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“Relaxed experience”
Review of Paulina's

Paulina's
Ranked #38 of 80 Restaurants in Franschhoek
Price range: $7 - $17
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view
Dining options: Lunch, Reservations
Description: Take a seat overlooking the Rickety Bridge vineyards. Sip a glassful of crisp estate wine and enjoy a delicious lunch while drinking in the splendour of the magnificent surroundings. Every creation from our team of talented chefs is given extra zest by the striking beauty of the setting and stunning views of the Franschhoek mountains.Rickety Bridge is an enchanting Franschhoek wine estate that earns its place in the Cape’s cuisine capital. Franschhoek is home to some of the best restaurants in South Africa.The Restaurant in the Vines has made way for Paulina’s, named in honour of the original owner of the property in 1797, Paulina de Villiers.In keeping with current culinary trends, the restaurant features a variety of half and full portions of its exciting bistro style menu, allowing diners the opportunity to sample and share dishes.Executive chef Melissa Bruyns (previously at Haute Cabriere and Westin Grand) explains: “the half portions are larger than a conventional tapas serving, so ideal for sharing, or having as a starter. I believe in using fresh seasonal ingredients, and letting them speak for themselves, beautifully prepared and presented, but without over-elaboration. We have planted a herb and vegetable garden on Rickety Bridge to ensure that I have plenty to work with”
Reviewed November 10, 2013

Fantastic setting, whatever the weather, although if it is sunny outside is preferable. A menu to suit everybody - from burgers to belly pork, steak to line fish. After an excellent caesar salad I opted for the calamari, also as a starter portion. This was also excellent. I am always nervous that it will be tough but this was superb. The belly pork was declared very good, as was the chicken & prawn coconut curry taken as a main. Only the generous portion of salmon was deemed to be slightly overcooked and did not seem to be complemented by the rice cakes, The wines available are also of a very high quality, especially the Sauvignon blanc and the Shiraz. What a pleasure to be here. If you are a group splash out on the Bridge top red blend - you will feel spoiled! If in Franschhoek and you do not come here you ate missing a gem.

1  Thank HudsonS16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nena B, General Manager at Paulina's, responded to this reviewResponded January 17, 2014

It is always so great hearing peoples good experiences, thank you so much for taking the time to join us, and we really hope to see you again soon!

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Reviews (111)
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95 - 99 of 111 reviews

Reviewed October 27, 2013

What a shame that the incredible food of this restaurant was let down by lack of staff on a busy Saturday lunchtime. During the week we had called the restaurant TWICE to ensure that we would be seated outdoors, as we were a large group and the weather was going to be lovely, only to arrive and find that we were to be seated indoors. We asked for a table outdoors and were shown to a table without chairs, so we were left to find our own chairs. Our poor waiter seemed to be the only wait staff on duty, so after receiving our drinks, we ended up writing down our own order to help him. There was no sign of a restaurant manager - who had apparently gone off duty at 1pm. The food was really fabulous from the gourmet burger on a ciabatta bun with bacon, mozzarella, onion rings and fries to the crisp pork belly with fried greens, delicious wasabi mash and chilli-ginger sauce (R120), and the salmon trout fish cakes (R90). This restaurant needs to invest in more trained staff (our waiter was very pleasant but clearly out of his depth and disappeared at key moments - leaving us without napkins, knives & forks, etc). It takes the shine off when a group of us can't just sit and enjoy our food without having to get up and down 10x during the meal to fetch this or that or to have to search for someone to finally bring us the bill.

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Thank Jane W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nena B, General Manager at Paulina's, responded to this reviewResponded January 17, 2014

Hi Jane

I am so sorry you had such a bad experience, please give us the opportunity to show you that this is not how we do things. If you ever feel like coming to Franschhoek, please let us know.

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Reviewed October 18, 2013

I finally got here after hearing many good things about this restaurant, including positive comments from the three people who accompanied me on this visit. As it turned out, we had something of a disaster, thanks to an ill mannered waitress, who is clearly unsuited to the hospitality industry and who successfully drove us away.

We had booked. We arrived, on time, at an almost full restaurant, where no one greeted us, and no staff were visible. There were two empty tables, so we sat ourselves at the one which was set for four. We immediately felt uncomfortable as it was located close to the doorway, exposed to a cold breeze. It was actually warmer outside in the sunshine, so we asked the waitress (when she showed up) about sitting outside or being relocated to a place further inside. While there was room outside, it appears it was going to be too inconvenient for the staff to serve us there, while there was apparently no way to move us further inside.

We were given menus, which we read, before asking the waitress, as one does, whether there were any specials that we should know of (eg, what the linefish was). We were rudely told that everything on the menu was special and it was pointed out that we had the menus in our hands and that we should read them. All four of us looked at each other, no one particularly wishing to leave and try to find somewhere else to eat. However, it transpired that each one of us was having the same thought. None of us was prepared to stay in this restaurant and pay to be treated in this way by this person for the rest of the afternoon. So we left, and I still have not experienced the food here.

By the way, with high season arriving, possible diners should maybe know that this venue seems to be on the tour bus circuit. Besides our other concerns, we feared that service would have been slow because of the very large number of tourists already there, delivered by bus, and those others arriving via the Franschhoek tram.

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1  Thank dsor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nena B, General Manager at Paulina's, responded to this reviewResponded January 17, 2014

We are terribly sorry that you had to experience this, I can assure you that the waitress who served you did not mean anything by it, she is French so her way of communicating could be tricky.

Nevertheless there is no excuse for you feeling like this and leaving, please let us know if you are even in the area, we would really like to make it up to you.

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Reviewed August 27, 2013

Visited Rickety Bridge on the wine tram and decided to have lunch, the place was fully booked but was told there would be a table in about 45 minutes. Went and did wine tasting, still no table but being brave Brits agreed to sit outside. Service was great, food delicious and the wine went well with the food. A lovely experience which I would recommend.

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Thank CheshireSunshine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nena B, General Manager at Paulina's, responded to this reviewResponded January 17, 2014

We are really sorry that you had to wait such a long time for a table, but extremely happy that the good food and service was great. We hope to see you again soon!

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Reviewed June 30, 2013

Located on Rickety Bridge wine estate on the wine tram route, which means no concerns about driving if staying in Franschoek. The Tapaz style menu is brilliant and is great for a quick bite before/after tasting some Rickety Bridge wines - definitely some of the best wines the Franschoek valley has to offer.

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Thank Pierre R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nena B, General Manager at Paulina's, responded to this reviewResponded January 17, 2014

Its really great to hear you had a great time, we hope to see you again soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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