4. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français (Franschhoek)
Margot Janse continues to craft stories and surprises with South African ingredients. The chef’s restlessly inventive culinary imagination shows no signs of flagging, although you’ll need to dine here before she leaves at the end of April 2017 to experience it.
The eight-course African surprise menu changes according to seasonality of foraged and local ingredients, but what’s consistent is technical perfection, harmony in presentation, and the wow factor on the palate.
Highlights might be sweetcorn potjie; Madagascan-pepper popcorn and hibiscus-pickled kohlrabi; beetroot spheres with Granny Smith and almonds; and a quail egg dusted with burnt potato powder and served with a nest of savoury kataifi. Exquisite to look at; equally exquisite to eat. A triumphant finish is the Dutch Potato of buchu and passion-fruit ice cream in a white-chocolate shell.