Makaron Restaurant Refurbished

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Makaron, the French-inspired restaurant at five-star Majeka House in the Stellenbosch winelands, has reopened in a brand new space within the hotel. Sophisticated interiors by design and décor genius Etienne Hanekom and exquisite design details, such as bespoke, handmade crockery by David Walters Studio, draw guests into a contemporary, visually stimulating dining environment in which to fully appreciate modern cuisine grounded in classic French cooking techniques. Airy and light, the restaurant overlooks profusely planted gardens and leads onto a sheltered terrace for al fresco dining.

Complementing the new restaurant is M, a bar and lounge with the ambience of a plush Parisian salon. Majeka’s owners, Lloyd van der Merwe and Karine Dequeker-Van der Merwe, saw a need for an inviting space, separate from the restaurant, where guests may linger over pre- or post-dinner drinks or order a light meal in the afternoon or evening. Immaculately upholstered sofas, a library of intriguing books and a grand piano set the tone for total relaxation.

For the new-look Makaron, Lloyd and Karine went in search of a ‘blank canvas’, rather than just an ordinary ‘plate’, on which to present all the food. Celebrated potter David Walters in Franschhoek was commissioned to produce an exclusive collection of bespoke crockery for the restaurant. The result is beautiful plates and bowls in various sizes, each one slightly irregular in shape, either embossed with an M or a colourful swirl to complement the restaurant’s stylish interior – lots of natural materials and textures in a palette of muted metallics and grey with accents of bright colour.

Makaron is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while guests relaxing around the swimming pools or in the hotel’s Sanctuary Spa may order light lunches and snacks throughout the day. Breakfast comprises a feast of seasonal fruit, local cheeses, smoked fish and charcuterie, yoghurts, cereals, and sweet fruit loaves followed by an English-style cooked breakfast or French omelette. Butter is churned in the kitchen and cream is ordered from an organic farm in Tulbagh.

As an alternative to the bistro-style a la carte menu, a country harvest table has been introduced for lunch. The emphasis is on authentic French country terrines, inspired by family recipes from Burgundy passed on by Karine’s mother who recently spent time in Makaron’s kitchen teaching the staff. Lunch from the harvest table is a very reasonable R150 a person, and includes a choice of homemade terrines and breads, an individual salad incorporating fresh produce from the hotel’s vegetable garden, and a hearty main course – typical offerings include steak with béarnaise sauce or salmon fishcakes.

In the evenings, there is a multi-course tasting menu featuring signature dishes paired to local wines or the la carte menu of heartier dishes inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients. A carefully chosen wine list, compiled with the help of George Dalla Cia, makes wine and food pairing a pleasure here. The list features many of the owners’ favourite local labels plus a selection of sought-after French wines and Champagnes. Smokers will appreciate the elegant cigar lounge, leading off the restaurant, with its comfortable armchairs and excellent extraction.

For reservations call Majeka House and Makaron Restaurant on (27) (21) 880 1549