Le coin Français Culinary Theatre in Franschhoek

Winona Griggs

Le coin Français: Culinary Theater in Franschhoek

Mia van Heerden

Prepare to be wowed at this cozy restaurant that brings a touch of drama to every dish.

Le coin Français captures the heart and soul of the Franschhoek Valley through its rich heritage, divine cuisine, and exquisite wines (the name says it all: hoek = corner = coin). Opened in 2017 by acclaimed chef-restaurateur Darren Badenhorst, Le coin Français blends the elegance of classical French cooking with innovative techniques that celebrate local food traditions.

From his childhood in Durban, where he spent countless hours exploring the ocean, spearfishing, and experimenting with local coastal ingredients, Darren Badenhorst developed a deep love for nature’s culinary treasures. Now, in the picturesque Franschhoek, Darren and his team venture into the surrounding rivers and mountains to discover wild ingredients that inspire their dishes – they even make early-morning foraging trips a part of their routine.

A Meticulous Eye for Attention

Mia van Heerden

When you settle into one of the incredibly comfortable chairs and gaze out onto the bustling main street of Franschhoek, you’ll face a tough decision: the eight-course tasting menu or the 10-course chef’s journey. The latter offers three pairing options: classic wines, vintage wines and cocktails, or non-alcoholic beverages. Then all you have to do is sit back and savor the explosion of flavors.

Both menus, which can be modified for vegans or vegetarians upon request, showcase Darren and his team’s unrivaled attention to detail and artistic flair. A highlight is the Franschhoek trout. This dish features cured and smoked trout, complemented by a carrot-and-horseradish emulsion, toasted wild yeast, and fennel pollen. It’s an incredibly smooth and savory treat with the perfect hint of sweetness, and the presentation alone is enough to make you think it could go viral.

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Mia van Heerden

When you walk into the restaurant, the excitement starts to build. The flavorful dishes and the attentive service create a special atmosphere that you can’t help but get caught up in. One dish that stands out is the butter-poached BBQ langoustine with aerated Gruberg and snoek brandade velouté, served with pea-and-pancetta risotto. The velouté, infused with langoustine flavor, is so creamy and delicious that you’ll want to savor every spoonful. And the risotto is cooked to perfection, making it the perfect accompaniment. Another standout dish is the sustainable sea bass with pickled mussels and black risotto. The flavors are perfectly balanced, and the dish is a true delight.

A Sweet Finish

The menu ends on a high note with a selection of delectable desserts. We highly recommend trying them all. The New York cheesecake is creamy and subtle, with a burst of citrus curd, a crunch of oat crumble, and hints of ginger. It’s a combination of flavors that will leave you wanting more. And then there’s the chocolate mushroom, a dessert that showcases the pastry chef’s incredible skill. It’s deep, complex, and full of chocolatey goodness. It’s a dessert that will have you saying “wow” with every bite.

At Le Coin Français, our menus change with the seasons, creating an enchanting and sophisticated experience for diners who appreciate the epicurean theater of a menu and the artistry behind its creation.

When you visit, you can expect a romantic ambiance and dishes that reflect the best of each season. Our culinary team carefully selects ingredients that are at their peak, ensuring that each plate is a masterpiece of flavor and presentation. You’ll be transported on a culinary journey as you savor the vibrant colors, rich aromas, and exquisite tastes of our creations.

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We believe that a truly memorable dining experience goes beyond the food alone. That’s why we pay attention to every detail, from the elegant table settings to the attentive service. Our goal is not only to satisfy your appetite but also to inspire all your senses and create lasting memories.

If you’re wondering when we’re open, you can join us from Tuesday to Sunday, with seating available until 8:30 pm. Reservations can be made by calling 074 126 0022 or emailing reservations@lecoinfrancais.co.za. We’re located at 17 Huguenot Street in Franschhoek, a picturesque town known for its charm and culinary scene.

So, if you’re looking for a dining experience that is both refined and heartfelt, come and visit Le Coin Français. Let us take you on a journey of culinary artistry and exquisite flavors that will leave you with a lasting impression.

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