Category Archives: South Africa

Sweet Service Award goes to Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis; Sour Service Award goes to SANTACO

The Sweet Service Award goes to Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis for his consistent, regular, and honest feedback at all hours of the day and night to the residents of Cape Town during the eight day Taxi Strike. At all times the stand of the City of Cape Town has been that lawlessness will not be tolerated and that the City will do its best to protect operating public transport and even trucks delivering food.

The Sour Service Award goes to SANTACO for extending the strike by another week when it rejected the terms of the City’s demands last Friday yet accepted them in the final negotiations last night, causing financial hardship to its own taxi operators and taxi commuters, the loss of lives, and affected almost every resident in Cape Town, in that food stocks were running low or out of basic items in supermarkets.

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at chrisvonulmenstein [at] gmail.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog.m

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323

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What I Ate at Ate: SA food classics served at a Long Table

On Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the Sunday Buffet Lunch of What I Ate at Ate, created and curated by my friend and chef, cook and connoisseur Tania Olivier. A new business for Tania, she passionately presents quintessential South African dishes locals remember with nostalgia, and visitors to our city can experience in the cosyness of her home on Kloof Street.

Tania Olivier

Tania grew up in Paarl, in an Afrikaans home, and was inspired to cook by her mother Helene, who used the South African Bible of cooking: Kook en Geniet. Many of the recipes of Tania’s dishes come from the cook book. She has also researched South African cuisine extensively, including C Louis Leipoldt, one of the first persons to document South African cuisine, dating as far back as the early 20th century. He was a poet, a doctor, reporter, and food expert. During the meal Tania shares stories about our local cuisine and her specific dishes.

The invitation is for 12h00, and one is offered potato and beef or chicken samoosas with a glass of wine on arrival. Seated at a long table of ten on Sunday, yet able to seat up to 16 guests in her open-plan lounge, office and kitchen, one randomly chooses a seat, and enjoys getting to know the persons on one’s right and left. An unexpected guest arrived last minute, and he shared his fascinating food business story with me. A lovely couple from Stellenbosch sat opposite me, and we had lively discussions about beach cleaning, the Barbie movie as well as Oppenheimer, the short term accommodation business, and developments at La Motte in Franschhoek.

Tania welcomed her guests, and explained the starters to us. Her Pickled fish made with yellowtail was sweeter and less curry-tasting she said. The dish was flavoured with Indian curry and to it was added roasted nuts, thinly sliced red pepper, and it was plated on a bed of rocket. It was finished off with a sauce and yoghurt, and topped with a black sesame seed dressing. It was a beautifully presented dish, on a large platter, almost looking like a salad. Being such a cold day, her mushroom soup made with mushrooms and cream and a hint of truffle oil, served in Le Creuset mugs, was a perfect start to the meal.

Pickled fish

Tania and her assistant chef Trust quietly work in the background, finalising the main courses, and the conversation at our end of the table got going very quickly. Tania wants to tell the South African food story, and Chef Trust will add a Xhosa dimension to it, he having prepared an oxtail dish for the main course.

The main course was an indulgent feast, its star attraction being the roast leg of lamb, accompanied by some vegetables, cooked as is and unseasoned, she said. She added thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper later, and had cooked carrot and onions in the lamb sauce. The lamb was sourced from the Karoo, a winner lamb region in a chefs cook-off, comparing lamb from various parts of our province.

Roast Leg of Lamb

Bobotie is the most typical South African dish, and served in numerous South African households, with its origin being the slaves brought to Cape Town from Malaysia and Indonesia in the late 17th Century. Tania had generously made two versions of the dish, one more fruity with lamb and apricots, and another with beef, wanting us to detect the difference. They were served with white rice. In addition, she offered the most beautiful looking beetroot popsicle dish, looking like small toffee apples, with baby beets dipped in saffron and cinnamon-infused beetroot candy on a skewer. It’s simplicity of presentation in a white bowl with a few red splashes looked like a modern art work. If that wasn’t enough food, she offered a huge lettuce, avocado and parmigiana salad, as well as a roast cherry tomato and feta salad. Roast potatoes as well as mash, and the oxtail cooked in an African style in a tomato sauce finished off this amazing feast.

Beetroot popsicles

As if we had not eaten enough already, we were served three desserts:

*. One of the best known traditional desserts is Malva pudding, a South African speciality with Dutch roots. It contains apricot jam or preserves. It is drenched with a sauce or syrup. Its name comes from the original use of Malvasia wine in its preparation. ‘Malva’ is the Afrikaans word for marshmallow, and the textures are similar. It was served warm, with custard.

*. Another beloved South African dessert and cake is melktert, made with a homemade shortcrust pastry, its filling being a creamy, cardamom and cinnamon custard, topped with a hint of cumin and lots of cinnamon.

Melktert

*. A dessert I had not heard of before but was made in Tania’s parents’ home was Japie se Gunsteling (Japie’s favorite) , a baked orange pudding, containing lemon and orange juice, and served with freshly whipped cream.

Japie de Gunsteling

A choice of tea or coffee was offered with the desserts, and brought a wonderful Sunday Lunch to a close.

Dining for ten

Footnote: On Tuesday I guided Swiss tourist Melvin and he asked me about a restaurant at which he could eat traditional South African dishes. I thought of Biesmiellah in Bo-Kaap, but have not been impressed with its service nor pricing. Another restaurant servicing Bobotie is closed for a winter break. I thought of Tania, and called her, asking if she had any Bobotie left over from the Sunday Lunch. She said that she had, and 45 minutes later we arrived to a table laid for two, and spoilt with Bobotie and rice, left-over lamb roast, oxtail in a tomato sauce, and a dessert of Japie se Gunsteling, with espresso for me and Stokkies Rooibos for Melvin. Melvin was impressed with the dishes he tried and the amount of South African cuisine information which Tania shared with him.

What I Ate at Ate, Tania Olivier, Cell 060 529 9891. R700 per head

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323

Twitter:@Ulmenstein

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Cape Town voted 2023 ‘The Greatest City on Earth’ by The Telegraph Readers

Yesterday we reported that South Africa was named by The Telegraph as the 2023 World’s Best Holiday Destination. Now it has been revealed that the UK publication has named Cape Town as The Greatest City on Earth’.

A total of about 27000 The Telegraph readers participated in the survey. The 2023 Top 10 Cities in the World are the following:

1. Cape Town

2. Venice

3. Seville

4. Vancouver

5. Rome

6. Florence

7. Rio de Janeiro

8. Sydney

9. Kyoto

10. Dubrovnik

Cape Town is described as ‘a remarkable city gleaming at the continent’s edge’. It is praised for its location at the foot of Table Mountain, its beaches, the scenery of the Cape Peninsula, and the nearby Winelands and wine regions. The favourable exchange rate, the quality restaurants and hotels, and its long summer days are further Cape Town assets.

Cape Town has topped the Greatest City in the World list in the past ten years, excluding 2020 and 2021 due to Covid.

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323

Twitter:@Ulmenstein

Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein, My Cape Town Guide/Mein Kapstadt Guide

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South Africa voted Best Holiday Destination in the World by The Telegraph Readers 2023

South Africa has been voted as the Best Holiday Destination in the world in 2023 by The Telegraph readers. Our country has moved up the ladder gradually, having made third rank in 2017, second place in 2018, and now top of the pops in 2023.

The Top 5 ranked Holiday Destinations in 2023 are the following:

1. South Africa

2. New Zealand

3. Maldives

4. Japan

5. Australia.

Italy, Kenya, India, and Costa Rica follow in the footsteps of the Top 5.

It is evident from the motivation for South Africa’s number one ranking that it is Cape Town and the Cape which largely contributes to our country’s holiday destination attractiveness, with the mention of Cape Town, Table Mountain, the Garden Route, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.

‘Your reward for 12 hours in the air is a place of true beauty – Cape Town is the super model at the foot of Table Mountain, the Garden Route a ribbon of road-trip nirvana, the wineries of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch crafting fine vintages ….’

Johannesburg, the Drakensberg range, Motlatse Canyon, and Kruger National Park, all located in other parts of our country, are also mentioned in the motivation.

Overall the availability of direct flights between the UK and Cape Town and Johannesburg in almost identical time zones means that visitors do not experience jet lag when travelling to our country. Whilst not mentioned, the favourable exchange rate of the Rand to the Pound must be an added incentive for UK holiday makers.

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog

Tel +27 082 55 11 323

Twitter:@Ulmenstein

Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein, My Cape Town Guide/Mein Kapstadt Guide Camps Bay Clean

Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide @campsbayclean

La Colombe named Best Restaurant, Utopia Best Rooftop Restaurant in Africa in World Culinary Awards!

 

The Cape and therefore South Africa has garnered most top Restaurant awards in Africa at the World Culinary Awards 2022. The winners were announced in Dubai last night.

La Colombe in Constantia was named Africa’s Best Restaurant 2022, while Utopia Cape Town received the honour of being named Africa’s Best Rooftop Restaurant 2022. It is the second year running for both restaurants to win their respective categories. Continue reading →

Cape Town and Winelands see host of new restaurant openings: December 2020 update!

 

Cape Town and the Winelands is experiencing a restaurant boom, with new openings currently as well as openings announced for 2023.

The biggest restaurant opening extravaganza is that of JAN Franschhoek, the third restaurant in the JAN Restaurant Collection, opening at La Motte in Franschhoek. La Motte is undergoing a major renovation and changes at its wine estate, with a Bread-related Café & Deli opening  in the La Motte Manor House in February 2023. Chef Chris Erasmus is working with La Motte as a consultant, until February. He is going overseas thereafter. Chef Peter Tempelhoff opens his third restaurant next week, a Japanese Street Food restaurant Ramenhead. Chef David Higgs has announced opening Continue reading →