la petite colombe

The much-anticipated La Petite Colombe (“the little dove”) has just opened. An exciting new partnership between the La Colombe team and the owners of the stylish and luxurious Leeu Collection, the restaurant promises some exciting culinary surprises.

News that the brand new La Petite Colombe has recently opened its doors has the Franschhoek foodie world buzzing. The space has replaced The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français, and headed by chef proprietor Scot Kirton Scot Kirton and head chef James Gaag, it’s set to offer the town’s already rich culinary scene something fresh and exciting.

The people

“It has always been my dream to open a restaurant in Franschhoek, as it’s where I began my career at Haute Cabriere 15 years ago. So, when the opportunity arose, it was an easy decision to make,” says Scot, who was named the Eat Out Chef of the Year in 2015. Scot has worked in a string of prestigious kitchens, including Savoy Grill in London, the iconic River Cafe, and of course, most recently as head chef at La Colombe along with James Gaag. As the son of a chef, sugar craft and confectionary teacher, James was exposed to all kinds of cooking from a young age, and his experience includes working at Le Manoir aux Quatre Saisons in Oxford.

The kitchen at La Petite Colombe will be led by head chef John Norris Rodgers, who has worked with Scot for the last five years, and Morne Wessels will head the front of house along with sommelier Andrew Cook.

“Expect long lazy dining experiences where you can enjoy between six and nine courses.”

la petite colombe

The food

So, the question, of course, is whether the new restaurant will mirror the menu and atmosphere of the much-loved and acclaimed La Colombe, or if it is something else entirely. “Guests can look forward to the same quality they would receive at La Colombe in terms of food and service, “says Scot. “But, no dishes will be the same as La Colombe. It will have its own identity. La Petite Colombe will have its own surprises for diners to look forward to.” The focus of the food will remain on locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients, and a good selection of fine and rare wines will be available.

la petite colombe

“Expect long lazy dining experiences where you can enjoy between six and nine courses,” says Scot. Guests will be spoilt for choice with options like springbok tataki, rum braised pineapple, foie gras parfait, burnt macadamia, and Jerusalem artichoke; or mango glazed quail, smoked mussels, langoustine, and corn. “I’m really looking forward to showcasing new and exciting food in the Franschhoek valley, discovering new suppliers and feeding off the beautiful surrounding for new inspirations,” says head chef John Norris Rodgers.

la petite colombe

The look

The restaurant’s interior was done by Rohan Young and Beverley Boswell, who have created a modern country feel. They placed a skylight and lifted the ceilings to enhance the use of natural light, and opened up the kitchen to showcase the state-of-the-art space that was left behind from the previous chef, Margot Janse. “We wanted a relaxed feeling in the dining room, where the food is the real talking point,” says Scot.

la petite colombe

We’re expecting good things from La Petite Colombe, and we’re sure, based on past experiences from the group, that we’ll be wowed as usual.

Pay a visit:
Main Road, Franschhoek
Open: lunch & dinner

Photography: Claire Gunn