by Sarah Keevy

High society at Mange Tout

Mont Rochelle's world-class eatery

Mange Tout Restaurant
Mange Tout Restaurant
The sweeping views from the windows of Mange Tout restaurant at Mont Rochelle Estate in Franschhoek provide the perfect backdrop to dining in high style. While Alfio plays show tunes and popular numbers on the piano of the dining room, it is possible to believe you have found yourself in a classic film from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Mange Tout has a menu based on seasonal ingredients and many of the herbs are grown in Mont Rochelle’s own garden. Head Chef Makhi Maki has taken time to devise two menus: a smaller tasting menu that can be paired with wines from the estate, and a larger à la carte menu. When choosing à la carte, it is possible to have dishes from the tasting menu, but usually this is served as a whole dinner of eight courses.

My partner and I were immediately impressed by the choices on both menus and decided we wanted to mix and match from both. No matter what you select, the chef provides three surprise items throughout the meal, including an amuse-bouche, sorbet and extra dessert.

The amuse-bouche was a highlight of the meal. We were presented with a small mason jar each and warned not to worry about the smoke as we opened them. On opening, a mist filled with the delicate aroma of duck wafted out. Inside we found small slices of smoked duck, gently placed on an African garlic mash. It was delectable.

Our choice of mains was just as delicious. The oxtail was rich and tender, while the open mushroom lasagne was as lovely to behold, as it was to eat. Tiny shimenji mushrooms were sprinkled over al dente sheets of lasagne and drizzled with a cheese fondue.

Dessert was out of a fairy tale. The soufflé of the day was sour cherry and I could hardly resist. The coffee-coloured mound opened to reveal a light sponge of bright purple. Paired with vanilla ice cream, it was an absolute treat. It melted in my mouth and I immediately I wished I could have had a second helping. The crème brûlée was also no plain affair and it was served with crumbled Oreos, cubes of sweet strawberry jelly and flaky kataifi pastry.

Mange Tout is open to the public, not only hotel guests, and, besides a delicious meal, it offers very good value for money. A three-course meal, plus the chef’s three surprises, comes at only R190 a head – very little considering the high-quality ingredients, attention to detail and excellent service. Other dishes available on menu (though these do change regularly) are chicken curry, pork belly and line fish. You can be sure, however, that each of these will be served with its own twist and you are guaranteed not to have an ordinary meal. Rather, enjoy the extraordinary view (whether the sparkling lights of the valley at night or the rolling green vineyards in the day) and appreciate the creativity of Chef Mahki Maki. 

Tel: 021 876 2770
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