Situated in suburban Stellenbosch, Majeka House & Spa is a luxury boutique hotel and its Makaron Restaurant is one of Eat Out magazine’s Top 30 Restaurants for 2017
I had long been aware of Makaron, but quite often in life, something that one has looked forward to for a long time disappoints in reality. My first visit was anything but a disappointment.
My visit was for lunch at Makaron. At the restaurant’s helm is Chef Lucas Carstens, and Makaron offers a choice of between four and six small plates from its menu.
At my first visit to a fine dining restaurant, I try to get as broad a feel for the chef’s cuisine as is possible – and the Makaron small plates menu was an absolutely perfect opportunity.
Up front it offers as Compliments from the Kitchen: Caesar taco/ crispy chicken skin & truffle/ beetroot & trout cracker/”roosterkoek” & “bokkom” butter/ “mosbolletjie en korrel konfyt.”
Lovely palate openers all and I tried hard not to overdo them, knowing that four more courses lay ahead….I partially succeeded, although the roosterkoek kept on looking at me appealingly.
For starters, I tasted: Eggplant tartare, artichoke, turnip; and Poached oyster, peaches, pickled sea vegetables. Both dishes offered the palate a delicious freshness and textural variety.
Following these, I tried: Zucchini risotto, raw mushrooms, cured egg yolk shavings. Aware as I am of how difficult risotto can be to make, Chef Lucas ‘nailed’ this one! And then the House-smoked hake, celeriac, dill, whey soured onions.
From The Serious Choice section of the menu, I chose: Leipoldt’s springbok “rafeltjievleis”, stewed fruit, apricots, onion. Lovely contrast between the sweetness of the fruit and the onions and the spiciness of the springbok. One of the best meat dishes I have had in years! I also tasted the: Suckling pig, “suurvytjie” basting, sweet potato, nasturtium flower vinegar. Another very good meat dish with the acidity of the basting and the vinegar contrasting nicely with the pork.
My excitement-omoter always goes into overdrive faced with a good dessert menu. I could easily have tried all four on offer, but restrained myself and only savoured two of them: Banana carpaccio, roasted yeast caramel, sourdough ice cream. Wow,wow, wow! If it was proper to have a dessert as a main, this would be the one I’d choose. I also had the: Fermented blueberries, olives, olive oil.
And to end it all off, the cherry on the bottom…….we finished off with dainty Toffee apples.
Chef Lucas Carstens’ menu was a gastro-adventure par excellence. Creative, beautiful plating, diverse and simply ”lekker”.
As the Terminator would have said: “I’ll be back!”
26-32 Houtkapper Street, Paradyskloof, Stellenbosch 7600