Dinner at Janse & Co

by Karisa

Janse & Co had been on my “must try” list for quite some time, but being a bit on the pricey side, I didn’t have a lot of takers to go with me. But when Dax, my fellow lover of the finer things, recently spent a couple of weeks in town before returning to London, my Janse & Co dream finally came true.

I arrived a couple of minutes before Dax and was quickly ushered into the door (and out of the cold) and taken through this beautiful restaurant to our table. The decor is dark & moody, giving it a very sexy feel. It’s actually hard to believe that this venue used to be the long-time home of Ocean Basket on Kloof Street…

Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg keeping a close eye on service proceedings…

Once Dax had arrived & settled in, our waitress tempted us with their
aperitif of the day which was called “Virtual Insanity”, something Jamiroquai-loving Dax simply couldn’t resist trying…

It was nice, but ended up being R90. I would recommend first checking the price, because in hindsight I would have rather used that money towards wine instead.

On the topic of wine, the wine list pricing is also on the higher end with glasses starting at R80 for white (Kloof Street Chenin Blanc) and R105 for red (Spider Pig Pinot Noir). Bottle prices range from R270 – R750 from the selection of whites and R380 – R1200 from the selection of reds.

I was in the mood for a Viognier and we settled on a bottle of Sijnn Viognier 2014 (R410) which was a really lovely wine.

On the food side, the menu features small to medium sized plates which allows you to indulge in a few more courses than you’d usually go for:

18 dishes in total – 15 savoury & 3 sweet. We went for the 5 course option – which is usually R585, but as their winter special will only set you back R450 (the winter special is valid until 31 Aug 2019).

Now dining with someone who’s willing to share is always a win. That way you get to taste double the things. It also helps when you like similar things, because the choosing part becomes so much easier.

We also got some great recommendations from out waitress who had intimate knowledge of every single dish. After weighing in her recommendations and our personal tastes, we settled on the following:

House made Charcuterie Selection, Mustard.
On the left: Potato, Jalapeno, Spring Onion, Bottarga; On the right: Silvers, Kale, Sorrel, Furikake.
On the left: Dexter Beef, Beetroot, Pepper; On the right: Blue Taos Corn Tostada, Habanada, Pine Ring.
On the left: Wild Mushroom, Celeriac, Nasturtium; On the right: Suckling Pig, Shiitake, Wood Sorrel.
On the left: Lamb, Cauliflower, Mint, Horseradish; On the right: Duck, leek, Umeboshi Plums.
Dessert: Persimmon, Vanilla, Beurre Noisette.

Stand out dishes for me where: the Charcuterie selection, the potato & jalapeno dish, the Blue Taos Corn Tostada, the wish mushroom dish, the suckling pig, the lamb and that beautiful dessert.

But the intriguing thing about this restaurant, well at least for me that is, was that even the dishes that weren’t really to my taste I enjoyed purely because of the amount of creativity & attention to detail that had gone into them. I love trying new things when it comes to food. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but I always get excited by the experience.

Interestingly, if you get sucked into reading their online reviews, you’ll see that there’s a fair amount of very negative reviews on both TripAdvisor & Google Reviews. Side-by-side you’ll see a 5 star rating from one person and a 1 star rating by someone else who literally visited a day later. Having had a great experience, I can’t say that I relate to the 1 and 2 star people out there, because in my book I’m happily going to give Janse & Co the following score on my Miss K Kiss-o-Meter scale:

Excellent service, really lovely dining atmosphere, super interesting dishes, just a bit on the pricey end, particularly on the wine side. But I’d happily go back & would definitely recommend that you check them out, particularly to take advantage of that winter special (5 courses @ R450).

Janse & Co is open for lunch Thu – Sat from 12pm to 2pm & dinner Tue – Sat from 6pm to 9pm (they don’t actually close their doors at 9pm – that’s just when they take last orders for the night).

To book a table, you can contact them on:

Reservations: reservations@janseco.com
Tel: 021 422 0384

Or you can make a booking online over here. NB Note: They do require a R385 deposit per person.

You’ll find Janse & Co at 75 Kloof Street, Cape town.


*** This was not a sponsored meal. We paid our own way. ***


Dax May 29, 2019 - 3:47 pm

I ate at a lot of top restaurants during my Cape Town visit and this meal was a highlight. The company probably helped 😉

Karisa May 29, 2019 - 4:01 pm

Definitely the company… 🙂 Thank you for always being a fantastic dining-partner-in-crime!

Tim Parsons May 29, 2019 - 4:43 pm

On your pricey point, we went to Foxcroft, for lunch, earlier in the week, the winter special is R395 for four courses and both the food, and value, with a glass of bubbles thrown in, were outstanding. I like Janse a lot, however, those of us that are hard of hearing are really challenged in that space.

Karisa May 29, 2019 - 5:01 pm

Hi Tim! 🙂 Love Foxcroft, haven’t been there in ages, so definitely need to go back & take advantage of that winter special. Sounds fantastic. Thanks for the heads up. I’m actually working on a winter specials post at the moment, so will add the Foxcroft one into the mix. As for the comment you made about the Janse space – are you saying the noise level becomes challenging? Which area were you seated? We were close to the kitchen and didn’t find it too noisy on the night.

Tim Parsons May 29, 2019 - 6:44 pm

Been twice to Janse, once for two in a similar table near the kitchen, second time with friends using the crescent table for 6 of us, we all struggled. I look forward to your winter special post, it’s a highlight of the Cape Town culinary year!


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