WINNING WINELANDS WAREHOUSE
It’s as if the best of two worlds have collided. A new iteration of chef Liam Tomlin’s award-winning Chefs Warehouse restaurant has opened at Maison in the Franschhoek valley.
The estate, owned by Chris Weylandt of the Weylandts home furniture empire, is pastoral bliss personified — a working fruit and wine farm with a vegetable garden, free-range chickens and a pet pig called Porcini.
Add to this idyll the third Chefs Warehouse (the other two are on Bree Street and at Beau Constantia), which replaced The Kitchen as the in-house restaurant late last year. Under the guardianship of head chef David Schneider, who worked at both other branches before opening at Maison, it extends the tapas-for-two format in the beautiful vineyardfacing setting.
Indoor tables (ideal for cosy winter dining) give way to a covered terrace and long tables with bench seating on the lawn. The contemporary-casual aesthetic is the perfect fit for the Chefs Warehouse style of eating, and Schneider ensures the menu is peppered with elegant but unfussy food that pays tribute to the area (local trout, nods to Cape Malay flavours) but also incorporates the global influences for which Tomlin is acclaimed.
The eight dishes on the tapas-for-two menu come in “courses” of two and three at a time. The deconstructed pretzel roll with pastrami, horseradish custard and pickles is a highlight, as is the lemon and caper risotto. The menu changes regularly.
Put this on your foodie must-do list
There are also starters and desserts separate to the tapas menu if you want to settle in for the long haul. Wine is by Maison — you can arrange a tasting — and there is an on-site retail space with great postbinge spending potential.