Where to get your French Fix

Know when you walk into a restaurant and immediately feel welcomed? It might have been the "bonjour" I got on arrival, but there's something unpretentious, authentic and utterly charming about Les Delices de France. Admittedly, I don't venture to the West Rand very often, but my meal at this restaurant definitely made the commute worth my while. Les Delices de France is a converted house with the most delightful French owners, Robert Baxa and Claudette Gourjux, who add to the warmth the restaurant exudes. The dining area is split between two areas and we sat in a cosy room alongside just two other tables. The menu is small but seasonal - the new winter menu offers warm dishes accompanied by a variety of weekly specials. We opted for one of these: lamb neck stew with white wine, tomato, garlic, onion and bay leaves, served with couscous. The lamb was tender and the stew flavourful. The restaurant also does catering and offers a full service solution with a chef to plate your dishes at your venue, plus waiters and barmen. I was thrilled to find that the dessert menu spanned four pages - my idea of heaven! Expect to find dishes like poached pear in red wine with blackcurrents and coconut ice cream, R60, mini tarte tatin with salted butter caramel and ice cream, R50, and of course, a variety of soufflés. I loved the crêpe soufflé with raspberries. The restaurant plans a Father's Day three - course set menu for R295. Call 011 027 8668, 2 Keith Avenue, Roodepoort.

- Hasmita Nair, Jozilicious. Sunday Independent, June 1, 2014

Like Father Like Son

For most people who live in the leafier suburbs of Johannesburg, Florida seems geographically (and perhaps metaphorically) distant. I must confess to having grown up there, in a world where haute cuisine was the pepper sauce at the Salt and Pepper steakhouse on Ontdekkers Road. Florida is not a place where one would expect to find what must rank as one of the best French bistros north of the Groot Drakenstein. Les Délice de France is in Florida North, about 500 m from the Gordon Rd off-ramp, situated in an old house on the corner of Keith Ave, no more than a 20 minute drive from the Parks. It has been open for business since July 2013, run by chef patron Robert Baxa and front of house manager Claudette Gourjux. The menu is not one that you are likely to encounter anywhere else in Gauteng, where an authentic bistro experience is as rare as a city council response to a billing query. Specials for the night included starter portions of frog’s legs, foie gras and fresh porcini prepared with garlic and parsley. The portion of foie gras was generous, pan-fried and served on slices of poached apple and nothing short of sublime. Other starters (we didn’t get further than the specials) include a vol-au-vent of snails (R60), onion soup (R45), salmon and scallop terrine (R55) and the ubiquitous pate en croute maison (R65). Mains include duck leg confit (R145) aiguillette de canard (155) and beef Chateaubriand (R130). Seafood options include grilled salmon (R140), and a seafood casserole (R140). The Little Woman opted for the linefish, a simply-prepared rock cod. I selected the rack of lamb persillade (R160) which was perfectly cooked, delicately seasoned and sauced, as was the noisette of lamb chosen by both our companions. Desserts on offer include pear tart, crème brulee and opera cake ‘maison’ (all R45). We were tempted though by the list of soufflés on offer, and opted for the soufflé Normande (R50). The soufflé was ethereally delicious, delicately flavoured and accompanied by apple compote, generously bathed in Calvados. Délice de France is not yet licensed; a corkage fee of R25 a bottle applies. The only disappointment was a single lapse in the service, for which a profuse apology was offered. At Les Délice de France, you won’t find deconstruction, foams, dusts or soils. Les Délice de France is the real thing – started by skilled French people committed to producing authentic classics with high quality, personally sourced ingredients. This is the kind of neighborhood restaurant I dream about. In the meantime, I’ll schlep to Florida – it’s worth the trip. http://like-father-like-son.net/2013/11/20/les-delices-de-france/

- FATHER, November 20, 2013

Great Evening

Esquiste food & company! An array of wine selection supplied by all of the guests, slapped me senseless. The service was great, especially considering we were quite a large group. I’d definitely highly recommend Les Delices de France! The staff were extremely efficient and polite. It can be difficult finding restaurants to accommodate large groups and the spacious surroundings of Les Delices de France is perfect for birthdays/hen parties or large gatherings!

- *GIrlwithshoes, Bryanston