I plant my flag. I sit by the warm fire. I see the road traveled so far,fruitful, full of joy and with lovely characters along the way.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Review Le Canard Restaurant - Rivonia - Johannesburg

12th of February 2010

Rather honest, Le Canard Restaurant (originated in 1987) was the first restaurant that came across my mind, starting this blog. Johannesburg seemed like a good start, and I found it interesting to raise the standard for the next restaurant visits to come, comparing them to exclusive French cuisine.

We booked a table for two and dressed up for an expected fantastic evening. With my mission in my head, we drove through the gate and were warmly welcomed outside.

First impression at the entrance:
  • historical
  • unique
  • charming d├ęcor
  • friendly staff
  • warm temperature 
  • music too loud
I saw a glimpse of Freda, the owner. She walked around with a glass of water, not interfering with the guests. This is forgiven after she has earned so much respect over the years. The famous wall with pictures of Nelson Mandela, Boris Bekker and Bill Gates visiting, proves it. Enough said.
We ordered a glass of champagne to start the evening. Between the toast and my first nip, I thought I should focus on my mission, and not drink alcohol too much. Therefore, we ordered a bottle of their acclaimed dry white wine… It sank in my legs immediate. Woops! Come on, focus.

The idea to hand a priceless menu list to the woman at the table (I mean without prices situated on the menu) I found sophisticated and delicate. The menu is divine. My table partner preferred: Divine Duck Pate – Nut encrusted smooth pate with apple and cranberry chutney, and a glass of honey mead & Le Canard Signature - Free-range duck breast crisped with honey and pepper - Citrus Classique – orange with Cognac and Grand Marnier sauce. It sounds delicious, doesn't it?

I could not resist the chocolate sauce and it was not even dessert time, jammie! I picked: Scottish Salmon Trio – Freshly chopped wasabi-spiced tartare; Carpaccio painted with soy and chili dust; and rose centre of smoked salmon &Le Canard Signature - Free-range duck breast crisped with honey and pepper - Au Chocolat – jus of duck, dark Belgian chocolate and a dash of chili sauce. I could hardly wait! We did not have to wait long because the starters were served after 10 minutes of ordering. The salmon was so fresh that it melted on my tongue, perfectly mixed flavors with a touch of wasabi. It stole my experienced heart. I got to taste the duck pate as well. Smooth and gentle with a touch of honey. Fantastic choice.

I have not eaten duck that much because the fat between the flesh and the skin always made me change my mind. This time it did not because if you can not have duck in Le Canard, what else do they have that name for?The plates served for main course flabbergasted me. Perfectly decorated with a soft touch of sweetness (as in the chocolate sauce) and duck so juicy that this duck is the best duck I have (and I am almost sure I will) taste in my entire life.

The service was good. You tend to see at places where it is not as busy as normally (just before Valentine) that service is a challenge. The waiters do not want to come across as lazy or bored (which they were not) and then come to the table for service too often and sometimes in the middle of a sentence. The music was too loud in the venue and it was very warm as well. Therefore, I have come to the review as set out below. 

Overall experience

Value for money
Yes, definitely. 

Food        5/5
Service     4/5
Ambiance 4/5 

Overall review

Warm regards,

Abigail Summer

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