Entries tagged with “Church Square”.


New restaurant openings in Cape Town and the Winelands appear to still be on the slow side. Chef Oliver Cattermole’s Bovine Restaurant has opened. Chef Piet Huysentruyt of one Michelin Star Likoké restaurant in France has a pop-up at The Conservatory in Franschhoek, running until 15 March. Top chefs John van Zyl and Constantijn Hahndiek have left Thali and Hartford House, respectively. 

We update information about newly opened and closed restaurants continuously, and welcome such news.

Restaurant Openings

#.  Janse & Co has opened in the former Yuzu space on Kloof Street, owned by Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg of The Kitchen at Maison, with Liezl Odendaal. (photograph) (more…)

No matter how I am economizing my water usage, the water portion of my City of Cape Town bill seems to be increasing rather than decreasing. Three months ago my bill reflected a zero amount, and I regarded myself as Proudly Water Saving! As my water usage has decreased severely, now showering twice a week only, running the washing machine every ten days, saving all grey water for the plants and mopping and cleaning, it can only be a higher City charge that is creating an increase in my water bill! Worrying is that Day Zero is 100 days away, the date being brought forward continuously!  (more…)

Yesterday I met Urban Lime Marketing Director and friend Katie Friedman for lunch at Kleinsky’s, a New York Deli-style, kosher-style, Jewish cuisine eatery on Church Square, being developed as an exciting new inner-city food hub. Kleinsky’s is the second Delicatessen to be opened in Cape Town, its Sea Point branch having opened two years ago. (more…)

Speakers Corner mural Whale CottageThe Cape Town city centre is a gem of history, many beautiful old buildings being restored by developers and given a new lease on life.  A new 3000 m² development by Urban Lime on the corner of Church Square and Parliament Street, previously a warehouse, will become a grand 4-storey urban development Speakers-Corner, with 15 offices, a restaurant, a bar, and specialist retail outlets, it was announced at a function in the building last night.

One had to announce one’s arrival downstairs in a corner space of the Victorian building, which will become part of the restaurant, and it had a ‘Retro Woman’ mural painted by Johannesburg-based mural artist Sonny, giving one a taste of what is to come.  The building has exposed brick, original (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Business Confidence Index of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry retracted by 2,5 points last month, to 88, and was also lower than in December 2013, and the lowest in the past six months.   The economic future for our country for the coming year will be a balance between the crude oil price and electricity loadshedding.  The Index being below 100 is a ‘matter of grave concern‘.

*   A survey conducted by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District reflects a young owner profile, being 25 – 34 years old;  plan to live in the city for at least another 4 years; enjoy visiting  The Company’s Garden, St George’s Mall, Greenmarket Square, The Fan Walk, and Church Square;  84% visit a city coffee shop at least once a week; 68% visit a restaurant in the city centre at least once a week;  and 66% live 3 km or less from their work.  (source: City Views)

*   South African Stormhoek Wines is the Official Wine Partner for the 40000 nautical mile 2015/16 Clipper Race starting on 30 (more…)

I had seen the cutest looking small coffee shop next door to 6 Spin Street restaurant on a number of occasions, but had never got to visit it.   A recent opportunity presented itself to do a day-time visit to Bread Milk and Honey, which serves lots of bread in the form of sandwiches, and little milk and honey.

The historic building exterior is cuter than its interior, which is a deep narrow space with tables closest to the street and right at the end of the restaurant.  It has a red-and-white striped back wall, one large food poster, a massive blackboard with the menu written on it, an old undated photograph of Church Square with horse wagons, a functional pinewood serving counter, and a very patchy looking cement floor that has lost a lot of its paint covering.  The coffee shop has been open for 4 years, and belongs to Michael Knipe.

It clearly is a popular place, for businesspersons working in the area, Parliamentarians and their staff, and anyone involved with the magistrate’s court close by.  It is also an extremely noisy space, the coffee machine working overtime, and because of the buzz coming from it being full.   Parking is a severe restriction for the Spin Street businesses.

The ordinary laminated menu lists Breakfast options such as bacon toasties (R24), eggs (I had a very ordinary scrambled egg) served with two thinly-sliced delicious seed bread slices of toast (R22); oats (R16); oats with fruit, almonds and honey (R25), banana muesli; healthy muesli, with fresh fruit, honey and yogurt (R30); a ‘deluxe brekkie nibble”, being toast topped with rocket, Gypsy ham, poached egg, brie and wholegrain mustard; and uitsmeijter croissant”, containing gypsy ham, scrambled egg and grilled cheddar.  One can also order sandwiches (R26 for mozzarella, tomato and basil pesto – R42 for a Deluxe Club smoked chicken.   Toasties cost R 24 – R28.  A beautiful display of unusual muffins is sold at R12, as is scones, slices of cakes, and a most interesting-looking bacon and egg pastry puff.  A large selection of ready-made rye-bread sandwiches to take away clearly is popular.  A cappuccino costs R15, and a “Big Daddy” one is available at R23, being a ‘quadruple shot” 500 ml one.

For lunch one can help oneself to a Melissa-style self-service buffet, weighed and charged at R12 for 100 gram.  When I was there two days ago, they were serving Thai chicken curry, spinach lasagne and feta, roasted vegetables, sprout salad, raw vegetables and noodles, and Oriental raw vegetable and rice salad.  Cutlery is cheap and cheerful.  Service is extremely slow and reactive, and most customers seem to go to the counter to find some! 

Bread, Milk and Honey, 10 Spin Street, Cape Town.  Tel (021) 461-8425.  No website.  Twitter: @BreadMilkHoney Open Monday – Friday    6h30 – 16h00. 

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

I am an occasional attendee of the ‘Brutal Review of Restaurants’ Facebook group, which is the initiative of Dirk Odendaal, owner of 17 on Loader Street in De Waterkant.   An invitation to attend an evening at the new 6 Spin Street Restaurant (it opened two months ago) was accepted immediately, even if it meant that I only arrived after the City Hall classical concert had finished at 22h15.   It is a restaurant in a setting with a difference, with excellent food.

Spin Street is hard to find the first time, yet it is a street most of us have driven past a million times, except that we did not know that this short section of the road near the Groote Kerk and opposite Church Square is called Spin Street.  The street is one of the oldest in Cape Town, and was once the home of a short-lived silk spinning industry.  The building in which the restaurant is housed was once the home of the South African Association bank, with vaults in the basement, the safety deposit boxes still in place.   When one steps inside the massive entrance hall, one enters IDASA’s Cape Town Democracy Centre, and sees the bookshelves of its book shop Lobby Books, and the tables of the restaurant.   The ‘marriage’ between the restaurant and the bookshop has led to a shared ethos: “eat.drink.talk.read.think”.

The Brutal Reviewers were in a cosy room, a perfect size for the group of 10.  The 1902 Sir Herbert Baker building has high ceilings, and the room used by the Reviewers had copper light fittings, reminding one of Five Flies.

I arrived as the Reviewers were taken on a guided tour, and were in what is the seminar room, with a fascinating piece of art – a “windswept” chandelier with a flying archbishop hanging on to it for dear life (the artist has intended it to depict that the Archbishop is “having the time of his life”) – called simply “Arch”.   It is a real conversation stopper, especially as one does not know how the artist Ed Young managed to create the windswept look and attached the figure to the chandelier without using strings or wire.  Apparently the artist called in engineering help to cantilever this piece of art.  Another unusual work of art is a large metal mobile at the entrance to the restaurant.

As I was running behind on the menu, I expected to join my fellow reviewers for a coffee and dessert.  Robert Mulders, the owner of the restaurant and previous owner of Rozenhof at the bottom end of Kloof Street, and who has an uncanny resemblence to violinist Andre Rieu, immediately offered me a starter and a main course.  I was strongly recommended the cheese souffle as a starter, something I would never have chosen myself, but it was outstanding, served with a herb and mustard cream.  It costs R 70.  Other starter choices are a Chicken and roast pepper salad (R 56) and a Mixed six leaf salad (R 32).  The Suppli with pancetta and zucchini (R 55) sounded wonderful too.

Six main courses were offered, ranging from R 105 for linefish and a vegetable trio, to R160 for beef fillet served with a mustard crust, Bearnaise sauce and mushroom ragout, sounding delicious.  A second linefish dish costs R110, kingklip R125, and Moroccan lamb with couscous is R165.   I heard duck mentioned, a special at R 175.  I had read a brutal review earlier in the week about the duck (and the restaurant), and thought that I must give it a try.   Two generous pieces of duck were served in an orange sauce, with roast potato slices, as well as a large portion of diced carrots and courgette.  I loved the duck with its crispy skin, but I did not like the roast potato slices, which were too tough for my taste.   I did not have dessert, but saw them served: citron tart, chocolate nougat terrine, panna cotta with smyrna figs, an unusual sounding olive oil and muscadel cake, and date almond and white chocolate torte, ranging between R36 – R45.  They were well received by my fellow reviewers. (I heard later that Rozenhof was known for its cheese souffle and duck).

As the wines had been chosen by Dirk, I did not see the winelist.  Dirk raved about the 2002 Yonder Hill  cabernet at R65, excellent value for money.  I did not like my red wine poured into a small wine glass, but I did see larger ones on the table.  We left long after midnight, Robert generously having brought us a dessert wine, and he gave no sign at all that he wished us to please go home.

Whilst writing this blogpost I vowed to go back to try the Suppli starter and Beef fillet main course.   An opportunity presented itself two days later, after an early finish of the acclaimed play ‘London Road’ at the nearby Fugard Theatre.   The Suppli (a very filling and most unusual starter of deep fried rice and herb croquettes stuffed with mozarella, topped with crispy pancetta) and Beef Fillet were excellent.  The fillet was served a little too rare (ordered medium rare) for my liking, but the roast potato slices were much better second time around.  I was unable to finish the beef, it was such a generous portion.

As the restaurant is based within a space shared with IDASA’s book shop, it opens for breakfast at 8h30 on weekdays, served at a counter facing Church Square, at a communal “Melissa-style” table, or at an individual restaurant table.  Muffins, croissants and cooked breakfasts are served.   Parliamentarians and nearby office workers pop in for snacks throughout the day.  The “Quick Spin” 2-course lunch, served in a guaranteed 50 minutes, costing R 150, is very popular.  It is also called for as a “take-away” by well-known ministers and members of parliament. A free Wi-fi service will be offered shortly.

An interesting spin on 6 Spin Street is its themed Cookery Book menu.  Every two weeks a cookery book is an inspiration for a special menu.  Currently it is Phillippa Cheifitz’s “South Africa Eats”, and a sweet potato and squash soup, or a warm salad of grilled yellowtail, parsley, haricot beans and fresh rocket is offered at R50.  Pieter Dirk-Uys’ “Kossie Sikelele” cookery book will be the next to be featured, Tannie Evita having approved the restaurant.  Mulders is planning a ‘Show and Dinner” promotion when Dirk-Uys has a show at The Fugard theatre in September.

POSTSCRIPT : I returned to 6 Spin Street on 13 May, after a concert at the City Hall, with two friends, both artists.  They were overwhelmed by the artworks on the walls and the interior of the building in which the restaurant is located.  We shared a Citron Tart with fresh cream and fresh figs (my first taste of figs ever), and we loved its lightness, tanginess and smoothness.  It emerged that Robert Mulders is also the Chairman of the Friends of the National Gallery, and he chose the paintings on the restaurant walls.

6 Spin Street Restaurant, 6 Spin Street, Cape Town.  Tel 021 461 0666. www.6spinstreet.co.za(The website is disappointing, with only the opening times, address and map, and contact details.  No menu or winelist). Open Mondays – Fridays from 8h30 including dinner, Saturdays dinner only.

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