Franschhoek is where celebrity and TV chef Reuben Riffel calls home. The restaurant is elegant yet understated and unpretentious, perfectly reflecting the personality of this accomplished, humble chef. The expansive glass entrance and windows allow the mountains to be part of the décor. The sun gently reflects off the bar with its blonde wood and stylish copper lights. A black-and-white painting of Reuben’s oupa honours the Riffel family.
Diners can choose from small plates or tuck into a three-course meal – unintimidating, easy fare. Choose from the comprehensive small plate and starter menu – like the poke bowl with beetroot-cured Franschhoek trout, wasabi, pickled ginger, compressed cucumber, sesame and yuzu soy. Dishes like this, the yellowfin tuna tataki and pork belly on the original menu cemented a loyal, local following from the start. “We source all of our products locally as far as possible while still expecting the very best produce to create the very best flavours, and essentially memories, as we can,” says Reuben. Strong Asian and Cape Malay flavours dominate.
Locals are really proud of Reuben and his success as he grew up on the outskirts of this town. The menu states, in his words, “My heart was formed in the kitchen of my childhood, and it is in kitchens where my adult heart now resides.” For more of his cuisine consider his restaurants at the One&Only Cape Town in the V&A Waterfront and Reuben’s at The Capital in Sandton.
“And how I got here is a story of love. And hard work, yes but mostly it’s about love. The love of family and the love of food.” Chef Reuben Riffel
Address: 2 Daniel Hugo Street, Franschhoek, 7690
Phone: 021 876 3772