In recent years, when in the Cape, I have dined more often at Reuben’s in Franschhoek than at any other restaurant. I like him, and I like his food.
Often at Reuben’s Franschhoek - my chosen site of gastronomic pilgrimage - I have exclaimed: “Why can’t we eat like this in Gauteng?” Now we can!
However, it is always going to be risky when a chef opens another restaurant, and then another. How on earth can standards be maintained, the diner be satisfied at any one of a handful of outlets (I hear he may be opening a place in Paarl soon, too)?
Well, the good news is that you don’t have to be a saint to perform a miracle; Reuben Riffel has arrived on the Jo’burg restaurant scene, and his new place is brilliant.
Even larger than the Franschhoek original, Reuben’s at The Capital Moloko has just opened. At last.
I went for a quiet Saturday lunch just a few days after the opening, and was happy to see a relaxed setting, comfortable seating, and enhancements like a cigar lounge and a private dining room.
If this place does not attract the Sandton business community in swarms, I will eat my hat. (As long as Reuben is allowed to cook it to perfection and to serve it with a generous portion of his truffle, parmesan fries.)
Many favourites from the Cape menu were there. A superb beef tartare, tempura prawns, salmon, springbok, some great puds and a Cape cheese platter.
All up to standard.
One thing Reuben does so well is to offer a small, but carefully chosen selection of wines by the glass.
Highlights for me were the bubbly Graham Beck Rosé - nicely chilled - the De Wetshof Finesse Chardonnay and the Lynx Cab Franc.
Of course, excellent food does come at a price. But the portions were generous, the welcome and service professional, and the wines delish.
I left smiling, and I will return often, stupidly grinning with anticipation.
My rating? 5*
Key to the Ratings….
1* Dog food is nicer
2*. Cat food is nicer
3*. Not bad if Woolworths is sold out of ready meals.
4*. I like it
5*. I love it. Not to be missed.
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