La Bonne Table
Near the centre of Windhoek, between the city theatre and the public library, is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Next to it is the fully modern looking Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, or FNCC. The older building houses the La Bonne Table. It is owned by the FNCC, but the restaurant business itself is owned and run by chef Yannick Schweighardt and his wife, Melanie.
Yannick and Melanie took over the restaurant in early 2013, and they have offered Windhoek a great new choice. The menu offers French inspired European cuisine with lots of fresh Namibian farm produce. Yannick is one of Namibia’s top chefs. He studied cooking in his home country of France and has worked in France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK. Luckily for us, he has fallen in love with Namibia as well as a Namibian girl, Melanie.
Yannick changes the menu periodically, but you can always count on new and creative dishes along with long time staples. The original restaurant was a bistro, and Yannick and Melanie have chosen to stick with an enhanced bistro theme. The day time menu still serves the clientele accustomed to a quick lunch or breakfast croissant, but the night menu showcases Yannick’s vast skills and experience more fully.
Yannick makes all of his own bread, including pitas, baguettes and croissants, but since he is a gourmet chef, his deli food is truly taken to a higher level than you are likely to find anywhere in Namibia. Yannick also makes his own pasta, sosaties and all manner of breakfast food. In the evenings, a full range of dinner choices including perfect steaks, lamb chops, pork and much more all infused with fresh local herbs.
Yannick and Melanie put in marathon hours every week, starting the bread early in the morning and staying until the last customers leave late in the evening. The café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from Mondays through Fridays, and for breakfast and lunch on Saturdays.
The stated purpose of the FNCC is “to intensify the cultural cooperation between Namibia and France while promoting and supporting Namibian cultural identity.” They do this by offering French language cultural activities and facilitating lectures, films, concerts and exhibitions. France is known for its love of fine food and the social culture of a shared meal. The FNCC purpose is no better reached than through the blending of French and Namibian cuisine at La Bonne Table.