If you and your partner are both a fan of good food and excellent wine, La Brasserie de Paris in Waterkloof Ridge, Pretoria should definitely be on your date night bucket list!
My husband and I discovered this French affair of fine foods and drinks on our very last date night in South Africa and we’re not disappointed. I for one felt a lot of pressure on the night as I wanted to take my husband out for one last amazing date before we had to say goodbye for almost a month due to our plans to move to the United Kingdom. We are both quite big foodies, we enjoy a good glass (or bottle) of wine together and we try to go to nice restaurants as often as we can afford it. This again added to the pressure of the night as I didn’t want the restaurant to look incredible but then when the food arrives we are disappointed (speaking from experience here). I am however very happy to report that this was not the case and we indeed had one magical French fine dining experience!
La Brasserie de Paris is the perfect restaurant if you like to get dressed up a bit for dinner. I don’t mean like suit and tie but it’s definitely a place you can show off a nice cocktail dress and a pair of stilettos which is a plus for me.
From the moment we walked through the restaurant’s doors there was a very welcoming and cosy vibe in the air which immediately makes you feel relaxed and ready for that first glass of wine.
We started off with a glass of French champagne which set the mood for a romantic date night. We were both ravenous and thoroughly enjoyed every meal and in between we talked about how excited we were for our adventure in Oxford. The combination of mouth-watering food, fine wine and talks of our dreams really made the night magical.
Another unique element to La Brasserie de Paris is the building which the restaurant is in. It is located in a suburban area and when you drive down the road you definitely don’t expect to find a fancy French restaurant. This makes it look and feel like a hidden gem in-between all the houses and it also makes it feel a lot warmer and inviting as opposed to just another commercial restaurant.
The homely feeling is further emphasised by the fact that the building was actually previously someone’s house. But this isn’t just any typical high-wall house in Waterkloof Ridge. Looking at the house now it has quite a contemporary feel which you might not think is different to many designs today but the incredible thing is that this house was already designed and built by its previous owner, Karl Jooste in 1965 when something this modern was definitely way ahead of its time.
Jooste was inspired by the designs of French-Swiss architect, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, also known as Le Corbusier, who was actually a friend of his. Le Corbusier is seen as one of the pioneers of modern architecture as we know it today so it is easy to see why the home has such an edgy design even though it was built over 50 years ago.
If you would like to read more about the building, you can check out the restaurant’s website here.
Moving on to the most important part…the food! Like many other fine dining restaurants, La Brasserie de Paris offers you two options, the à la carte menu or their degustation experience. With it being such a special night for us, we decided to go for the 5-course degustation menu and we even spoiled ourselves further by adding the wine pairing. If you are not driving I would definitely recommend spending the extra R200 for the wine, one bottle will almost cost you the same anyway and the pairing offers you the chance to experience a wide variety of wines you might not get the opportunity to have again.
The menu changes every now and again so you might not get the same options we did but honestly, I don’t think you can go wrong with anything! Our 5-course meal started off with a Soupe du Jour which was a French Onion Soup. This was our first time ever trying this and I just wanted more after! But be careful, the soup and the delicious bread can really fill you up so don’t get stuffed on your first course.
For my second starter, I was feeling a bit brave so I decided to go for the Burgundy Snails served with mushroom, bacon and a potato croquette. The risk paid off because the dish was amazing! The next course was another first for us both, Foie Gras Delice. I enjoyed trying this dish but it was quite rich and the texture isn’t that appealing to me but at least I tried 2 new dishes in one night.
After enjoying a light sorbet to cleanse the palate, my main of Kudu Loin, Butternut Squash Purée and Dauphine Potato arrived. This dish drew my taste buds because it felt a bit more adventurous than having a normal steak but I was still in the mood for something meaty so this was perfect.
On our night we could add an optional Cheese Platter, which again we went for seeing as we were there to go all out. The platter had 3 different cheese options and some crispy bread to eat it with.
By this time we were properly stuffed but I have the biggest sweet tooth so you best believe that I will always have room left for dessert! I had a Red Fruit Macaron which was served with a Champagne Jelly and Raspberry Sorbet. It was divine!
To see what options are currently on their menu, click here.
As mentioned, we opted for the wine pairing with our food and I wish I could give you a break down of each wine we had but I was just having too much of a good time to remember all of that! I would say that it’s a MUST to have at least one glass of French Champagne on the night even though they do make you reach deep in your pockets for it. We shared a small bottle which had enough for one glass each and if I remember correctly it was already around R300. But hey, I don’t drink French Champagne every day so sometimes we have to make sacrifices. We didn’t look at the wine list in too much detail as we already knew we were doing the pairing but from a quick glance, I could see that there were various options for whites, reds, blends and bubbles.
The team at La Brasserie de Paris really offers everyone an amazing dining experience, whether it is for a date night, a birthday or even if you are just in the mood for excellent food. What are some of the top places you like to go for dinner? I’m always keen to discover and try new places so let me know your recommendations in the comment section.