Entries tagged with “Adderley Street”.


Yesterday I met Urban Lime Marketing Director and friend Katie Friedman for lunch at Kleinsky’s, a New York Deli-style, kosher-style, Jewish cuisine eatery on Church Square, being developed as an exciting new inner-city food hub. Kleinsky’s is the second Delicatessen to be opened in Cape Town, its Sea Point branch having opened two years ago. (more…)

 

 

Yesterday Archbishop Desmond Tutu celebrated his 86th Birthday. To commemorate this special day for one of Cape Town’s Nobel Peace Prize laureates, affectionately known as The Arch, the City of Cape Town and Design Indaba created Arch for Arch at the entrance to The Company’s Garden, next to St Georges Cathedral, at the corner of Wale and Adderley Streets.
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minstrelsI was surprised to receive so many hits for an Open Letter written on my Blog in 2014 to the Taj Cape Town in the past few days. It was only when I saw the report by News24 about the Taj Cape Town trying to control the Night March of the Cape Minstrels past the hotel on Wale Street that I could make the connection, given that our Open Letter is on the first page of Google (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  South Africa’s 2015 wine harvest commenced two weeks earlier than usual, and was 1% smaller than in 2014, according to VinPro, representing 3000 grape growers and wine cellars. ‘The 2015 harvest had the earliest start in decades. Warm weather in August resulted in earlier bud break, after which a warm, dry and windy summer kept vineyard growth under control and accelerated ripening by approximately two weeks’, said Francois Viljoen, manager of VinPro’s Consultation Service. It has also been described as one of the ‘healthiest in years’, with almost no disease or rot. Record crops were achieved in Worcester.

*   In addition to major roadworks in Camps Bay, and on the intersection between Adderley and Strand Streets, (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The 8th Taste of Cape Town started cooking today, running until Sunday.  It is being held at the Green Point Cricket Club near the Cape Town Stadium.  Restaurants represented are Camissa at Table Bay Hotel, Beluga, Longridge, 96 Winery Road, Hemelhuijs, Cosecha at Noble Hill, Azure at The Twelve Apostles, Don Armando, Jewel of India, Kitima, Ernie Els Wines, and The Bakery at Jordan.

*   KWV has been honoured with a listing in the Drinks International World’s Top 50 Most Admired Wine Brands, the only local wine brand on the prestigious list. It is the fourth time that the brand has received the accolade. Judging is done by more than 200 wine specialists, on the basis of its quality consistency or improvement, reflecting its region or country of origin, its marketing, its broad appeal, and meeting the needs of its target market. (received via media release from Tin Can PR) (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  Adderley Street will undergo construction work for the MyCiTi Bus this month, the City of Cape Town warns.

*   Clever is the new campaign to collect and used soap from hotels, to give to underprivileged families.  One hopes that the campaign will spread to South Africa too.

*   Arniston Bay has launched its first two infused wines:  Arniston Bay Graviola and Passion Fruit Infusion, and Arniston Bay Mint Aloe and Lemongrass Infusion.  The new wines have a screwcap, are low in alchohol at 5,5%, and are lightly spritzed.  Packaging is 100% recyclable.  They cost around R44. (via media release from Hazell PR and Wine Consultants)

*   Wine bloggers in the USA and Canada have a strong influence on wine buying in (more…)

A chance Facebook post about Richard’s Supper Stage & Bistro earlier yesterday took me to the entertainment venue last night, and I was delighted to meet entertainment legend and director/producer Richard Loring, who is the co-owner with Roland Seidel, who had owned Seidelberg wine estate.

A double story venue which previously housed Adega restaurant, next door to the 7-Eleven on Main Road Sea Point, will become a 200-seater ‘Supper Stage’ upstairs, with entry via Glengariff Road (the new striking red and white striped awning is a promise of great things to come).  Richard has redone the paving outside the entrance, and received permission to plant a garden on the pavement, to lift the tone of the neighbourhood.  Even 7-Eleven owner Elia Hadjidakis has promised Richard and Roland that this branch will become their flagship, to match the quality of the new entertainment venue.  Upstairs the massive space will sport Richard’s white piano, and some of the guests will see Robben Island from there. Upstairs too will be Richard’s Bar, which will be decorated with all Richard’s memorabilia spanning the past 50 years, the anniversary being celebrated later this year.  All the walls will be covered with wallpaper of Cape Town images, some of Adderley Street in black and white, and others in colour, such as of Bo-Kaap.  On Main Road a new red canopy with see-through ‘windows’ protected the Bistro deck downstairs from the strong southeaster wind.

Richard’s wife, former model Jeanette Stuart, is in Johannesburg, packing up their house there for the move to Cape Town.  Richard owned a house in Camps Bay for many years, but has now bought a house in Gordon’s Bay. In Johannesburg Richard ran the Sound Stage Theatre and dinner venue for 18 years, having put on 40 productions in this period. After selling the theatre he worked for the 1100-seater Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City as theatre show consultant before moving to Cape Town in November.

I asked how Richard and Roland had met.  ‘African Footprint’ promoter Wolfgang Bocksch introduced Richard to Roland about eight years ago, and they talked loosely then about doing a theatre in Paarl.  Nothing came of this, but Roland did make an African Footprint wine to be sold at the ‘African Footprint’ shows. After an illness, which necessitated the sale of Seidelberg to Fairview last year, Roland contacted Richard, and they rekindled their idea of a show, choosing Sea Point. Originally the idea was to get Adega to provide the food service, but increasingly Richard and Roland realised that they should be in control of this side of their business too, and appointed Chef Ulli Stamm.  Richard and Roland have developed the story for ‘Kaapse Stories from the Mother City’, with Basil Appollis writing the script for the show.  They are busy casting for the show, which will be specifically aimed at tourists, but also at locals.  The cost of the show and buffet dinner should be around R350.  The show will be a fun mix of dance, humour, pathos, and history, a celebration of what Cape Town is all about, Richard said. Richard sees their venture making a contribution to tourism, in informing tourists about the history of the Cape, in allowing the employment of about 40 staff members to run the operation, and the development of new local entertainment talent.  While we were chatting Richard was keeping an eye on his staff all the time, giving them feedback about do’s and don’ts.

Chef Ulli previously worked at Arnold’s, Papino’s in Hout Bay, and then owned Trattoria Maranello in Camps Bay.  Despite his German background, there are no German dishes in his extensive menu, instead being more focused on Mediterranean cuisine, and specially Italian.  The tables on the deck outside have grey tops, and the chairs are grey plastic.  There are no table cloths but there are material serviettes.  Each table has a red candle in a glass, a salt and pepper grinder, and Willowcreek decorated olive oil and balsamic vinegars jars were brought to the table. Cutlery is ordinary. Small self-baked seed loaf slices were brought to the table. The menu is introduced by Chef Ulli in English, French, and Italian, and he writes: “It has always been my passion to bring the real culinary traditions of the Mediterranean to my table and ‘Richard’s’ is my way of sharing this experience. We proudly use locally raised and organically grown ingredients wherever possible and make sure high quality imports are used wherever necessary. Our menu is designed to encourage you to sample many different items. My team and I are honoured to cook for you and look forward to seeing you again and again and…” . The rules of the house are also listed, children under three years generously eating for free, food tolerance information is welcomed, all dishes are prepared ‘al minuto‘ and can be ordered without chilli. All dishes come with a side of salad or vegetables, and a choice of starch.

Ten starters have a good price range from R26 (foccacia) – R79 (carpaccio of smoked salmon), typical Italian dishes including minestrone, calamari, bruschetta, and antipasto. Six salads range from R45 – R62 (Moroccan lamb), including Caprese and Greek salads. Sandwiches (around R50) and burgers (even a salmon one at R89) are available. Pasta dishes range from R58 (Capellini al salmone) to R89 (prawn risotto). Fish dishes include cod, queen and king prawns, and calamari.  I had a fish dish off the specials board, a kabeljou with plain white rice and the most heavenly caper cream sauce (R108).  Steaks range from R96 – R135, and chicken dishes cost R69 – R88. Thirteen pizza options, made from Eureka Mills stone ground flour, include two Flammkuchen choices, and range from R46 for margherita – R97 for a salmon pizza, ensuring that no one will go hungry at Richard’s. Dessert options are plentiful, and cost R34 – R 49, including a good Tiramisu (R37), gelato, cassata, and Créma Catalana.  Coffee is by Italian Makamba. There is a separate breakfast menu.

The winelist has about three brands per variety, the regions are specified but the vintages are not.  Bollinger Special Cuveé Brut costs R1500, and Moët & Chandon R850. Prosecco Tereza Rizzi (R38/R220) and Maximilian (R240), Krone Borealis (R35/R199), and Pongracz (R194) sparkling wines are offered.  Shiraz options are Excelsior Paddock (R34/R115), Annandale (R440), and Rickety Bridge (R169). Local wines made from Italian grapes Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Barbera, and Nebbiolo are on the winelist, as are imported Italian wines, including Brunello (a 2006 at R1350, and a 2004 at R3800).  A wide selection of commercial beers is also available.  I was spoilt by Chef Ulli with a small taste of Limonché, made by local Belgian Jochen Nickmans.

It’s early days for Richard’s Bistro, the menu perhaps being too extensive and unfocused, and the service needing finetuning.  When Richard is there, things will run more smoothly, but no manager seemed to be in charge.  The opening of the new theatre/dinner venue in May is an exciting new tourism attraction for Cape Town, and can be expected to be a slick show.

POSTSCRIPT 31/3: I returned to Richard’s Bistro for breakfast, and had a long chat with co-owner Roland Seidel.  Attractive murals have been added to the walls on the deck downstairs, giving a strong message of the music that will be performed upstairs from May onwards.  The Italian Eggs Benedict cost R47, and included spinach.

POSTSCRIPT 27/7: Chef Ulli Stamm has left Richard’s Supper Stage & Bistro.

Richard’s Supper Stage & Bistro, 229A corner Main and Glengariff Roads, Sea Point.  Tel (021) 434-6738 (Bistro)/(021) 434-4497 (Supper Stage from May). www.richardscapetown.co.za Twitter:@KaapseStories Monday – Sunday 7h00 – 1h00. Free wi-fi.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

The movie ‘Safe House’, starring Denzil Washington and Ryan Reynolds, which was released internationally yesterday, does Cape Town proud, with most of the scenes in the two-hour film shot in the city over a five month period last year.  Reynolds has expressed his love for the city in interviews, an excellent ambassador for Cape Town.

The Weekend Argus reports that Rio de Janeiro was the preferred location for the movie, the script calling for a ‘safe house’ to be as far away as possible from the USA.  Cape Town was chosen above Rio de Janeiro because it ‘had more infrastructure than Rio’, said Reynolds in an interview.

During their time in the city, Reynolds and Washington climbed Lion’s Head, visited the Garden Route, lived in the One&Only Cape Town, and were spotted in numerous local restaurants. Reynolds was blown away by the beauty of Cape Town, and his favourite memory of the city was eating at Mzoli’s.  The trailer and the movie open with a beautiful shot of Lion’s Head in the foreground, across Table Bay, and onto the Paarl mountains covered in southeaster clouds, to audience applause!  Local actress Lynita Crofford stars very briefly in the movie.

The Cape Argus has reported that Reynolds said that Cape Town ‘is my favourite city I’ve shot in’, a fantastic accolade.  He shared that he did not have much time to see the tourist side of the city, but when his family came to visit, it ‘forced me to go see everything as quickly as I could.  I’ve obviously seen all the local sites’. He added that he prefers Cape Town to Johannesburg, where he filmed as well, ‘just because I’m big on the ocean and the hiking and the mountains’.

The movie is dominated by lots of action, a CIA espionage ‘skop-skiet-en-donder’ movie, with more indoor shots than outdoors, thereby limiting the opportunity to show off the beauty of Cape Town. But brand ‘Cape Town’ was pertinently mentioned five times.  An incredible unbelievable car chase was filmed on the Western Boulevard (to the consternation of Capetonians last year, when this road was regularly closed for filming) and at the bottom end of Adderley Street, near the station.  An unidentifiable restaurant (possibly at Lagoon Beach) briefly reflects the fantastic backdrop of Table Mountain to Table Bay; some action takes place at the beautiful-looking Cape Town Stadium, with a night-time soccer match replicated and lots of noisy vuvuzela blowing – at this point Reynolds speaks very acceptable Afrikaans when talking to the local police;  some action takes place on De Waal Drive, an opportunity to show more of the view over Table Bay; a lot of exterior action takes place near the provincial building on Wale Street, another road that was closed on many days for filming; Langa is the location for more action; The ‘Standard Hotel’ in Parow is featured; a ‘safe house’, being a farmhouse on a dusty farm road near Malmesbury, shows off the beauty of the Swartland; wine is drunk, and something about Pinotage is mumbled by Washington as the movie closes, but is not understandable. The building in which a lot of filming was done on Kloof Street, near the Mount Nelson Hotel, is not recognisable in the movie.

Capetonians would be disappointed to see the movie, as there is not much recognisable about Cape Town. As a movie, there is a lot of shooting and some vuvuzela blowing, very noisy due to the surround-sound. For the ladies, Reynolds only looks gorgeous in the close to the movie.  It’s not a movie one would necessarily recommend others to see, and I went to see it yesterday purely to see how the film reflects Cape Town. The movie filming will have been a welcome boost to the city’s financial coffers, benefiting the accommodation, restaurant, and film industries directly.

POSTSCRIPT 14/2: The Cape Times reported yesterday that the movie ‘Chronicle’, which was shot in Cape Town in its entirety and made to resemble Seattle, will be released this week.  The filming of ‘Chronicle’ and ‘Safe House’ jointly is estimated to have generated ‘R350 million in spend to local hotels, restaurants, shops, catering services and transport’, and added to this is the spend on production companies and the Cape Town Film Studios.  Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events and Marketing Grant Pascoe said ‘both films showcase the city not only as a premier film location, but as a destination of choice for potential visitors’, thereby indicating that he hasn’t seen either of these two movies!

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage

After two false starts, the City of Cape Town has approved the first four changes to street names in the city, honouring South African greats, reports the Cape Times.

Nelson Mandela Boulevard will be the new name of the Eastern Boulevard, while the world’s first heart transplant specialist Professor Christiaan Barnard will be honoured in the name of the street currently called Oswald Pirow Street.   Albert Lithuli, the first South African Nobel Peace Prize winner and an ANC President, will be honoured in the street section between the Civic Centre and Artscape.   A Khoisan leader Krotoa will be honoured in a section of Castle Street, between Adderley and Burg Street.

Cape Town is the last South African city to “rename apartheid era streets and places”, says the report.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter: @WhaleCottage

POSTSCRIPT 1/1/2011: A relative of the Khoisan Krotoa has protested to the City of Cape Town about the use of his relative’s first name without her surname, given that the City has not consulted his family, reports the Cape Times.   Jakobus Faasen says that his relative was the first Khoi person to marry a Dutch person, and her married surname was Van Meerhoff.

For my last World Cup viewing I chose The Twankey Bar at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town, a bar I had wanted to visit on a previous occasion, but which was closed for stocktake on that day (the Germany versus England match).  Last night it was the 3rd and 4th play-off between Germany and Uruguay, and the five Germans at The Twankey Bar were delighted with their team’s 3-2 win.

I did not know that the Widow Twankey is a well-known character in Alladin.   According to Wikipedia, she is a “pantomime dame portrayed as a man” (read more here). The Widow Twankey figurine is a feature outside on the erstwhile Board of Executors building in which The Twankey Bar is housed, and gave the bar its name.

The Twankey Bar has a swanky feel, as you step into it from the corner of Adderley and Wale Streets, in a  venue separated from the Taj Hotel.   It has beautiful wooden floors, marble table and bar tops, red leather tub chairs (uncomfortably high and very sharp arm rests), bar chairs and some of the other tub chairs are in silver leather, a silver painted pressed steel ceiling, beautiful art deco lamps, and silk-like curtains in a deep red and silver.   The silver and red theme is not carried through in the staff uniforms, which are a creme shirt, black cap and black pants, odd given the colourful uniforms the staff wear in Mint and Bombay Brasserie inside the Hotel.   A lone black and white photograph of a boat decorates one wall, and echoes the “seafood” theme, probably picked up from the anchor in the Twankey statuette.  I would have liked a little more light, especially to read the bill.

We were given the choice of rugby or soccer, as the initial guests in the Bar were not watching any sport.  When they left, soccer won, and the volume was turned up.   Nothing in The Twankey Bar reflected the world’s largest sport event taking place in the country.  With five of us in the Bar during the match, we certainly made the “gees”, but there were not enough customers on the rainy and cold Cape Town night to give it the spirit.   But when your team wins, you don’t need other people’s “gees”!   It was an exciting match, and kept one holding thumbs and begging Paul the Octopus to make his prediction of a win for Germany come true, his seventh correct prediction! 

The menu is a simple yet elegantly designed one, laminated, and I was encouraged by the Manager Leslie Heaven to take it home with me so that I did not have to write it all down.  The menu states “Seafood * Champagne * Guinness * Oysters” on the front, and this gives one a feel of its focus immediately.  The manager told me it is an Irish pub, due to the Guinness served.   The Seafood focus is odd for a pub, but it is only Calamari (R55), Tempura Prawns (R85), and the Tuna Tatiki (R85) that meet this description.  On the table were heavily spiced cashew nuts, wasabi peanuts and chilli poppers, encouraging one to drink more beer to get over the spiciness.  On the reverse side it refers to its “Tapas Menu”.

Our food and beer were brought quickly after placing the order, with new-looking quality cutlery and very small material serviettes.   The Guacamole and spicy tortilla dish (R50) was massive – despite having asked for the least spicy tortillas, they were still pretty hot, and the manager organised some toast instead.  The guacamole was spicy too, with a strong taste of onion.  I am used to guacamole being smooth – The Twankey Bar’s was chunky.   The Quail spring rolls were served with chilli plum sauce, and were an expensive choice at R 65 for four small rolls, but were enjoyable.  I liked the Karoo Lamb Samoosas, four small ones costing R 55, not having any spices in them.   The serving of four large prawns came with a very diluted soy sauce, but I was brought the real thing when I requested it.    Oysters cost R90 for six.  Other “Small plates” one can order are Chicken Tikka Wrap served with mint chutney (R55), Tequila Salmon Gravlax (R75) and Jalapeno Poppers (R45).  What I liked was that as far as pub food goes, this was the most creative menu of all the pubs I visited during my World Cup journey.  What I disliked was the spiciness of almost all the dishes, limiting my choice.  

The Menu is dominated by the drinks on offer; including ten Cocktails all costing R40; four non-alcoholic ones (R30 each); two draught beers (Guinness at R 29 and Jack Black at R 20); and bottled beer – Heineken, Peroni and Windhoek are very reasonably priced at R 20, while the Brewers Union Unfiltered, Dark and Stepheiss (sic) all are charged at R 40, the same price at which it is sold at &Union up the road.   One can order Moet et Chandon at a precious R 225 per glass, or at R 900 per bottle, and even splurge on a bottle of Dom Perignon Brut Rose at R 8000!  Seven of the thirteen Methode Cap Classique wines offered can be ordered by the glass, and seem expensive – Pierre Jourdan Cuvee Brut and the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel are the cheapest at R 50 per glass, while the Teddy Hall Blanc de Blanc costs R 100 per glass.  I was proud to see Melissa Nelsen’s Genevieve Blanc de Blanc listed – what a prestige for the new sparkling wine producer who only launched her brand earlier this year!   A small selection of red and white wines is offered, by the glass and per bottle, and commendably the vintages are specified.  The prices seemed more reasonable here – for example the 2007 Villiera Merlot costs R 35 by the glass, and the Warwick First Lady Red Blend 2008 costs R40.  

I was grateful when the Manager took over looking after our table when our waitress seemed more interested in chatting to her colleague and watching the soccer.  She was asked to bring the prawn tempura dish to the table in the halftime, but this did not happen and had to be requested.   While the World Cup is history after tonight, it surprised me that, generally speaking, bar staff do not seem to understand that one would like to hear the commentator during a match – a problem I picked up at Harvey’s Bar and Salt Vodka Bar too.  It irritated me that they kept coming to ask something and even blocked the TV screen during what was a most exciting match.   At one stage we had to ask them to stop the icemaking machine because it made such a noise.   It was one of few pubs (also Salt Vodka Bar, and Pure at Hout Bay Manor) in which I saw a manager, and whilst he could have been more assertive with his staff about the disturbances, he was good at reading customer irritations, coming to check with us, and acting upon feedback immediately.

The Twankey Bar is not a food destination in itself, but would be the start or end to a special evening in town.  Recently it was decided that The Twankey Bar should stay open until 23h00, as guests were popping in for a late snack.  The food is expensive and spiciness dominates, but the drinks are more reasonably priced. 

The Twankey Bar, Taj Hotel, corner Wale and Adderley Streets, Cape Town.  Tel (021) 819-2000. www.tajhotels.com  (The website exaggerates, in my opinion, when it describes The Twankey Bar as a “seafood restaurant”.   It also claims to have “sublime jazz”, but we did not experience any music).  Open from 11h00 – 23h00, Mondays – Saturdays.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com