Janse & Co is the casual fine dining child of chef and tastemaker Arno Janse van Rensberg, of The Kitchen at Maison fame. Located in central Cape Town, this restaurant is an upscale rarity for the area. The space is modern chic, open and pleasingly dim, with Asian-inspired décor that lends an element of the exotic. Every detail is tuned to elegance and simplicity, including the attractive and modern table settings. Blending casual with fine dining is a delicate balancing act, one that Janse & Co accomplishes winningly.
The menu highlights dishes made with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, combined in a way that highlights individual tastes without being overly complex or fussy. Even the sauces and garnishes are handmade on site. Restraint and simplicity allow individual flavors and textures to take center stage. Guests choose three or more courses from typically around 20 dishes, all roughly the same size and no starters or mains specified. Grilled leek topped with sliced smoked almonds, octopus with strawberry, umeboshi & mint, cured lamb with a dark garlic puree, yellowtail with lemon - you have an idea of the creativity and excellence involved.
Janse's wife, Liezl, is a talented pastry chef and in charge of the intriguing dessert menu: mango-and-honeycomb parfait sprinkled with crushed granadilla pips is a highlight. Service staff are friendly, attentive and very knowledgeable about the menu.