About six years ago, when Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen launched his JAN series on Showmax, I asked him when he would open a branch of JAN Restaurant in Cape Town or in the Cape. He was evasive in answering at the time.
After opening KLEINJAN Restaurant at Tswalu Game Reserve a year ago, and his JAN Innovation Studio in Cape Town, Chef Jan-Hendrik has finally announced the opening of his JAN Franschhoek on 1 December!
The minute I saw the news, I tried to book a table on Dineplan, but the booking surge was so high that the restaurant booking system seemed to have crashed! I called La Motte, and the lovely Monique assisted me in making a telephonic booking.
From my conversation with Monique, I know that the new JAN restaurant will be in the tiny Veepos building in the lavender field across the road from La Motte, seating only 16 guests. Diners meet at La Motte for a glass of bubbly, and are then transported across the road to JAN Restaurant, for a seven course meal. Some of the courses offer options. The cost is R2500, and includes a wine pairing per course. The restaurant is only open for dinners, from Wednesdays to Sundays. Bookings must be made via Dineplan. It will open for a ‘first stint of running for six months’, until 31 May.
I have dined at JAN Restaurant in Nice numerous times since it opened in 2015, and received its one Michelin star in 2016 and every year since then.
In his newsletter today, La Motte Wine Estate CEO Hein Koegelenberg wrote that at La Motte they focus on reinventing their business, requiring ‘honesty and bravery’, challenging one to keep one’s offering ‘relevant and profitable’. Passion for one’s business is what makes one honest and brave, he writes.
One of the reinvention and renovation projects La Motte announced today, resulting from the business introspection, is the opening of JAN Franschhoek, describing it as a ‘brave step’, yet he writes that ‘associating with the creative expertise of Jan Hendrik is one of the highlights of my career’. He says of the new 16-seater restaurant that ‘it will have none of the ‘services you’ll expect when planning a fine-dining establishment. Beautiful, but brave!’. He adds that the little historic building dating back to the 19th century is opening to the ‘culinary curious’.
POSTSCRIPT 28 November: JAN Franschhoek is fully booked until 30 April 2023.
JAN Franschhoek, La Motte, Franschhoek. Tel 021 876-2453. www.restaurantjan.com Instagram: @restaurant_jan Book at Dineplan.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whaletalesblog.com www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein, My Cape Town Guide/Mein Kapstadt Guide, Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide