Pastry Chef André Steyn joined La Colombe just over a week ago, having worked at Delaire Graff for over three years. He attracted my attention with his creative desserts as well as forest Amuse Bouche presented in a glass bowl whilst he worked at Delaire. The Chef once had a dream to become an architect, and it is our restaurant industry’s luck that his life path led him to cheffing. Continue reading →
It would appear that there were no new restaurant openings in Cape Town and the Winelands during April. Iconic restaurant The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français closed it doors at the end of April, after many years of operation under the guidance of Chef Margot Janse. We update information about newly opened and closed restaurants continuously, and welcome such news.
# Ben Wei Fusion, Sushi, and Asian has opened in Wembley Square (photograph)
The Granary Café, The Silo Rooftop, Bosjes Kombuis, The Deck at Hidden Valley, The Chicken Shop, Harrington’s Cocktail Lounge, and Yuzu Kitchen & Bar opened in Cape Town and the Winelands during March. Surprisingly (or not!) both Baked on Long and Baked on Regent Street have closed down, as has Love, Revenge, and Cappuccino closed down! We update information about newly opened and closed restaurants continuously, and welcome such news.
# The Granary Café has opened in The Silo Hotel in the V&A Waterfront (photograph)
#. The Silo Rooftop is a new rooftop bar and light meal eatery in The Silo Hotel. Continue reading →
New restaurant openings continue, many working behind the scenes, and not revealing information about their new establishments prior to opening. We update information about newly opened and closed restaurants continuously.
* Giulio’s Café has opened where My Basaar was located (photograph).
* My Sugar has opened in Sea Point.
The rate of new and planned restaurant openings seems slower than at the beginning of previous summer seasons. Restaurateur Michael Townsend of the Harbour House Group continues unabated in opening new restaurants. Exciting news for Franschhoek is the ownership change today of Le Quartier Français by the Leeu Collection! Today’s date of 1 September appears a number of times below! We update information about newly opened and closed restaurants continuously.
* Vicky Cristina’s tapas bar y restaurante espanol has opened in Camps Bay (photograph).
* De Warenmarkt has opened in Stellenbosch, a mix of market, deli, bar, and pop-up restaurant
Word has spread about newly opened Chardonnay Deli in Constantia, and my expectations were high when Manley Communications sent the media release about it in December. The expectations created via the media release were not met unfortunately, and we found a Farm Stall with below-average and poorly presented food in its Eatery!
I had arranged to meet my lunch host Tony Ward at the Farm Stall, not knowing exactly where it was, and hard to see in a bend, and to turn right into to park, given the traffic load on Constantia Main Road. The branding on the roof of the building is smallish, not helping one to find it. There was barely any parking in front of or near the Farm Stall, it Continue reading →
Even 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:
* 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 →
An 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:
* 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.
When Michael Olivier first launched Crush! food and wine digital magazine three years ago, it was evident that he and his team had no experience in the design and publishing of a magazine generally, and a digital magazine specifically. We wrote critically about the first few issues, but no feedback was accepted nor reacted to, and Olivier appeared to have lost advertising revenue as a result, thus leaving the magazine about a year ago. His departure appears to have rejuvenated the magazine, and it has improved vastly!
The response by Olivier and his Crush! writers David Cope (@Foodie_za) and Andy Fenner (@JamieWhoSA in those days) to our feedback about the magazine at that time was to create the Whalespotter Twitter defamation account led by Cope, and condoned by Continue reading →
It was via Twitter that I first read about Starlings Café, which had opened more than four years ago, but only became well-known when they started Tweeting about six months ago, co-inciding with their new farmer-style market they host in their garden section on Wednesdays at 16h00 – 18h00.
Focusing on home-grown produce in the preparation of its food for the small menu, owner Trish Krutz offered her suppliers a small homely space in which they could display their organic and home-grown produce to the Starlings Café clients, a win-win situation for both the Café in attracting more business, and for the product suppliers, who are part of a market growing in popularity. Trish said she likes to stay below the radar, ‘behind the hedge’, she said. The Café prepares all its food, only buying croissants from Cassis.
One sees the Origin coffee branded umbrellas of Starlings Café only once one steps off the pavement on Belvedere Road, and the interior feels homely, consisting of two interleading rooms and an open-plan kitchen, and then leads onto the terrace outside, which is protected against the weather. Tables and chairs are mix and match, and each table has a different colour and pattern tablecloth. Walls are covered with sketches, paintings, and prints, giving it a very homely feeling, as if one is visiting a friend’s parents’ house, with vases of roses and rosemary on each table. The Willow Creek ceramic extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar containers suit the country-style restaurant, even if it is in the city, with unbranded salt and pepper grinders. Paper serviettes have a starling printed onto them. The menu is simply printed on white board, with a starling on it too. Its introduction states: “We love supporting local suppliers and using the best quality home grown produce we can find”. This is visible as Trish was connecting with her suppliers after the worst market buying rush was over. I tried the mozzarella fior di latte (using Puglia’s mozzarella), tomato and basil pesto salad stack (R45), with amazing wholewheat bread baked by the Café. It was a delicious combination, not needing butter or any of the condiments. One can also order a tart of the day; Thai chicken curry; Portabellini mushrooms, roasted tomato and artichoke risotto; or a hamburger; ranging from R45 – R65. A choice of salads is offered, including chicken caesar, and roasted vegetables (R55 – R69). Sandwiches with roast vegetable, feta and pesto; bacon, Dalewood brie and homemade tomato chilli jam; and chicken on rye with harissa and date dressing cost R50 – R59. Trish was extremely friendly, but her staff less so.
On a lower level to the terrace are the tables set up for the market, with nine stands, protected against the heat by trees and more Origin umbrellas. Matt Allison is a friend from the Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club, and his colourful table had vegetables on it that he had picked two hours previously. He was selling parsley, butter lettuce, carrots, red onions, tomatoes, potatoes, herbs, green peppers, green beans, and more. Interesting was the Boutique Garden Honey stand, at which honey from hives set up in Cape Town gardens is sold. I was fascinated to see the difference in the colour of the honey coming from Newlands (dark brown, a sign of fynbos, I was told) compared to that from Claremont (being far more golden) gardens. The garden honey costs R45, while their spingflower honey from the veld costs R25. They also sell interesting sounding honey-flavoured soaps, e.g. Rose geranium, Marigold and lemon, Myrrh and frankencense. Pets can be treated with wheat free low fat organic treats, for sale at the market. Simply Wholesome supplies restaurants and homes with organic and free range produce on order, with delivery, and evolved from a greater focus by the owners on eating healthily. One can buy salted and unsalted farm butter, eggs, ‘free run’ chicken and eggs, as well as Seville orange marmalade, fig preserve, sundried tomato mustard, and strawberry jam. The House of Pasta has a restaurant and take-away service at the bottom end of Long Street, and the owner is Italian. His charming wife explained all the pasta types to me, including gluten-free lasagne sheets and fusille, as well as tagliarini, and spinach and butternut pasta. The Creamery was selling delicious strawberry and lemon curd ice cream flavours. Richard Bosman’s charcuterie products were for sale, with a new smoked bacon. Julie Carter from Ocean Jewels Fresh Fish had a table. Afrikara Co-op is from Wolseley, and sells organic biodynamic natural yoghurt, cream, and feta cheese (labneh too usually, but not yesterday), as well as aubergines, and whatever fruit and vegetables they produce.
Attending the market yesterday allowed me to meet Karen Welter for the first time, who does the Tweeting for Starlings Café, and her late parents-in-law were friends of my parents many years ago. Karen is busy with a dissertation on ‘Sustainable Restaurants’ at the Sustainability Institute, which is part of the University of Stellenbosch. She is focusing on key issues for restaurants in terms of how they can operate their businesses in a more sustainable manner in terms of their energy usage, communication, sourcing products, best practice, and collaboration with others.
It was a very special experience at Starling’s Café, with friendly collaboration amongst the market stallholders evident, and friends clearly meeting there regularly. It felt like a mini-bazaar, for a special set of persons lucky to live close by to Starlings Café to allow them to visit regularly. It has none of the crowdedness that one experiences at the Slow Food Market at Oude Libertas or at the Old Biscuit Mill.
Starlings Café, 94 Belvedere Road, Claremont. Tel (021) 671-6875. Facebook Twitter:@StarlingsCafe. Monday – Friday 7h30 – 17h00, Saturday 8h00 – 16h00, Sunday 8h00 – 12h00. Market on Wednesday 16h00 – 18h00
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage