Janse & Co has quickly become my favorite daytime quality lunch venue for a spoiling meal with special friends. To attract more daytime visitors, the restaurant has amended its offering, allowing diners a shorter lunch option, bringing down the price. The quality is as good as it has been since its opening.
The restaurant was opened by Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg and his wife Liezl Odendaal, in December, with a three-course to seven-course lunch and dinner menu offering close to twenty options, creative in its inclusion of a terminology glossary. Sadly the temporary Restaurant Manager Ronel Smidt has returned to McGregor, and her position has been filled by Michael Welsh.
Finding their Lunch trade to be on the slow side, compared to their very busy Dinners, the restaurant introduced a more compact Lunch menu, offering a 2-course (R245) to 5-course (R545) pricing structure, with resultant time benefits for those that are in a hurry. The Dinner menu continues to offer a 3-course to 7-course range.
The Lunch menu is now a two-sided leaflet, and sadly its glossary has fallen away in the interest of space. On each of the three times that I have eaten at Janse & Co, new dishes have been added to the menu, now offering between eight to ten savoury and two dessert courses. New additions have been a gluten-free seed loaf on the bread board, and friandise (chocolate and vanilla custard layers) at the end of the meal.
Some of the new dishes have been:
# Trout, plum slices, grape slices, and verjuice
# Smoked line fish, being geelbek on three eating occasions, has evolved from being unusually served with a coat of figs, to being served with Sharron fruit (persimmon), and pork crackling below it.
# One of the most exciting new menu additions is
the duck liver parfait, which is prepared, frozen, and then shaved over pickled quince, blanched green beans, and interestingly granola, giving it a lovely crunchy texture.
# Beetroot, dried kelp strips, and labneh
# Chicken, passionfruit, Horseradish, and mustard
# Nectarine and lemon verbena, honey, sorbet, and sprinkled with nectarine powder and Marigold petals.
My friend Lisa Harlow was very impressed with the Wines offered, and chose a glass of Fledge Vagabond Blend 2015 (R75), a name I had not heard of previously. Chef Arno said that they regularly receive wines to evaluate for addition to their wine list. The Lunch wine list currently offers nine white wines (R55-R95 per glass, R200 to R390 per bottle), two pink wines, and nine red wines (R90/R95 per glass, R360 – R1350 per bottle).
Janse & Co is a classy, affordable restaurant serving small dishes. No dish offered in its particular set of ingredients and presentation is available elsewhere. No diner can complain about leaving the restaurant hungry, as one can order up to five courses, and share each other’s dishes. The seating outside is charming, far away from the traffic on Kloof Street. Most impressive is the doorman welcoming me by name on each of the last three eating occasions! My only recent irritation was the hard sell by the waitress to up my order from two dishes, after having eaten there three times before, and sulking over the rest of the service when I told her that I would not change my order!
Janse & Co, Kloof Street, Cape Town. Tel (021) 422-0384 www.janseco.com Instagram: @janse_and_co. Tuesday – Saturday dinner, Wednesday – Saturday lunch.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein