Never judge a book by its cover, pounced the old adage at me after an evening of fine wine and dining at Le Franschhoek’s opulent restaurant, Dish.  The head chef, Emile Fortuin, with his relaxed smile and unassuming demeanour pulled off an amazing fete of hosting relaxed patrons whilst simultaneously attending to a private function with much aplomb.

When the focus is on and the mind is set there is no stop to what ever you want to achieve in life…..!!! #chef_emile_fortuin

With a journey that started in his family kitchen, he quickly sped through various stints with a stop off at Reuben’s and living abroad, from where he gained his Asian influence.  This young talented man is currently the head chef at Le Franschhoek’s Dish Restaurant.  Do yourself a favour and read his autobiography, it is heart-warming and gives one faith in the impossible.

As a hand’s on family unit where everyone is personally involved in the wine making process from the vineyards to their cellars, the Louw family can certainly be proud of their Maastricht brand, which is nothing but exquisite and produced on their farm in Durbanville.

With a backdrop of candlelight a journey of sheer romance that progressed with sumptuous flavours and mostly ruby reds followed.

Excellent Dishes + Exquisite Wines + Soothing Sounds = A Top-Notch Evening

Smoked Salmon Croquettes
Venison Carpaccio
Homemade Sushi

First Course

Maastricht  Sauvignon Blanc paired with Salmon Alaska

Meringue baked salmon with citrus salsa, grated cucumber, pineapple emulsion and ginger soy


“The nose is intense and complex with green pepper flavours combined with asparagus, gooseberries and tropical fruit.”  I found this to be a non-mischievous light wine


Second Course 

Maastricht Pinotage paired with Roasted Beef Fillet

Galbi marinated fillet, picked kimchee cabbage, strawberries, sweet pea truffle mousse, berry


The nose shows vibrant flavours of plums, red cherries and dark chocolate. It’s complimented by the soft ripe tannins which adds depth and length to the palate.”


Third Course

Maastricht Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Duck Breast

Cured honey roasted duck breast, apricot gel, dry aged carrot, carrot ribbons, quinoa salad, spiced duck jus


“The nose shows spicy aromas, complemented by coffee, dark chocolate and cigar box notes. Dark berry fruit, cherries and      spice follow through on the palate. This is a full-bodied wine with soft, but firm tannins, giving a balanced mouth feel and long finish”




Blueberry lemonade jelly and mint emulsion


Fifth Course

Maastricht Shiraz paired with Peppered Kudu

Roasted peppered and boegoe kudu loin, wild garlic and white carrot puree, confit potato, broad beans and prune jus



“Shows spicy notes with elegant violet and fynbos aromas. Ground black pepper and ripe red fruit are evident on the palate with a complex texture. A rich classic and elegant wine, with a long lingering finish”


Sixth Course

Maastricht Pinot Nior paired with Berry textures

White chocolate creameux, raspberry parfait, pea pistachio sponge, berry leather, strawberry sorbet, summer berry coulis and fresh berries


The nose shows vibrant flavours of blackberries, red cherries and roasted nuts. It’s complimented by the soft ripe tannins which adds depth and length to the palate with a velvety finish.”


My all-time favourite was the kudu loin prepared with boegoe, the words bold and flavoursome come to mind.  I had never tasted boegoe other than in a less than tasty brew prepared by my mother, so this was definitely a palatial adventure.  The portions were healthy so do go with a huge appetite.


Without a doubt, this is a worthy treat of sheer indulgence.  On my top five list!

For the full album click here






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