Tag Archives: Canal Walk

Chefs still on the move between Cape Town and Winelands restaurants!

Palma Interior candles Whale CottageEven though we are almost at the end of the summer season, chefs are still moving between restaurants, a number of chef changes having taken place at the end of February.  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*     Italian restaurant Palma has opened on Bree Street (photograph)

*   Bacon on Bree has opened at 217 Bree Street, a bacon-inspired restaurant by charcuterier Richard Bosman and his wife Justine Seymour.

*   Culture Club cheese and wine shop has opened at 215 Bree Street, its owner previously having been the GM of La Fromagerie on Marylebone High Street in London!

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Baked in the Wood is to open on Bree Street, offering craft beer and tapas, owned by Zahir Mohamed of Baked Bistro.

*   Honest Chocolate Café has opened next door to its original shop on Wale Street.

*   Tasha’s has opened in Canal Walk

*   Localé Cocktail & Pincho Bar has opened in Mowbray, as a joint venture between Baked Bistro Continue reading →

New Restaurant openings in Cape Town and Winelands continue!

Tiger's Milk Main Table and lights Whale CottageEven though we are halfway through the summer season,  new restaurants continue to open, and more are planned before summer ends.  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Michael Townsend (who owns the Harbour House emporium, with La Parada, Lucky Fish, and Harbour House restaurants) has opened Tiger’s Milk in Muizenberg (photograph).  The Lucky Fish on Long Street will be transformed into Tiger’s Milk.

*    Kokkedoor judge and Chef Nic van Wyk and Roxy Laker have opened bistro 13 at Stellenbosch Vineyards (Welmoed)

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point. Continue reading →

New restaurant openings awaited in Cape Town & Winelands!

Bistro 13 Interior plus serving hatch Whale CottageAn unusually high number of new restaurants has opened or will do so in the next month or two.  There have never been so many chefs leaving their employers to start their own restaurants, or to join other employers!  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Kokkedoor judge and Chef Nic van Wyk and Roxy Laker have opened bistro 13 at Stellenbosch Vineyards (Welmoed) (photograph)

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Michael Townsend (who own the La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) has opened Tiger’s Milk in Muizenberg, the venue having previously been earmarked for a steakhouse.

*   Neil Grant and his business partner Barry Engelbrecht (of Burrata) have opened new restaurant Bocca on the corner of BreeContinue reading →

Cape Town & Winelands Winter Restaurant specials 2014 (and winter closures)!

Restaurant fireplaceThe Winter 2014 specials for more than 90 Cape Town and Winelands restaurants follow below, and are updated continuously. We welcome information about new specials, and the feedback about your meals at these restaurants:

Cape Town

*   Umi in Camps Bay: 3 course set menu R260, 5 courses R360, both include a shared bottle of Warwick First Lady. Order 3 meals off a la carte menu, get the 4th free.  Slow cooked shortrib R110, Karan beef sirloin R95, Japanese beer marinated Karan beef fillet R120, pork belly R90, warm salmon and black bean R120, and fish & fries R85.  Tel (021) 437-1802 (added 10/5/14)

*   Pepenero in Mouille Point : Order 3 meals and get 4th (cheapest) free; Sirloin R89, Rump R89, Lamb cutlets R99, Seafood platter R149, Sushi platter R129, Crayfish tails R169, Veal schnitzel R95, Soup of day R40,  Prawn platter R139, Oxtail R110, and Osso Buco R89.  Half price sushi (selected items) all day. Daily. Tel (021) 439-9027 (updated 10/5/14)

*    5 Rooms, Alphen Boutique Hotel: 2 courses R170; 2 courses with bottle of Warwick First Lady (shared between two) R220; 3 courses R 220; 3 courses plus bottle of Warwick First Lady (shared between two) R 270. Sirloin R95, Baby chicken R95, Braised oxtail R110, Seafood bouillabaisse R135, Grilled Prawn R99, Slow braised lamb shank R115. Tel (021) 795-6313 (updated 10/5/14)

*   Zenzero, Camps Bay:    2 courses R160; 2 courses with bottle of Warwick First Lady (shared between two) R210;  3 courses Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 13/14 February

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Pernod Ricard, international marketer of Absolut, Mumm, and Martell, has seen a 18% decline in sales in China in the first half of its financial year.

*   The Karoo is one of the world’s top nine stargazing destinations, which includes the Algarve in Portugal, Ayer’s Rock in Australia, Atacama Desert in Chile, Jasper National Park in Canada, Mauna Kea in Hawaii, Grumeti in Tanzania, Kitt Peak in Arizona, and Gülpe in Germany.

*   SAA has applied to introduce new routes, and new codeshare agreements with a host of new destinations, including Moscow, Asuncion in Paraguay, Lomé in Togo, Praia and Ilha do Sol in Cape Verde, Jakarta, Kingston, and Port of Spain  in Trinidad and Tobago.  The airline has also applied to increase the frequency of its African routes, including Lagos, Blantyre, Lilongwe, and Accra.

*   Twitter now has 5,5 million users in South Africa, up by 129% in just one year. (via Twitter)

*   Michael Jordaan, owner of Bartinney wine estate and former CEO of FNB, found parallels Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 10 October

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   American Express credit card holders will be rewarded (undefined as to how) for posting reviews on TripAdvisor, and will be flagged as cardholders on the rating site.  They will also receive trend information.

*   Signal at the Cape Grace has been ranked 39th and Le Verger at the Le Franschhoek Hotel has been ranked 46th in the 101 Best Hotel Restaurants around the World, the only South African entries on the list.

*   Comair and Skywise are facing a Social Media backlash for having their interdict against the commencement of FlySafair’s flights from next week granted by the court, and are calling for a boycott against the two airlines!

*   Col’Cacchio has added Breakfast to its menu at select branches, the Continue reading →

New Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy accommodates his members, listening and learning!

enver-duminy-cape-town-tourismOn his 46th day in the hot seat as CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy was generous with his time yesterday, and we covered a lot of ground, each interviewing the other! I was impressed with his ability to listen, really wanting to know my views on tourism and Cape Town Tourism, even though many of them have been documented on this blog.

Enver and his predecessor Mariette du Toit-Helmbold could not be more different. Enver is very much quieter, more reserved, gentle,  interested in others and their views, is not opinionated in presuming to know all the answers, is friendly, is diplomatic, is not focused on himself but on his job to attract more tourists to Cape Town, and surprised me when he gave me a hug on leaving instead of shaking my hand!  He didn’t want the interview to be about him alone, and he took the opportunity to ask about me as well, and I realised that he knew little about me (he did know that I enjoyed MasterChef SA, and has read this blog, being intrigued about how I see things so differently!).

Enver grew up in Mitchell’s Plain, studied Computer Sciences and Mathematical Statistics, and his first job took him to IBM in Johannesburg.  He returned to Cape Town, working at ESKOM, running a computer training company with friends, working at Nedbank in their ATM, software and home loans departments, and at Integer, a home loans company.  All along his career he has done management courses, believing in ‘educating yourself’, but with a focus on ‘how to apply the knowledge‘, as ‘anything is possible‘, he says.  He is currently doing a Continue reading →

Cellucity Sweet Service and Pick ‘n Pay Sour Service Awards!

The Sweet Service Award goes to Cellucity in the V&A Waterfront, which was nominated by Marilyn Levin: I nominate Cellucity at the V and A Waterfront for an award. I had to replace my Blackberry and dealt with Herman Geldenhuys, the manager. Nothing was too much for him. He transferred all my data – cell numbers, messages, BBM, e-mail etc etc with a smile on his face. What a pleasure dealing with such a delightful man. All the sales people in the shop were just as friendly. Well done Cellucity”.

The Sour Service Award goes to Pick ‘n Pay in Canal Walk, and was nominated by a very angry Ashil Maharaj: ‘We have Rights and to have Rude Uncouth Managers violate our Rights we must stand up Together! Imagine Marwaan, the Store Manager, said I’m no longer Welcome in his Store(IS IT Because I’m INDIAN?)- All I did was stand up 4 my rights- he was so COLD!  Gulwinaaz made harsh statements to me to which I had to defend myself! Need a reason as to why a Pick n Pay employee Squashed the barcode in front of me- is that good business practice? The next Day I was banned from the Store by Marwaan who wasn’t even present during the incident!So Guys if you want to be insulted and treated like c… then Please Visit the Canal Walk Store! You too might be banned or Not Welcome for Standing up for your Rights! The saying goes if you can’t handle the heat Get out of the Kitchen! Marwaan if your store can’t Handle the ScaMright policy Remove IT! We to have our consumer rights so if Pick n Pay doesn’t want our business, don’t value us! Then why support Canal Walk! I was shocked when the Pick n Pay employee squashed the barcode not to honour promises and Managers are Rude & Arrogant! Can’t believe in a democratic country when a Person defends himself when he’s being defamed He gets Banned! That’s what happened to me in Pick n Pay Canal Walk! Remember HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 21 March!’

POSTSCRIPT 3/4: Ashil has written to say that his matter has been resolved with Pick ‘n Pay:Its Ashil! The matter with Pick n Pay has been Resolved amicably! I would like to retract all my Statements made against Pick n Pay and its employees as it was all just a huge misunderstanding!’

POSTSCRIPT 10/5: Despite Store Manager Marwaan telling me at the time that Pick ‘n Pay would respond to the Sour Award nomination, they have done so today for the first time, six weeks later, demanding that the post be removed.  By posting the Postscript on 3 April we believe that we have been fair to both parties. This is what Pick ‘n Pay wrote: ‘ Good day Mr. (sic) von Ulmenstein. We have noted that the “Sour Award posted for Pick n Pay by Mr. Ashil Maharaj is still visible on your website. Mr. Maharaj sent you a mail on 3 April 2013 to retract his statement against Pick n Pay and its employees so we assume the entire post would be removed from your website.  We would like to have this post removed completely please. The accusations made were false and even though there is a post stating that this matter has been resolved it still leaves a bad impression towards Pick n Pay.  The allegations made by Mr Maharaj in his post were not true and unjustifiably defames Pick n Pay.  The claims of racial attacks are not at all true and was simply a way for Mr. Maharaj to elevate his personal complaints, unrelated to Pick n Pay, to Mr Jonathan Ackerman. The blog also mentions our store manager, who has a place in the community and sheds very dim light with regards to racial claims that are not true. Pick n Pay has never and will never practice any form of discrimination and we take matters such as this very seriously.  Pick n Pay in future would also appreciate the opportunity to respond to complaints before they are posted onto your site as there are often more sides to a story than just the version you initially receive.  Please let us know once you have removed this post from your site and we look forward to working with you in the best interest of our customers and service delivery.  Thank you in advance. Kind regards, Mary – Anne Hattingh, Pick n Pay, National customer service manager ‘.

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 info@whalecottage.com.   Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.

Pearl Culture Sweet Service and Native Sour Service Awards!

The Sweet Service Award goes to Pearl Culture in Canal Walk, and its shop assistant Hanile Hugo, for whom nothing was too much trouble in restringing a bracelet in 20 minutes, so that I did not have to return to Canal Walk a few days later to fetch it again.  A pearl bracelet which I bought in their sale was lengthened by Hanile while I waited too, without a charge for the added pearls.    It is sad news that the retail outlet will close down later this year, as it has been a reliable source of pearls, and their restringing service is one of few available by jewellers in Cape Town.  She was friendly and a pleasure to deal with.

The Sour Service Award goes to ‘digitally-led full-service marketing agency‘ NATIVE (who in South Africa would choose such an inappropriate company name?), and its Cape Head Ben Wagner.  Wagner wanted to get hold of a guest of ours, and called us to speak to him.  I explained that we do not have telephones in the rooms, as all guests have cellphones, that all calls are diverted to my cellphone, and that I had left the guest house for the day.  I asked him to contact his friend directly on his German cellphone number as I would only see the guest the next morning – surprisingly he did not have his friend’s number, and neither did I.  Wagner was enraged that he could not get the message to his friend immediately, and was rude and demanding on the phone.  His reaction was beyond the norm for an annoyed person, and he unleashed a Twitter tantrum, with extreme abuse to ourselves!  We had to ask our security company for extra protection of our guest house in Camps Bay, as he tried to gain access to our property.  One wonders how abusive he could become if he were to be annoyed by his clients, including Distell, Foschini, Pernod Ricard, and Pick ‘n Pay, judging by his abusive behaviour towards ourselves.  Wagner’s Twitter Bio states that his Tweets express his own opinions, yet it has the link to the NATIVE website!

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 info@whalecottage.com.   Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.

MasterChef SA cooks with new ‘MasterChef South Africa: The Cookbook’!

I felt honoured to have been invited by Errieda du Toit to attend the Cape Town launch of ‘MasterChef South Africa: The Cookbook’ at Exclusive Books at Tygervalley on Thursday evening.  With a number of the finalists present, it was impressive to see how much camaraderie there is between the Finalists, even though the filming for the series ended more than six months ago.  The Cookbook documents the journey of the MasterChef SA finalists, in addition to their best recipes.

Published by Human & Rousseau, the text for the book was written by Errieda, the food was styled by Jacques Erasmus of Hemelhuijs, and photography of the food was done by Myburgh du Plessis, all under the editorship of Daleen van der Merwe, and is the ideal keepsake for everyone who loved MasterChef South Africa.  Errieda said that MasterChef SA was a landmark program, which changed the face of food in South Africa. Even children are becoming excited about cooking.

The book profiles each contestant and judge, and summarises each episode, sharing the best recipes of each contestant, e.g. Deena Naidoo’s prawn curry, Thys Hattingh’s Cherry Frangipane tart, Sarel Loots’ Boerewors with Polenta and butternut mash, Khaya Silingile’s Chicken Ballotine, Sue-Ann Allen’s Oysters with horseradish mayonnaise, Lungi Nhlanhla’s pork tails, Jade de Waal’s warm Cape berry chocolate tart with pistachio and cardamom ice cream, and Samantha Nolan’s Dutch croquettes.  Recipes for traditional South African dishes such as koeksister, koesiesters, denningvleis, tripe and phutu pap, Waterblommetjiebredie, and chicken pie, are also offered.  The book culminates in the Grande Finale, and Deena winning the title of first MasterChef SA.

Each page offers a tip or hint, or an interesting comment, by one of the MasterChef SA finalists.  There are guidelines to sustainable cooking, food and wine pairing suggestions by sponsor Nederburg, and Le Quartier Français Chef Vanie Padayachee’s tips for cooking curry.  Visiting chefs Peter Tempelhoff from The Greenhouse, Coco Reinharz from Le Petit Sel and Sel et Poivre in Sandton, Michel Roux Jnr from La Gavroche in London, Margot Janse at The Tasting Room, Michael Broughton from Terroir,  Reuben Riffel from Reuben’s, and Lorraine Meaney from the Cape Grace hotel, are captured in the Cookbook, and most have a recipe included in the book.

The book also provides background information on how many kilograms of butter (100), cheese (250), litres of fresh cream (100) and milk (600), 215 kg fresh herbs (no Robertsons spices were used, as they are not stocked by Woolworths, despite the joint sponsorship of MasterChef SA), and vegetables (200 kg onions, and a further 3 tonnes for the bootcamp, 100 kg mushrooms, and 250 kg avocado), 57 kg prawns, 165 kg chicken, 400 kg lamb, and more than 2500 eggs were used!

A number of the Cape-based MasterChef SA Finalists attended the book launch, including Sue-Ann (now a private chef, with her own demonstration kitchen at the newly opened V&A Market on the Wharf, Ilse Fourie (now a private chef), Guy Clark (now a private chef, having left the Madame Zingara group), Samantha, Charles Canning, Jade (who has recently published ‘Luscious’ vegetarian cookbook), and Lungi (now Deputy Food editor of Drum magazine).  Ilse and Sue-Ann have signed a book deal for ‘Gourmet Sisters’ for next year.  Sarel Loots travelled all the way from Sabie to be present, and Chef Pete Goffe-Wood also attended.

As MC, Errieda asked the Finalists how their lives had changed in the past year.  Sarel related that he did not expect to be moved emotionally, and to cry about food! He also shared that he was mobbed at the Good Food & Wine Show in Johannesburg. Sarel is about to launch a range of Boerewors with fruit chutney, in conjunction with a spice company, first in Mpumalanga, and then nationally.  Lungi shared that she has always been creative, and being creative about food was a further extension, showing who she is. Chef Pete said that he was seen to be ‘insensitive’ and tough, but he knew how much was at stake for each contestant, and how much they had given up in their professional and family lives to be there. Chef Pete was chased by a traffic cop for making a call on his cellphone – when they recognised him, the traffic cop told him he wanted to share how much he enjoyed MasterChef SA!  The traffic cop opened the highway for Chef Pete, so that he could get to his function on time, referring to this as ‘culinary corruption’!  Sue-Ann said that she is cooking for 120 guests with ease now, and that her knowledge of food and wine has improved dramatically.  Ilse said that she has learnt knife skills, and how to eat and cook, yet stay small, being a ‘plus size model’. The finalists were most gracious in signing the book, and writing personalised messages.

Food trends for 2013 are Refined (beautiful plates of food, even if one is making it for oneself), Clean (in its content and origin), and Considerate (evaluating its impact on the environment), said Sue-Ann.  Chef Pete added Sustainability, seeing this as THE food trend for the next ten years.  Consumers are becoming more aware about environmental responsibility, both in supermarkets and in restaurants.

A dinner at Zibaldone in the Tygerberg Waterfront after the launch was even more special, as it allowed one to get to know Lungi, Sue-Ann, Sarel, and Ilse even better, and provided interesting behind the scenes MasterChef SA information: The contestants stayed at the guest farm in Paarl for up to 10 weeks (Sue-Ann and Deena), and were cut off from all communication (no cellphones or internet connection was allowed, with only a few calls to their families). They shared rooms. There was a ghost in one of the accommodation buildings, which frightened Sue-Ann and Ilse, especially when most of the other contestants had been sent home. They got home late at night, and had to get up at 6h00 to be back on set. They made their own food at night when they got back to the guest farm. They were provided with loads of cookbooks.  The judges brought their own clothes, Woolworths not using the opportunity to market their clothing lines.  Sue-Ann and Deena had to buy their own clothes for the Grande Finale dinner cooked for them at Montecasino in Johannesburg, and bumped into Ilse at Canal Walk by absolute coincidence on that day, not being allowed to tell her anything. Not shown on the program, but shared with Sue-Ann, was that good performance was rewarded with a shopping pass, which allowed her time off to shop at Paarl Mall!  Almost all the contestants got on like a house on fire.  Some of the male finalists were like naughty boys, dropping insects on Ilse, who is petrified of them, and other even worse pranks.  Charles was the ‘papa bear’ and Samantha the ‘mama bear’ of the group.  It was 54° C in Zanzibar, the heat and humidity affecting everyone badly, even the judges.  A large number of the MasterChef SA team got food poisoning from eating the food at the Zanzibar night market, due to the food having been exposed to the heat throughout the day.  The Finalists were not allowed wine.

The two owners of Zibaldone, brothers Adriano and Roberto Pietrella originally from Umbria, were extremely generous, in sending antipasta to the table, including Vitello Tonnato (veal with tuna sauce), Coppa ham with a spelt, tomato and mozzarella salad, lamb tortellini, Veal Romana, and ending off with Tiramisu. I was impressed with Sarel’s love for food, so many months after the reality TV series, spending more time with the owners in the kitchen than at the table with us, always keen to learn something new.

The MasterChef SA interviews we had done during the season one series, and the book launch, showed how the Finalists have bonded, and become friends for life, it would seem, some becoming like brothers and sisters to each others. All the Finalists seem to have remained humble, even though they are instantly recognisable wherever they go.  They will become famous in the United Kingdom, the UK TV channel soon flighting our MasterChef SA series, Chef Pete announced on Thursday.  I asked Ilse, Sarel and Sue-Ann how they felt about season two of MasterChef SA, and each of them had a different reaction: Sarel said he is already working on building more Twitter followers, Ilse said she is concerned, while Sue-Ann said it will have no effect on them, as they were the first Finalists in the first MasterChef SA program in our country. Season two of MasterChef SA has commenced, the cold tests completed, and the hot dish tests are underway. Filming at Nederburg will probably start late in January, and flighting will be twice a week, on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, from about end March. Chef Pete said that the quality of the contestants is of a very high standard, having learnt a lot from MasterChef SA season one.  The new ‘MasterChef South Africa: The Cookbook’ is compulsory reading for all MasterChef SA hopefuls, and for the fans of the TV series.

MasterChef South Africa: The Cookbook, Human & Rousseau.  www.mnet.co.za/masterchefsa Twitter: @MasterChef _SA  Available at leading booksellers.  R350 recommended price.

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