Autumn is without a doubt the most magical season in the winelands. Ask anyones who lives here and they’ll launch into dreamy tales of vineyards washed in shades of yellow, blood orange and browns, of crisp mornings that flow into perfect afternoons and cool evenings, and of the bubbling excitement that red wine weather is on the horizon.
It’s also the time when I start craving those classic comfort foods: tummy rubbing, lip smacking, eyes-closed, familiar, feel-good-flavour food. And when I get to combine that with a hit of fine dining finesse, well that makes for a pretty perfect afternoon.
This is precisely the reason I return to La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek, where you get to enjoy those South African favourites prepared with an elegant twist, all while marvelling at the sweeping views in front of you. So I was excited to try their new autumn menu that recently launched in the restaurant.
The menu draws inspiration from the refined country-inspired cuisine, with some new additions and many signature dishes that regulars return for.
One highlight for me was the starter of mosbolletjies with chicken liver pâté and picked red wine figs, a delicious combination of sweet and savoury flavours. It pairs nicely with the very yummy La Petite Ferme Viognier or their Sauvignon Blanc.
If liver isn’t your jam, they also do these really delicious Bobotie Bitterballen, or you can try the crispy beef bites made with slow-roasted beef brisket, infused with Cape Malay spices, deboned, crumbed and fried.
On the mains side you can’t go wrong with their lamb, which is slow braised until it melts off the bone, and served with aubergine, macerated prunes and mint yogurt. Try it with the La Petite Ferme Merlot, I really enjoyed the match. Or go for the trout, a must in this area.
And the sweet stuff? Look forward to lighter options like their famous rooibos-poached fig, or if you have a hard core sweet tooth you can try their very decadent Chocolate Torte with salted caramel and liquorice chocolate mousse.
While the menu definitely leans towards the meaty side of the scale, there are a few options for vegetarians (though you might need to phone ahead if you’re vegan). All in all though I think you’ll find something to indulge in.
Don’t go looking for culinary magic tricks. The dishes are undoubtedly pretty but also simplistic. And let’s be honest, that’s the type of food you go back for.
The restaurant at La Petite Ferme is open for lunch from 12:00 – 15:30 and for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays from 19:00 – 21:30 in summer (November – April), and from 18:30 – 21:00 in winter (May – October).
For bookings and enquiries, call +27 876 3016.