South Africa is two months into Lockdown, 62 days of restaurants not being allowed to open to serve sit-down customers. For the past 27 days many restaurants have reopened, operating within the Government regulation of offering a Food preparation and Delivery Service. On the eve of Restaurants being allowed to offer a Delivery as well as a Customer Collection Service from Monday 1 June, I looked at what the 2019 Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants are doing currently in terms of keeping their Restaurant brand names visible, and generating income to cover their costs and to employ some of their staff again.
I found that only three of the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants are trading under their restaurant name in offering a Lockdown Food Delivery Service, and offering dishes that are similar to those that they offer at their award-winning restaurants.
The Restaurants below are listed by their 2019 Eat Out Top 10 ranking, with their Lockdown Food Delivery Offering summarised, if offered by the restaurants.
1. La Colombe
A very late starter, La Colombe announced on Monday that it was offering a ‘La Colombe Dine-In Experience’, offering nine courses, ‘specially developed by our team to be enjoyed in the comfort of your home’. The dinner costs R750 per person, and courses include the famous Tuna Tin, foie gras, yellowtail, Karoo lamb, a palate cleanser, dessert, cheese, and an after-dinner After Eight Coffee macaron. Delivery is charged at R75, within a 12 km radius of central Constantia, seven days a week, between 16h00 – 19h00.
2. The Test Kitchen
Chef Luke Dale Roberts began Lockdown with home video cooking demonstrations, before moving to offer three Gourmet Hampers, branding the service as The LDR Group, at R1500, R3000, and R5000. His Shortmarket Club and The Commissary have closed down for good, The Pot Luck Cub entered the Food Delivery market last week with very boring and bland communication, and Chef Ryan Cole of Salsify at The Roundhouse has been offering a food delivery service from the outset as Essentials by Ryan Cole, being the first top chef to do so.
The details of The LDR Group offering follow below:
3. The Restaurant at Waterkloof
There has been no visible action of the Restaurant and its Chef Gregory Czarnecki on Social Media since the beginning of Lockdown two months ago.
Chef Kobus van der Merwe is offering Wolfgat at Home boxes of four courses for two persons at R900, with a Delivery fee of R150 to Cape Town. The box not only contains the four courses, with instructions of how to finish them off at home, but also a print of an artwork of a Wolfgat landscape by Chef Kobus, a playlist to stream while having the meal, a wooden butter knife made by the Chef’s father, and a hand-illustrated map of the Strandveld (see main picture above).
Chef Peter Tempelhoff has admitted that he would not have dreamt of offering a Home Delivery Service as a top chef. He and his team have created FYN from HOME Japanese-inspired fusion meals, which can be ordered 24 hours in advance, delivery being free within a 10 km radius from the City-based restaurant. Operating Tuesdays – Saturdays. The cost is a very reasonable R595 per person for six courses.
6. La Petite Colombe
There is no evidence of any action by this restaurant in the past two months, it belonging to the La Colombe Group and based in Franschhoek.
7. Eike by Bertus Basson
Chef Bertus Basson is not offering a Food Delivery Service for this top restaurant specifically, but has created ‘Bertus se Huiskos’ during Lockdown. The meal offers very good value, costing R415 for two persons, and is a collection of typical South African dishes, including mosbolletjies, beef shin, pumpkin fritters, Cremora Tart, quince, and rusks for breakfast the following day (with quite a few JAN Restaurant touches!). Order 24 hour in advance of delivery. Available Tuesday – Saturday in Stellenbosch.
8. Salsify at The Roundhouse
Chef Ryan Cole was first off the mark to offer meals cooked at his Sea Point home, and delivering personally, and exclusively to diners in Camps Bay, branded Essentials by Ryan Cole. There is little communality between the Lockdown dishes Chef Ryan is offering, and those he and his team offer at Salsify, a Luke Dale Roberts restaurant. He offers a three-course meal for two at a very reasonable R395, with a R50 Delivery fee added. Dishes offered this week include forest mushrooms, roasted chicken, and chocolate pudding pie. He also offers individual items, such as quiches, macaroni and 3 cheeses, carrot cake, chipotle mayo, roasted garlic aioli, lemon curd, strawberry and lemon skin jam, and coffees.
9. Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient
Chef Chantel Dartnall is not offering a Food Delivery Service, her restaurant being quite a distance outside of Pretoria. She posts recipes of some her favourite dishes in the main.
10. Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia
Whilst being active in cooking meals for underprivileged persons in Franschhoek, none of the Chefs Warehouse restaurants are offering a Food Delivery Service currently.
For a list of more than 509 restaurants offering a Food Delivery Service to your homes in Cape Town and the Winelands, please see Facebook Group which I created at the beginning of May 2020: https://www.facebook.com/groups/261165661682371/?ref=share
Should restaurants only be allowed to open for a strictly-regulated sit-down Service at best in Level 2, or even worse, in Level 1, it is my prediction that all the Eat Out Top 10 restaurants will eventually offer a Food Delivery and Collection Service.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein