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“Food great, service fine but wine list too limited”

Haute Cabriere Restaurant
Ranked #16 of 81 Restaurants in Franschhoek
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $2 - $3
Cuisines: European, French, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Scenic view, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Franschhoek's iconic Haute Cabriere Restaurant is well known for its unique location, set into the side of Franschhoek Mountain and overlooking the Valley. Soaring arches and the view over the cathedral-like Pinot Noir Barrel Maturation Cellar below offer an experience which is not to be missed. On sunny days, guests can enjoy the beautiful vistas over Franschhoek from the terrace, while on cool days a roaring fire creates a cosy atmosphere. The menu revolves around classic technique with bold flavours with chefs Nic van Wyk and Westley Muller in the kitchen. The flavours and textures on the plate are specifically designed to complement the range of Haute Cabrière wines and Pierre Jourdan Méthode Cap Classiques - all of them served by the glass and by the bottle at cellar door prices. Bringing all of these elements together, Haute Cabrière offers the true marriage of food and wine.
Reviewed April 14, 2013

We've been coming to this restaurant for years - twice since Ryan took over as chef. Most recently we were delighted with the food - pea soup with pancetta to start, lamb and fillet for the mains and pannacotta for dessert. Our major problem was (and has always been) the very limited selection of wine and the impossibility of bringing your own. While we do love the Pierre Jourdan bubbles, we would also love a Sauvignon Blanc with fish dishes and a Cab Sauv or Shiraz with meat dishes. The Pinot Noir just isn't robust enough to match the meat courses, and although we were told an older vintage would be better, we didn't feel the very high price tag was justified. We were disconcerted when we arrived to find all the tables without any table settings. We were told by the chef (who, oddly, was doing very hands-on front of house duties) that this was their new approach but it left us feeling as though there were no other bookings that night. A potentially lonely experience but a few other diners did arrive. There were a couple of service glitches but nothing too serious and Ryan is totally charming (apart from being a good chef). The major problem for us us, and has always been, the limited choice of wine.

Thank Franschhoekfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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468 - 472 of 617 reviews

Reviewed April 7, 2013

We've enjoyed lovely meals at Haute Cabriere in the past and looked forward to returning to celebrate our anniversary with a lunch. But oh dear... This restaurant, with food which has potential, is badly let down by abysmal service.
On arrival we were shown to our table and given the wine list. Yet we weren't offered water or drinks. Instead, after a waiting for a while, a waitress came to take our meal order.
The Truffled Pea Soup was brought very quickly and was very pleasant and service notwithstanding, we felt heartened that a good meal would follow. We were sadly mistaken.
First off, the wine pairings suggested with the meals are not brilliant - I'd strongly suggest you go with your own instinct and order a wine of your preference (happily all wines are served by the glass).
When our mains finally arrived - almost 45 minutes later - both varied between tepid or cold. Additionally, my seared tuna came in a broth, but no spoon was provided to enjoy the broth. My husband's gnocchi was served on a wedge of slate, which he said, while attractive, made eating the meal very difficult. What, I wonder, was wrong with an attractive plate?
When the waitress asked if we'd enjoyed the meal, I said it was "okay" - at which point she banged the plates and glasses off the table, which included thumping my husband's phone across the table.
As for dessert, honestly, don't bother. For one thing, the hostess, who served us (the waitress having disappeared) didn't know the difference between the souffle and the panna cotta - so mixed up our order and put the souffle in front of my husband, saying, "Here's your panna cotta." While the panna cotta included tasty elements that married well, the hazelnut souffle was best avoided - it really was quite awful.
The restaurant is clearly experiencing a service/staff problem - at one stage the sous chefs were seen serving customers! However this, together with food that is sadly let down, made for a very poor lunch.

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Thank kalgran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kevin494, Public Relations Manager at Haute Cabriere Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded April 22, 2013

Dear kalgran,

Thank you very much for your review; we are very sorry to hear that your visit to Haute Cabrière Restaurant did not live up to your expectations. Your constructive feedback will certainly help us in addressing your various concerns regarding food and service. It would be our pleasure to invite you and your partner back in order to allow you to experience the true marriage of food and wine, as we envisage it. Would you please make contact with us, in order to make arrangements for a return visit?

We look forward to hearing from you.

The Haute Cabrière Restaurant Team
restaurant@cabriere.co.za

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

We booked this restaurant for our Saturday evening in franschoek and were excited at the thought of great food and service.. It was to be our highlight of our honeymoon trip.. What followed was a catalogue of diasters.. I won't go into massive detail but suffice to say service made fawlty towers look hyper efficient!! Food was fair at points, good for one or two courses ( I had the tasting menu) but all in all the dining experience was terrible.. To say we were gutted is an understatement... Much better places to go in franschoek.

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Thank Louise O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kevin494, Public Relations Manager at Haute Cabriere Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded April 22, 2013

Dear Louise O,

Thank you kindly for your review of your visit, and please accept our apologies for this late response. Your feedback is obviously important to us, but in order to address the service issues you experience, it would be useful to receive more constructive detail from you as to the specific elements that you felt require improvement. We would gladly invite you back to Haute Cabrière in order to find out first hand from you.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

The Haute Cabrière Restaurant Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2013

I just went to this winery for the first time in November 2012. I was initially enamored by the beautiful grounds, and heliport as well. We were seated inside and quickly greeted by a gracious staff that remained attentive throughout our tasting. I was excited to have sparkling wine tasting. There were no wines that I felt that I had to buy, but I enjoyed my tasting nonetheless. We topped off our tasting with brandy so if you like brandy, then here's a win-win spot.

The outside seating area was full when we arrived but it appears to be a perfect spot for taking in the wine and scenery.

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Thank DnllJns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kevin494, Public Relations Manager at Haute Cabriere Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded April 1, 2013

Dear DnIIJns,

Thank you very much for your feedback and glad you enjoyed our wines and indeed the view. We are fortunate to have such beautiful views over the Franschhoek Valley and hope to welcome you back soon, next time to perhaps to our restaurant.

Kind regards,
The Haute Cabriere Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Having tasted the wines in the morning, we were looking forward to dinner. Sadly, having arrived, we waited 20 minutes before we were seen and able to order. We waited another 30 minutes before the first course came. However, the 'trio' of duck was not complete. It was removed and when finally returned everything was cold ... The next course took another 30 minutes and was cold and congealed when it arrived. Neraly 90 minutes and only one course. The manager just looked away! The last course had also obviously been standing for some time. It included completely melted ice-cream as part of the assembled dish, and this dripped onto my wife. Another ice-cream was brought in a cup rather than the dish being removed! The manager was only unctuously interested in larger tables which were being served the five-course meal and, ignored us. We noted another table had the same problems. Finally at the end, when the manager came to us there was no point at all. Poor management and a disaster of a meal. Our impression was that there was a breakdown between the ineffective manager and the kitchen, and he appeared to arrogantly feel that the diners were a nuisance. There was no apology and no refund goodwill offer regarding the cold and incomplete food. We paid the bill and left - and subsequently on principal after the lack of any apology, ordered our cases of wine for home from another vineyard. We have noted that other diners on Trip Advisor have had similar experiences. Haute Cabriere ruined our evening. Avoid until they can get their act, complacency, and management corrected.

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

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