Very quickly and quietly The Harbour House seafood restaurant at Constantia Nek has been transformed into a fine-dining The Restaurant at The Nek, now making it part of an interesting trio of fine-dining experiences at the pinnacle of Constantia, flanked by Eat Out Top 10 restaurants La Colombe and Chef’s Warehouse Beau Constantia. Continue reading →
November is an exciting month, with new restaurant openings by Chef Luke Dale-Roberts (The Commissary), by Chef Peter Tempelhoff (FYN), and the very eagerly awaited restaurant Gåte by Chef Rikku O’Donnchü at Quoin Rock in Stellenbosch. There is a marked slow down in new restaurant openings, other than by new restaurant group Cowboys & Cooks.
# Le Petit Manoir has opened as a Deli and Restaurant in Franschhoek, with Chef Kevin Grobler heading up the kitchen. (Photograph)
#. Michael Townsend, founder of the Harbour House Group but no longer with the Group, is to open The Grill Room in Sunset Beach. He has also bought Sevruga in the Waterfront. A third restaurant, in Sea Point, will open in September 2019.
# The new Cowboys & Cooks restaurant group is to open a Cowboys and Cooks restaurant in Stellenbosch; The Backyard BBQ in various locations; Cabron Tex Mex restaurants in Durbanville and Stellenbosch, alongside the Bree Street Branch; and Viva Tex Mex in Kenilworth. It has taken over Slug & Lettuce, a Gastropub franchise with six branches, for which a new look and menu will be developed, starting off in Durbanville. The group has also just bought a 50% share in Primi Piatti, with 18 outlets.
# Maison J Café et Croissant, a joint venture between renowned Jason Bakery baker Jason Lillie and his sister Brigitte, as well as Vida e Caffé founders David Chait and Rui Esteves, has opened alongside the Pick ‘n Pay in Camps Bay, in a joint venture with the retailer. If this branch works well, it is set to roll out in other Pick ‘n Pay stores, the Waterfront likely to be the next branch to open.
# Between Us has opened on Bree Street, as a restaurant and bar, belonging to the twin sisters who originally opened Skinny Legs & All.
#. The Deli Coffee Co is the new rebranded name of four Melissa’s branches: V&A Waterfront, Kloof Street, Somerset West, and Hermanus, owned by Surine van Niekerk. Prices are set to drop, she says. The Waterfront branch has opened in the former Dalliance and White Rabbit space.
# Restaurateur Ian Halfon has opened a smallish intimate new restaurant Walther’s Steakhouse next door to Belthazar in the V&A Waterfront.
# Chef Jenny Morris has opened Yumcious Durbanville.
# The Skotnes Restaurant has opened at the Norval Foundation, with Executive Chef Phil de Villiers, previously of Primal Eatery.
# Paris Café has opened in Green Point.
# 42 on Canterbury has opened as a bar and an event venue in District Six/Zonnebloem
# The La Colombe Group is taking over the bar and restaurant at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek, after refurbishments. It will be called Protégé. Stephen Raaff is the Head Chef.
# Back’s Bar has opened on Main Road in Paarl, where Juno used to be.
# Chef Reuben Riffel has opened Reuben’s at The Capital Moloko in Johannesburg, his first Gauteng restaurant.
# A new breakfast and lunch Eatery is being developed at Val de Vie, in conjunction with Chef Reuben Riffel.
# Chef Jarryd has opened So Cal (for South California), a Bar above Charango on Bree Street.
# Manga has opened on Church Street
# Sotana Bree Street has opened where Odyssey used to be.
# 1 Oak is set to open on Strand Street, an upmarket celebrity bar, music, and event venue modeled on a New York counterpart. The restaurant Butter will open inside this venue.
# Chef Bertus Basson has expanded his restaurant empire, opening Eike by bertusbasson as his sixth restaurant, and fifth in Stellenbosch.
# Bao Down Restaurant has opened in Oranjezicht.
# Upper Bloem has opened on Main Road in Green Point, where Maggie’s Café used to be, a joint venture between Chefs Henry Vigar and Andre Hill of La Mouette.
# TOSSD Salad Bar has opened on Sloane Square in Gardens, Cape Town.
# Chef George Jardine has opened Restaurant Seven with George Jardine in Somerset West.
# Safari #7 Somali take-away restaurant has opened on Long Street.
# Chef David Higgs’ newest restaurant Saint ‘Pazzo Italiano’ has opened in Sandton.
# No 89 has opened on Bree Street.
# Sans Ethical Green Grocer Deli has opened in the Artem Centre in Sea Point.
# Pauline’s Stand Up Coffee Bar has opened in the Artem Centre in Sea Point.
# Victoire Boulangerie, Pâtisserie, and Bistro has opened in Speakers Corner on Church Square, a joint venture between Chef William Galzin of Montpellier and Drikus Hancke of Cape Town, a former Melissa’s franchisee.
# Chefs Luke Dale-Roberts and Ryan Cole have opened Salsify @ The Roundhouse in Camps Bay.
# Crayfish Wharf is to open in Paternoster.
# Beleef has opened in the space in which Ryan’s Kitchen operated in Franschhoek.
# Grande Provence in Franschhoek has opened The Bistro as an extension to their Tasting Room.
# Ellen Jay has opened as a coffee shop inside Constantia Fabrics.
# Garden’s Club has opened where Chalk & Cork used to operate on Kloof Street.
# The Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa restaurant has opened in Klapmuts, with Executive Chef Terrence Ford.
# Osetra has opened in Kalk Bay, with co-owner Oscar Kotze.
# The Commissary will open next door to The Shortmarket Club, with Chef Wesley Randles and Simon Widdison, under the mentorship of Chef Luke Dale-Roberts. It is planned to be a no-reservation, back to basics offering.
# Gåte restaurant is to open at Quion Rock Winery on 1 December, with Rikku O’Donaghue as the Executive Chef, who worked at a two Michelin star restaurant Merchants Manor before moving to our country. He has been a restaurant consultant locally, including at Sevruga. Head Chef is Warwick King, previously with Delaire Graff, The Stack, and The Ritz Revolving Restaurant. Other team members include Pastry Chef Izelle de Villiers, Nicole Loubser, Tyrone Truter, Josh Crewdson, and Rufus Scholtz.
# Seattle Coffee Company has taken over the coffee shop at Exclusive Books in the V&A Waterfront.
# Chef Seelan Sundoo has opened Chicha in Sea Point.
# The Harbour House Group has bought Mondiall in the V&A Waterfront, and is to turn it into a La Parada, to open in November.
# Chef Peter Tempelhoff has announced that his FYN Restaurant and bar will open in Speaker’s Corner on Church Square in November. Jennifer Hugé is the new GM! And Ashley Moss is the Chef, moving across from the Greenhouse.
#. The Harbour House at Constantia Nek has been remodelled into the fine dining The Restaurant at the Nek, with Chef Dylan Laity in the kitchen.
# Stargarden Boutique Café has opened in Fish Hoek
# Bobo’s Brasserie is opening in Mouille Point in November, where Pepenero used to be.
# Roca Café has opened where Melissa’s used to be in Franschhoek, open from midday to 21h00, and serving Tapas.
# Chef Chris Erasmus is said to be opening a restaurant at Haut Espoir in November, with Chef Nick Oosthuizen in the kitchen.
# Riverine Rabbit has opened where ASH used to operate, by Chef Ash Heeger.
# Chef Ciska Rossouw has opened Loaves in Salt River, no longer operating Loaves on Long.
# BOCCA has re-opened on Bree Street, with new owners Guido Brambilla and Adnana Blaj
# Haus & Laib Deli is opening in the former Eurohaus space on Loop Street.
# Chef Matt Manning is opening Grub & Vine Restaurant on Bree Street.
# Bones Kitchen & Bar has opened at Palms Lifestyle Centre.
# Anni’s Gourmet Pancakes & Belgian Waffles has opened in a Franschhoek
# Vadas Smokehouse and Bakery has opened at Spier, taking the place of Hoghouse, which Chef PJ Vadas no longer appears to be associated with.
# Syrup Breakfast is opening on Bree Street.
# The Creamery is to open a branch in Durbanville Village Square.
#. The iconic Melissa’s, with 19 stores, has been declared insolvent. Some stores will be rebranded (four as The Deli Coffee Co), while others have closed down, including the Table View Branch. The Waterfront branch is currently closed, but will reopen in a new location in mid-September.
#. Dalliance restaurant and White Rabbit coffee shop, part of the Kove Collection, have closed their doors in the V&A Waterfront.
#. IYO Burgers has closed on Bree Street
#. Iconic Kitima has closed down in Hout Bay, following a rumour of its demise circulating last year but denied at the time.
#. Odyssey (with French Toast before it) has closed down on Bree Street
#. The Ritz is temporarily closed, and with it its Top of The Ritz and CASA restaurants.
# Shego has closed down at the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel.
# The Crazy Horse gastropub has closed down on Bree Street.
# Mitico has closed down on Kloof Street. Yours Truly has expanded into the space.
# So sad to hear that Chef Warrick Taylor of SOURCE restaurant in Hermanus has sold the restaurant and is leaving the country with his family.
# Cargills in Rondebosch has closed down.
# Savoy Cabbage in Heritage Square in the city centre has closed down, after 20 years.
# Eurohaus on Loop Street has closed down
# Karoux has closed down in McGregor.
# Olami on Bree Street has closed down.
# BlackandCo has closed down in Constantia.
# Chalk & Cork has closed down.
# Bukhara has closed down in Stellenbosch.
# Loaves on Long has closed.
# ASH restaurant has closed.
#. Chef Sidwell Yarrow has left La Petite Ferme, to return to the cruise ships. The restaurant on the wine estate is now headed up by Chef Kyle Norris.
#. Chef Gerard van Staden is the new chef at Pearl Valley.
# Chef Gary Welgemoed is the Head Chef at the Carrol Boyes Chocolate division.
# Lee-Andra Govender is the new Pastry Chef at The Table Bay Hotel.
# Chef Evan Coosner has left Open Door/Bocca/Burrata.
# Chef Archie MacLean has left Catharina’s and moved to Coco Safar. He has since left Coco Safar, and is said to have joined La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek.
# Chef Guy Clark has left Tintswalo, now consulting.
# Carmen Rueda is the new Pastry Chef of Coco Safar, formerly from El Bulli and The Fat Duck.
# Chef Richard Carstens has left Tokara Restaurant, and is said to be starting a restaurant consultancy with Chef Reuben Riffel.
# Carolize Coetzee has been appointed as Executive Chef at Tokara, moving from Dornier wine estate.
# Chef Archie MacLean has left Coco Safar, and is running Café Bon Bon in Franschhoek with his wife
# Christian Hellinger is the new Chef at Holden Manz
# La Parada Camps Bay is undergoing renovations, and is transforming into a Tiger’s Milk.
Please share news about restaurant openings and closures with me at email@example.com
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein
Yesterday Rougié, the world’s largest producer of foie gras, introduced a number of us to their method of foie gras production, dispelled all myths of the ‘cruelty’ of this production, and spoilt us with a wonderful Chef’s Table lunch at the Mount Nelson Hotel.
Guy de Saint-Laurent, Directeur: Commercial Export of Rougié Sarlat, flew in from France to explain to Chef Rudi Liebenberg from the Mount Nelson’s Planet Restaurant, Chef Dylan Laity of Aubergine, and Chef Darren Badenhorst from Grande Provence how duck foie gras is produced. The company specialises in foie gras supply to the restaurant industry, and calls itself the ‘Chef’s Foie Gras’. We were told that foie gras is one of the oldest food products, having been developed in Egypt 5000 years ago, the Pharaohs already force fattening wild birds at that time. For their long journeys to other parts of the world in winter, the birds naturally overfeed to create a natural layer of fat around their liver, for their long flights, doubling their weight. The first foie gras recipes emanate from Rome, and were based on geese livers. Now 80% of the world’s production comes from France, with another 15 % being produced in Spain, Belgium, Japan, and the USA. With the introduction of corn from America to France, the production of foie gras was revolutionised, in being used to force feed the ducks and geese. Foie gras is produced from Moulard ducks, a cross between Muscovy and Pekin ducks. Up to 98% of all foie gras is made from duck, taking 12 weeks to breed and 10 days to be fattened, while geese need 14 weeks breeding time and 21 days of fattening. Duck foie gras is more affordable therefore, and tastes better, Guy said. Its preparation has been mainly pan-fried or seared in the past, but Rougié is working on guiding chefs to find more uses for it. The company has recently set up the L’Ecole Du Foie Gras, teaching chefs the art of foie gras usage.
We were shown a video of how duck are fed a boiled corn ‘mash’ with a tube which goes into their crop, the process called ‘gavage‘. This process takes 3 minutes, and is done once a day over the last 12 days of the duck’s life. Vets visit the foie gras farms, and confirmed that ducks are ‘anatomically pre-disposed to be force fed’, having a long neck, and that there is ‘no indication of stress’ to the ducks, a study showed. The quality of the treatment of the ducks is reflected in the quality of the foie gras that is produced. Rougié exports foie gras to 120 countries around the world, either raw, in cans, or flash frozen, the latter having a taste and texture ‘as good as fresh’. The company is a co-operative of about 700 duck farmers, foie gras being one of the products they make.
Foie gras has nutritional benefits, containing Vitamins B, C, and E. A slice of foie gras has 260 Kcal, compared to a hamburger having 275 Kcal, and a pizza 600 Kcal. It has good fat similar to that in olive oil, and protects the heart. It is a food that can be adapted to the food traditions of the world, going well with the sweet, sour, and acidity in ingredients. The Japanese are even making foie gras sushi, and the Chinese are making foie gras dumplings for Dim Sum.
While we were listening to the presentation, Chef Rudi’s team was busy preparing a foie gras feast for us, a nine-course lunch of small portions, to demonstrate the diversity of foie gras. Chef Rudi’s brief to his team was to do him and the foie gras proud in the dishes that they created for this unique lunch. Three foie gras canapés were served with Villiera Tradition Brut NV, a terrine with beetroot, a macaroon, and a whipped foie gras torchon. We discussed the reaction to foie gras, and that the state of California has banned its use in restaurants, despite foie gras being USDA approved. Restaurants in the state wish to reverse the ban through legal action. Guy said that the negative reaction comes from foie gras being seen to be for the well-to-do, making it elitist, the gavache method of feeding, and the love for comic characters such as Daffy and Donald Duck.
We started with frozen shaved foie gras, which was served with pine nuts and litchi, a fresh surprise combination of ingredients, which Assistant Sommelier Farai Magwada paired with Bellingham’s The Bernard Series Chenin Blanc 2011. Guy told us that he has chefs which visit restaurants around the world, especially to those far away from France, to educate and excite chefs about the preparation of foie gras. Last week Guy and Sagra Foods, the importers of the Rougié foie gras, had hosted similar lunches at The Westcliff with Chef Klaus Beckmann, and at The Saxon with Chef David Higgs, of whom Guy said that his work was two star Michelin quality, having been more classic in his foie gras usage. Foie gras served with fresh apple, apple chutney, on an oats streusel, was paired with Spier Private Collection Chardonnay 2007.
I asked Guy about cookbooks about foie gras, and he told me that three have been written to date, one produced for Rougié, another done by Chef Nobu of the restaurant group by the same name, and the third by Beijing restaurant Da Dong. Given that Rougié was not prescriptive about how the foie gras should be served at its South African lunches, it seemed a good idea to develop a compilation of the dishes served, perhaps even including those lying ahead for Guy in Mauritius and Reunion. An indian touch came through with foie gras and curried banana being sandwiched between two poppadom crisps, served with a fresh Solms-Delta Koloni 2010. A fun dish was pairing foie gras with popcorn and chicken breast, which was paired with Jordan Chameleon 1995. As if we had not eaten enough already, we had a small palate cleanser, being duck confit with artichoke and mash.
We moved to fish, for which we were served fish knives, for hake cured with lemon and lemon grass, served with foie gras spuma and grilled melon, and paired with Cederberg Bukettraube 2011. Guy explained that sous vide was invented for foie gras, and has since been adapted for use for other foods. He also told me that French chefs predominantly used foie gras in terrines, but since Rougié has started marketing their products, and running their chefs’ courses, they are seeing it put to a greater number of creative uses. The beef, marinated mushrooms, and foie gras emulsion was paired with L’Omarins Optima 2006. We talked about Chef Rudi’s support of Farmer Angus at Spier, buying his free-range meats, and having guinea fowl and turkey bred for his restaurant.
The Mount Nelson’s creative pastry chef Vicky Gurovich has just returned from a stage at Chef Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir in Great Milton, and visited Valrhona in Paris. Her dessert creation of a foie gras, Valrhona chocolate and toffee terrine served with hazelnuts was the pièce de résistance. It was paired with Nederburg Eminence Noble Late Harvest 2009.
Sagra Foods was established in 1994, and operates from Cape Town, but distributes a range of exclusive foods and wines nationally, and even into Southern Africa, planning to make this country a hub of distribution of its fine foods into Africa, Darryn Lazarus said. They commenced with Italian products, but decided to focus and specialise on premium products such as truffle oils, truffle butters, and many more, to make these products more affordable for local chefs. Darryn said they are the ‘pioneers in specialty ingredients’, using wholesalers like Wild Peacock to offer chefs a single source of supply. They import products ‘that make a difference’ from France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Australia, and the USA. So, for example, they sell El Bulli’s Texturas range, being the technical elements which once world best Chef Ferran Adria uses in his molecular gastronomy; De Cecco pasta from Italy; Vilux French mustards and vinegars; Borde dried mushrooms; Belberry jams, sauces, syrups, and vinegars; pastry cases with an 8 month shelf life; Australian Massel beef, chicken and vegetable stocks which are kosher, halaal, and gluten-free; and Tea Forte, the original designers of the tea pyramid, with such award-winning tea flavours as Blueberry Merlot and Lemon Sorbet.
The Mount Nelson was praised by Guy for its playful and less classic interpretation of the foie gras challenge, and he liked how the structure and taste of the foie gras was brought to the fore with the ingredients used by Chef Rudi’s chefs. It was a most informative, once-in-a-lifetime lunch highlight, with excellent food, paired with a amazing range of wines, good company, and hosted in a special venue inside the sixty year old Mount Nelson kitchen. Merci beaucoup!
Sagra Food & Wine Merchants, 10 Flamingo Crescent, Lansdowne, Cape Town. Tel (021) 761-3360. www.sagrafoods.com. Twitter: @SagraFoodsZA
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage