There’s a certain romance attached to a sandy walkway lit by candles in paper bags. Add to that the full moon and superb fine dining in a rustic restaurant and we’re on cloud nine!
Hidden among trees and veggie patches at the Karoo Yard on the corner of Albeth and Lynnwood Roads is one of Pretoria’s best kept secrets – a restaurant that will have you in awe of the precision that goes into every dish coupled with some of the country’s finest wines.
Fermier Restaurant surprises time and again with an intimate space that allows you to calm your senses and really take in every moment intentionally – that includes observing the chefs at work with an open kitchen that displays their every move. With its rammed earth walls and recycled wood used for the cladding and the doors, the restaurant has a rustic, farm feel and the crockery, tables and chairs have all been designed by artists located at the Karoo Yard. It’s dining with a twist – luxury on plates among simplicity that makes you feel grounded.
After being chauffeured to the door by flashlight, we were guided to a two-seater table – one of only a few. The chairs were draped with sheep skin before we were seated, and we were each offered a glass of bubbly – the best way to start off! Then came an evening of pure indulgence. Watching chef Adriaan Maree and his team create magic on plates in this calm and secluded setting is definitely an experience to add to your Pretoria bucket list.
A 9-course meal calls for an evening without worries and Fermier’s peaceful atmosphere helps that along splendidly. Together with the glass of bubbly, we were served sourdough bread with homemade butter, duck liver and dukkah – a humble, yet divine start to an exquisite fine dining experience. Crayfish with apple and Kalahari truffle followed and thereafter Ceviche. The sweet bread with capers, anchovy and grapes was served together with a beautifully cut egg filled with a white onion velouté. After that we were impressed with asparagus with duck egg, verjus and truffle naude white 2009 and the Kingklip with pomme anna, peas and confit lemon served with a van Wyk’s Riesling was definitely one of our favourites! The Quail with beetroot, cherries and plum chutney followed and then the lamb with kaiings, cabbage and celeriac. Dessert consisted of two dishes – Huguenot with strawberries, vanilla and beurre noisette and then lastly banana and white chocolate with yoghurt, lime, salted caramel and coconut tuile. If that’s not a meal to your liking, we don’t know what is!
Fermier’s interior simplicity and its warm atmosphere undoubtedly and cleverly lets the gently and beautifully plated dishes stand out. If you’re looking for a restaurant to impress, this is it.