A good friend of mine just introduced me to a little gem in Franschhoek called Cafe des Arts, this was previously owned by renowned cook Topsi Venter who was one of our mentors at the chef school where I studied as well as throughout my career. You will still find her popping in at the cafe on a regular basis.
Cosy, welcoming and vibey, I felt very at home in this rustic cafe situated amongst all the great restaurants in Franschhoek's gourmet valley, it's very down to earth with real food you just want to tuck your teeth into as well as the friendly couple who own the place, greet you and spend time with all the guests explaining how they came to purchase this wonderful place where you can also buy the artwork on the walls.
The menu changes daily and is written on a chalk board, 3 or 4 starters, 5 or 6 mains and 3 desserts had a good mix of everything from light to rich foods and although the linefish which looked so delicious as it whizzed past was sold out on the night I was very happy with my meal.
My starter was pickled fish on crostini with salad, crispy, sweet, sour with an addictive bite. A tasty local dish done well. R65
Another starter, Tomato and basil soup was very tasty, good bread and concentrated tomato flavours. R45
My main course, a smokey cooked to perfection Kassler chop with ratatouille and mustard mash. R95
Lamb's Liver with roast potatoes, bacon, baby onions and balsamic vinegar, this is one of their recommended dishes perfect balance of richness with the balsamic vinegar R70.
Sirloin Steak, mushroom sauce, mustard mash and salad, another recommendation for the evening also cooked perfect. R125
We all enjoyed ourselves, left with full stomach's and felt like we had made new friends with the owner's Chris and Louise, I hope to see you soon to try out the chalkboard breakfast and lunch offerings.
Cafe des Arts
Pictures and article copyright by Tamsyn Wells