One does not turn down an invitation from Ryan and Lana Smith to have a meal at their restaurant in Franschhoek, Ryan’s Kitchen. We chose a Saturday lunch time – yes good news, Ryan’s is open now for lunch except Sundays.
We had eaten Ryan’s food before when the restaurant was in a charming old Cape House up near the Huguenot Monument.
Ryan Smith is a truly well trained and well experienced chef. He met his wife Lana when he was Executive Chef at one of the big hotels in St Petersburg. Lana
Ryan’s Kitchen in its second incarnation is a bigger place, which has retained all the charm and atmosphere, and some. It is housed in a charming little centre on the north side of the main drag into the town.
We were welcomed as one would an old friend by Lana and taken to a table by the window. The restaurant is light and bright and front of house run by Lana and a lovely lady who looked after us on a previous occasion. The bar at the back looking over the courtyard of the centre is a great place to have a pre-prandial glass of bubbles or a digestif after your meal.
The menu, called the New Small Plates Menu is divided into 5 sections, Salads & Vegetables, Fish & Shellfish, Meat & Poultry and Dessert, four offering of each, and each a perfect small plate sufficient for two. You kick off with the most enchanting little yellowwood box of Ryan’s home baked breads.
The food just kept coming! We ordered our dishes, 6 of them, and Ryan sent them out in the order in which he felt they should be served.
Cured Salmon, licorice, snow eggs, grapefruit & radish – the grapefruit and the fat salmon being perfect partners.
Duck & Foie Gras Slice, turmeric jelly & plantain – so unusual and a first for me on a menu here.
Mushroom Tapioca “Pudding” with sautéed porcini mushrooms [our best]
Cheese Croquets, coco parsnip aioli, parmesan & red wine vinegar.
Baked Spiced Kingklip, coconut velouté, wilted greens [served with crispy fried onion]
Pork Jowl, sliced pork fillet, cinnamon jus [a triumph], banana sweet potato purée
We made room, as one does for dessert.
Chocolate-Stout Slice, caramel crunch, stout ice cream [the ice cream another triumph]
Guava Soufflé, buffalo yoghurt ice cream [star of the day]
The wine list is eclectic and offers an excellent selection of wine by the glass, served in the most elegant of glasses. We had Glenwood Unwooded Chardonnay 2014 and Lynx Xanache 2013, a soft 4 way red blend.
Would we go back? – yes at the drop of the proverbial hat!
1, Place Vendome,
Lunch: Monday – Saturday 12:30 – 14:30
Dinner: Monday – Saturday 18:30 – 21:30
Closed on Sunday.
Major credit cards accepted
Telephone: +27 (0) 21 876 4598