During our 12day holiday back in South Africa over December 2014 – we got the chance to celebrate Christmas day with the family, Segway through Spier winelands (more on this to follow), watch Warhorse at the Artscape Theatre, walk our way through Kirstenbosch Gardens (including the Boomslang Canopy Walkway), spend 2days in Mossel Bay with my best friends & their husbands (plus one gorgeous little baba) over New years… and of course, wine & dine our way across 2days in the Franschhoek wine area!
Busy, eh? And of course to make matters more complicated… this was all done with a hectic cold …
A place that I had been dying to visit for AGES… was Reubens in Franschhoek… situated on the main road in what can be declared as “THE” tourists mecca of wine towns near Cape Town!
Thankfully I had booked a table way back in September… for a Sunday night at the end of December… and listened while staff had to turn walk-in patrons away who didn’t have reservations (I even overheard them telling one patron that they didn’t have an available table until middle of January!).
And it is safe to say that it is full for a reason… because the place is great!
Decorated in a simple, elegant and somewhat eclectic style… with sufficient space between tables and comfortable seating, plus a fun Andy Warhol inspired Campbell tomato soup tin painting…..it gives diners a sophisticated but relaxed dining experience.
We had arrived at 7pm (on the dot) for a 7pm reservation… and were the first diners of the evening – at first, the hostess explained that the menu’s were still being printed and asked if we wanted to sit at the bar to have a drink first… to which I requested that we rather have our first drink at the table while we waited. Her first reaction was not pleasant… but she duly showed us to the table and within seconds reappeared with the menu’s – straight from the printer! She also spent the rest of the evening being very friendly & jovial (I would assume that this was in attempt to make up for the first impression which had already been forgiven :)). Our waiter for the evening was also very friendly & efficient, but had a very different idea of portion sizes! (Mommabear had asked him if the starter sizes were big, he said no… but when they arrived – all three of us thought that they were very generous!)
Mommabear ordered the Toasted Brioche with Peri-peri chicken livers (served with beetroot & blue-cheese chantilly cream – R85) and declared it the best livers that she had EVER had! (In fact, she even said that she would order this as a main course as the portion size was so generous along with one of the menu sides)
I opted for the Chilli salted squid (with sweet chilli, a fragrant herb salad & lime mayonnaise – R86) and delighted in every mouthful!
HIM decided to be different and ordered the Roasted butternut (R45) side as a starter (which had a dollop of sour cream, brown butter and pumpkin seeds on the top).
For main courses, Mommabear & HIM both ordered the Creamy Chicken & Prawn Curry (served with carrot sambal, tempura vegetables & saffron rice – R140) – neither of them could finish it (due to the size of the portions), but both thoroughly enjoyed it! (HIM did have 2 pieces of chicken that were still pink inside… but all the rest were cooked to perfection)
And I ordered from the chalkboard specials menu – Peppered Springbok loin with roast baby onions, carrot-honey puree, roasted apply crispy gnocchi & jus (R205). The meat was perfectly cooked – slightly pink in the centre & deliciously sweet!
Would I return? Absolutely… everything that they said about the place was true! The food is excellent & the service worldclass! I head back to Cape Town in May… and I couldn’t think of a better place to re-visit (Plus I know that mommabear would be very happy to eat those Chicken livers again!)
address: No 19 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek, 7690, SOUTH AFRICA
telephone: +27 21 876 3772