Delight culinary senses at Lekwar Restaurant, Heanertsburg

HAENERTSBURG – One day, after he matriculated, he stepped inside for the first time and was smitten. The restaurant, once known for its pancakes, was for sale and after three months of renovations, Frans opened the doors of Lekwar Restaurant in December 2014.

He’s since added a thatch-roofed structure, the Lekwar Sport’s Bar, and a smaller thatch-roofed rondavel ideal for local produce.

Bird’s eye view of the Lekwar Sport’s Bar deck from the restaurant.

Frans learned to cook from his mother and grandmother and he was accepted at the Pru Leith Hotel School in Johannesburg for an 18-month course.

It was around this time he discovered he loved the ‘finicky’ process that goes into the making of desserts.

He doesn’t like exotic cheeses but Chef Adelé made him taste everything as part of his training process.

Frans de Bruyn in the Lekwar kitchen making a tomato and balsamic onion smoor.

His practical was at Hamilton’s Restaurant next to Leopard Creek Golf Estate in Malelane under Chef Trevor after which Frans spent a magical year in Whistler Blackcomb for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

He returned to spend almost four years cooking for VIPs at Ekland Safaris near Louis Trichardt in Limpopo. Here he cooked for the king of Spain, Qatar royalty and an Avatar graphic artist. While at Ekland Safaris the manager arranged to send Frans to Madrid, Spain for a month to learn Spanish cuisine and here he alternated between the El Paraguas and Ten Conten restaurants. The former was fine dining and expensive and the latter a more chilled lounge. Frans says their food was exquisite and cited two memorable dishes.

“The one was the sea urchin dish. It was served in a soup bowl on a base of green salt topped by the shell with the delicious urchin inside. The other dish, at €100 for 100 g, is the most expensive I’ve ever eaten in my life. A small, thin, spaghetti-like looking fish with a tender calamari-like texture. The dish included fried truffle chips bursting with garlic and a fried egg.

At Lekwar the favourite dishes are eisbein, lamb, bunny chow, trout and biltong alfredo. Some of the original pancakes have been kept but now there’s the inclusion of a milktart pancake.

What began as a special became so popular that the milktart pancake is now on the dessert menu. It’s very sweet with a kick in the form of a smidgen of a milktart shot.ekwar is open seven days a week from 08:30 to 20:00 and Sundays from 08:30 to 16:00.

Lekwar Sport’s Bar is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 14:00; Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11:00 and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00.

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Sue Ettmayr

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