French cuisine inspired restaurant opens in Gaborone

Foodies and wine enthusiasts alike will be pleased to know that there is a new restaurant in town. Motswana chef, Lorraine Mpho-Jouffroy officially opened a French bistro, ‘Lorraine’s Ntlo Maison’ last week. The bistro is located in Partial’s Middle Star Shopping Complex.

The outside of the bistro is a wave of inspiration. It is a picturesque as the plains of Southern France; bright colorful flowers and trees. It could easily have provided a setting for a French romantic movie.

Walking into the restaurant, one is enveloped by instant calm; rustic French décor, classical French paintings, and soft French music echoes from the speakers. The country style decor is very relaxing and has a comfortable home feel to it. Antiques, flea market finds, and books displayed in the restaurant’s bookshelves make it a magnet for book lovers and avid readers.

Speaking at the event to officially open the restaurant, President of the Botswana Chefs Association, Mcjon  Mosenene said, “I am happy to be here to witness the opening of this French bistro. I have worked closely with Lorraine and I know she is really good at what she does. She is well read having attended the culinary arts school in Mafikeng, went on to Johannesburg, studied wine in Stellenbosch before going to live and work in France where she not only got exposure as a chef but found love.” He added that Lorraine has in the past won gold at a chef’s competition in Mauritius, and was also selected Young African Chef of the Year. Lorraine, according to Mosenene, has also worked for a cruise liner. “So I just want to appeal to fellow citizens to support her and her business, she has the qualifications and a wonderful team to back her up,” pleaded Mosenene.

“I have dreamt of opening this restaurant for a long time. When I left America, I promised myself that when I get back home I will open something of my own. Now here we are,” said Lorraine Mpho-Jouffroy.  As to why a French Bistro, Mpho-Jouffroy said she wanted something different that she was also good at and French cuisine is her specialty. “Another reason was that we have a lot of franchises and the few restaurants we have are mostly owned by foreigners so I wanted to add a different flavor to the market,” said Lorraine.

She told TimeOut that the Bistro opens at 830am and closes at 330pm but promised that once they had proper lighting in the parking lot, they will open until late in the evening. “The French are known for their duck dishes and the restaurant offers just that. We have duck confetti, beef fillet cooked in red wine sauce, tuna steaks and all of our deserts are fresh and homemade,” she explained. The restaurant is 100% citizen owned.