Yesterday I met with Chef Oliver Cattermole and his wife Becky for coffee in Franschhoek, to hear the latest details about their first self-owned restaurant Bovine, which opens today in two weeks on Franschhoek’s main road. Continue reading →
The first restaurants are sending out their Winter Specials information, summarised below. The list is updated continuously. We welcome information about new specials:
# Foxcroft, High Constantia, Constantia. Tel 202-3304. Three Tapas R195 Monday – Friday, 4-courses reduced to R295. Bottomless Steenberg Bubbly at R195 when eating either of two specials. From 15 May – 29 June. (Updated 30/5)
#. La Colombe, Silvermist Estate. Tel (021) 794-2390. Four courses for R395 Monday – Thursday until 31 August. R395. (Updated 15/6).
#. Umi in Camps Bay: 2 couc vv bvrse set menu R180, 3 courses R220. Fish & fries R110, Japanese pizza R75, Sirloin R120, Butternut soup R65, Half price sushi. Tel (021) 437-1802 (added 23/5)
# Pepenero in Mouille Point : 2 courses R180, 3 courses R220. Sirloin Tagliata R120, beer battered fish and chips R95, Seafood platter R155, red wine braised lamb shank R165, 6 fresh oysters R95, and spaghetti alle vongole R95. Daily. Tel (021) 439-9027 (added 23/5)
# Paranga in Camps Bay: 2 courses R250; 3 courses R300; Daily. Tel (021) 438-0404 (added 23/5)
#. The Bungalow in Clifton: 2 courses R200; 3 courses R240. Lamb curry R185, fillet pasta R135, Mussels R120, chicken schnitzel R95, Thai chicken curry R105, and braised lamb neck R165. Tel (021) 438-2018 (added 23/5)
# La Belle Bistro & Bakery, Camps Bay, The Alphen, Mouille Point: 2 courses R190, 3 courses R230. Tel (021) 437-1278/439-9036 (added 25/5)
# Dalliance, V & A Waterfront: 2 courses R190, 3 courses R230. Tel (021) 418-1037. (Added 25/5)
# Open Door, Constantia. Three courses Lunch or Dinner Tuesday – Friday. R295.. Tables of four or more receive a complimentary bottle of Constantia Uitsig Natura Vista.
#. Bistro Sixteen82, Steenberg: Five tapas to share for two R300 for tables of up to 10 persons, Monday – Sunday 17h00 – 20h00, until 30 September. Free coffee with any breakfast Monday – Friday except public holidays. Lunch Special: 2 courses from R185, 3 courses R215, 4 courses R245. Prices valid for tables of up to 10 persons. Until 29 September. Tel (021) 713-2211. (updated 18/5/16)
#. Catharina’s, Steenberg Hotel: 2 courses R165, 3 courses R195, Lunch Monday – Saturday. 3 course Dinner without wine R265, R295 with wine. Monday – Sunday, until 31 August. Tel (021) 713-7178. (added 25/5)
#. La Mouette, Regent Road, Sea Point : 4-courses and a carafe of wine R 295. Tuesday – Sunday dinner, Sunday lunch. From 8 June. Tel (021) 433-0856 (added 30/5)
# Harbour House, Constantia Nek and Kalk Bay: 2 courses R195 (R220 with a glass of wine), 3 course menu R215, or R240 with glass of wine, Mondays – Fridays, June. Tel (021) 795-0688/788-4133/418-4744 (updated 3/6)
# Harbour House, V & A Waterfront: 3 course menu R215, or R240 with glass of wine, Mondays – Thursdays. June. Tel (021) 795-0688/788-4133/418-4744 (Updated 3/6)
# Harbour House, Constantia: High Tea Petit R150; High Tea Sweet & Savoury R185; High Tea Deluxe R260. All include a Pot of Tea. The Deluxe High Tea costs R320 with a glass of bubbly added. Monday – Saturday 14h00 -17h00. Tel (021) 795-0688. (Added 23/5)
# Live Bait Muizenberg: Hake and calamari combo R205, Mondays to Thursdays. Tel (021) 788-2705. (Added 23/5).
# Grand Africa Café & Beach: 2 courses R195, 3 courses R255. June. Tel (021) 425-0551 (added 3/6)
# Mangata Restaurant, Simons Town: Mussel Madness Monday 2 main courses R195, Sunday Roast R 149 pp. Tel (021) 786-1635 (added 25/5)
# The Shortmarket Club, Shortmarket Str: 3 course Prix Fixe Menu R280, with carafe of wine added R 360. Lunch. Until 30 September. Tel (021) 447-2874 (added 25/5)
# Pot Luck Club, Biscuit Mill: ‘Lucky Lunch’ Japanese Kitchen Style Lunch Menu R250. Mo day – Friday Lunch. 30 May – 30 September. Tel (021) 447-0804.
# Shimmy Beach Club: Winter Menu, until end August. Tel (021) 200-7778. (added 25/5)
# Constantia Glen: Winter soups (goulash, butternut and sage, and French Onion) at R 90 per single serving, or R95 for smaller trio of soups. Wines from R50 per glass. Until 31 August. Tel (021) 795-5639 (added 26/5)
# Meloncino, V&A Waterfront: 50% off pizza, pasta, and cocktails. 11h00 – 19h00. 1 June – 31 August. Tel (021) 419-5558 (added 25/5)
#. City Grill, V&A Waterfront: 50% off all Gourmet Steaks and Burgers. 11h00 – 19h00. 1June – 31 August. Tel (021) 419-5558 (added 25/5)
#. The Greek Fisherman. Fisherman Seafood Platter R140, 50% off second platter. 11h00 – 19h00. 1 June – 31 August. Tel (021) 419-5558 (added 25/5)
#. Aubergine: 2 course Winter Bistro dinner, 3 courses, July – Awaiting Specials. Monday – Saturday evenings. Tel (021) 465-4909 (added 30/5)
# Cape Town Fish Market, Big Bay, V&A Waterfront, Canal Walk, Tyger Valley, Stellenbosch, Tokai, Grand West : 200g fish and chips, or burger with chips and onion rings, for R50 on Mondays; 50% off Sushi and 25% off sushi platters on Tuesdays; Granger Bay Seafood platter for two to share R199, and Fish Hoek Seafood platter R99 per person, on Wednesdays. Sushi platters from R89 on Thursdays. Complimentary prawn spring rolls with a bottle of Lord’s Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir. Family Feast R360 for four persons (R90 per head), with 4 hake fillets, 12 prawns, and deep-fried calamari. Tel 083 400 2005 (added 30/5)
# I ♥ my Laundry, Buitengracht Street/Buitenkant Street: 8 pieces of Dim Sum from R55. Daily 7h00 – 19h00. Tel 084 6600 777 (added 30/5)
# HQ, Buitengracht Street: Two for the price of one steak, chips and salad, on Mondays; #DateNight 2 steaks and 2 glasses R280 on Tuesdays; Half price tapas on Thursdays. Tel (021) 424-6373 (added 30/5)
# Reverie Social Table, Observatory: 5 courses and 6 wines Dinner R545 Monday – Saturday Dinner. June and August. Tel (021) 447-3219 (added 30/5)
# Mondiall, V & A Waterfront: 2 courses R185, 3 courses R225 Lunch and Dinner. Tel (021) 418-3003 (updated 31/5)
# Den Anker, Waterfront: Two Belgian beers on tap and two dishes (mussels, fish, or burger) R125 daily until 19h00. Tel (021) 419-0249. (Added 3/6).
# GreenVine Eatery, Silvermist, Constantia: Sunday Winter Roast R140. Farm Breakfast Monday R59. Suit Up Tuesday breakfast and Bottomless coffee R80. Wine Wednesday lunch with complimentary Silvermist Sauvignon Blanc with meal. Hot cakes Thursday with tea or coffee R40. Beer Friday with 500ml Stella Artois Draught and burger R99. Tel (021) 794-7601. (Updated 3/6)
# The 41, Camps Bay. 2 courses and complimentary drink R180, 3 courses and complimentary drink R220. Lunch and Dinner, until 31 August. 20 % off Breakfast Tuesday – Sunday 8h00 – 11h30. Tel (021) 437-0558 (updated 26/6)
# Massimo’s, Hout Bay. 15 % off total bill lunch Monday – Friday. Eat as much pasta, pizza, and green salad for R125 per person, for tables of 4 or more. Monday – Thursday. Tel (021) 790-5648. (Updated 8/6)
# Goloso, Sea Point: Pizza, pasta, or winter stew with a 500 ml Darling Brew Slow Beer R99. Early bird dinner discount – 2 pizzas or 2 pastas or 2 Winter stews and bottle of wine R250 Monday – Sunday 17h00 – 19h00. Until 30 September. Tel (021) 439-2144 (added 3/6)
# Stuzzico, Villa 47: 2 courses R160, 3 courses R210. With a bottle of Italian sparkling wine or 750 ml craft beer or bottle of Italian red or white wine R410 (2 courses)/R510 (3courses). Tel (021) 418-2740 (added 5/6)
# The Stack, Gardens: 2 courses R 195, 3 courses R235. Monday – Saturday lunch, Monday – Thursday dinner. Tel (021) 286-0187 (added 5/6)
# Cheyne’s, Hout Bay: 3 dishes R150. Tel (021) 790-3462 (added 5/6)
# Burger & Lobster: The All Rounder’ (70g B&L Slider, Half Lobster Roll, Lobster Bisque, Fries) R139, Monday – Saturday, Lunch & Dinner. Tel (021) 422-4297 (Added 8/6)
# Mitico, Kloof Street: Any pizza or pasta plus glass of wine R75. Monday – Thursday, 12h00 – 16h00. Tel (021) 422-2260 (added 9/6)
# Primal Eatery: Two 35-day aged 300g sirloin steaks, with onion and chips, a bottle of KW Foothills Shiraz or Sauvignon Blanc, and sharing warm apple crumble with smoked cinnamon ice cream R450 per couple. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Tel (021) 422-3232. (Added 15/6)
# Greenhouse, The Cellars-Hohenhort, Constantia: 4 courses R395 Friday and Saturday Lunch. 7 courses R750 Tuesday – Thursday Dinner. Tel (021) 795-6226. (Added 20/6)
# The Quarterdeck, Grandwest. Prawns R250 on Wednesday evenings. Dinner & Dance Saturday evenings R250. Until 31 July. Tel (021) 505-7220. (Added 30/6)
# Mynt, Camps Bay: Fillet Special with 2 fillet steaks, 2 sauces, 2 sides, 2 glasses of house wine R350 Monday to Sunday; two for one cocktail Monday – Sunday 17h00 – 19h00; two for one burger and pasta Monday – Friday all day and night. Tel (021) 473-1765 (added 7/7)
# Seelan Restauarant & Bar, V&A Waterfront: Sunday Buffet 5 starters, 5 main courses, 4 desserts R300. Tel (021) 421-4906 (added 9/7)
# Cabrón Taco Bar, Bree Street : Two for one Tacos, daily until 16h00. Tel 0844 703 533 ( added 26/7)
# Arcade, Bree Street: Two pizzas for price of one 12h00 – 20h00; two burgers for price of one, Wednesdays 12h00 – 20h00; two Pizza and/or Burger for price of one Thursdays 12h00 – 20h00. Tel 060 861 0511 (added 26/7).
# Royale Eatery: Classic Cheese Burger, Vegetable Cheese Burger, Falafel Salad bowl, chicken salad, 2-topping pizza, for R50, Citizen Patriot beer 440ml R22, 12h00 – 17h00, until 1 October. Tel (021) 422-4536 (added 26/7).
# Clarkes Bar and Diner, Bree Street: Two for one cheeseburger, or beetroot and Aubergine burger for price of one between 18h00 – 19h00 on Tuesdays. Tel (021) 424-7648 (added 26/7)
# Mini & Trout, Bree Street: Curry night R99 on Tuesdays. Tel (021) 426-2534 (added 26/7).
#. Haute Cabriere: 300g steak with a glass of Haute Cabriere Pinot Noir R175, with Creme Brûlée R225 Tel (021) 876-3688 (added 30/5)
# Leeu Estates: 15% off with Leeu Collection Loyalty Card. Tel (021) 492-2220 (added 30/5)
# Leeu House: 15% off with Leeu Collection Loyalty Card. Tel (021) 492-2221 (added 30/5)
#. Tuk Tuk Microbrewery: 15% off with Leeu Collection Loyalty Card. Tel (021) 492-2207 (added 30/5)
# Marigold Authentic Indian: 15% off with Leeu Collection Loyalty Card. Tel (021) 876-8970
# The Garden Room at Le Quartier Français: 15% off with Leeu Collection Loyalty Card. Tel (021) 876-2151.
# La Petite Ferme: Wine and Food Experience 8 June, 6 July, 3 August. Dinner showcasing four wines, one La Petite Ferme, two other local, and one international, 3-course dinner R 750. Tel (021) 876-3016.
# Dutch East: Grilled sirloin R135, on Fridays. Tel (021) 876-3547 (added 20/6)
#. FABER, Avondale, Paarl: 3 courses R250, Wednesday – Sunday Lunch, Thursday to Saturday Dinner, until 30 September. Tel (021) 202-1219.(Updated 20/6)
# eat@Simonsvlei, Paarl: Cape Malay chicken curry, Cape Brandy tart and whipped cream p,us glass of Simonsvlei Bukettraube R145. June – September. Tel (021) 863-3845. (Added 3/6)
# Oude Wellington Restaurant: ‘Kerrie Tafel’ three curries with rices, and sambals R150 per person. Wednesday Dinner. Until 27 September. Tel 082 836 8924.
#. Terroir, Kleine Zalze: Tuesday – Sunday Lunch, Tuesday – Saturday Dinner. Two courses with glass of Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection wine R295, four courses R395/R495 without/with wine. Until 30 September. Tel (021) 880-8167 (added 15/5)
# Makaron, Majeka House: Small plates of 4/5/6 courses for R450/R565/675. If paired with wines the cost is R770/R940/R1100. Thursday – Tuesday Dinner. Tel (021) 880-1549. (added 25/5)
# Delheim: Jazz and Cheese Fondue plus glass of Glühwein and live jazz R 230, Sundays from 25 June until 27 August. Tel (021) 888-4607 (added 30/5)
# Cucina Di Giovanni, Eikendal Vineyards: Winter Mini Pizza (three) and Wine Pairing R60. Tuesdays – Sundays, until 30 June, and 1 August – 30 September. Tel (021) 855-1422. (added 20/6)
# Eikendal Vineyards: Winter Pizza & Wine Pairing Experience, mini pizza and matching estate wine R60. Tuesdays – Sundays, 12h00 – 16h00 from 1 August to 30 September. Tel (021) 855-1422. (Added 26/7) ‘
# Benguela on Main: 2 courses R240, 3 courses R310. Tuesday – Saturday Dinner, Lunch Friday and Saturday. From 2 June – 30 September. Tel 087 357 0637 (added 25/5)
# Henri’s Restaurant & Pub: 2 courses R 220, 3 courses R250, inclusive of a bottle of Lourensford River Garden wine per coup,e, or two glasses per single guest. Monday – Saturday Lunch and Dinner, and Sunday Lunch. Tel (021) 852-6442 (added 31/5)
# Benguela Cove Restaurant: 3 courses, glass of wine, and glass of Glühwein R450 per person. Tel 087 357 0637 (added 30/5)
# Origins Restaurant, The Marine Hotel: Winter Curry with almond and coriander rice, Pippa don, chutney and raita. R160. Lunch and Dinner. Until 30 June. Tel (028) 313-1000 (added 20/6)
* Gabriëlskloof Restaurant, Bot River: 2-courses R210, 3-courses R250 Wednesday – Monday. Sharing Sundays 3 courses R300 per person. Until 31 August. Tel (028) 284-9865 (added 31/5)
* SeaFood at The Plettenberg: Await Specials information. Tel (044) 533-2030
Closed for winter break
# The Kitchen at Maison: closed until 4 July (added 30/5)
# Indochine, Delaire Graff: closed until 24 June (added 30/5)
# Camphors at Vergelegen: Closed until 14 June (added 30/5)
# Reverie Social Table: 1 – 30 June (added 30/5)
# La Colombe: Winter break 9 – 30 June (updated 2/6).
# Osteria Tarantino closed 10 – 25 June (added 8/10)
# Waterkloof Restaurant: Closed from 19 June – 19 July (added 30/5)
# Haute Cabrière: Closed from 26 June – 7 August (added 30/5)
# FABER, Avondale, Paarl: 22 -30 May, 26 June – 11 July. (Added 25/5)
# Makaron, Majeka House: closed 25 June – 29 July (added 20/6)
# Pot Luck Club, Old Biscuit Mill: 26 June – 9 July (added 25/5)
# Spier Hotel Restaurant & Bar: 1 July – 15 September. (Added 19/6)
# Terroir: 3 – 25 July. (Added 25/5)
# The Dining Room: closed 7 -19 July (added 8/6)
# Bistro Sixteen82: 24 July – 10 August (added 25/5)
# Primal Eatery: 1 – 15 August (added 6/7)
#. Karoux in McGregor: 11 – 13 August (added 25/5)
# Benguela on Main, Somerset West: 13 August – 13 September. (Added 25/5)
# SOURCE restaurant in Hermanus not offering Dinner in winter. (Added 20/6)
Please send Winter Specials information to firstname.lastname@example.org, to be added to this list.
Please note: This list belongs to us, and permission must be requested to copy or post it elsewhere, with acknowledgement to our WhaleTales Blog. We wish you wonderful Winter eating and enjoyment.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: click here Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein
One can commend Franschhoek Wine Valley tourism for constantly finding new ways to attract visitors to its gourmet food and wine village. Now it has launched the Franschhoek Artisan Food Route, attracting attention to the diversity of 21 hand-made high quality small quantity food producers in the valley, with more to be added.
The little A5 Franschhoek Wine Valley leaflet about the Franschhoek Artisan Food Route does not do justice to the quality of the food artisans on the Route, and one wonders why they skimped to keep the map so small, when the Wine and Restaurant map is A3 in size! The result is that the detail provided is minimal, just three lines per food artisan, with the exception of La Motte’s entry. The Franschhoek Artisan Food Route will be launched to the media later this week. Many of the food artisans on the Route have operated in the valley for years. Not all the listed artisanal outlets seem true to the definition provided in the Route map: ‘Artisan producers understand and respect the raw materials with which they work. They know where these materials come from and what is particularly good about them’! A number of artisanal producers have been left off the list, Continue reading →
During the first sharp winter spell earlier this week, questions were asked on Twitter about restaurants with fireplaces in Franschhoek. As a service to the Franschhoek visitor, I have compiled a list of warm and cosy restaurants and wine tasting rooms with fireplaces:
Restaurants with fireplaces
Allora Restaurant: Italian style menu with pizza, pasta and other Italian dishes Tel (021) 876-4375
Café BonBon: Very cosy room, home-cooked style food (right). Tel (021) 876-3936
Common Room: Tapas style restaurant at Le Quartier Français. Tel (021) 876-2151
Country Kitchen: Second restaurant at winetasting center of Mont Rochelle Hotel and Mountain Vineyards Tel (021) 876-3000
Dieu Donné: Large fireplace for the large restaurant with a view, menu varied style Tel (021) 876-3384
Dish: Restaurant at Le Franschhoek Hotel. Tel (021) 876-8900
Dutch East: multi-style menu. Tel (021) 876-3547
Elephant & Barrel: pub tucked behind French Connection, good spot for sports match broadcasts. Tel (021) 876-4127
Franschhoek Kitchen: two rooms, one with a large fireplace, good fresh cooking from Chef Bjorn Dingemans. Tel (0-21) 876-2738
Franschhoek Station Pub & Grill: with its 1915 fireplaces (above), must be Franschhoek’s oldest. Tel (021) 876-3938
French Connection: French style menu Tel (021) 876-4056
Grande Provence Restaurant: smallish fireplace but warm restaurant with excellent fine dining menu. Tel (021) 876-8600
Grillroom: steakhouse that also sells meat. Tel (021) 876-2548
Haute Cabrière Cellar Restaurant: cosy eating in a cave-like cellar restaurant. Tel (021) 876-3688
Kalfi’s Restaurant: the fireplace caused a fire in the restaurant, closing it down for two days earlier this week. tel (021) 876-2520
La Petite Ferme: this long-established restaurant with a view, located at the foot of the Franschhoek Pass, has a fireplace in the entrance room of the extended restaurant space. Tel (021) 876-3016
Le Bon Vivant: highly creative chef Pierre, but disappointing service, tucked away one block from main road, behind ABSA. Tel (021) 876-2717
Le Coq: Two fireplaces, one each for the Grill and Light Meal sections of the new restaurant on the main road. Tel (021) 876-4404
L’Ermitage Restaurant: restaurant at L’Ermitage Hotel, at foot of Franschhoek Pass. Tel (021) 876-9200
Mange Tout: fine dining restaurant inside Mont Rochelle Hotel. Tel (021) 876-2770
Monneaux: multi-style menu, located within Franschhoek Country House. Tel (021) 876-3386
Pierneef à La Motte: soon-to-be award winning restaurant with creative chef Chris Erasmus, Cape cooking with a modern twist. Tel (021) 876-8800
Reuben’s Restaurant: large fireplace in this well-known fine-dining restaurant (right). Tel (021) 876-3772
Rickety Bridge Restaurant in the Vines: hot and hearty meals served include curry and casseroles. Tel (021) 876-2016
Winetasting Rooms with a fireplace
Boekenhoutskloof: Home of highly regarded Boekenhoutskloof wines, as well as of Chocolate Block, The Wolftrap and Porcupine Ridge. Tel (021) 876- 3320
Glenwood: Cellar tours at 11h00 daily. Chardonnay Vignerons Selection is flagship wine. Tel (021) 876-2044
Grande Provence: Both Grande Provence and Angel Tears wines sold. Tel (021) 876-8600
Haute Cabriere: Cabriere Pinot Noir and Pierre Jourdan sparkling wines. Cellar tour and Sabrage on Saturdays at 11h00. Tel (021) 876-8500
La Bri: Its labels are inspired by colourful flowers. Tel (021) 876-2593
La Chataigne: Three wines are made – a Sauvignon Blanc, the Kastanje white blend and Marron red blend. Tel (021) 876-3220
La Petite Ferme: Cellar tour and tasting offered. Tel (021) 876-3016
Le Manoir de Brendel: Produce Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz wines. Tel (021) 876-4525
Maison: excellent Chenin Blanc and Shiraz with very friendly wine-tasting in Weylandts-interior cottage (left). No charge for the tasting, and blue cheese and biltong are served with the wine tasting. Tel (021) 876-2116
Mont Rochelle Mountain Vineyards: Miko is the flagship wine, named after the late owner of the estate. Cellar tours three times a day. Gourmet food and wine tasting. Tel (021) 876-3000
Rickety Bridge Winery: Cellar tours by appointment. R15 tasting fee for five wines, but waived if wine is bought. Tel (021) 876-2129
Topiary Wines: First Platter 5-star for their sparkling wine in 2010. Tel (021) 867-0258
Vrede en Lust: No tasting fee is charged at this wine estate at the entrance to Franschhoek, in Simondium. Known for Boet Erasmus, Mocholate Malbec, Marguerite Chardonnay, and more. Tel (021) 874-1611
It was interesting to note that a number of restaurants and wine estates called said that they were waiting for the delivery of their wood, and would only have their fireplaces blazing from next week onward.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
The Franschhoek Wine Valley (the new tourism body name, the “Tourism Association” part of the name recently having been dropped) Food & Wine Route has been launched to the media, and soon will be presented in a new map, that will reflect the wealth of 42 restaurants, 48 wine estates and 3 delis and shops that sell foodstuffs in and around Franschhoek. The new Food & Wine Route is a good marketing reaction to the increasing dominance of Stellenbosch as the new gourmet center of South Africa, and its large number of wine estates, even though the tourism association’s website still refers to Franschhoek as the “Gourmet Capital of South Africa”!
Last year we wrote about the Food & Wine Route when it was first announced, and from the initial information it appeared to have a broader focus initially. Now the Route is more focused, and will incorporate mainly the restaurants and wine estates that are members of Franschhoek Wine Valley. Interestingly, the geographic delineation of Franschhoek has been broadened to incorporate the wine estates and restaurants on the R45 between Klapmuts and Simondium, including Noble Hill, Backsberg, and Babel at Babylonstoren, on the basis that they have become members of the Franschhoek Wine Valley association, even if they fall under the Paarl wine district. Strangely, Glen Carlou has not chosen to be part of the Franschhoek Food & Wine Route, it being one of the first properties one passes when driving to Franschhoek on the R45.
Tania Steyn, the Marketing Manager of Franschhoek Wine Valley, explained that this new project consists of two parts. The first is the Food & Wine Route map, in A3 size, which will list all the restaurants and wine estates, the one side featuring those in the village, and the other side those that are outside Franschhoek. The Food & Wine Route map will replace the most handy Franschhoek Wine map, which guest houses and their guests have found to be useful in highlighting all the Vigneron members in Franschhoek. The second part of the project is an e-commerce platform for specific Food and Wine Route Experiences, that one cannot visit spontaneously without a booking. The bookings will be made on the website, and it is hoped that visitors to Franschhoek will book a number of such experiences, and will therefore stay in the area for longer.
The wine estates on the new Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route are Akkerdal, Allèe Bleue, Anthonij Rupert Wines (L’Ormarins and Protea brands, and home of the outstanding Motor Museum), Backsberg, Boekenhoutskloof, Boschendal Wines, Chamonix, Colmant Cap Classique & Champagne, Dieu Donnè Vineyards, Franschhoek Cellar, Glenwood, Graham Beck Franschhoek, Grande Provence Estate, Haute Cabriere (with Pierre Jourdan sparkling wines), Holden Manz (previously Klein Genot), La Bri, La Chataigne, La Motte (with Pierneef art gallery), La Petite Dauphine, La Petite Ferme, La Manoir de Brendel, Leopard’s Leap, Lynx Wines, Maison, Mont Rochelle, Moreson, My Wyn, Noble Hill, Plaisir de Merle, Rickety Bridge, Solms-Delta (with interesting slave museum), Stony Brook, Topiary Wines (newest Platter 5-star sparkling wine in Franschhoek), Val de Vie, and Vrede & Lust. These wine estates can be visited without appointment.
Those estates for which one must book a winetasting are Eikehof, Franschhoek Pass Winery (Morena sparkling wine), Haut Espoir, La Bourgogne, La Roche estate, La Vigne, Landau du Val, Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons and Von Ortloff. Bellingham Wines, Klein Dauphine, La Chaumière and Veraison Vineyards are not open to the public at all, but their wines can be bought at the highly regarded Franschhoek wine shop La Cotte Inn on the main road in the village.
The Franschhoek restaurants and food outlets on the Food & Wine Route are Allora, Babel at Babylonstoren, Backsberg, Boschendal Restaurant, Boschendal Le Café and Boschendal Le Pique-Nique, Bread & Wine, Café Allèe Bleue, Cafè BonBon, Col’Cacchio Pizzeria, Cosecha Restaurant at Noble Hill, Dalewood Fromage (but not open to the public), Dieu Donnè Restaurant, Dutch East, Elephant & Barrel, Essence, Fizz Affair Champagne Lounge, Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz, Freedom Hill Restaurant, Fyndraai Restaurant at Solms-Delta, The Restaurant at Grande Provence, Haute Cabrière, Huguenot Fine Chocolates, Kalfi’s, Fromages de France (La Cotte Inn), Le Bon Vivant, Dish @ Le Franschhoek, Le Verger The Orchard Restaurant (Le Franschhoek Hotel), The Common Room, The Tasting Room, L’Ermitage Restaurant, Mon Plaisir at Chamonix, Mange Tout, Monneaux, Reuben’s, Rickety Bridge, Ryan’s Kitchen, Salmon Bar, The Country Kitchen, The French Connection, The Grill Room, The Jam Jar, The Olive Shack, and The Polo Club Restaurant (at La Vie). Oddly, Pierneef à La Motte is not listed, and one hopes this is just an oversight. Other missing restaurants are Café Benedict, BICCCS, Chez D’Or, Cotage Fromage at Vrede & Lust, Crepe & Cidre, Café Le Chocolatier, Café des Arts, and the Franschhoek Food Emporium.
* Solms-Delta Cape Music Tour, teaching participants about “Cape rural and vernacular music”. R 50 (minimum of 6 persons). Monday – Sunday.
* Plaisir de Merle “Award-winning wines wine tasting”. R 20, and R40 if cellar tour added. Monday – Saturday
* Plaisir de Merle Flavour Sensation Tasting, food and wine pairing. R 50. Monday – Saturday
* Plaisir de Merle Wine & Chocolate Tasting. R 50. Monday – Saturday
* Charcuterie Tasting with Neil Jewell. R 25 – R105. Daily before 11h00 and after 15h30
* Franschhoek Cellar Cheese and Wine pairing. R 35. Daily
* Huguenot Fine Chocolates Chocolate Tour and Tasting. R 25. Daily 11h00 and 15h00
* Chamonix Grappa & Schnapps Tasting. R15. Daily
* Dieu Donné Micro-brewery and beer tasting. R15 beer tasting and R 35 for full bewery talk and tasters. Daily
* Babylonstoren Guided Garden Visit. R 20, Wednesday – Sunday 10h00 and 15h00.
* Le Bon Vivant Surprise Menu. R 485 for 5-course meal and wine, R360 without wine. Daily except Wednesdays.
* Food and wine pairing at Pierneef à La Motte. R 195 for 5 pairings, extra R 50 for glass of La Motte MCC. Tuesday – Sunday 12h00 – 14h00.
* Cape Gourmet Delights Tour, with stops at Grande Provence, Moreson and Vrede & Lust. R1995 per day includes “light lunch”. 10 persons maximum. Monday – Friday.
A walking tour as well as a talk on ceramics are part of this programme, but seem out of place in not having anything to do with Wine or Food.
One hopes that the Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route map will indicate which wine estates, food shops and restaurants sell foods, such as the vegetables, breads and chocolates at the Farm Shop at Pierneef à La Motte; salmon products and breads at the Salmon Bar; the Mediterranean delicacies at The Olive Shack; wonderful freshly baked wholewheat bread at Grande Provence; breads and sweet treats at Café BonBon and Café Benedict; olive oils and balsamic vinegar at Allèe Bleue; heavenly chocolates as well as breads at Café Le Chocolatier; Truckles cheeses at Franschhoek Cellar; and a selection of home-made pies, preserves, dips, cold meats and breads at the new Franschhoek Food Emporium. It would be good if the fortnightly Farmers’ Market at Holden Manz also be listed.
We salute the Franschhoek Wine Valley for putting together this initiative, and trust that the Food & Wine Route map will be finalised and printed as soon as possible, given that the summer season ends in two months’ time. We encourage Franschhoek Wine Valley to add the names of the omitted Franschhoek restaurants, by encouraging them to sign up as members, so that the map can be as representative of the food and wine delights in Franschhoek as possible.
POSTSCRIPT 22/4: The new Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route maps have been made available, and can be collected from the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau, or from Whale Cottage Franschhoek. Oddly, it lists the two Pick ‘n Pays too, under the ‘Franschhoek Restaurants & Food section”. Following our recommendation above, the Franschhoek Food Emporium was added, but Café Le Chocolatier, Café Benedict, BICCCS, Chez d’Or, Cotage Fromage, Crepe et Cidre, Café des Arts, and the new Le Coq are not on the map. Other sources of food to buy, as listed two paragraphs above, are not indicated on the map.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Franschhoek still officially carries the Gourmet Capital crown, even though it faces strong competition from Stellenbosch, which is seeing the opening of an increasing number of excellent restaurants, so much so that we recently suggested that the town establish the Stellenbosch Restaurant Route.
Franschhoek probably has sat back on its gourmet laurels for a while, but must be delighted about the opening of two new excellent restaurants, Ryan’s Kitchen and Pierneef Ã La Motte, which add new interest to Franschhoek as a culinary destination. In fairness to Franschhoek, I have suggested a Franschhoek Restaurant Route:
* Pierneef à La Motte is culinary art, and has upped the quality of Franschhoek’s restaurant choice. Its focus is Winelands Boerekos with a contemporary twist. Chef Chris Erasmus is a breath of fresh air, working with historic recipes and transforming them into works of art, reflecting Pierneef’s standards. Tel (021) 876-8000
* Grande Provence is quietly delivering quality cuisine, with chef Darren Roberts doing the most beautiful presentation of his food. The restaurant is not afraid to charge a price that reflects his standards of cooking. Outstanding decor, and surrounded by artwork from its Gallery. Perfection is visible from the time one drives into the wine estate. Top 10 restaurant for the past two years. Tel (021) 876-8600.
* The Tasting Room is loved by some, but not by all. It is expensive. It seems to have good nights and bad nights. Joint 10th with Overture on Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant List last year. Tel (021) 876-2151
* Ryan’s Kitchen has only been open for three months, set in a guest house, with a high-tech kitchen, and quality cuisine by chef Ryan Smith. “Contemporary South African cuisine” is the restaurant positioning, and a stronger African feel will be introduced in October, with a “Taste of Africa” menu. Tel (021) 876-4598
* Reuben’s has been the darling of Franschhoek, and a recent Tweet stated that it is the restaurant that tourists visit, while those that know go to Le Bon Vivant. Opened 6 years ago, the restaurant’s service standards have dropped as Reuben’s has expanded to Robertson, and chef Reuben Riffel has taken on more projects. Recently lost the sommelier to Bosman’s, but may not be a bad thing for the restaurant, as she was not very customer-friendly. The biggest compliment to Reuben and his team, but also the largest challenge, in opening Reuben’s at One&Only Cape Town (A first meal at the new Reuben’s was a-maze-ing). Tel (021) 876-3772
* Allee Bleue has been very low key restaurant-wise, and it is uncertain exactly where the management wants to go with its dining options. The Bistro at the entrance to the wine estate has always been friendly, and serves Bistro-style food at reasonable prices. The departure of Chef Dane Newton is a shame, but with his replacement currently working at the Michelin-starred Schwarzer Adler, interesting things could be coming out of this kitchen soon. Tel (021) 874-1021
* Cafe Bon Bon is one of the most relaxed and friendly breakfast and lunch-time stops in Franschhoek, on a most beautifully developed small-holding. Tel (021) 876-3936
* Haute Cabriere is owned by Franschhoek restaurant mogul Matthew Gordon. While many find the ‘cave’-like interior a shame given the beautiful view outside, it remains popular, also as a wedding venue, and has a good relationship with Cabriere wines. Tel (021) 876-3688
* La Petite Ferme is one of the best known restaurants with consistent quality and does not amend its menu much. Visitors return, not only for the quality food but also for the wonderful view over Franschhoek, and for the relaxed atmosphere. Tel (021) 876-3016
* Dieu Donné also has an excellent view from its glass ‘walls’. Its food quality was better when it first opened about two years ago. Tel (021) 876-2493
* Le Bon Vivant is tucked away, off the main road, and is a ‘loner’, doing its own thing. Beautiful presentation of food by chef Pierre. Tel (021) 876-2717
* Rickety Bridge has a restaurant right at the vineyards, and offers picnics in summer. Tel (021) 876-2129
* French Connection is another Matthew Gordon restaurant, and is a pedestrian favourite of locals and tourists. Good main road location. Serving breakfast as well now. Tel (021) 876-4056
* Dutch East was struggling when we visited it in June. It seemed to be trying too hard. There is no particular style of food served. Tel (021) 876-3547
* Chez d’Or was previously Cafe Rouge, and has expanded its size, and brought the restaurant closer to the main road. Sandwiches and pedestrian Bistro food. Tel 082 372 7645
* Allora is a good quality Italian restaurant. Despite sister-restaurants in Johannesburg, the welcome is personal and one does not get a chain-feel at all. Good value family eating. Tel (021) 876-4375.
* Col’Cacchio is one of a chain by the same name, and one can predict what is on offer. Not the best service, but very popular for outside sitting. Tel (021) 876-4222
* Boschendal– other than going there for historical reasons, or to eat their long-standing buffet lunch, there is little to attract one to an estate that does not yet embrace excellence, a shame given its heritage. Its Le Piqniques are well-known and very popular in summer. Tel (021) 870-4272
* Fyndraai at Solms-Delta wine estate is a pleasant surprise, with interesting Kaapse kos. On good weather days, sitting on the terrace is a treat. Tel (021) 874-3937
* Cotage Fromage is a joint venture between Matthew Gordon, Duncan Doherty and Pierre Smith, serving breakfasts and lunches, and doing the catering for wedding and other events at Vrede & Lust. The menu does not reflect the capabilities of the three chefs. Tel (021) 874-3991
* The Grillroom is another Matthew Gordon restaurant, and fills a niche for patrons wanting mainly steak. Unique restaurant in that one can buy good quality meat to take home too, as well as Franschhoek wines. Tel (021) 876-2548
* Cafe des Arts has taken over from Topsi’s, a Franschhoek institution. Topsi still appears to be there regularly. (Tel (021) 876-2952
* Salmon Bar is undergoing a renovation in part of the old Bouillabaisse building, which will enhance its visibility when it re-opens in November. Tel (021) 876- 4591
* Bread & Wine is linked to Le Quartier FranÃ§ais, and only serves lunches. Previously included in Eat Out Top 10 list, to the surprise of many. Good bread and charcuterie. Tel (021) 876-3692.
* Mon Plaisir is on the Chamonix estate, and is owned by a French couple offering French fare. Little ambiance inside the restaurant. Tel (021) 876-2393
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com
We have been tracking recent restaurant opening, closure, and restaurant and chef change information in Cape Town and in the Winelands on our Winter Restaurant Specials blog post, but have decided to do an update for those not looking for specials necessarily.
* La Mouette has opened at 78 Regent Road in Sea Point.
* Brio is a new jazz restaurant, in half of the ex-Riboville in town (on the Adderley Street side)
* Van Hunks has opened at 1 Union Street, off Kloof Street in Gardens
* Cafe Nood has opened in Wilderness Road, Claremont
* Ryan’s Kitchen has opened at Rusthof guest house in Franschhoek – the chef Ryan Smith is ex-Mont Rochelle.
* The House of Meat has opened in the Pepper Club Hotel, corner Long and Bloem Streets, offering a full braai for R 295
* Spiros has opened in Hout Bay
* La Cantina has opened in the Alliance Francaise.
* The De Leuwen Jagt restaurant on the Seidelberg wine estate outside Paarl has opened The Fabulous Bakery.
* Gesellig has opened on the corner of Church and Regent Roads in Sea Point, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
* Indochine has opened at the Delaire Graff wine estate in Stellenbosch.
* The Long Table Restaurant and Cafe has opened at Haskell Vineyards in Stellenbosch.
* The Wild Peacock Food Emporium has opened in Stellenbosch.
* De Oude Bank Bakkerij has opened in Stellenbosch.
* Knife Restaurant has opened in the Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa, a sister restaurant to Fork.
* Sommelier Restaurant has re-opened, after a two-year closure, at Sante Hotel & Wellness Centre
* Illyria coffee shop has opened in the Eikestad Mall in Stellenbosch
* Pierneef à la Motte has opened at La Motte in Franschhoek.
* The Artisan Cafe has opened inside Table Thirteen in Green Point, with a barista
* The Fish Shack has opened in The Paddocks, Milnerton
* Maison in Franschhoek is to open a restaurant
* Etienne Bonthuys (ex-Tokara) has opened his long-awaited restaurant on Dorp Street, Stellenbosch, called Casparus, in partnership with artist Strijdom van der Merwe.
* Luke Dale Roberts, award-winning chef whilst at La Colombe (reaching 12th place on Top 50 Restaurants in the World list), has opened The Test Kitchen at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.
* Sofia’s at Morgenster has opened.
* Down South has opened on Long Street
* Victoria Eatery has opened in Hermanus.
* French Toast has opened at 199 Bree Street, a wine and tapas bar
* DISH has opened at Inn on the Square, Greenmarket Square
* Babel has opened at Babylonstoren near Klapmuts/Simondium (next to Backsberg)
* Hemelhuijs has opened at 71 Waterkant Street, for breakfast and lunch
* Barracudas has opened with ‘simply sumptious seafood’ served, in Fish Hoek.
* The Olive Shack at Allora in Franschhoek has opened as a deli, doing olive oil tastings, and serving Breakfast, Greek lunches and picnics
* Sotano by Caveau has opened in the La Splendida Hotel in Mouille Point
* Tables restaurant has opened at Nitida wine estate in Durbanville
* Mozarella Bar has opened on Kloof Street, Gardens
* Café Benedict has opened on the main road in Franschhoek.
* Trinity has opened as a ‘super club’ in Bennett Street in Green Point
* Il Cappero Italian Restaurant has opened in Barrack Street
* Sugar Hut Club has opened in the old Castle Hotel building on Canterbury Street, next door to Charly’s Bakery
* Caffé Milano has opened on Kloof Street, Gardens
* The Stone Kitchen has opened at Dunstone Winery in Wellington
* The Franschhoek Food Emporium has open in Place Vendome, and is owned by legendary Topsi’s daughter Danielle
* What’s On Eatery has opened in Watson Street, between Loop and Bree Street
* Haas Coffee Collective has opened on Rose Street in Bo-Kaap
* Crush coffee shop and bakery has opened in Paarl, owned by Gerard van Staden, previously chef at le Franschhoek Hotel, and later overseer of all restaurants owned by Robert Maingard in Franschhoek.
* Dear Me Brasserie and Tjing Tjing Bar has opened on Longmarket Street.
* Quilter & The Workmen is to open in Bree Street in May
* Act Restaurant and Play Bar have opened at the Baxter Theatre
* Le Coq has opened in Franschhoek
* Dash has opened in the Queen Victoria Hotel in the Waterfront
* Café Dijon has opened another branch at Zorgvliet wine estate
* Harbour House is to open a branch in the V & A Waterfront in September, in the Fisherman’s Choice site, near Sevruga
* KOS Coffee & Cuisine has opened in The Regency on Regent Road in Sea Point
* Café Extrablatt opens where shu used to be, next door to Doppio Zero in Green Point, in August
* Skinny Legs & All That has opened on Loop Street
* Leopard’s Leap opens its new picnic facility, tasting room and cookery school in October
* Josephine’s Patisserie on Loop Street
* Ginja on New Church Street
* maze at the One&Only Cape Town
* Panarotti’s and Shimmi’s Bar in Hermanus
* Bouillabaisse in Franschhoek.
* Yum in Vredehoek.
* Cape Town Fish Market in Camps Bay
* Vista Mare in Camps Bay
* La Table de France in Sea Point
* La Brasserie in Franschhoek
* shu on Main Road in Green Point
* Camil’s on Main Road in Green Point
* Madame Zingara has left Cape Town
* Fiesta in the Old Cape Quarter
* Jardine’s Restaurant has closed on Bree Str
* Liquorice and Lime has closed down on St George’s Mall
* Cheyne has closed on Bree Street
* The Kitchen Bar in the Quarters’ Hotel in Hermanus has closed
* The Bistro in Franschhoek has closed down
* The Sandbar in Camps Bay has closed down
* The Blonde building is up for sale, and does not appear to be re-opening in August, as was announced by The Caviar Group, owners of Blonde, two months ago.
* The Green Dolphin Jazz Club in the V & A Waterfront has closed down
* Mezzaluna in Loop Street has closed down
* Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant judge Pete Goffe-Wood’s Wild Woods Restaurant has closed down.
* Restaurant Christophe closes down in Stellenbosch on 25 June. Chef Christophe Dehosse will be back at Joostenberg from August.
* Nando’s in Camps Bay has closed down
* Haute Cabriere under the chef-manship of Matthew Gordon closes on 7 June at the wine tasting venue with the same name in Franschhoek.
Restaurant name-changes/take-overs/chef changes/address changes
* Leaf Restaurant and Bar has opened where The Showroom/Portofino used to be.
* Mason’s Cafe and Grill has opened where Cafe Gainsbourg used to be
* On Broadway has moved to the New Space Theatre building, and is using the ex-Anytime restaurant space as one of the restaurants its patrons can eat at before the show.
* Camil Haas, the co-owner of Camil’s in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, has left the restaurant (which has since closed down). He is working for Reuben Riffel at Reuben’s in Franschhoek and at the One&Only Cape Town.
* Tank in the old Cape Quarter has changed its name to Aqua.
* Luke Dale-Roberts is no longer the Executive Chef at La Colombe, but will consult to the restaurant.
* Cafe Rouge in Franschhoek has been renamed Chez d’Or.
* Buena Vista Social Club has moved to the top end of Portswood Road in the Waterfront.
* Reuben’s at One&Only Cape Town has opened, where maze used to be.
* Cafe Le Chocolatier has taken over from Cafe Vendome in Place Vendome in Franschhoek.
* Dutch East has taken over from Burgundy in Franschhoek
* Cafe des Arts has taken over Topsi’s in Franschhoek.
* Amazink, ex-Roots, in Khayamandi in Stellenbosch, has opened, with Bertus Basson from Overture an advisor.
* Chef School owner Kevin Warwick has taken over Kate’s Village in Hermanus, now called The Class Room
* Da Luigi has opened where Vista Mare was in The Promenade in Camps Bay
* Satay Bar has opened where Zucca was in Kloof Street
* Le Quartier Francais has closed its bistro iCi, and opened The Common Room
* Franko’s Kitchen in Plettenberg Bay has reopened as a sushi restaurant called Kitchen Café
* Fu.shi in Plettenberg Bay has closed down, and has a new owner and a new name The Terrace
* The Old Post House in Plettenberg Bay has closed down, but is set to re-open for three months with a new owner
* Blakes has opened on Buitengracht/New Church Street, where Relish/Ninja used to be, belonging to Rochelle Bushelle, owner of the Opal Lounge, and offering a lounge, bar and dining services
* Franschhoek Kitchen is the new name of Genot restaurant on the renamed Holden Manz Wine Estate in Franschhoek (previously Klein Genot)
* Chef Eric Bulpitt has moved to The Roundhouse, due to the closure of Jardine’s
* Woodlands Eatery is the new name of ex-Yum in Vredehoek, with chef Larry, previously with Emily Moon in Plettenberg Bay
* ZAR nightclub has opened in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, where Camil’s used to be
* Marika’s Greek Restaurant from Bakoven has moved to a new venue, at 176 Buitenkant Street, above 7Eleven.
* The Rhubarb Room moves to 227 Bree Street
* David Higgs is leaving Rust en Vrede on 18 June and is moving to Johannesburg. John Shuttleworth will step into his chef’s shoes.
* Vanessa Quellec is to leave Caffe Milano in July
* Restaurant winter break closures
* The Mount Nelson’s Cape Colony has re-opened, with a new name, Planet Restaurant, and menu.
* Vaudeville has reopened.
* Massimo’s Pizza Club in Hout Bay will re-open on 20 April, in their original venue in Hout Bay.
* The Salmon Bar in Franschhoek has moved into a new main road outlet in The Yard (part ex-Bouillabaisse and Pam Golding) and has re-opened.
* Miguel’s in Plettenberg Bay has re-opened in the same location.
* Rust en Vrede will close from 18 June – 18 July
* Tokara will clsoe between 2 – 9 May
* The Test Kitchen will clsoe between 7 – 23 May
NOTE: This information will be updated regularly, as we receive new information.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com
The 14 restaurant and wine pairings on offer are the following, and the winemaker and chef “will be presenting their crafts to their guests”:
* Allora Restaurant and Lynx Wines offer a 3-course meal for R 250. 25 and 26 June. Tel 021 876-4375
* Bread & Wine restaurant and Moreson Wines offer a 4-course meal for R 660. Ten persons only. 26 June. Tel 021 876-4004
* Cafe Bon Bon and La Bri Wines offer a 3-course meal, R650. 25 and 26 June. tel 083 501 0878
* Dieu Donne Restaurant and Dieu Donne Wines offer a 3-course lunch at R 275 (25 and 26 June) and a 5-course dinner (26 June). Tel 021 876-3384
* Dutch East and Antonij Rupert Wines offer a 3-course meal and one glass of Protea wine at R 165. 26 and 27 June. Tel 021 876-3548
* Fyndraai restaurant and Solms-Delta Wines offer 3 courses for R 190. 25 and 27 June. Tel 021 874-3937
* Haute Cabriere restaurant and Cabriere Wines offer a 5-course dinner at R 480. 25 June. Tel 021 876-3688
* The Tasting Room restaurant offers a 5-course dinner paired with “local wines” for R800. 25 June. Tel 021 876-2151
* Mange Tout restaurant and Mont Rochelle Wines offer a 4 course meal at R 480. 25 June dinner, 26 and 27 June lunch and dinner. Tel 021 876-2770
* Mon Plaisir restaurant and Chamonix Wines offer a 5-course dinner at R 550. 25 June. Tel 021 876-2393
* Restaurant at Grande Provence and Grande Provence Wines offer a 4-course meal for R 320. Maximum 20 guests. 25 and 26 June. Tel 021 876-8600
* Reubens restaurant and Graham Beck Wines offer a 5-course lunch for R 550. Maximum 24 guests. 27 June. Tel 021 876-3772
* Rickety Bridge restaurant and Rickety Bridge Wines offer 8 tasting courses for R 335. 25 June. Tel 021 876-2129
* Salmon Bar and Franschhoek Pass Winery offer a 4 course salmon and bubbly pairing. 25 June lunch. Tel 021 876-4591
Other food and wine related activities over the Franschhoek Affair weekend are the following:
* Pasta making course at Allora restaurant, R 280, 25 and 26 June, 15h00
* Huguenot Fine Chocolates shop tour and tasting, R 25, 25, 26 and 27 June, at 11h00, 12h00, 14h00 and 15h00
* Sushi course at Allee Bleue, R 300, 26 and 27 June at 15h00
* Breadmaking course at Bread & Wine, R 770, 26 June, 9h30
* Cooking Class at Le Quartier Francais, R 895, 26 June 10h00 – 15h00
* Chocolate Art course at Dieu Donne, 26 June at 9h30, and Sugar Art course 27 June at 16h00, R 500 each course
* Traditional Cooking Tour (outdoors walking tour) at Solms-Delta, R 100, 26 and 27 June
* Wine Tasting Tour – Cap Classique Tasting Tour (R395 includes R 120 lunch voucher, 26 June at 10h00), White Wine Tasting Tour (R495 includes R 120 lunch voucher, 27 June at 10h00) and Red Wine Tasting Tours (R395, 27 June at 15h00).
Further details about the “Franschhoek Affair” can be obtained from www.franschhoek.org.za or call the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau at tel 021 876-2861.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com
Of all the restaurants that I have visited and reviewed, newly opened Dutch East in Franschhoek has been one of the most difficult to come to grips with, to categorise and to review. It appears to not have a focus, and to be all over the place in terms of what it wants to achieve.
When we spoke to co-owner Sainkie du Toit, the front-of-house manager, she immediately emphasised the South African nature of the restaurant, but with an Eastern touch. We could not see the “Eastern” touch at all, and in fact there was little South African about it, except for a BBQ one can order, as well as offal. Sainkie tried to correct herself, and referred us to the menu, in which the restaurant describes itself as “contemporary, with a South African influence and an Asian touch”, and “Fresh local ingredients infused with eastern flavour combinations”. Our party of three could not see the Asian, South African nor contemporary descriptions in the menu items at all. However, the menu had some French names, and a “chimichurri relish”, which is South American, is served with the squid starter. Sainkie could not explain how they had got to the name, or why they chose the name out of about 40 options.
The problem is the menu. I’m all for creativity and doing things differently, but when a new restaurant sets itself up in a space of a restaurant that was frowned upon by many of the locals (Burgundy), one cannot move too quickly or too radically until one has a following. It was the grouping of the menu items that caused the biggest challenge, with headings for “raw” (e.g. steak tartar, seared tuna, shaved salmon, springbok tataki), “small” (curried eggs, meat balls, “black lip abalone” and grilled scallops), “breads” (tortilla with duck, pizza, baguette – served at lunch only), “cured” (biltong sirloin, kudu carpaccio, coppa, smoked trout and more), “offal” (veal tongue, lamb’s head “tourchon”, oxtail, and pork trotter), “meat” (hangar steak, lamb shoulder, pork belly, quail and rib eye), and “fish and shellfish” (kingklip, crayfish with Cafe de Paris, tiger prawns). One can even order a “BBQ”, serving a whole sheep’s rib, game sausage, and the unmissable toasted cheese, tomato and onion sandwich, and a salad. A minimum of 6 guests must order this South African “braai” dish for it to be prepared, it costs R130 per head, and it must be booked in advance. “Sweets” are the apple crepe, fried milk tart, brulee, and Swiss chocolate fondant.
We could not get to choose what we liked, so we looked at the Winter Special menu, which is charged at R150 for three courses and a glass of Protea shiraz or sauvignon blanc (made by Anthonij Rupert Wines). We made sure that we all chose a different combination of dishes, to give us nine opportunities to try them. What is confusing is that the Winter special menu has prices for each individual dish, even though one can only order from it for the three courses, at the total price of R150.
Our waitress Nolundi had a lovely smile, and also could not explain the essence of the menu to us before Sainkie came to the table, stating that the restaurant serves, “afval, raw meat and game meat”. This was a bad start for us. She said the wine came from “Reuben”, but not the restaurant Reuben, she said, meaning Rupert.
The wine list is very ‘proudly Franschhoek’, almost every wine estate being represented, probably making it one of the most comprehensive Franschhoek wine lists: Graham Beck, Rickety Bridge, L’Omarins, Glenwood, Rupert & Rothschild, Porcupine Ridge, Stonybrook, Boekenhoutskloof, Grand Provence, Landau du Val, Solms Delta, Lynx, Haut Espoir, Haute Cabriere, Chamonix, Klein Dauphine, La Bri, Vrede & Lust, Klein Genot, Bellingham, Eikehof, and Pierre Jourdan. The list contains a few typing errors. What was unusual was to lable the sparkling wines as “bubblies” and the Rose’s as “blushes”.
We were served three tiny slices of garlic and herb pizza while we decided on our order. The pizza slices were over-salted, and contained onion, and spoilt the palette for what was to come. The water took a long time to come to the table as they had run out of jugs (the restaurant was half full). Our starters arrived almost immediately: the spinach soup arrived lukewarm and was terribly bland, but the parmesan-topped bread was very tasty. The squid came in a soup plate with a lot of liquid, but was not described as a soup. The idea of ‘pairing’ this with red pepper and yellow pepper was probably meant to be a good one, in that it would have added colour to the dish – the problem was that the red pepper was hidden by the 6 tiny tubes of calamari, and the yellow pepper was so overcooked that it became a brown ‘something’ on top of the calamari, and was initially unidentifiable until one tasted it. The calamari dish had a distinct taste of nutmeg, not a good match in my opinion. The “spring rolls” were served as three samoosas, and were not served with the advertised salsa, but with bits of paw paw, cucumber, onion and tomato and lots of rocket. When we asked Sainkie about the spring rolls, she apologised, saying that the kitchen staff had rolled the spring rolls into the wrong shape.
None of us was happy with the starters, and we asked our waitress to relay this to the kitchen. There was no response from Sainkie about the feedback, and she seemed to steer clear of our table thereafter. We were nervous about our mains, but we fared far better. The gemsbok steak was cut into slices, and was tender. It was such a large portion that I had to ask to take half of it home. The spinach was perfect, and the “potato mash” was served as if it was a whole potato. The Venison pot au feu was very tender, and came with dumplings, underneath a pastry layer. The lamb’s tail was bravely chosen by my colleague, and served “barbequed”, making it quite black, too burnt for the taste of our Brazilian trainee. The lamb was served with more rocket, polenta mixed with sweetcorn, and “Sauce Gebriche”, an odd mayonnaise sauce with boiled egg and pickled cucumber. When we checked with Sainkie, she went to the kitchen to find out for us for sure – she returned with the news that there was anchovy in it too, but my sharp-tasting colleague could not detect this at all.
The desserts had mixed reactions. The rhubarb, strawberry and custard dessert, on a bread base, was a compressed stack served with plum sherbet, which needed some extra cream or custard, as it is very dry. Poached pears were served in a soup plate with rooibos sultanas, in a ginger cinnamon broth, far too weak to allow one to get a clear taste of the ingredients. Once again, we felt that the fruit should have come with custard or cream. As the Winter specials menu only had two options for desserts, I requested an apple crepe dessert from the main menu, and offered to pay in the difference of R10. It was very tasty and a generous portion, with caramelised apple and raisin, and vanilla ice cream. The first cappuccino was not frothy and had spilled over the side, but was quickly replaced with a great frothy one in a clean cup, when requested.
Sainkie admitted that co-owner and chef Pasch du Plooy (previously at Reubens, L’ermitage and Bouillabaisse) was not on duty, and this appeared to explain the poor quality of many aspects of our meal, and the kitchen mistakes. We pointed out to her the chipped candleholder on our table. She said that she knew about it, but that she had not been able to find a replacement. We advised her to have none at all rather than one with two chips in it. We also advised Sainkie to reflect the restaurants dishes in the Winter special menu, so that one can get a taste for them, especially as it is such a complex menu, and she admitted that it had been a mistake in their May special menu to not have done so. Sainkie and Pasch are both graduates of the highly regarded Institute of Culinary Arts Chef’s School in Stellenbosch, and met each other there. The raw facebrick interior and exterior of the restaurant are the same as the previous restaurant, with only a name change.
Without being asked, Sainkie discounted the meal by R 72,45 on our total bill of what should have been R488 in total, for 3 meals, one tea, the cappuccino and the dessert surcharge, a reduction of 15%. Sainkie invited me to come back to try the standard menu as the guest of the restaurant when I return to Franschhoek. The bill is confusing, in that each of the items of the Winter Special menu is charged individually, and almost every item, even the mains, were charged at R 50 a dish, even though one pays R 150 for the meal and the glass of wine in total.
The website states boldly :”Authentic and inspiring, DUTCH EAST is a culinary jewel in the heart of Franschhoek’s iconic main street”. We believe that Dutch East has a long way to go before it can make this claim!
Dutch East, 42 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek. Tel 021 876-3547. www.dutcheast.co.za (The website has irritating photographs flashing, if one does not click onto a specific website page, when one first opens it. It commendably does carry a lot of information, unusual for restaurant websites in general, but irritatingly does not list prices for its dishes and wine list). Open 7 days a week, lunch and dinner. Corkage R30.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com