I love discovering new and exciting venues and restaurants that are opening up in my city – and imagine my surprise upon a visit to the newly opened ‘Melville Yard’ to find quite possibly the smallest restaurant I have ever seen in my life, but quite possibly also the best decorated too!
Enter La Petite Maison which can literally be described as a ‘slice of paradise’ in Melville and for a fine reason too, may I add. Although it sounds French, the chefs are in fact both South African – however, they did meet in Italy, training in an ancient castle together.
Both Chef Tyeya Ngxola and Chef Tim Stewart are Michelin-restaurant trained, and this place with the French name is the resultant amalgamation of their talents – a restaurant with South African ingredients and French-method cooking.
Before I share about the food, I have to tell you about the decor and the bubbles – as every dining experience for me is a full sensory experience and if its beautiful from start to finish, then I am a happy foodie indeed!
Deep velvet couches and small tables with high bar stools, make this tiny space feel almost like you are in a very exclusive night club or venue overseas. A beautiful balustrade feature makes for a conversation piece, and two of the window tables look out on to the street as if to invite passersby in to feast on the delectable offerings coming from the kitchen.
An extensive wine menu is stocked with the very unusual, all from South Africa. Most of the labels are relatively unheard of, with tiny production lines: exciting, excellent wines you need to taste to believe. There may or may not be some French bubbles around somewhere, just saying.
Their menu is a map of South Africa, each one of the seven dinner courses inspired by a different South African place. It’s a delicious gastronomic journey across our beautiful country.
The current seasonal dinner menu’s journey begins in the Kalahari of the Northern Cape with a dish inspired by what the local Khoi San people do – and ends in Ficksburg with a gasp at the beauty of what these two chefs have created from semi-bitter Guanaja chocolate and the berries of our cherry country.
The weekday lunch menu currently features a platter of South Africa-produced charcuterie, paired with a special glass of wine.
Totally worth a visit, for an experience to remember and certainly one for the Instagram account 😉
A: Top of 7th Street, Unit 4 of number 1
T: 010 593 7986
Images supplied and menu image is taken from La Petite Maison Instagram account.