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“Best Food I Have Ever Had In My Life”
Review of The Tasting Room - CLOSED

The Tasting Room
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$110 - US$150
Cuisines: African, Contemporary, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
Description: The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais is South Africa's most lauded fine-dining restaurant. It is the stage to award-winning Chef, Margot Janse, and her unique African Inspired Surprise Tasting Menu. Here, in this intimate setting, serious diners have the opportunity to experience a true journey of taste. With a menu that continues to evolve and astonish The Tasting Room, and its African Inspired cuisine, creates a dining experience unlike any other. One where surprise and nostalgia take centre stage. In The Tasting Room every African Inspired dish is exceptional and engaging. Truly refined with a distinct feminine touch and, at the same time, unexpectedly exciting ... Exhilarating in fact. It is this contradiction that results in The Tasting Room menu's outstanding balance and ensures that the cuisine is nothing short of a theatrical masterpiece.In The Tasting Room the journey extends further than just phenomenal cuisine; it moves fearlessly into the captivating realm of stories and magic. A place where each plate, and its African inspired elements, have the ability to captivate the hearts and minds of diners.The Tasting Room is open Tuesdays to Saturdays for dinner only. 19H00 till late.Please allow at least 3 hours for your dinner.
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
37 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Best Food I Have Ever Had In My Life”
Reviewed 8 March 2013 via mobile

This place is unbelievable. The Chef is definitely a genius. We chose the surprise 8 course meal. 8 different dishes paired with 8 different wines. A real real treat for the pallet. Every single dish had a story behind it and it tasted like heaven. The presentation of the dishes was fabulous. The service was excellent. The more I say about the food the less it is. I am not sure how friendly this place would be to Vegetarians but this Chef is capable of anything. The 8 different wines will get you very drunk so go very easy on the wines. Overall one of the best meals I have ever had in my life. The place may be expensive for some. My wife and I paid a bill of about 2,500 rand which included two 8 course meals and all the wines etc. Please please visit this place if you can. And make reservations way in advance because there is always a waiting list.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Layman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

1,096 reviews from our community

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English first
Antwerp, Belgium
Level Contributor
34 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“A fun evening”
Reviewed 7 March 2013

We really din'd know what to ecpect, so we went in with open minds.
And I think that's the best way to go, because this is not a "classic" dining experience.
What is classic is the excellent and very attentive service (very warm), the very knowledgable sommelier, and the very tasty food.
What makes it different are, of course, the dishes.
There is no choice: only an eight course menu.(of whitch you don't even know the price).
All very tasteful (literally: full of taste) and original dishes with typicaly African ingredients. But this is not per se an exotic meal, not at all.
The three first dishes were the same for the both of us, and after that, we both got separate dishes, with different things.
Was it sheer luck or extremely good intuition, I don't know, but the fact was that we both got the dishes we individualy liked best and would have chosen if we had had the chance.
I must admit that not EVERY dish is right on, but you have so much fun tasting and discovering that you hardly even notice that.
Also the decor was a little different than what we expected, but it works well.

We will certainly return next time we're in Franschoek, it was really a very enjoyable and fun dinner experience.
Love this place!

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank fredvanbael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Franschhoek, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Our worst experience in South Africa”
Reviewed 6 March 2013

South Africa is a generous country with climate, food, wine and the friendliness and helpfulness of their people providing real differentiators when compared to all other countries we have visited and we do travel a lot. Our current holiday to SA (we are still there as we write) was a short notice event built around a booking we had been able to make at the Tasting Room this was our second visit to the TR and we expected it to at least equal our last visit some 2 years back. It was therefore a dreadful disappointment when half way through our meal a group on the next table became so loud that we, and the adjacent 2 tables, could not hear the menu explanations or talk across the table to our partners. After a particularly noisy period ourselves and the adjacent table approached them and asked them politely (well we are English) if they could moderate the noise enough for us to be able to talk quietly amongst ourselves. We were met with sarcasm and abuse. Other people who obviously were associated with them came over and told them to ignore us and to carry on having fun they then told us to go away and 'take our problems away with us'!!
After an attempt to continue our meal was disrupted by a return to excessive noise, ourselves and two other tables asked for the Maitre d. She arrived eventually after I was insistent with 3 levels of
staff that I needed her here Now! When she arrived two more adjacent tables stood up and pointed out they could not continue either. Her response to my offer to pay an appropriate portion of the bill was that the bill would be cancelled entirely and she was sorry about the disruption. 3 other tales left also and, I hope, we're not charged
We love South Africa and this was a bitter disappointment, it also resulted in significant distress to my wife and a lady on one of the adjoining tables.
People can be merry with drink and inconsiderate, but this was a degree too far.
The REAL problem here was the invisibility and lack of action of the front of house staff whose role is specifically to manage this sort of situation, preferably before it gets out of control. They did not approach the obviously offending table at any time during this fiasco. Silvano, in his days at the front of the Gavroche would have handled the situation quickly and firmly and to the satisfaction of all parties. In my view the fact that FoH here ignored it and effectively hid (!) created a situation where 3 tables walked out with clear financial impact on the restaurant.

BUT, the food we were able to eat was absolutely outstanding in taste, texture and presentation, even exceeding our excellent meal nest time.

I have no desire to hide behind anonymity. The restaurant knows who I am and just to be sure my booking number was M0508.
We won't want to go again, there are too few evenings left to me to risk another being utterly ruined. I hope the TR will be able to show that they have their Front of House group in order so that the rest of you can visit with confidence of a South African gastronomic treat.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Service
    • Food
4 Thank Alan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
susanhux, Manager at The Tasting Room, responded to this review, 11 March 2013
I am obviously very disappointed and stressed by the incident that occurred on Tuesday evening. We have not had this situation in the past and I can only apologise for the impact it had on your dining experience. I am also sorry if you feel our management did not handle the situation in the correct way and can assure you we are looking into correcting all aspects that went wrong on this evening.
I read that you said you would not want to return, however I hope you take my word that we are attending to the issues and that this will not happen again and that you will give our Tasting Room of which we are so proud another chance.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“fun night out”
Reviewed 6 March 2013

We booked for the Tasting Rooms about 2 months in advance and were very excited to go (my boyfriend being a chef too). The service was attentive and friendly, the interiors of the restaurant is perfect and not too much. The food was an experience on its own; creative and fun! - very different but we enjoyed every dish. We had a great evening...maybe just a little too much wine :D

Visited August 2012
Thank Louda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
233 reviews
114 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“Gourmet Extravaganza”
Reviewed 5 March 2013

Too bad my husband was not feeling 100% the evening we dined here. Prepare yourselves for a very long but interesting meal. The food is exquisite. Many courses but they are all small. Very interesting taste, visual and textural combinations - most worked but a few did not - not surprisingly given the number of courses included. Very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful wait staff. Great wine list as well. If you are staying in Franschhoek, and if you like good food, splurge and have dinner here once.

Visited February 2013
Thank SpikeVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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