When foodies in Joburg mouth off a list of French bistros in the city, Bistro Vine (Parkhurst), Winehouse (Ten Bompas Hotel, Dunkeld), Red Rabbit (Nicolway, Bryanston) and Le Canard (Morningside) are a few that could be mentioned. All situated in the Northern suburbs of the city, all in hot spots that are known to house some fine eating establishments.
Word of mouth is still the biggest form of advertising for me that a restaurant can have in its arsenal when attracting new customers to its tables. And one such French bistro that has quite a few people talking in the city lies not within the Northern suburbs but out yonder in the West Rand.
Les Délices de France, is located in Florida, Roodepoort. To those that say, “that sounds incredibly far“, or “the West, I’m sorry where is that?“, it really isn’t that far a drive from the North. Getting on the N1 from Rivonia Road, its a mere 20-minute drive to the Gordon Road off ramp. The restaurant is located not even 2 minutes away from there.
The restaurant opened its doors in July 2013, and the owners admitted that like many new restaurants it was a slow start, but also not being in a so-called “hotspot” area like Greenside or Parkhurst for instance, didn’t help create the buzz this new venture so rightfully deserved in the beginning. Almost a year later, things seem to be picking up nicely and more and more people are making the journey to the West to see what all the fuss is about.
As did we…
Run by chef/co-owner, Robert Baxa and manager/co-owner, Claudette Gourjux, together they have created a menu that leaves you wanting to try it all, and an ambiance that is quaint, inviting and charming.
We were told when we got there that the menu on hand had only just been updated that Friday past to include new warm, more Winter-inspired meals. Perfect for a Sunday lunch outing on 18 May, a day that was the coldest day of the year for me so far.
We were also told a host of specials just after being shown to our table but the menu kept me busy with many other delicious choices too.
For starters, I opted for the Bouillon de Volaitle Crémé Henri IV (Creamed Chicken consumné with paprika), R55. Its rich, creamy texture filled the cockles of my heart (as my Scottish family always say). And the cheese sticks that accompanied it really gave it a great flavour combo.
My boyfriend, Matt, ordered the Terrine de France Saumon et Gambos (Salmon and Prawn terrine with Sundried tomato mayonnaise), R75. He reluctantly gave me a taste and I could see after tasting it why he didn’t want to share. The seafood flavours did not over power each other and the taste, incredibly light and smooth.
For mains, I chose the Filet de Porc Sauce aux Champignons (Medallion of pork fillet with mushroom sauce), R130. Many a pork dish I have had has seen me “eating with long teeth” as the pork was horridly dry and overcooked. This time I am happy to report, the pork was cooked to perfection, and the accompanying sauce was divine.
My carnivore loving boyfriend immediately opted for the Chateaubriand Béarnaise (Beef fillet with béarnaise sauce), R145. Apart from the baby marrow, (which he shipped off onto my plate as this isn’t his favourite veggie), if I had let him, he would have been licking his plate clean… it was that good.
Now, I don’t eat red meat, so I had to take his word for it that it was good, but with a Cheshire cat grin on his face, I can unequivocally say that it was a top choice.
Vegetarians beware, this isn’t the place for you if its anything but dessert you are looking for. There are no pure veggie options at all on the menu. But hey, for an amazing sweet treat, you won’t be disappointed!
Speaking of dessert, my vice, my poison, and my great love in life (sorry Matt)… like many, I always turn to the back pages of a menu to see the dessert options before anything else. I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE EXCITED TO SEE THE SOUFFLÉ MENU! I say this in all caps, as the only way I can express my sheer delight at trying one of these bad boys out for the first time.
The two of us decided that instead of trying to each choose just one soufflé from the menu, that we would share two. Thanks Matty!
Our dessert order: Double Chocolate Callebaut (Chocolate soufflé with Chocolate nuggets), R60, and Crépe Souffle aux Framboises (Pancake soufflé with raspberries), R65.
If after dessert I wasn’t feeling like I was completely full, I would definitely have wanted to tackle another soufflé. My feeling after this life changing experience, is one where I will never again be happy going back to plain old ice cream and hot chocolate sauce, mouse, crème bruleé or cheesecake as dessert options at restaurants any more, having found my happy place at Les Délices de France.
Before my visit, I was a French bistro virgin, and am proud to say that as my first, it really exceeded all expectations. Upon speaking to Westranders, this is a completely new, fresh and exciting dining experience for them, away from the franchise-fluster of Clearwater mall and the surrounds that they are used to.
In terms of the price range, they are very competitive. Cold starters from R65; Hot starters from R55. Meat mains range from R105 to R165, while Fish mains range from R155 to R165 with an SQ thrown in the mix too (the baby lobster). As mentioned above, soufflés are all R60, while the other also delectable desserts range from R50 to R85.
I will definitely be making the trek to Les Délices de France again soon, and hope the Westranders all relish in this gem they have on their doorsteps.
Have you tried Les Délices de France yet? What were your thoughts on the restaurant?
Information you need to know:
- Website: http://www.lesdelicesdefrance.co.za/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Les-Délices-de-France/398577313577646/
- Phone: +27 11 027 8668
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address: Keith Avenue, Cnr Gordon Road, Florida North, Roodepoort, Gauteng, 1709
Side note: I feel a lot more sophisticated and suave thanks to my newly acquired French cuisine lingo 🙂