Having steered The Kitchen at Maison in Franschhoek to top-tier status, Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg has now moved on to open his namesake eatery, Janse & Co, on Cape Town’s Kloof Street.
Janse & Co: a curated taste
Janse & Co has brought Chef Arno’s signature style of fine dining to the city, and is centrally located in a large, open space that was once occupied by YUZU Kitchen & Bar. Boasting meticulous attention to detail, each dish encapsulates the essence of its ingredients in a manner that manages to be cultivated yet surprising.
The interiors at Janse & Co are made up of moody hues of charcoal, jet and slate, with the occasional pop of burnt orange or muted green, and a large floral mural by Claire Homewood punctuating the colour scheme. Minimalist to the point of being austere, Janse & Co has added to the aesthetic through the use of textural elements such as glass, steel, leather and wood – the latter incorporated through the inclusion of heavy exposed beams and a James Mudge-designed harvest table that caters to larger groups looking to share plates.
Sharing is certainly encouraged, as the menu is made up of three to seven courses, each dish carrying about 60g of food. Most of these come highly recommended, so diners are able to experience many of Chef Arno’s creations and still fit in a dessert or two.
We enjoyed four courses, each dish featuring a three-ingredient focus, which included a refreshing tomato & basil consommé, thinly sliced octopus with a strawberry puree, umeboshi (a Japanese pickled salt plum) and mint, sliced blue marlin served raw with the local Kei apple and nasturtium leaves, and our personal favourite, raw beef with a black garlic aïoli, house-pickled shallots and an addictive umami onion powder. After mains came Cape gooseberry ice cream with caramel mousse and pecan nuts, and the beautifully smooth Mango sorbet with generous chunks of honeycomb and fresh passion fruit.
Our tipple of choice was the Tanagra Blanc de Noir, which perfectly complemented the octopus and the beef. The wine list is sourced from local boutique wineries and offers diners a chance to sample a unique selection of varietals.
Because they’re meticulous about ingredients, Janse & Co is well equipped: inside the eatery, you’ll find a large, glass-framed meat room, while outdoors, diners are seated around a vertical hydroponic vegetable garden and a food smoker.
With a seasonally orientated menu that changes every few weeks, no two meals at Janse & Co will ever be the same. Best to pay this establishment a visit on a regular basis.