Five South African restaurants rank among this year’s global best in the 2009 S. Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurants.
The annual “guide to the best places to eat on earth,” an initiative of the UK’s Restaurant Magazine, is the result of a worldwide poll which canvasses the opinions of the “world’s best travelled and most polished palates.” The judges are made up of a group of more than 800 restaurant experts, who include critics, commentators, chefs and restaurateurs.
All five South African restaurants featured in the 2009 rankings are based in the Western Cape.
At position 37, the Franschoek-based Le Quartier Francais was South Africa’s highest ranking restaurant in the 2009 list. It also earned itself the title of ‘Best Restaurant in Africa and the Middle East’. The judges commented on Chef Margot Jansen’s use of seasonal local ingredients such as wildebeest, Franschhoek trout and Ganzvlei Vastrap cheddar
Following hot on Le Quartier Francais’s heels was La Colombe which ranked 38th. The Constantia-based restaurant was praised for its “stunning wine list, and [Chef] Dale Roberts’ outstanding dishes such as home-cured ox tongue with Jerusalem artichoke and lentil puree and pickled shimeji”
Other local eateries that were included in the latter half of the rankings include Cape Town’s Jardine and Aubergine restaurants which ranked at 79 and 96 respectively, as well as Stellenbosch’s Rust en Vrede Wine Estate, which was ranked 98th.
The list was topped by Spain’s El Bulli, the UK’s Fat Duck and Noma in Denmark and also featured, in position 51, a Chinese restaurant known simply as Zuma .