I was invited by Cabo Esperanço Wines to attend a trade tasting of wines by Vondeling, Oak Valley, Blackwater, and Keermont earlier today at Dorrance Cellar on Hout Street, which I had never visited before. What a lovely space, with an earthy underground cellar feel. I was excited to hear that French Bistro Bouchon will open at Dorrance Cellar next month. Continue reading →
For the first time in many years Cape Town has seen barely any restaurant closures this winter. There have never been so many chefs leaving their employers to start their own restaurants, or to join other employers! An unusually high number of new restaurants have opened or will do so in the next month or two.
This list of restaurant openings and closings, restaurant staff movements, and winter holiday closures, is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* Chef Chris Erasmus has opened his own restaurant Foliage in Franschhoek, having previously been at Pierneef à La Motte.
* Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen has opened Street Food below the neighbouring hotel, offering Deluxe coffee, pastries, and Asian-inspired lunch take-outs. Operates from 7h00 – 15h00 Monday – Friday.
* Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.
* The Butcher Shop & Grill is opening next to Sotano in Mouille Point.
* Michael Townsend (La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) is Continue reading →
The 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:
* 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 →
Liam Tomlin is the most internationally experienced and respected but one of the least known chefs working in Cape Town, despite having worked in our country for ten years. The recent move of his Chef’s Warehouse & Cookery School on New Church Street to Bree Street, now named Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen, seems to have transformed him and he seems happier than he has been for a long time, being back in the kitchen and hands-on in his restaurant.
Located in a heritage building on food fashionable Bree Street, where Caveau used to be before it went under, Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen has been painted a soft grey, which brings out the best of its simple red Chef’s Warehouse branding. When I arrived to meet Judy for lunch, I spotted former Portofino restaurateur Cormac Keane having lunch as I was taking a photograph of the exterior of the building. Cormac was a maverick whilst he lived in Cape Town, and it is a shame that he left Cape Town to return to London, having shaken things up in the restaurant industry when he operated here until the World Cup 2010, it not living up to his expectations. The Irish roots of Chef Liam and Cormac created a friendship in the early days in Cape Town for both men, which still holds. Chef Liam started his career in Australia, and opened his restaurant BANC in Sydney, which earned him a 3 Hats award, as well as two Restaurant of the Year awards. He moved to our country ten years ago, and has written cookbooks (‘BANC’, ‘Season to Taste’, and ‘Lessons with Liam‘), which are available at Chef’s Warehouse, still serves on the British Airways Taste Team, and has assisted wine estates such as La Motte in setting up Pierneef à La Motte and its kitchen. For a year he operated at Leopard’s Leap in Franschhoek, selling cooking and baking utensils and vessels, and offering cooking courses, whilst also Continue reading →
* SA Tourism has launched a cinema advertising campaign highlighting the beauty and thrill our country offers, at 94 cinemas in seven Indian cities. In the foyer of the cinemas one is able to book a holiday to South Africa via travel agents, taking the movie-goers to action in booking. Part of the marketing campaign is ‘Take me to South Africa‘ promotion, in which four winners travel with cricketer Jonty Rhodes as their tour guide.
* Comair says that domestic airfares are unlikely to come down, even if new low cost airlines enter the market, as it would not be sustainable to operate as such lower rates.
* Chef Liam Tomlin’s Chefs Warehouse has moved to Bree Street (ex Caveau and ex Awestruck), having dropped the second part of the original business name (& Cookery School). They serve lunch from 11h30 onwards, and an early dinner. (received via newsletter from Chef’s Warehouse)
Many restaurants are opening and have opened this summer, with only three months of the summer season left in which they can create awareness and make an impact before the dreaded winter arrives after the Easter weekend. New restaurants are far more casual, with informal dining.
This list of restaurant openings and closings is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* Umi Asian restaurant opened in December with The Marly hotel in the Camps Bay Promenade, owned by The Cove (Kovensky) Group (photograph above).
* Equus restaurant on the Cavalli stud and wine farm on the R44 has opened. Carl Habel left the Mount Nelson Hotel as Restaurant Manager and Sommelier to join the restaurant, but left before it opened. Chef Henrico Grobbelaar from the Twelve Apostles heads up the kitchen.
* Shake your Honey is to open in the original Madame Zingara building on Loop Street this year, according to an iolTravel report. The ‘vibrant spirit of India’ is to be reflected in the 5-storey building, with a theatre, markets, restaurants, and shops.
* A new restaurant and micro brewery is to open next door to The Bromwell in Woodstock (name not yet known).
* TriBakery has opened on Bree Street.
* Vida e Caffe is opening coffee shops at Shell petrol stations, 40 initially and 300in total. It has also opened in Garden’s Centre, and in St John’s Piazza in Sea Point.
* The Black Sheep Restaurant has opened on Kloof Street. Continue reading →
It was on Twitter that I saw Seline van der Wat, MasterChef SA Season 2 Finalist, request suggestions for food destinations in Cape Town. I had so enjoyed her spunk on MasterChef SA that I invited her to join me in sharing my Foodie Cape Town yesterday.
We met at Melissa’s on Kloof Street, where I had my favourite iced coffee for the day, and Seline gave me some feedback about where she had been in Cape Town relative to my list of favourite food destinations. The Neighbourgoods Market at the Biscuit Mill and Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants were the only two food stops she had been to already.
We talked about MasterChef SA Season 2, and she wore the wooden rabbit brooch which she had worn throughout the show. She wears it every day, and her sister and fellow MasterChef SA Finalist Leandri was given an identical one as a gift. One senses that they are very close, Seline being slightly older, and having an older sister who recently made them aunts, as well as a younger sister who is still at school. She lives in Pretoria, and has resigned her job as an engineer working on renewable energy via Hydropower. From a rigid day job she would escape to the kitchen to express her creativity via cooking, she and Leandri sharing an apartment. Seline could not stop raving about Chef Chris Erasmus at Pierneef à La Motte, loving his passion for food, and his sense of community. She plays the piano, guitar, and cello. They grew up in Mafikeng, and lost their mother about ten years ago, necessitating them to cook for the family of four daughters and their dad. Having such famous daughters has made their dad a celebrity in their home town, and he has met many more of the locals since his daughters were on TV. He himself now hosts Moroccan dinner parties, while the youngest sister is starting to learn to cook and bake as well. Seline said that she and Leandri did not watch soaps on TV Continue reading →
Despite one of the worst winters ever experienced by the Cape hospitality industry, most restaurants appear to have survived it. A surprise trend is the number of Mediterranean style restaurants opening, with true Spanish and Italian owners and/or staff. This list of restaurant openings and closings is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* The Harbour House group has opened La Parada Spanish Tapas restaurant on Bree Street, with a subterranean bar/nightclub (above).
* Café Puerto Cabo has opened on Loop Street, a Spanish eatery and men’s clothing shop.
* The House of Machines has opened on Shortmarket Street, building motorcycles, offering good Evil Twin coffee, and serving very healthy food.
* Orphanage Cocktail Emporium is opening Orphanage Club upstairs, with 1920’s style music by live performers, later this year.
On 28 September 2008 we posted the first blogpost on this WhaleTales blog, not knowing where this journey would be taking us. Five years and close to 2000 blogposts later, we look back as well as forward.
I had set myself a goal of blogging daily, and while I question my wisdom at times, it has kept the rhythm going, and forced me to find material to blog about. My biggest fear is that I will run out of things to blog about one day!
The statistics from Google Analytics help in casting an eye back: in the five year period we have achieved 1,4 million pageviews, with 759452 unique readers. We were a Finalist for the SA Blog Awards’ The Most Controversial Blog in 2010, and try to stay true to this accolade. We have reached the 5th position on the amatomu.com Popular South African Blogs list. We have been included in the 100 Great SA Travel Twitter Feeds.
Many of the most popular blogposts Continue reading →