Category Archives: Winelands

Little-known hospitality consultancy Hospitality Counsel announces Top 10 Chefs and Restaurants 2019!

It was a Facebook post by Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen of South African/French restaurant JAN in Nice that alerted me to the Hospitality Counsel 2019 ranking of our countries top ten Restaurants as well as Chefs, when he thanked them for being included in the Top 10 Chef List. No other restaurant or chef on the two lists appears to have announced the accolades from the Hospitality Counsel, awarded at an event called the 2019 Luxury Tourism Awards! Continue reading →

New Restaurant openings in Cape Town and Winelands for 2019/2020 season slow down dramatically: October 2019!

The poor economic conditions in our country currently is manifesting in the very few new restaurants opening for the new summer season, most such new openings usually taking place in September. Where many new restaurants are opening, they are changing the name and concept of existing ones, rather than being brand new, or adding other restaurants in a restaurant group’s portfolio. 

Two exciting top-end restaurant openings are those of Exhibit A (owned by highly acclaimed Chef Rikku O’Donnchü and Chef Warwick King, who left Gåte restaurant earlier this year), opening in the city centre on 1 November; and of La Chêne at Leeu Estates in Franschhoek. Interesting is that a number of new restaurants have opened on Kloof Street, our former Cape Town Restaurant Street before Bree Street took over,  Continue reading →

Leeu Collection announces latest restaurant news at its flagship Leeu Estates property in Franshhoek!

Yesterday Leeu Collection announced two changes to its signature accommodation and spa property Leeu Estates, located on the outskirts of Franschhoek, with the opening of two restaurants on the estate.  The hospitality company continues with its concept of inviting top chefs to operate the food and beverage offerings at Leeu Collection properties, as was recently announced at its Lakes District Linthwaite House property in the UK. Continue reading →

Getting a taste of Chilean wines in Casablanca and Santiago in Chile!

Through a stroke of luck I was invited to visit Santiago in Chile for four days, and in this time I was able to drink some Chilean wines. I also visited Casablanca, a wine region outside Santiago, with my friends Guy and Pia, who live near Casablanca. Continue reading →

Returning home to Cape Town after three months on the (European and South American) road as a Solo traveler !

My post below comes from Facebook, a post I wrote in the last few days of my journey through eight countries, walking and dancing 1,2 million steps and just under 1000 km in three months. It was a tongue in cheek story about my journey, motivated in writing my third SwitchBitch Book, but also to share with my Blog readers the World’s 50 Best Restaurants I ate at in Lima, Buenos Aires, Santiago in Chile, Rio de Janeiro, and a Michelin star restaurant in Lisbon, with other great and not so great restaurants, and the interesting Mendoza wine region in Argentina, synonymous with Malbec and the largest in the country. I will be posting stories as soon as I have settled in again and got over the jet lag. Continue reading →

South African wineries rub shoulders with other international wine estates, in inaugural 2019 Best Vineyard in the World Awards!

It was a Google search on Mendoza Winery Zuccardi through which I discovered a brand new Winery Award, the World’s Best Vineyards 2019, presented by the same publisher William Reed Business Media as the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List, which I have been using to eat my way through South American countries. The Zuccardi winery in Uco Valley in Mendoza in Argentina was named the Best Vineyard in the World in the inaugural ranking of a Top 50 List.  I was delighted to see that a number of our country’s Wineries feature on the list too. Continue reading →

A first introduction to Argentinian wines!

Before arriving in Buenos Aires on this my second visit to the city, I had not prepared for my visit from a wine perspective, my main goal in spending a month in Argentina being to learn to dance the Tango. I have planned to visit Mendoza, renowned for its Malbec, have attended a wine tasting and food pairing evening at COWI in Buenos Aires, drunk three wines at the dinner at Buenos Aires’ Tegui, 86th Best Restaurant in the World, one wine at Don Julio, the 34th Best Restaurant in the World and Best in Argentina, and two wines at dinner at 1884 Restaurant in Mendoza. I have summarised my initial knowledge about the wine industry of Argentina, the fifth largest in the world, to which I have added some research information too. Continue reading →

Platter’s 2019 SA Wine Guide launched, 90 wines out of 9000 rated 5-star!

Last night I attended the launch of the ‘Platter’s by Diners Club International 2019 South African Wine Guide’ at the Table Bay Hotel. It was an evening of some surprises, and new awards presented! But one thing was consistent – the Mullineux duo of Chris and Andrea lead this country in its consistent wine award performance, winning Winery of the Year for the third time in the 39 year history of the Platter’s Guide.  Continue reading →

Will new restaurants openings in Cape Town and the Winelands slow down after dreadful winter? September 2018

Every winter is a tough time for the restaurant industry. With the dip in Tourism due to the water shortage, and the early heavy winter rains, the restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands have felt the pinch, and many have closed down. There seem to be few new restaurant openings planned, Spring typically being a busy month for new openings!

Restaurant openings

#.  Between Us has opened, belonging to the twin sisters who opened Skinny Legs & All That originally. 

Restaurant Review: Between us…. Between Us serves the best scrambled eggs!

#. Michael Townsend, founder of the Harbour House Group but no longer with the Group, is to open two new restaurants: Lafontana on Beach Road in Sea Point, and Ocean Square Grill Room in Sunset Beach. 

#   Maison J Café et Croissant, a joint venture between renowned Jason Bakery baker Jason Lillie and his sister Brigitte, as well as Vida e Caffé founders David Chait and Rui Esteves, has opened alongside the Pick ‘n Pay in Camps Bay, in a joint venture with the retailer. If this branch works well, it is set to roll out in other Pick ‘n Pay stores, the Waterfront likely to be the next branch to open. Another Test store is to open at Rosmead Avenue in Kenilworth.

Maison J Café et Croissant opens in Camps Bay, with Pick ‘n Pay!

#  Le Petit Manoir has opened as a Restaurant, Deli, and Boutique guest house on the main road of Franschhoek, with former one Michelin star JAN Head Chef Kevin Grobler at the helm of the restaurant and Deli, and assisted by former JAN colleagues Chefs Scott Armstrong and Nicole Loubser. 

#. The Deli Coffee Co is the new rebranded name of four Melissa’s branches: V&A Waterfront, Kloof Street, Somerset West, and Hermanus, owned by Surine van Niekerk. Prices are set to drop, she says. The Waterfront branch will open in the former Dalliance and White Rabbit space in mid-September. 

The first branch of The Deli Coffee Co opens on Kloof Street, formerly Melissa’s!

#  Restaurateur Ian Halfon has opened a smallish intimate new restaurant Walther’s Steakhouse next door to Belthazar in the V&A Waterfront. 

#  Chef Jenny Morris has opened Yumcious Durbanville.

Chef Jenny Morris launches Yumcious Café in Durbanville! Exciting Tourism news from James Vos, Shadow Minister of Tourism!

#  The Skotnes Restaurant has opened at the Norval Foundation, with Executive Chef Phil de Villiers, previously of Primal Eatery. 

#  Chef Peter Tempelhoff is said to open a restaurant and bar in Church Square on Church Street.

#  Paris Café is to open in Mouille Point.

#   42 on Canterbury has opened as a bar and an event venue in District Six/Zonnebloem

#  The La Colombe Group is taking over the bar and restaurant at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek, after refurbishments due to be completed by the end of October. It will be called Protégé. Stephen Raaff is the Head Chef.

New Protégé Restaurant to open at Le Quartier Français, second Le Colombe Group restaurant!

#  Back’s Bar has opened on Main Road in Paarl, where Juno used to be. 

#   Chef Reuben Riffel has opened Reuben’s at The Capital Moloko in Johannesburg, his first Gauteng restaurant. 

#   A new breakfast and lunch Eatery is being developed at Val de Vie, in conjunction with Chef Reuben Riffel. 

#  Chef Jarryd has opened So Cal (for South California), a Bar above Charango on Bree Street. 

#  Manga has opened on Church Street

#  Sotana Bree Street has opened where Odyssey used to be.

#  1 Oak is set to open on Strand Street, an upmarket celebrity bar, music, and event venue modeled on a New York counterpart. The restaurant Butter will open inside this venue. 

#   Chef Bertus Basson is set to expand his restaurant empire, opening Eike by bertusbasson as his sixth restaurant, and fifth in Stellenbosch. 

#  Bao Down Restaurant has opened in Oranjezicht. 

#   Upper Bloem has opened on Main Road in Green Point, where Maggie’s Café used to be, a joint venture between Chefs Henry Vigar and Andre Hill of La Mouette. 

#    TOSSD Salad Bar has opened on Sloane Square in Gardens, Cape Town. 

#   Chef George Jardine is opening Restaurant Seven with George Jardine in Somerset West.

#   Safari #7 Somali take-away restaurant has opened on Long Street. 

#  Chef David Higgs’ newest restaurant Saint ‘Pazzo Italiano’ has opened in Sandton. 

#   No 89 has opened on Bree Street.

#   Sans Ethical Green Grocer Deli has opened in the Artem Centre in Sea Point. 

#   Pauline’s Stand Up Coffee Bar has opened in the Artem Centre in Sea Point. 

sans in Sea Point is without pretence, community driven, largest stockist of organic foods and wines in Cape Town!

#   Victoire Boulangerie, Pâtisserie, and Bistro has opened in Speakers Corner on Church Square, a joint venture between Chef William Galzin of Montpellier and Drikus Hancke of Cape Town, a former Melissa’s franchisee. 

#   Chefs Luke Dale-Roberts and Ryan Cole are opening Salsify @ The Roundhouse in Camps Bay.

#   Crayfish Whatf is to open in Paternoster.

#  Beleef has opened in the space in which Ryan’s Kitchen operated in Franschhoek. 

#  Grande Provence in Franschhoek will open The Bistro as an extension to their Tasting Room in summer. 

#   Ellen Jane is opening as a coffee shop inside Constantia Fabrics. 

#   Garden’s Club has opened where Chalk & Cork used to operate on Kloof Street. 

Restaurant closures

#. The iconic Melissa’s, with 19 stores, has been declared insolvent. Some stores will be rebranded (four as The Deli Coffee Co), while others have closed down, including the Table View Branch. The Waterfront branch is currently closed, but will reopen in a new location in mid-September. 

#.  Dalliance restaurant and White Rabbit coffee shop, part of the Kove Collection, have closed their doors in the V&A Waterfront. 

#.  IYO Burgers has closed on Bree Street

#.  Iconic Kitima has closed down in Hout Bay, following a rumour of its demise circulating last year but denied at the time. 

#. Odyssey (with French Toast before it) has closed down on Bree Street

#. The Ritz appears to be temporarily closed, and with it its Top of The Ritz and CASA restaurants. 

#  Shego has closed down at the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel. 

#  The Crazy Horse gastropub has closed down on Bree Street. 

#  Mitico has closed down on Kloof Street. Yours Truly has expanded into the space. 

#   So sad to hear that Chef Warrick Taylor of SOURCE restaurant in Hermanus has sold the restaurant and is leaving the country with his family. 

#   Cargills in Rondebosch has closed down. 

#   Savoy Cabbage in Heritage Square in the city centre has closed down, after 20 years. 

#  Eurohaus on Loop Street has closed down

#  Karoux has closed down in McGregor. 

#   Olami on Bree Street is closing down at the end of the month. 

#  BlackandCo has closed down in Constantia. 

#   Chalk & Cork has closed down. 

Chef changes 

#. Chef Sidwell Yarrow has left La Petite Ferme, to return to the cruise ships. The restaurant on the wine estate is now headed up by Chef Kyle Norris.

#. Chef Gerard van Staden is the new chef at Pearl Valley. 

#  Chef Gary Welgemoed is the Head Chef at the Carrol Boyes Chocolate division. 

#   Lee-Andra Govender is the new Pastry Chef at The Table Bay Hotel. 

#   Chef Evan Coosner has left Open Door/Bocca/Burrata.

#   Chef Archie MacLean has left Catharina’s and moved to Coco Safar.

#   Chef Guy Clark has left Tintswalo, now consulting. 

#   Carmen Rueda is the new Pastry Chef of Coco Safar, formerly from El Bulli and The Fat Duck.

#   Chef Richard Carstens is leaving Tokara restaurant at the end of September.

Restaurant changes

#  La Parada Camps Bay is undergoing renovations, and is transforming into a Tiger’s Milk.

#   Ash restaurant by Ash Heeger is undergoing a renovation, with a name change to Riverine Rabbit. It reopens in October.

Please share news about restaurant openings and closures with me at chrisvonulmenstein@gmail.com

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