The Kitchen at Maison Sweet and Col’Cacchio Franschhoek Sour Service Awards

The Sweet Service Award goes to The Kitchen at Maison Estate in Franschhoek, which did not charge for a slice of their new foie gras parfait, served with a delicious home-made grape jam, which I took home as a take-away after a coffee and tapas lunch.  I only noticed that they had not charged for the parfait when I had returned home and checked the bill, and called the Manager Julian Smith, to make him aware of his error, and offering to pay for it on my next visit.  He said that Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg had decided that I should not be charged for it.  This is one of the special touches of Maison.

The Sour Service Award goes to Col’Cacchio Franschhoek, and its Managing Partner Elizabeth Rossouw, who threatened to call the police when we refused to pay for an inedible Tiramisu costing R35!  It was covered with a toffee sauce, and consisted of mainly (artificial) cream, and had barely any finger biscuits, no coffee, no liqueur, and no mascarpone.  Despite sending the dessert back after one spoonful, it appeared on our bill.  Ms Rossouw arrived at the table, called me by my surname, even though we have known each other for years (we stopped going to French Connection when she managed it, due to her aggressive and unfriendly nature), as a sign of respect she said, and said that she had tasted it and it was perfect, and that we must pay for it! The Tiramisu was a compromise dessert choice when I had to return my first choice ‘Meringa’ Eton Mess type dessert, which was served with ice cream rather than cream, and without the fresh berries, contrary to the menu description, even though I had taken the trouble to check with the manager Andrew that it contained real dairy cream. No one came to the table to proactively inform us that the cream had ‘melted’ due to the heat of the kitchen, which was the ‘creative’ excuse provided by manager Andrew when I asked for him about the ice cream!  Despite my visit and experience being shared on Twitter on Monday, I have not received a call from the Col’Cacchio head office or from David Foster, the owner of the Franschhoek branch, regarding the misleading menu descriptions of at least two of the Col’Cacchio Franschhoek desserts.

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog.  Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at   Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the website.

7 replies on “The Kitchen at Maison Sweet and Col’Cacchio Franschhoek Sour Service Awards”

  1. John Thaw says:

    Most amusing as always.

  2. Veronica James says:

    I recently visited Maison too and had lovely (original) lunch but was surprised by the “borrowed” decor elements from other establishments in Franschhoek?

  3. Dear Veronica

    I am surprised by your comment – there is nothing ‘borrowed’ at Maison at all. Maison is owned by Chris Weylandt of Weylandt’s furniture stores, and all the decor comes from the stores.


  4. Veronica James says:

    Hello Chris,

    I was just asking about unique elements that I’ve seen at other establishments in Franschhoek not the obvious Weylandt’s furniture. Would you not agree that some things eg types of seating areas etc look similar? Wasn’t attacking Maison at all just wondering if new Franschhoek restaurants are borrowing successful elements from others?

  5. Dear veronica

    I have been to most of the restaurants in Franschhoek, and I think that Maison is unique, with one exception – the Manor House at Allee Bleue has a number of Weylandts-bought furniture and decor items.

    A surprise was seeing the Maison whisk in the logo, which co-incidentally Leopard’s Leap/Liam Tomlin Food directly across the road used as the theme for their lampshades and wallpaper too. Wooden tables to share in the garden can be seen at La Motte, which Maison has too.

    However, back-to-nature decor is all the rage now, so in that way Maison is no longer unique.


  6. Veronica James says:

    Thank you for your feedback Chris. I love the addition of a cooking school concepts to Franschhoek. It is definitely the culinary capital of our country.

    Prosperous 2012 to you!

  7. It’s a pleasure Veronica.

    All the best for 2012 for you too.


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