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“Food as an experience.”
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: Special occasions, Romantic
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.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

I went to the The Tasting Room with my family and I was pretty curious considering the different kind of reviews that this place has been receiving.
The interior is simple and the waiters are very polite and explain well the different dishes. The wine list is ok: found a good white and a good red wine. I personally never go for the wine pairing menu so I can't comment on that. We had the menu of the chef which consists in 8 surprise dishes.
Before the first dish we had a nice palate cleanser made with lime and crushed pepper and then a few funky snacks. The bread was well presented, towards the sweet taste but good.
- The dinner started with a Beetroot, buttermilk labne, dill and cucumber granita wich was excellent: the different flavors combine very well.
- Then we had a salad made of different south african ingredients: simple but good idea. It is not said what are the different ingredients so you can try to understand what you are eating and at the end of the dish they say what the different vegetables were.
- Nettle, artichoke, granadilla: absolutely gorgeous soup
- Oyster, sour fig, vichyssoise, roasted baby gem: excellent combination and very tasty.
- Quail, amasi, sweetcorn, granola: very well cooked
- Hartebeest, brinjal, parsnip, sorghum: excellent beef combined with local flavors
- Cheddar, rusks, mebos custard, currants: good combination,simple
- Baobab, coconut, honeycbush, caramel: nice but again simple
After the coffee we had very nice sweet "snacks".
Over all the food was delicious, combining different local products in a very special way; maybe also the desserts could have been more particular, but they were still good.
As for price it is the most expensive restaurant I have been eating in South Africa but still for a similar type of restaurant in Europe you will easily spend double or triple the money.
I had a great dinner but for sure I wouldn't suggest this place for those looking for a simple, plain, cheap meal: you have to be prepared and willing to taste something very different than usual. It is also the goal of the restaurant! For those looking for an "experience" is totally worth a try.

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Thank frawatu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (1,098)
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599 - 603 of 1,098 reviews

Reviewed October 13, 2013

Though I am fairly low key, it takes quite a bit to really impress me. The Tasting Room did and did so with great aplomb.

Tired from a hectic business trip to Johannesburg, I booked in to the Tasting Room on my arrival to Le Quartier Francais. I hadn't done my homework and didn't know what to expect. Frankly, given my state, I would have been happy with a simple meal, a glass of wine and a quick trip to bed.

My mistake. It was apparent on entering the restaurant that this dinner would be quite special. The room dripped romance and my dear wife was 10,000 miles distant. Bummer but I sat down anyway!

Long story short, this was not a meal, it was an experience. The service was spot on professional, the food was enchantingly delicious (plus the waiter tutored me in SA foodstuffs to boot) and the wine perfectly matched.

Thanks and kudos to all at the restaurant. We'll be back as my wife has made me promise to bring her next time I visit LQF.

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Thank buonuvo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2013

While this is not your average weekly meal, the experience was fantastic. The service was wonderful and the entire meal had so many flavours, textures and colours it was really an art show. The only options are 5 and 7 course meals (either paired with wine or not). It is certainly expensive, but that may be explained by the fact that they can only do one seating as the meal takes about 2.5 - 3 hours! Regardless, I've included a couple pictures of the courses. I hope you have the chance to enjoy it too. Reservations recommended.

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Thank travbud1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

Three of us (my wife and I and our young adult daughter) visited the tasting room one Friday in September, and we had a wonderful time. In fact, having eaten over the years at restaurants in among other places Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and London, I can say that my wife and I have never had a better dining experience.

The food was fantastically innovative, interesting and beautifully presented. Through the ten courses plus extras with course-specific local wine pairings we experienced food raised to high art. Yet despite its high level of quality, The Tasting Room has no pretense. In fact it has the best wait and support staff I can remember in any restaurant.

We had an evening of pure fun at The Tasting Room, and I would recommend it to anyone who values creativity and is open to new experiences in dining.

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Thank AlbertStone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

I don't usually go for gourmet or ultra contempo/forward-thinking food experiences. I like tapas and drinks, a really good pizza, some comforting curries. I do, however, enjoy trying new things and always appreciate when someone takes their craft seriously.

With that in mind, I loved this experience! And I do mean experience - this is not an evening for mindlessly stuffing yourself with meats and creamy veggies. This is a multi-step flavor experience that has been carefully curated to tell a story and also open up your taste buds. I can say that some of the courses were not "tasty" in the traditional sense, but all were very full of flavor - some shockingly so - that we couldn't finish it all, as it was overwhelming. And that's' the whole point, I think!

I would totally recommend trying this. It's a cool experience to share with your companions and with those around you. Also, be sure to ask questions about the courses - there are stories behind every dish, which servers will reveal more of - if you ask.

Don't expect to satisfy your taste buds as if you were eating a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs smothered in cheese. Expect to challenge your tastebuds with flavors and combinations you have probably never heard of. With that attitude in mind, you will love it!

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Thank Carly C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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