Far from the west bank of the upper River Rhine, a little piece of classical French cuisine has floated all the way to the southern tip of Africa. Located in Roodepoort, just across the hill from Florida Glen, Les Delices de France is almost unnoticeable, tucked away in between office parks.
It’s A Regional Thing at Les Delices de France
The decor is warm with inspiration taken from the French homestead. Dressed not to impress but to promote comfort and homeliness, Les Delices de France exalts ebullience.
The menu at Les Delices de France flows by region. Items such as rösti ( a potato pancake, originating from the Swiss borders of France), galette des rois (king cake, originating from the north of France) and veal paupiette (meat rolled and stuffed, popular in Normandy) explores as much culinary ground of the country without losing track of what’s important – the taste.
It is evident that the kitchen’s capability to pull off such extravagant and carefully curated dishes stems from having knowledgeable and strong leaders. At the helm of this hidden gem is Chef Robert Baxa and manager Claudette Gourjux. Chef Baxa spent time in the kitchen with acclaimed Chef Marc Guebert at Ile de France in the mid-90s. The original Ile de France has come and gone, but it was one of the first restaurants to put the French palate on a pedestal in the city, whichwould later revolutionise the South African culinary scene. It is safe to say that this eatery has picked up where Ile de France has left off.
There Are No Wrong Choices At Les Delices de France
The menu might be in French (with English subtitles) but the waiters are more than knowledgeable and can guide you in the right direction. The concept behind this eatery is to introduce classical French cuisine to Johannesburg. Patrons can expect a fusion between haute cuisine and contemporary indulgence – the reason why American Express gavethe restaurant a platinum fine dining award in 2017. When it comes to ordering à la carte, the duck carpaccio with apricot, sesame seeds, olive oil, honey and walnut comes highly recommended. Mains is divided between meat and fish with no wrong choices in between. If the tender rabbit braised in red wine and mushrooms served with spaëtzle noodles is not your cup then we recommend keeping it authentic with an oven-roasted beef fillet drenched in rich and creamy béarnaise sauce. On the fish side of life, items such as the bourride à la brestoise (fish stew with shrimps, mussels, mushrooms and a cream sauce) sing songs of the Riviera on a summer’s evening.
Round off your experience with the three cheeses of the day or dive deep into a wide selection of soufflés. Choices such as lemon, raspberry, and vanilla flamed with rum will transport you to Provence in a heartbeat.
Sipping Champagne At Les Delices de France
F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that too much of anything is bad, but too much champagne is just right. This is the case and point at Les Delices de France. Boasting bruts such as Paul Roger NV, Follet Special, and Louis Roederer Premiere, the restaurant goes out of its way to source excellent brands for you to sip on. The bubbly train does not stop there, as Les Delices de France dabbles in prime MCC brands. Visitors can expect Colmant from Franschhoek, Graham Beck, and Simonsig. There is also a wide selection of French and South African wines to compliment your dining experience.
No matter where you are in Johannesburg, it’s recommended to pick a warm day, drive to the west and sit on the patio at Les Delices de France, look out into the garden and get lost in a world of flavour.
Address: Corner Gordon Road, 2 Keith Ave, Florida North, Johannesburg, 1709
Tuesdays: 12:00 – 14:00, 18:30 – 22:00
Wednesdays: 12:00 – 145:00, 18:30 – 22:00
Thursdays: 12:00 – 14:00, 18:30 – 22:00
Fridays: 12:00 – 14:00, 18:30 – 22:00
Saturdays: 18:30 – 22:00
Sundays: 12:00 – 14:00
By Shawn Greyling