Thursday, September 12, 2013

Franschhoek Uncorked: Lunch at Maison

Maison is on the Franschhoek Uncorked route and we could taste their wines in the large tasting room.
or sit in the lounge area
Wine cooling in a bath of iced water
We took our table near the fire - the day was not warm  Very clean and uncomplicated decor in the restaurant
Lynne catches up with the Chef, Arno van der Westhuizen, whom we have not seen since last summer.
The restaurant is very light and airy, with a large window on one side and sliding glass doors on the other, which can be opened for an al fresco atmosphere on fine, warm days
More nice clean design for the menu. We ordered a bottle of their excellent Chenin to go with our meal.
Patrick, our extremely competent waiter, had everyone properly cared for
The daily specials
The menu
John chose from the menu - Tempura duck rolled in nori seaweed, dipped in batter and deep fried. The duck was soft, shredded and very rich, made even more so with the addition of the slices of foie gras. We shared this of course. In fact we shared all the dishes
Lynne likes to choose something unusual, and off the daily special menu came Tomato tartare – not raw, not sun dried (thank heavens), but somewhere in-between.  It had lost is tart freshness and was rather meaty in texture, but a full-on concentration of sweet tomato.  The brilliance was serving it with a small scoop of strawberry sorbet which was more than a match and a great compliment to the tomato favours. Who would have thought, but it works
Lynne’s next course, was also off the specials.  Firm, uncomplicated  perfectly cooked Red Roman tasting of the sea on a bed of carrot and ginger puree. She liked the crisp deep fried skins of the Jerusalem artichokes (sunchoke)  but less the rather undercooked ones beneath the fish
We both found the rib of beef very tender and full of flavour, perhaps rather too many tendons and sinews for John (Jack Spratt).  The parsnip with truffle was mind blowing but Lynne would have preferred a different vegetable to the sprouts – not wrong, she just doesn’t like them very much.  We meant to order chips but were not unhappy we forgot to as this was quite a filling meal
The beverage menus  
We did not have room for dessert as we knew we were going out for another meal that evening
The Chef on the pass. John took many photos of him - he is very, very active and busy
Our neighbours enjoying a glass of the Maison Straw wine
And their neighbours decided to have some as well
Our bill. It was not cheap, but it was worth it
Music on the terrace as we departed
being enjoyed by festival goers awaiting a table
 © John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013

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