Makaron Restaurant is located in the nouveau creative interior of Majeka House and is at the heart of this small luxury hotel.
This Makaron is not sandwiched between two brightly coloured meringue biscuits but rather it finds itself nestled between green trees and luxurious Stellenbosch homes.
Once the large electric gates have eased open you realise that the sweet, sticky, thought-you-had-died-and-gone-to-heaven stuff is about to reveal itself inside Majeka House – just like a delicious macaron should. Makaron is located in the nouveau creative interior of Majeka House and is at the heart of this small luxury hotel. Makaron restaurant strikes one as a restaurant to celebrate a special occasion – graduations, anniversaries, birthdays, family, career promotions, sailing single-handedly across the globe or just appreciating another special evening in the Cape Winelands. Any excuse will do.
It is a treat from the moment you enter. The chic interior transports you to a special place fit for this exceptional level of dining. The addition of some local artisanal beers and ciders as pairing suggestions on the menu is inspired. Think Mushroom Bolognaise with Lime Spaghetti and Parmesan Foam paired with a delicious pilsner from Birkenhead Brewery in Stanford. Most of the wines selected for the Makaron wine list are South African and the majority of these are from the Stellenbosch area.
Chef Tanya Kruger, inspired by her recent stint at Michelin-starred L’Arpege restaurant in Paris, has created a summer menu at Makeron which is a lively showcase of fashionable farm-to-fork eating. Tanya says, ‘This summer, I am going to be playing around a lot more with raw veggies, fruits and flowers inspired by my time in France. On the current menu, the vegetable sushi and sashimi dish is my first expression of a lighter, simpler style of preparation.’
We experienced this new, lighter style in the chef’s amuse bouche of a delicate slither of salmon which we cooked ourselves on a block of hot salt. With a sprinkle of fresh lime to counter the saltiness – sublime, simple and light.
The bio-dynamically farmed lamb supplied by farmer, Angus McIntosh, was not available on the evening we were there. This, I guess, is the small sacrifice we, as diners, have to make if we want well-reared, quality organic ingredients, sourced locally. We must understand that there can be a natural shortage of stock from time to time. This is a challenge that Tanya takes on willingly as she knows the results she gets on the plates she serves.
‘Working under Alain Passard at L’Arpege was a revelation,’ says Tanja. ‘His menu changes daily depending on what is sourced at the market that morning.’
With small touches throughout the meal such as olives from the garden and local goats milk butter accompanying the bread platter, one really gets the feeling that Tanja and her team respect the importance of high quality, local (if possible), ingredients delivered daily. They then use their seemingly endless creativity to enhance predominantly French-style dishes – you will find popcorn powder in a cauliflower royale, sweet corn veloute and a study of rabbit, succotash and prune puree, beautifully plated and ready to entertain multiple senses.
Makaron with its super slick décor and hi-tech lighting takes you on a gastronomique journey beginning with fine interiors, near faultless service, a knowledgeable sommelier, an enthusiastic and talented kitchen team through to the gourmet fare that justified Makeron’s nomination for a place in the Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards 2012.
Inevitably all good things must end and you are beamed down to reality but left with a feeling of luxurious indulgence and many tales of extraordinary flavours to share.