Johannesburg restaurant

‘refined farm-to-plate dining’

Located within an earthy nursery setting near Pretoria, complete with abundant hot houses and open-air gardens, Fermier focuses on fine dining to showcase South African fresh produce and the farming community.

The restaurant promises a food journey of nine tasting courses. If you opt for the wine pairing, you’re in for a real treat – sample limited production wines from smaller vineyards and some rare finds. After a few years of delivering on this promise, patron chef Adriaan Maree is comfortable with his progress. “It was never going to be a sprint,” he says, adding that the restaurant is still evolving.

Dining in a barn, with a corrugated iron roof, cement floor and rustic open-plan kitchen does not detract from the overall sophisticated ambience. Service is calm and capable, the three professional chefs stationed in the theatrical farm kitchen all work in unison, like a well-oiled machine.

The adjoining gardens and menu have thrived organically, constantly changing as they force the chefs to be innovative and flexible as they strive to get the best from what’s fresh and seasonal. A glut of oxheart tomatoes in the garden may mean a potent bouillabaisse sauce on the menu that night. “The better it goes in the garden, the better it goes in the restaurant,” Adriaan says. He’s moved away from big suppliers and focuses on getting what he needs from source – even the truffles are from South Africa. Cooking techniques have been simplified – no less work or dedication, simply more precise. Each dish is beautifully presented as a work of art but the real heroes on the plate are the ingredients, every element is thoughtfully placed with a role to play. Everything just ‘works’ – from the shaved artisanal Huguenot cheese course served with finely sliced cauliflower and marinated pear to the ‘suckling pig’ – served with Jerusalem artichokes, raisins and pickled onion.

It’s fully booked every night as Adriaan’s guests have been his best advertisers…

“We’re getting to a point where we’re really comfortable with what we’re doing – still   focusing on getting the best out of the fresh ingredients…‘fresh is best’.” Chef Adriaan Maree

Address: Karoo Yard, Plot 141 Lynnwood Road, The Willows, Pretoria, 0081

Contact: 076 072 5261

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