AT La Petite Colombe, you have two exceptionally fine dining options: the Chef’s Reduced Experience (which is by no means a reduction in sensory pleasures) or the Chef’s Experience. Both can be combined with a Fine And Rare Wine Experience for ultimate pleasure.
La Petite Colombe is now located on Leeu Estates, the luxury travel destination which you can read more about here. We had a lunch reservation and naturally high expectations. This is perfectly acceptable, because no matter where you set the bar, the restaurant is going to clear it with ease.
The venue is spacious, walled on two sides with glass letting in light and views of the gardens and newly planted vineyards; decor is elegant and understated playing a complementary role with the food that follows. The first course is usually served in the lounge area, where there are couches, easy chairs and low tables. Gratifyingly, the restaurant was full – what a pleasure to see this when guests are virtually exclusively local – so we took ours at our corner table in a prime position to not only enjoy the outdoor landscape but the whole restaurant.
Chef John Norris-Rogers himself – honoured! – brought the trio of tastes to us, with the theatrical flair we’ve come to expect…yellowfin tuna with chipotle and coriander, Purdon wagyu with pickled fish, truffle and aubergine, and an oyster with apple, kalamansi and soy. I had zero regrets about an oyster allergy because I got chawanmushi, a silky smooth savoury Japanese custard to which I am rather partial.
Something we’ve come to expect from La Colombe and La Petite Colombe, is that not everything is as it appears, to wit, the tinned tuna for which La Colombe is famous. And so it was with the duck liver parfait (French for “perfect” so it really has to be) with rhubarb and lavender. All is exactly as promised, but presented as something else entirely. It’s a dish that evokes trills of delight, wonder and amazement.
And here’s the thing. Just when you think things can’t possibly get any better, they do. Each dish elevates your taste buds further than you thought possible. Dry aged duck with prawn, szechuan peanut and hoisin; Karoo lamb in a cloud of smoke with harissa, salsa verde and chickpeas; confit salmon prepared at the table, exquisitely soft and smooth, with bacon sambal, asparagus velouté and a quail egg, paired with Creation Wines’ Art Of Chardonnay 2017 which is exclusively available at LPC…
For everyone else, the cheese course comes next followed by the sweet dessert, but we asked for it the other way around, so as to end on a savoury note – a decision we did not regret. The strawberry, bergamot, earl grey and lime was pink and heavenly, especially since they brought out the big guns in terms of the wine pairing – Vin de Constance; the smoked Stanford cheddar with smoked olive, sherry, and paprika sable was the perfect finishing touch.
But there is one more gloriously indulgent surprise which awaits to excite your inner child, but I’ll leave that for you to find out for yourself. Because you absolutely positively must treat yourself. I insist.
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PHOTO CREDIT: BIANCA COLEMAN ©