Tag Archives: Camphors at Vergelegen

MasterChef SA Season 4 comes to an end, Shawn Godfrey wins R 1 million!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been an exciting month of MasterChef SA Season 4, which drew to a close tonight, when the three Finalists fought it out in the MasterChef kitchen, Shawn Godfrey winning the R1 million grand prize.

This week started off with six finalists, three cooking challenges and three eliminations, and three guest chef judges, until the 90 minute Grand Finale this evening. Continue reading →

Twelve SA Restaurants make La Liste 1000 Top Restaurant List, Restaurant Klein JAN receives special award!

 

At a Gala Event held in Paris on Monday, the new La Liste 1000 for 2022 was announced, with 12 South African Restaurants included in this prestigious list of 1000 top restaurants around the world, one sadly included but no longer operating!

In addition, brand new Restaurant Klein JAN at Tswalu in the Kalahari, owned by Chef Jan-Hendrik van  der Westhuizen, received a special Award as World Hidden Gem Restaurant. While his JAN restaurant in Nice has been awarded one Michelin star for the past six years,
it is not included in the La Liste List.  The La Liste accolade for Restaurant Klein JAN, and its inclusion in the world’s Top 1000 List, is the first international recognition for any of Chef Jan-Hendrik’s restaurants. Continue reading →

Only 16 of the 2019 Top 20 Restaurants in SA are still operating! How has our Gourmet scene changed in the past year?

In preparing for an interview conducted by Süd-Africa Magazin newsletter writer Werner Klein about how the restaurant scene has changed in Cape Town and the Winelands since Lockdown started over a year ago, I looked specifically at the Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant List of November 2019. Eat Out did not Award any restaurant awards in 2020, and appears unlikely to do so in 2021.

Of the latest Eat Out Top 20 Restaurants shortlisted, only 16 of our country’s Top 20 are still operating, I was shocked to discover.  Three of the four the top restaurants closed down in 2021. Two of the restaurants were on the Top 10 list, and two on the List of 11 – 20 ranked local restaurants in 2019.

The four restaurants which have closed down permanently are the following:

#   Restaurant at Waterkloof: The Chef Gregory Czarnecki owned restaurant operating at Waterkloof Winery in Somerset West closed on 22 November 2020. There has been no sight or sound of Chef Gregory, last posting on Instagram on 22 February. The restaurant held the number one slot of the Eat Out Top 10 list in 2018, and was ranked third in 2019.

SA Top 10 Restaurant List loses one of its stars as Restaurant at Waterkloof closes down in two weeks!

#   The Shortmarket Club was the first Fine-Dining restaurant to close down in Lockdown, almost immediately after it began last year.  In December 2020 it reopened with most of its chef team, who left Tintswalo to reopen the restaurant.  It has since ‘closed indefinitely’ but is still on the website of the LDR Group of Restaurants owned by Chef Luke Dale Roberts.  The site currently operates as The Test Kitchen Fledgelings, a Burger joint only operating on Fridays, and a training ground for new chef talent. In 2019 The Shortmarket Club was ranked at number 18 in 2019.

Is Chef Luke Dale Roberts scaling down his Restaurant Group? Salsify at the Roundhouse no longer part of the Group!

#   Mosaic at The Orient is the saddest closing, very unlikely to be due to the Lockdown. An Eat Out Top 10 restaurant for most of its existence, yet never given the number one slot, Chef Chantel Dartnall and her restaurant received better international recognition than local!  She appears to be investing in herself, taking time off at a local coastal retreat, and to spend time in Paris, to learn French and to work at a restaurant there. At the Eat Out Awards in 2019 Chef Chantel announced that she would no longer participate in the Eat Out Awards, wishing to make space on the Awards list for younger chefs and their restaurants. Many saw a different message in this announcement, given that she was not receiving the recognition she deserved locally. She was followed by Chef Luke Dale Roberts a few weeks later, in making the same announcement. Restaurant Mosaic closed down outside Pretoria at the end of March. It was ranked 9th in 2019, an insult to the restaurant  and its chef.

Top 16 women Chefs recognised by Michelin for International Women’s Day, Farewell to only Top SA Woman Chef! !

#.  La Tête also closed down, on Bree Street, on 6 February. It was ranked 17th in 2019.

 

The remaining Top 20 restaurants, in order of their 2019 ranking from number 1, are:  La Colombe, The Test Kitchen, Wolfgat, FYN, La Petite Colombe, Eike, Salsify at The Roundhouse, Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia, Camphors at Vergelegen, Overture, LivingRoom at Summerhill Estate, Chefs Warehouse at Maison, Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenhort, Le Coin Français, Tjing Tjing Momiji, and Rust en Vrede.

 

The interview about the changing restaurant scene in the past 13 months highlighted the following:

#   The restaurant industry has been doing well in the past two months, when the regulation regarding the sale of alcohol in restaurants was normalized, and the Curfew start time moved to midnight. Restaurants are reporting excellent trade, especially on weekends.

#   A total of 100 restaurants have closed down in Cape Town and the Winelands. Chef Luke Dale Roberts has lost two restaurants in his stable, only retaining The Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club.

#   More than 70 restaurants have opened, Chef Liam Tomlin having opened three in this period.

#.  A handful of restaurants announced their permanent closure, but managed to reopen again, including Clarke’s, Nelson’s Eye, and Perseverance Tavern.

#.  Franschhoek has been particularly hard hit by the Lockdown, losing Foliage a week ago, and Entrée and Fork recently. Yet restaurateur and Chef Darren Badenhorst has opened two new restaurants,  and has taken over the running of Tuk Tuk, in addition to his two existing restaurants.

#.  The ultimate fine dining restaurant has opened in our county, Restaurant KLEIN JAN at Tswalu Private Game Reserve, owned by Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen, who also owns one Michelin Star JAN restaurant in Nice. The new restaurant is likely to fly right into the number one spot when Eat Out reintroduces its Awards.

Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen finally opens his Restaurant KLEIN JAN in the Kalahari, most expensive restaurant in SA!

#. Capetonians can more easily access our city’s fine dining restaurants. It still takes three months to book at Wolfgat, and it took six months to get into The Test Kitchen. The latter restaurant now has availability for all dates in May. Most top restaurants now offer Reduced Tasting Menus, fewer courses offered making them more affordable.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity for an amended German version of this story to be published in the Newsletter of the Süd-Africa Magazin.  https://www.sued-afrika.de/artikel/newsletter-11-kapstadt-gastroszene-im-wandel. And for the magazine using a photograph of Utopia Cape Town restaurant.

 

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

 

Corona Virus: How SA Eat Out Top 20 Chefs are coping with the COVID-19 Lockdown – Part 2!

 

Yesterday I published a post that focused on a number of leading South African chefs, in summarising what they are doing to maintain awareness for their restaurants, what they are posting, and how they are getting involved in helping their clients as well as the disadvantaged community. This Blogpost is a continuation of the story, focusing on the remaining restaurants which made the 2019 Eat Out Top 20 List. Continue reading →

Corona Virus: Cancellations of events and temporary closures of Tourist venues and restaurants!

South Africans are still reeling after hearing the speech broadcast by President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday evening in how the government is implementing measures from today onwards in combatting and containing the Corona Virus in our country, with drastic consequences for every one of us, including every business. News of the first event cancellations and temporary restaurant closures is being announced already. Continue reading →

Restaurant Mosaic in Pretoria ranked in 2020 Top 200 Restaurant La Liste, top ranked SA restaurant!

Chef Chantel Dartnall of Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient outside Pretoria Facebooked her good news of making the 2020 Top 200 in the La Liste ranking of the 1000 top-mentioned restaurants in the world. Her restaurant was ranked around number 110 on this list, the joint highest ranked South African restaurant with The Yest Kitchen with a score of 94%. Four top restaurants, two of them from Tokyo, shared the number one ranking this year.  Continue reading →

Eat Out Awards 2019 full of drama and surprises, new awards, La Colombe overtakes The Test Kitchen for the first time as new number one restaurant in South Africa!

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 →

TripAdvisor announces 2019 Top 10 Travellers’ Choice Awards ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurants’ in South Africa, La Colombe makes a meal of it!

It amuses me how much weight La Colombe places on the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, clearly because it is the only awards ranking in which it comes first, and in which it beats its arch enemy The Test Kitchen, despite most serious restaurant diners knowing how questionable a TripAdvisor rating, and therefore this Award ranking, is! Continue reading →

Eat Out announces its 2019 Top 30 Restaurant shortlist! Shock exclusions! Liam Tomlin’s Chefs Warehouse & Canteen falls off the list!

Eat Out released its Top 30 shortlist for the 2019 Top 10 Restaurant Awards minutes ago. The biggest shock is that Chef Liam Tomlin’s Chefs Warehouse & Canteen has not been nominated! Just two years ago Eat Out awarded Tomlin the Chef of the Year Award! 

When I first wrote that Chef Liam’s restaurant on Bree Street did not belong on the Eat Out Top 20 shortlist, when it was nominated for the first time four of five years ago, not conforming to the criteria for fine dining, Chef Liam denigrated me in Facebook and banned me from his restaurants! It seems that the new judging team at Eat Out has seen the light, and feels the same about it! Continue reading →

JHP Gourmet Guide announces 2020 top restaurants, but does not release the list until January 2020! Read it here first!

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 →