I cannot remember when an Eat Out Awards event was so exciting in its Top 10 countdown, with so many surprise restaurants on this year’s list, reflecting how more daring the Eat Out judging team has become, no longer playing it safe, which is highly commended. Since Chef Margot Janse took over in heading the Eat Out Awards judging panel in 2018, she has been ruthless in her restaurant recognition, which we already noticed when Eat Out announced its Top 30 nomination shortlist for this year, in some of the top restaurants it excluded! Continue reading →
Last week I found a reference to my name in a review written about author Irna van Zyl’s second book, called ‘Death Cup: Murder is on the menu’, a play on words with a mushroom by the same name, naming me as the model for one of the main characters in the book, as the writer of the ‘infamous food blog’. As I had been told this verbally on another occasion too, I had to go to Exclusive Books to buy a copy of the book. There is no mistaking the blog of the ‘food blogger’ as being my WhaleTales Blog! Continue reading →
The publishers of the Gourmet Guide 2020 have made it really difficult to write this post, in that it is not revealing its full list of 36 restaurants that received its one, two, or three plate awards on Monday, until January 2020, its website states. One can surmise that it wants the Gourmet Guide 2020 to be bought so that it can generate income. By January these Awards will have long been forgotten! Continue reading →
How does one summarise Cape Town’s newest trendy hotspot that is a 32 bedroom Hotel, a rooftop bar with a resident mixologist, and a restaurant with Chef Guy Bennett at the helm, located in an area in which such an offering is not expected, that is simply gorgeous? The Gorgeous George Hotel, and with it the GiGi Rooftop Restaurant and Bar, will bring the Cape Town city centre alive again, an area that has not seen any innovation in quite a while. Continue reading →
Winter is on our doorstep, autumn making itself felt already. Traditionally winter commences at Easter, giving the restaurant industry just three weeks to make its last bucks. The only new restaurant that I have heard open is Botanicum Café & Grill in Constantia, previously Bootlegger Café & Grill, now (silently) 50% owned by Bootlegger, as the concept was not working with the Bootlegger name, it being seen as a coffee shop and not a stand-alone restaurant.
Restaurant openings Continue reading →
I saw an article by Post & Courier recently, randomly as I do not follow this publication, and was attracted to its topic, being the impact of restaurant reviews and their power to close a restaurant down. Being our country’s harshest restaurant reviewer, this got me thinking about why the top chefs in our country, including Giorgio Nava, Bertus Basson, Peter Tempelhoff, Liam Tomlin, and Scott Kirton & Co are so sensitive to constructive criticism by banning (or attempting to) me from their restaurants, yet new (to our country) chef Wunderkind Rikku O’Donnchü of Gåte Restaurant welcomes it so! Continue reading →
I was sent a copy of Eva Mazza’s ‘Sex, Lies & Stellenbosch’ by Jacana Press, to review, my first Book Review. Whilst I waded through the sex, and sex, and sex, I wondered how I would write this review, this being a family-friendly Blog. But it was right at the end that the message of the book was clear: no matter how terrible the life experiences one goes through, there is always growth and an opportunity to transform, and lead a better life, echoing my two ‘SwitchBitch’ books which I published last year. Continue reading →
It was a surprise announcement to read that Chef Bertus Basson has been exorcised from Spice Route wine estate outside of Paarl, and that Chef Liam Tomlin with Neil and Tina Jewell are taking over this space. It makes for an interesting discussion as to why the top chefs of our country are so determined to open one restaurant after the other, and to ask if they make any money out of it! Continue reading →
The tough conditions for the restaurant industry in Cape Town and the Winelands continue, with few restaurants opening or closing. A surprise is that Bertus Basson @ Spice Route is no longer operating, a killer negative review late last year possibly being the nail in the coffin. Now Basson only has five Stellenbosch restaurants plus all his catering assignments and TV appearances to juggle! Interesting is that Chef Liam Tomlin has opened a ‘contemporary ecological tapas’ restaurant in Barcelona, well-suited to his tapas restaurant offerings!
# Ellen Jay has opened inside Constantia Fabrics. Continue reading →