Monday, July 18, 2016

Bastille Day lunch at Dutch East, Franschhoek

Franschhoek celebrates Bastille Day every year on the weekend closest to the 14th of July. This year we were all a little subdued by the dreadful news of the attack in Nice on Bastille Day, but determined not to be deterred by terrorism and to continue our involvement in honour of the people who died so cruelly. We had been invited to lunch at Dutch East restaurant in the middle of Franschhoek before we attended the festival
Pasch du Plooy has changed direction at Dutch East. The coffee roastery has gone and he puts more focus on providing fine food for customers. They do still provide excellent coffee! They had reserved a table for us under the tent. Franschhoek and the staff were all dressed in the Tricolour colours and it was a lovely sunny winter’s day
Our table at the back. On Sundays, they do not take bookings and there is lots of opportunity to get some good food for lunch in a town that is usually booked solid. There were a lot of walk in customers while we were there.
The guys at the bar pour John a good Darling brew
The front of the special Bastille Menu. At present they have a winter special set menu of 2 courses for R240 and 3 for R300 which is very good value. The menus can change daily. Check out these menus on line at http://www.dutcheast.co.za/menus/
Freshly baked rolls and butter
Lynne's generous starter of Duck liver Parfait with Cognac and Port came with a small micro green salad, guavas cooked in vanilla, poached strawberries, a balsamic reduction and a spiced corn chip crumb. The fruit was rather sweet for Lynne. It was a portion that would have satisfied two. It also came with two shards of crisp bread. Some wines are available by the glass. She had a glass of Graham Beck Brut which went very well with both this course and her main
John ordered the French onion and ale soup, well caramelised and topped with a slice of toast with cheese. He found it very satisfying
The main courses and desserts on the menu
John, in French mood, ordered the Cassoulet and says it was one of the best he has ever eaten, so we hope it stays on the menu for you to experience
Lynne is a very instinctive eater and must have been needing iron because she ordered the Pan fried liver and bacon dish. This came with confit onions, lovely smoky bacon bits, slivers of cooked and raw garlic, small potatoes and a creamy mash, topped with fried leeks and a was in a rich sauce. It also had some cherries but we didn't understand why they were there. The mains are served in large bowls. Lynne had six large pieces of liver, absolutely perfectly cooked and well flavoured but just too generous. They do give exceptional value
After this gargantuan meal, we had not an inch to spare for dessert even though there were some temptations. Double espressos for both of us were a good finish And the coffee is excellent
Owner and chef Pasch du Plooy, chef, meat eater, butcher, sausage and charcuterie maker and general bon vivant. Thanks Pasch, we had a lovely time
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016
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