Maison in Franschhoek – An absolute stunner

by Karisa

If you haven’t yet been to the Maison Estate, you’re missing out.  It’s so beautiful, it literally makes your brain hurt…  And that’s exactly why I’m going to bombard you guys with lots of photos today. 😉

I was very lucky to get invited for a little lunch indulgence recently and I took my friend Janine along for the ride.  We happened to be in the area for Bastille Fest, so it all worked out rather perfectly…

But before we get down to the nitty-gritty – some background info:  The Maison Estate is situated on the R45 just outside Franschhoek.  They have a deli which sells lots of amazing things, a gorgeous tasting room and a restaurant called The Kitchen where Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg serves up what can only be described as art on a plate.

Then there’s also a big sprawling lawn out back complete with never-ending vineyard views, a bird’s nest swing, and even a couple of roosters.

Think the perfect blend of modern design, natural beauty, and beautiful food & wine…  Keen for a tour?  Then feast your eyes on this:

They do a smallish selection of about 5 wines.  On the day we tried both their Shiraz & their Viognier:

Love the simplicity of their labels… Also loved both wines…

And then they have a relatively simple menu that features sharing style deli dishes, with some sweet treats to finish it all off.

Price wise its definitely on the higher end with dishes going for between R75 – R125 (there’s also a charcuterie platter for R150).  The servings aren’t big, so you will likely need more than one per person.  The chef recommended for example to try at least 3 dishes amongst 2 people, and then we had also planned to do a dessert each.

Have a look at the full menu over here.

They start you off with a pretty unique complimentary bread board.  With your freshly baked breads you get 3 different dips/pastes/toppings (not really sure what the correct term would be).  We had a broccoli one, a butternut one, and a cauliflower one, and it was really hard to pick a favourite.  So we did what anyone would do in that situation, we finished them all…

We then opted to try the Tempura kreef tail, tomato tartare, Huguenot herb custard (R125), the Miso lamb belly, gooseberry, apple, celery, mint (R85) and the Semi dried red pepper, tempura kapenta, chickpeas, roast garlic, yoghurt (R75).  And just in case you weren’t sure – kapenta is a small, sardine type of fish.

This is what it all looked like:

Then for dessert we had the Lemon cheese cake, naartjie, orange, grapefruit, raspberry, sherbet, borage (75) and the Chocolate malt cake, caramelia cremeaux, beurre noisette, malt mallow, gooseberry butterscotch, gooseberry sorbet (R85):

The verdict? That kreef tail was definitely the star of the show amongst the savoury dishes. The flavours were absolutely beautiful and we actually contemplated ordering another portion. The kreef tail was closely followed by the lamb belly. Also tasty and nice & fatty. Just the way I like pork belly to be. And then the kapenta I must say was far less fishy than I expected it to be. The flavours worked well, and I was glad that I tried it. It’s just not something I would crave for again (if that makes sense).

Then onto dessert… Both desserts were out of this world. Truly. If you can’t afford a full meal at The Kitchen, I highly recommend that you skip right to the sweet stuff paired with a lovely glass of wine.

After tantalising our tastebuds, we decided that the best way to wrap up this visit was to do some “nesting” while taking in the view:

Ah yes… it doesn’t get better than this…

We absolutely loved our visit to Maison… And for that reason I’m going to give them a score of kiss4_smudge on the Miss K Kiss-o-Meter scale.  I’ve taken off a half point purely because a meal here is not going to fit into everyone’s budget, and if you’re not too adventurous when it comes to food, you might find a few of the dishes too far out for your taste.

That said, I still highly recommend you pay them a visit if you’re in the area.  Even if it’s just for a bit of a wine tasting and to enjoy that gorgeous setting…  And the kreef tail if you can… oh my goodness that kreef tail… #StillDreamingAboutIt

Things you need to know:

  • The Tasting Room & Deli:
    Open 7 days a week from 10:00 – 17:00
  • The Kitchen:
    Open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch from 12:00 – 15:00
  • Contact them for reservations on:
    021 876 2116

And if you need some company, I’ll happily tag along!

I have to say a big thank you to Chef Arno and the rest of the Maison team.  This was such an indulgent treat.  Hopefully I will be able to make my way back there soon.


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