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A Hidden Gem For an Intimate Night Out: Jéan-Luc’s Kitchen on Orphan Street
Don’t blink or you’ll miss it: (Very) slow-roasted pork belly, spectacular tasting boards and a deconstructed chandelier
Wedged between offices and the Orphanage cocktail bar, Jéan-Luc’s is a true hidden gem (seriously, don’t blink or you'll miss it). A bistro-style restaurant that uses tried-and-true recipes to create a delectable fusion of flavours such as the tender pan-fried steak or melt-in-your-mouth crème brûlée. And there’s no better way to end the evening than with their signature nightcap.
Step inside the intimate space of Jéan-Luc’s Kitchen in the heart of Cape Town, a perfect place to escape the buzzing nightlife for a while before you head out for cocktails. Although it’s warm and cosy, there’s a wall of mirrors that creates the impression of space. Outside, there are tables ideal for a Saturday afternoon of sipping on wine while nibbling on a charcuterie platter.
WALK IN, FEEL WELCOME
You’ll be greeted by the soft glow of the deconstructed chandelier above the bar and the smiling face of manager James Huraumba. Chef Jéan-Luc Dudley will pop out of the kitchen every now and then to chat to customers or discuss one of his dishes.
FUSION OF FLAVOURS
The restaurant conjures up fare ranging from slow-roasted pork belly served with celeriac mash and an Asian basting to roasted tomato stuffed with creamy vegetable risotto and balsamic reduction. The eatery happily caters for everyone: vegans, pescatarians, and carnivores alike.
Jéan-Luc’s speciality is their tasting board, which consists of several bite-sized meals, including crispy calamari and soup. If your sweet tooth can handle it, there is also a dessert option, which includes red-wine-poached pear and a chocolate hotpot.
You can expect a cocktail menu in the future, but until then, because Jéan-Luc’s also offers food to the Orphanage cocktail bar next door, you can enjoy fine fare in a cocktail lounge atmosphere.
JÉAN-LUC HAS PUT IN THE WORK
Before opening his restaurant in October 2018, Jéan-Luc gained valuable experience at establishments such as Birchwood Hotel, Emperor’s Palace and Diemersdal Eatery. He even worked in a Spar bakery.
After his various stints in Johannesburg, the Gauteng-born chef decided to bring his talents to Cape Town several years ago and eventually go out on his own.
“My uncle is my business partner and he said ‘why make money for other people; see what you can do for yourself’,” says Jéan-Luc.
END THE EVENING WITH A NIGHTCAP
James will sooner or later offer you his signature concoction (usually after dessert) consisting of cognac and a double espresso. “It helps with digestion and provides you with energy to make the trip back home,” says Jéan-Luc.
HIRE JÉAN-LUC’S FOR FUNCTIONS
The restaurant is also available for hire – catering, waiters, table settings and venue clean-up included – and can accommodate up to 32 people.
VENUE HIRE PACKAGES
Morning only (8am–2pm): R4 000
Afternoon/evening (2pm–midnight): R9 000
Full day (8am–midnight): R12 500
Winter promotion (May–August): 25% discount
Weekdays: Special rates available. For more information and prices, visit their website.
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