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“A true gastronomic experience”
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: Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
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.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A true gastronomic experience”
Reviewed 14 June 2014

I had been looking at tasting menus for some time to find one that would give a range of new gastronomic experiences. After reading a number of reviews, I settled on the African sampling menu at The Tasting Room. I was concerned that I was only trying to reserve a table with about one week's notice but was lucky that we were visiting from England in the low season. Some of the reviews seemed to indicate that the meal was a victory for style over substance which made me a little apprehensive.
We both chose the eight course option with wine pairing. I was quite surprised that this meant that our first three courses would be the same but the five courses after that would be different for each of us. Effectively, therefore, we could sample thirteen different courses. The menu is kept as a surprise (you only actually get a printed version with your bill) but each course is explained at length in a most engaging way. I can honestly say that each dish not only looked amazing but also tasted fantastic. The portions were sensible - at each course I felt that it would be nice to have more (but then I do like to eat!) but by the end of the meal I felt replete. An extraordinary experience and at the current GBP-Rand exchange rate not too expensive for British visitors.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Trickycricketer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

1,096 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Toledo, OH
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Best Meal in RSA”
Reviewed 12 June 2014

I am a serious foodie and try to hit the best restaurants wherever I go. The Tasting Table blew away the other top rated restaurants in South Africa (beating the Test Kitchen, Greenhouse Cellars [2nd best], Pierneef La Motte and La Columbe, amongst others) and can hold its own againts most of the top restaurants in the world. Best of all, with the current exchange rates, a blowout meal including great wine is a half or a third of a comparable meal in NYC without wine. I recoomend in the highest possible terms if you are in the area.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ProfJohnB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town, South Africa
Level Contributor
55 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Art and Indigestion”
Reviewed 6 June 2014 via mobile

Firstly one has to fill in an "application" online to make a reservation and give your credit card details. Meh
So after much ado we finally visit this place.
The first impression of the place is rather plain yet plush. The table setting is bare and kitsch.
The waiting staff ambush you with grandiose and verbose introduction. It's a bit over the top and condescending/ annoying.
The first few dishes were very artistic but all child like....
Pepper snow, onion twirls, edible silver etc etc
Already my digestive system signals a yellow flag.
The courses were all a mish mash over gastric art pieces that a pretty in presentation but not meant to be eaten especially with the plethora of wines the meal is paired with.
My husband and I both felt their was more alcohol than food... It's not all even wines only... Ale and what not
We were tipsy and left a bit hungry and bewildered but the whole experience. It's more theatrical than restaurant.
The place literally lives up to the name... It is only tasting... Tasting. If food were art this is Picasso paired with lots of alcohol.
3 days later my husband and I are suffering from serious indigestion and gastric reflux...
So it's a case of been there-done-that plus a bit of the emperor's new food.
The place was packed! So go to say you have been but have a real meal before, skip the alcohol pairing and buy an industrial size pack of Rennies:)
No photos. It's supposed to be a mobile free zone but there were people snapping away with mobiles like paparazzi.. Must be tourists. Lol

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank miz_ferreira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
84 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“You have to go there!”
Reviewed 1 June 2014

Creative tasting menu that will just make you want to go back and back! This place is one of kind. Excellent service too!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank poliana23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Quite an experience”
Reviewed 28 May 2014

My husband and I ate an 8 and 5 course tasting menu with wine while we visited Franschhoek in May. First and foremost, the food here is just amazing. At times it feels like more art than food, but the flavors and creativity are stunning. It is some of the best food we've ever had. However, the night before we ate at the Test Kitchen in Cape Town, which was a better tasting menu and the best meal of our lives.

Service was a bit underwhelming. Yes, wait staff is attentive and knowledgeable, but some staff were better than others and for some it felt like they were regurgitating a scripted story for us. Also, we were never told why wines were paired with each dish.

The room is a bit strange as well, carpeted and felt a bit closed in.

Overall, well worth it when visiting South Africa, such an experience!

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank A R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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