Celebrity chef Chris Smit –he has a TV programme—and his partner Imraan Vagar have been keeping a secret in Franschhoek which is no longer one. Their gorgeous eatery Smitten is wowing the cognoscenti with the light and interesting flavours that Chris conjures up at the drop of a hat. The space is cleverly divided into three areas leaving one with that uncluttered feeling. The table next to us turned over three times while we were there recently showing how popular it is. In summer the courtyard will be the place to be. The food is delicious and well-priced eschewing the Franschhoek penchant to charge whatever the market will bear— a nice change. OK it’s not a Wimpy bar but value for money–which Wimpy always is anyhow.

The cool interior

We started with the citrus and smoked salmon plate which was light and delicious garnished with cucumber ribbons to make it even fresher and appealing. This we shared.

Citrus and smoked salmon


I then had the avocado and prawn classic—a trip down memory lane with superbly crunchy prawns perfectly poached and the lightest sauce to bring out all those flavours—heaven.

Prawns and avocado heaven

The piece de resistance was the brilliant Parisian gnocchi made with choux pastry –no potato—as light as little balls of cloud, served in a creamy cheese sauce with roasted corn and baby tomatoes – I can taste it now as I write—a masterpiece. No wonder it is one of their best sellers. A perfect melange of flavours and textures. The ONLY way to finish is with the perfect cheese cake—irresistible.


Parisian gnocchi

The wine list is good and the service always unobtrusively there-the way I like it. They also have those brilliant Gins and Absinthe from Johnathan Lermer at Franschhoek Distillery which everyone is talking about, so try them—just don’t light a match too near you after that.