Stylish Dining at Janse & Co. Kloof Street

Words: Julie Velosa

They say that change is inevitable and on the Cape Town restaurant scene, this is pretty much a given. So, while we were sad to hear of the departure of Chef Arno Janse from Maison in Franschhoek, we were excited to hear of the opening of Janse & Co. on Kloof Street, which just happens to be mere steps from Crush HQ.

The Home of Janse & Co.

The restaurant’s home is a well-known spot on Kloof Street (previously Ocean Basket) and has a great interior that leads out to an enclosed courtyard at the back. The courtyard is a stunning space with pops of greenery from a vertical herb wall and at night is lit up with pretty string lighting.

Janse & Co

A matte dark grey is the base colour of the interior and this is carried across a lot of the design, which also includes natural elements such as wood, leather and stone. The effect is muted but chic. Janse & Co

Chef Arno’s food and plating style fits this concept really well; the plating is simple and focuses often on the element of surprise, with a play on colour. Ingredients are often layered on the plate, hidden, forcing the diner to look through to discover all the elements. It’s conceptual and yet doesn’t feel obviously fussy.

What to expect from the Menu

The menu is a collection of small plates and the idea is to choose a few to share; you can choose from 3-6 courses (R385 for 3-courses up to R685 for 6-courses). There are a number of meat and fish dishes as well as vegetarian and the veggie dishes can be customised for a vegan diner.

Chef Arno’s philosophy is not to impose what he would like on the ingredients but to be inspired by the seasonal offerings and best cuts of meat, or the catch of the day.

Because of this, it is likely that you will find that the menu changes regularly, depending on what is available and of the best quality. Expect to find different things each time with one or two firm favourites that remain.

Food that Popped

There are always standouts dishes and of the several that we tried, we narrowed it down to three that had us fighting for the last bite – the beef brisket, the chokka and the carrot dish. The beef dish is a superbly tender piece of brisket with a sauce that you want to scoop up every last drop of. The chokka, although perfectly white and seemingly unblemished had a beautiful and almost charred flavour to it. Perfectly tender and served with a mango chutney. The carrot dish with duck egg hollandaise (really do we need to say more?) and pangrattato was also sublime.

Something you must try, as it seems to be an integral part of the Janse & Co brand, is the charcuterie board. All the meats are made and cured in-house (you can see them hanging) and there are varied types inspired by charcuterie around the world. On the board we had 4 different kinds – Uratan, a traditional Balinese sausage with a yellow colour from fresh turmeric. Milano, a pork sausage with white pepper and white wine. Fuet, a Spanish-style sausage with the flavour of smoked paprika. Lastly, a beer sausage of Swedish influence, with whole black peppercorns and a good amount of fat. They are served with a housemade mustard and buchu bread crisps.

Bring on Dessert

Part of the ‘Co’ in Janse & Co, is pastry chef, Liezl Odendaal. And another standout dish was from the sweets menu. A rich dark chocolate cake with a featherlite mousse and touches of lemon. It’s a dish you want to order three of…

Thoughtful touches

One of the small design elements that really made sense to the style of the restaurant is a box on the table for each diner that contains a number of pieces of cutlery. With the concept of trying a small plates, the change of cutlery is inevitable, and this route allows you to just help yourself to the next set. It keeps the service flowing and means the only interruptions are the delivery of food and the topping up of your wine glass, which are attentive without being disruptive.

Janse & Co

Arno Janse and his team bring a fresh, contemporary and no-nonsense feel to their food and the space and will appeal to those looking for an interesting and varied dining experience. We recommend finding your favourites on the menu and then ensuring that your dining partner orders their own – sharing is not always caring!

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