Financial Mail - - LIFE OUTBOX -

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.

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