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With the addition of Restaurant Klein JAN to the Tswalu dining guest experience, the culinary traditions, ingredients and regional produce of the Northern Cape are the shining stars on a seasonal menu rooted not only in the southern Kalahari’s remote and dramatic landscapes but also in the resourceful, creative people of this remote, unexplored region. The opening of Klein JAN on the reserve has deepened the culinary collaboration between South African-born chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, and the Oppenheimer family. Tswalu’s commitment to celebrating local provenance, heritage and culture, as part of its journey towards greater sustainability, makes this the perfect home for the celebrated chef’s first restaurant on home soil. Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen was the first South African chef to achieve a Michelin star for his namesake restaurant in Nice, France.

Klein JAN private dining

Storytelling is a fundamental aspect of the dining journey at Klein JAN. Working closely with Tswalu’s executive chef, Marnus Scholly, Jan spent two years delving into the authentic flavours, heritage foods and cultures of the Northern Cape. Local provenance and sustainable procurement inform the restaurant’s multi-course menu that will change with the seasons. At the heart of this ambitious project is Klein JAN’s subterranean root cellar, located four metres below the ochre sands of the Kalahari. The crypt-like root cellar, 20 metres in extent, its temperature and humidity carefully controlled, is a visually beautiful storehouse for raw, cured, preserved and dried ingredients destined for the kitchen.

To access the cellar and the restaurant that lies beyond it, you are first invited to step back in time on the stoep of a 100-year-old farmhouse. Boscia House, named after the deep-rooted shepherd’s tree that inspired architect Adrian Davidson’s daring subterranean design, was respectfully restored to set the scene for Klein JAN’s modern dining experience. Dining at Klein JAN is a culinary adventure from start to finish. Guests are served different courses in theatrical spaces, igniting all the senses, which keeps the dining experience exciting and interactive.

Klein JAN Luxury Dining

In-house guests of the Motse camp and Tarkuni homestead are invited to experience one memorable meal at Restaurant Klein JAN during their stay. It is not necessary to book this – once your accommodation reservation has been confirmed at either the Motse or Tarkuni, your dinner at Klein JAN will be arranged on your behalf.

Klein JAN is open to non-resident guests for lunch only, subject to availability on specific dates. Reservations for the lunch service open three months in advance. To make a reservation and for further information about accessing Tswalu via road or air, please get in touch with the Klein JAN team

Klein JAN Website

‘To a chef, creating a world-class dining experience in a place where every ingredient is so unimaginably scarce is a challenge from which you either shy away or that you embrace wholeheartedly for the sheer impossibility of it all.’

Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, Jan the Journal, volume 6, 2020

'Not only does Klein JAN provide a culinary experience like no other but, under Jan Hendrik’s guidance, we are developing the next generation of South African star chefs right out of the Kalahari.'

Jonathan Oppenheimer

‘The Kalahari felt like a blank canvas with unlimited possibilities. The region’s underexplored ingredients were the perfect inspiration to open a new restaurant and bring fine dining home – giving the food from the Kalahari the global stage it deserves.’