wizard in the kitchen. Our meal was fantastic!!! We were celebrating our anniversary and it was a perfect evening. This was one of our best meals, ever and we are "foodies". We kept saying "How did she do that? Isn't this fun!!" Trust her to treat you to a memorable meal with great wine pairings. You won't be sorry!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank CAGrammy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

1,096 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    715
    142
    115
    74
    50
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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  • Any
English first
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Trying hard but...”
Reviewed September 24, 2012 via mobile

I was at the tasting room with my wife during our honeymoon and as we are food lovers we could not wait to try the best restaurant in south africa (allegedly # 57 worldwide although down 22 places since 2011).

Well in summary disappointing. I tried all Michelin star restaurants in London and I expected a similar quality of food, service and location. I can certain certainly say that if they were to be ranked by Michelin star I steuggle to see them getting one star for the following reasons:
1. The canteen was basic and missing all the fonest producers in South Africa. Literally no 5 star Platter rated wine on the list. Also no international wines which I can understand for a local restaurant but not for a nearly 60 pounds 5 course menu per person. Definitely needs improvement.
2. The service was a bit subpar. We were told one guy was our waiter for the evening and each course was served by a different person coming from the kitchen. No consistency in the explanation of the dishes and frankly difficult to justify a more than minimum tip level for our supposed waiter as he was never present.
3. The decor is very minimal, no tablecloth for a 8 courses tasting menu??? This is no fusion or Asian where the minimal approach is justifiable. The restaurant aspires to be highly regarded so please add tablecloths...
4. The food was not my cup of tea, too much mix of sweet and sour and frankly quite miniscule portions. My wife is more adventorous than me in general but she found the dishes quiet hard to read. In summary there was no dish I would say I have to go back and have it again.

All in all I will not go back if ever in Franchoek again but can understand the 5 star reviews. The cooking style appeared volatile to me and could get very binary reviews, nevertheless a lot of improvement in the other key areas of a restaurant such as service, decor and canteen

Helpful?
1 Thank Luigi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Exceptional in every way!”
Reviewed September 21, 2012

Last night four of us experienced a culinary mind blow at The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais. My goodness what an amazing array of dishes with flavours and textures which surprised and tantalised us throughout the course of the evening. We decided to go for the 4 course tasting menu which ended up including at least 7 different dishes, all to die for. I absolutely love the concept of not ordering from a menu and instead you are taken through a culinary evening of surprises which means you end up eating (and enjoying) dishes you normally might have stayed clear of. It opens you up to try anything they serve you as you soon feel a complete trust for the chef and your waitron who presents the dishes. Amazing service, exceptional food!!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank SussiCapeTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Good but not amazing”
Reviewed September 18, 2012

For how much we paid (R800 pp for food plus another R100 each for wine) I was not as impressed as I had hoped to be. I like fine dining but the meal seemed to be trying too hard without delivering the real goods. Still enjoyable, don't get me wrong, but at least 2 out of 4 of us thought it was not worth the money.

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank HopelessWanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Made me feel sick”
Reviewed September 14, 2012 via mobile

My wife and I were very excited to be eating at "The Tasting Room" that we had heard about so much. The appetizers were different but good. Chakalaka cigars! Corn bread in a tin with caramilized jersey butter and salt. Wow what imagination. The the first course came and we couldn't believe that we were going to actually taste the beet root sponge that we had seen on MasterChefSA. It didn't blow us away - interesting combination of flavours which by themselves weren't special but together had some purpose. We also selected the 8 course and wine pairing combination which increased the price beyond reason but at least the wines where fantastic. The nettle soup was good and the acidity of the passion fruit smear just right - the bowl though in which it was served had a textured surface making it difficult to actually scrape the passion fruit with a spoon. The following two courses were brilliant - my wife had different courses than I did. She was served guinea fowl followed by springbok medallions and I had curry Kingklip and quail. Portions were extremely small but perfectly seasoned and kooked. Again we loved the wines. So why the poor rating? It was unimaginable - surely this evening would deliver the best deserts we had ever tasted... It was horrible. The coconut desert had conflicting flavours and the wine from Spier was too much. It made me nauseous. My wife's chocolate ganash was revolting. The salt was so over bearing lacking any sweetness it tasted like a big mistake. Still gives me shivers the next day. Oh and the preceeding cheese dish to dry to swallow - copious amounts of water couldn't get the cheese down my throat. The final cakes and sweets were just unimpressive. We left the tasting room after 4 hours feeling sick not to mention the amount of money we paid and what we received in return. I was reminded of the "The emperor's clothes" - there isn't much more to say really. Maybe if it wasn't so expensive.

Helpful?
4 Thank Devon Matthews M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
susanhux, Owner at The Tasting Room, responded to this review, September 15, 2012
We are sorry that you did not enjoy the total experience and the sophistaced tastes of our desserts were not to your taste. At this level of cuisine unfortunately we cannot please every palate and our team creates tastes that are specific to our African experience. We have however noted your comments.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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