La Petite Ferme

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One of the things I love about living in the Western Cape is the plethora of wine farms and restaurants. I love food and enjoy eating out, I grew up with my parents celebrating every single thing with dinner at a restaurant so now, I celebrate being alive at a restaurant.

Every weekend, I try to make a point of eating at a restaurant I’ve never been to in parts of the winelands like Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. On this particular day, I felt like a drive to the beautiful town of Franschhoek and of all the many restaurants, I chose to dine at La Petite Ferme. So, I called the restaurant and made an early dinner reservation for 6pm.

La Petite Ferme is situated high upon the mountain overlooking the Franschhoek Valley. It is known as one of the more ‘intimate’wineries in the Cape Winelands and is listed by Conde Nast Traveller as one of the top 15 ‘Best Value’ establishments in the world. I expected great things from what I read and was excited to experience dinner at this seemingly marvellous place.

On arrival, I was slightly disappointed to see the parking area looking shabby as opposed to chic. This made me a little anxious walking into the restaurant, not knowing what to expect, but when I entered the restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised to see it looked much better than the parking.  The interior can best be described as rustic, quaint with a country charm. I took a tour of the restaurant and found that the restaurant is not the only part of La Petite Ferme. Within the restaurant, is a shop, wine bar and small wine cellar where the wines are bottled. It was then that I appreciated the name La Petite Ferme which is French for The Small Farm.

Fast forward to dinner, I ordered a three course meal which cost R390. My first course was a starter – Tian of Slow-roasted Lamb wrapped in prosciutto with rocket pesto, yoghurt sauce and poached dried prunes, it was very well presented, salty but tasty.

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My second course was a main – Teriyaki Braised Pork Belly with butternut purée, roasted cherry tomato and a teriyaki broth. I love pork but can’t say I particularly enjoyed this meal. I had eaten the most delicious pork belly at Lanzerac in Stellenbosch a few weeks prior so I had high hopes which were unfortunately not met on this day. The pork was a little on the burnt side and fatty. Pork belly is usually fatty but the fat I bit into wasn’t the delicious, melt in your mouth type, it tasted fatty and gross and I had to spit it out. This was unfortunately my least favourite meal at the restaurant.

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Dessert which was my third and final course was my favourite – Malva Pudding! It was delicious and I ate every bit of  it.

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Overall, I’d say my meal experience at La Petite Ferme was fine, although a bit disappointed by the main. Everything else was good, the meals were beautifully presented, the staff were friendly and professional, the view and setting was lovely, I just wasn’t blown away with the food.

The farm will be going through renovations from this month, July to September and I plan to revisit in September to see the ‘after’ look and dine at the restaurant a second time with hopefully a better review .

For more information on La Petite Ferme, visit http://www.lapetiteferme.co.za/

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