There is a saying that states: “Good food is equal to a good mood” and I’m a true believer that a love for food is both in the art of preparing it, but also in enjoying it. In recent years Pretoria have seen a plethora of gastronomic experiences peek out from under the kitchen counters and we, the citizens of this great city, are reaping the ever-tasty rewards.
Award winning Fermier (Farmer in French) is unique in every sense of the word. They pride themselves on being a self-sustainable restaurant where they incorporate everything around them, from the ground used to build their restaurant, to the garden that offers fresh produce, to the pottery shop on the premises that makes the beautiful vessels to serve delicious meals in. Everything works together to make the Fermier experience one to remember . Adriaan Maree chef and founder has got quite the reputation when it comes to good food and brings not only local, but also International experience to the table. He sure raised the bar in Pretoria, when Fermier opened it’s doors not so long ago.
Arriving at Fermier, I was greeted by a lovely young lady when I parked my car. I walked up the foot path and it felt like I was leaving the city every step I took in the dark. Dimly lit lanterns showed the way and I arrived at a contemporary structure that resembled a barn. It was rustic, yet classy, old charm, yet with a modern twist. Ambience were created by perfectly chosen lighting and no more than a dozen tables nestled perfectly in the cozy space. Clearly the space and layout were carefully planned and designed.
First things first and I had to glance over their very impressive wine list and menu that offered 9 set courses for the evening. One thing is for sure, you are not going to get Butternut & Spinach on the sides. (ok, I chuckled at myself when I wrote this).
After a glass of bubbly, we enjoyed a lovely Elands Rivier, 2014 Pinot Noir. Delicate, with berries and rose notes with a beautiful garnet colour. This was a good start to the evening. The menu boasted surprise, esthetic enthrall and bursts of flavour. The food was the entertainment and the line up was impressive.
First course saw an introduction with freshly baked bread, with Duck liver parfait and canapes. Beautiful and tasty!
Second course in line, was a bundle of Kingklip with black radish and smoked tomato coulis/sauce.
Third saw an ensemble of Mussels, Squid Sea Vegetables and a light foam. perfectly prepared. (Could’ve sworn I was at the beach with every bite).
4th Course offered Tuna on a bed of Almonds, Grapefruit, Black Garlic and Olives.
Course 5 was surprising with Pork Neck with Summer Apple, Celeriac and Samphire. Soft, oozing flavour and I wanted a second plate (just kidding, 4 more courses to come).
We enjoyed Duck for our 6th course with Turnips, Verjus and Grapes.
Lucky number 7 arrived and Springbok, tender and sliced perfectly with Porcini mushrooms, Cauliflower, Daikon and honey. The balance between savoury and sweet was a dance of perfection.
Course 8 was lighter with an good selection of fine cheeses. Huguenot, Karoo Crumble and various fruits to compliment.
The last course rounded things off beautifully with White chocolate and Miso. Sweet and everything you can hope for after 8 courses of utter gastronomic bliss!
So there we have it fellow food fans! Do not be fooled, although the portions are small, they pack a punch when it comes to flavour. Adriaan Maree and his team, don’t prepare food, they create art that is absolutely super sensory! I would seriously recommend you make this spot, one of your top ones as it’s a game-changer when it comes to haute cuisine here in Pretoria. Their menu also change from time to time, so it will be great to see what’s on the menu in a few month’s time. Be sure to book your table since they offer limited seating. I believe this enables them to pay careful attention to detail and give you the best experience possible.
I will most certainly go back to Fermier, for more!