Mondays can not get anymore exciting than attending the launch of Marigold,
Franschhoek’s first authentic Indian restaurant.
Leeu Collection and it’s team of contemporary creatives are known for innovative and curated spaces that maintains homage to Franschhoek’s history which is depicted in the classic Architecture of Heritage Square the home of Marigold- an exotic addition to this gourmet capitals culinary strip.
At the helm of the Tandoor and team is Durban born Chef, Vanie Padayachee who shared her passion for opening Marigold and how she has grown as a chef from working with Le Quartier Francais’ famed chef, Margot Janse.
The restaurant’s decor is simple with warm, wood bent chairs, geometric wallpaper and exposed red brick work which encourages an earthy African aesthetic yet elements of copper cultivate that North Indian authenticity to complement the flavour filled Eastern dishes the roar out of the firey kitchen.
We were lucky enough to be seated next to Hector de Galard the MD of Leeu Collection who guided us through the design and building work leading up to today and the conceptualization of the Leeu Collection as a flourishing brand in Franschhoek.
Hector also broke down each of the theatrical appetizer’s elements, having frequently eaten the streets of India. The most innovative being the Panipuri filled with chilled tamarind pani, a common street snack in several regions of India.In East India, it is known as Phuchhka whilst in North India, it is commonly known as Golgappa.
We were encouraged to pour the pani into the hollowed egg shell looking vessels and as with a piece of salmon nigiri, bosh the entire morsel in our mouths. Bursts of vibrant flavours from sour, acidic tamarind to the savory and umami flavorful chickpea and potato Panipuri.
This accompanied with the aged 2014 Mullineux & Leeu Family wines was one of the highlights of the colourful courses. The Palak Chaat, a tempura spinach styled dish that was coated in Chana(chipkpea flour) and deep fried was also a popular dish on the day.
Mains meant an array of dishes from the humble Murg Makhani (Butter Chicken) a fragrant and smokey dish that we lapped up bare handed in more-ish naan and tandoor roti to Palak Panner, a delicious spinach and soft panner cheese dish that had the table reconsidering their foodie lifestyle choices and turning vegetarian in a heart beat.
Paired with the highly Platter rated 2014 Mullineux Syrah stood up to the fragrant spice is many of the dishes yet still showed soft tannins and an acidity which worked with the rich “buttery” curry and smokey and charred naan.
Despite my adversity to desserts I happily indulged in the Tandoor-Baked Pineapple and saffron crumble (as much as i despise the word “deconstructed” crumble, no listed on the menu as this but plated in this manner) with a delicious Coconut and Fennel Seed Kulfi, which as described as a “traditional Indian ice cream”
Chef Vanie and her team are onto a winner, I can definitely see myself visiting again soon, especially when I need a pick me up or a quick reminiscent reminder of home.
Marigold officially opens to the public on December 8th
Svaagat Hai Marigold
Marigold is open 7 days a week
Times may change in low season