It was just the other day when The Husband and I remarked how few restaurants in the Western Cape celebrate South African cuisine. Your fine dining establishments often boast about their French and Asian inspired dishes, using local ingredients, but it’s not often that you find classics like tamatie bredie, melktert or malva pudding gracing their menus.
I find it incredibly sad since our food culture is so extraordinary. We have a such a variety of inspiring influences, from Khoisan to Cape Malay and African (South and North), as well as French, Dutch, German Portugese and British, all transformed by local traditions.
This is exactly the heart behind Beleef (an Afrikaans word meaning to experience). This new restaurant in Franschhoek is run by Chef Herman Steyn, who is aiming to breathe new life into boerekos. You can look forward to starters like Boerewors Wontons with Salsa, Chilli and Greens; or mains like Trout with Mieliepap and Escabeche. And how about desserts like Melktert Souffle with Cardamom Ice Cream?
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I did find their prices a little steep for those earning Rands, with starters ranging from R95 to R145, mains from R175 to R230 and desserts around R110. They do, however, frequently announce specials on their Instagram profile, which are especially aimed at locals and very nicely priced.
Beleef Restaurant has taken over from Ryan’s Kitchen on the main road in Franschhoek village, and the vibe is refined yet easy with a somewhat eccentric flair to it. It would definitely make a fun spot for a dinner with friends and plenty of wine.
Speaking of, Beleef also offers a creative cocktail menu with delicious concoctions that once again hero local flavours. Try Jou Ma se Passion, it’s as fantastic as the name.
Beleef has already created a proper buzz among foodies so they’re worth checking out next time you visit Franschhoek.
For more, head to beleefrestaurant.co.za