Rustic Chic: Fine Dining at the Foodbarn

June 27, 2013 1:29 pm


Fine dining… in a barn? Only in Cape Town can such an oxymoron exist. This far-flung city at a distant tip of the African continent is home to some of the world’s finest chefs, look and yet it (and they) are famously laid back. The result of the mixing of these five-star culinary talents and their easygoing demeanors is a range of top-notch restaurants in unlikely places. Case in point: chef Franck Dangereux (formerly of La Colombe, a celebrated Cape Town institution) setting up shop in a lovely old barn in the village of Noordhoek. You’ll get all the flavors, without the fuss.


Foodbarn occupies a revamped space with quirky, colorful, unpretentious décor, and is located along the highly trafficked route leading tourists and locals alike down to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope — prime real estate to lure hungry daytrippers. That’s how I found myself lunching on the patio there with my family one afternoon, after we’d driven down the Cape Peninsula and needed to refuel before heading back to the city. See if you can spot the Khan clan in the picture above.


As his name suggests, the chef brings his French influence to the table, adding a little Gallic flair to the bounteous fresh local produce that the Peninsula boasts in abundance. His menu changes every few months, to make sure everything is perfectly suited for the current season and ingredients.

Pictured here: Botswana beef rump, risotto with Mozambican prawns, and lamb. All fresh, tasty, and hearty. This is the kind of meal that may knock you out of commission for a few hours, so plan the rest of your day accordingly.


And no matter how full I may get, I always have a spare stomach for dessert. We tried the strawberry cheesecake with rhubarb panna cotta, chocolate mille feuille, and crème brûlée. The elaborate presentation doesn’t compromise on taste: everything is pretty much as good as it looks.


There’s a playground filled with barefoot, happy children on the jungle gym and squealing with glee down the slides — and even a tractor my nephew Amaan found his way to — so the kids will be plenty occupied as you linger over your coffee. Don’t bother coming here for a rushed bite. This is true comfort food, meant to be savored and indulged.

Noordhoek Farm Village
Corner Village Lane and Noordhoek Main Road

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