I don’t always start my reviews at the end, but in this instance, I will change the order up a bit as these small moments really show what Grande Roche in Paarl is all about.
While enjoying our desserts, the elderly couple, who were sitting next to us were getting ready to leave. Maybe in their late 70s or early 80s they had huge smiles on their faces, but weren’t very confident on their feet and slowly made their way towards the doors of the restaurant. One of the waiters noticed this and began to assist them, not only by helping them to put on their coats and scarfs but also leading them all the way to their car on a cold & rainy day.
The table to our right was enjoying an intimate birthday dinner and the Chef created a little something to celebrate the occasion. Along with a beautiful dessert, one of the staff members sang a quiet rendition of Happy Birthday. It gave the couple a wonderful moment to cherish while not disturbing any of the other guests at the restaurant. While no one at the restaurant knew this couple, everyone could appreciate the high level of service to make the day even more special.
This level of service is consistent with everything that Grande Roche presents and holds dear. It’s a tailor-made experience from the moment you arrive until the end – an experience that is customised to only you.
We enjoyed a wonderful 7 course tasting menu where a similar custom-made experience awaited us. The waiter brought us a menu and we are asked to explore the dishes, to see what we liked and highlight ingredients that wouldn’t excite us. After doing this, the Chef then picked and chose the dishes he thought we would enjoy the most, and thus, making each one of the 7 courses a complete surprise.
7 Course Tasting Menu at Grande Roche
The evening started with something light. The local honey flavoured goats cheese was incredibly creamy and balanced out the delicious labneh cucumber soup perfectly. It was also plated with marinated cucumber spaghetti, pickled white and brown shimejis mushrooms, cucamelon which reminded me of miniature watermelons, seared shitake, and light pumpernickel crumble.
The ostrich fillet was a quite rich dish compared to the first course, and was accompanied by a beautiful seared tartare. Flamed broccoli, sweet-sour butternut roundels and grilled oyster mushrooms completed the dish.
It’s so easy to overcook scallops but this was absolutely perfection – soft on the inside and a little crispy on the edges. As the dish arrived at our table, the first thing to greet us was the smell of the truffle fond blanc – pure greatness. The dish came with a jus glazed veal sweatbread medallion, garden pea mousseline, a paoched quail egg and was topped with a potato crips.
This was one of the most delightful palate cleansers that I’ve enjoyed in a very long time. And the smallest elements had the biggest impact as the honey pearls added an explosion of flavours as soon as they burst on your tongue. A delicious strawberry MCC jelly and a light elderflower sorbet made this as refreshing as it sounds.
The star of the dinner was the sous vide cooked springbok loin. The rich gamey meat combined perfectly with the little bit of sweetness of the cherries and shiraz jus. A mix of vegetables like brussel sprouts, baby onions as well as pumpernickel flan completed the dish.
The first of our desserts was a sous vide cooked garden peach with a caramalised white chocolate cremaux and buttermilk sorbet. It was completed with peach mousse, wheat croquant and lavender flowers.
My favourite dessert of the evening – the Valrhona chocolate bavarois. This delecate chocolate dessert had a creamy, aerated texture and came accompanied with passion fruit curds, macademia praline, passion fruit caramel as well as a macraon and granadilla ice-cream. It was a pure joy to combine the different elements and discover new flavour combinations with every single bite. I absolutely loved it.
From the start to the finish and everything in-between, Grande Roche delivered a spectacular fine dining experience that we will remember for a long time. From the service, to the attentive staff and the exquisite creations of the Chef, the entire dining experience at Grande Roche was an absolute joy.
A 3 course (R615 pp) and 4 course (R740) set menu is available as well as a 7 course tasting menu (R1295).
Book your seats now to celebrate a sophisticated fine dining experience with Grande Roche.
Directions to Bosman’s Restaurant
Grande Roche Hotel
Call 021 863 5100