Entries tagged with “Eat Out Top 10”.


I could not have imagined that my review a week ago of Chef Bertus Basson’s Spek en Bone restaurant in Stellenbosch could have unleashed such vitriol, and become so personal in its attacks, despite my review not having been a personal attack against Chef Bertus. I am grateful for all the messages of support which I have received, reinforcing that I am known as the only honest writer in our country.  (more…)

Isabelo LogoLe Quartier Français Chef Margot Janse will be celebrating her birthday in May with a star-studded dinner cooked for a special cause close to her heart. (more…)

imageI have been to The Plettenberg hotel a number of times to eat at its former Sand and now renamed Seafood restaurant.  Given that the hotel is five-star graded, a Relais & Chateux property, and under the supervision (long distance) of Eat Out Top 10 Chef  Peter Tempelhoff, my expectations are high of the restaurant in being the best in Plett, yet sadly are  (more…)

EatOutIs it true that an Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant nod is a licence to print money? It certainly seems so, especially the nearer the restaurant is to the top of the list, and if the length of time to get a booking is a measure!

Calling today, we checked the prices of the Tasting Menus (three of the Top 10 Restaurants do not offer Tasting Menus), calculated the average cost per course, and checked the first available table dates. (more…)

imageLast night KWV was crowned as the king of the wine industry for the fifth year running, winning 5 Double Gold and 9 Gold Awards for its wines, more than any other winemaker. Nederburg (2 Double Golds and 11 Gold Awards) and Spier (2 Double Golds and 8 Gold Awards) followed in second and third place, respectively, awarded at one of the highlights of the wine industry, a function attended by about 400 wine industry staff and media, with their partners. Kanonkop won the Best Performance by Entry title for 10 wines or fewer entered, while KWV won the title for more than 10 wines entered.  A total of 57 Double Gold, 157 Gold, 473 Silver, and 662 Bronze medals was awarded.  A mix of local and international judges evaluated the entries.

Not only were the wines with their winemakers and related staff celebrated, so too was the 25th anniversary of the Veritas Awards. The highlight of the evening for me was seeing how many women (more…)

imageIn my search for the top restaurant in KwaZulu-Natal, Katie Friedman, Lisa Woodhouse, and I had dinner at 9th Avenue Bistro, one of Durban’s best-known fine-dining restaurants, and a regular on the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant list six years and longer ago. Despite the warnings one had read about the restaurant’s unfortunate location in a shopping centre car park, it was the interior decor and poor (more…)

Spier Chef PJ Vadas and Mariota EnthovenAlmost a year after leaving Camphors at Vergelegen as an Eat Out Top 10 restaurant, Chef PJ Vadas has announced that he is setting up The Hog House on the Werf craft Bakery and Café in the more than two hundred year old Jonkershuis building at Spier in October.

The media release received from Spier states that Chef PJ will be baking breads and pastries in the custom-built wood-fired oven, and offer a light menu for breakfast and lunch. (more…)

five hundred dishIt was a recent article by Nick Lander, husband of renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson and restaurant critic in the UK, about restaurants in hotels he had visited in Dubai that made me consider once again why hotel restaurants fare so poorly in patron support and in the Eat Out Top 10 restaurant awards in our country.
Lander writes that specific rules about restaurants and liquor licences force restaurants to be linked to hotels in Dubai.  In our country no such rules apply, and as a service to guests, hotels have over the years added dining facilities, in early days being the only restaurants offering tea and cake, and lunch and dunner.  My parents drove us with overseas visitors to Franschhoek’s Swiss Farm Excelsior (now the Le Franschhoek Hotel), the benchmark of restaurants in those years.

(more…)

Cafe Chic exterior Whale CottageCafé Chic opened in Gardens in 1999, a Victorian building with a chic interior created by French owner Francoise Queyroi.  A year ago the restaurant was closed and placed on the market, but has not yet found a buyer. It was a surprise that Chef Conrad Gallagher has taken over the building, renting it lock, stock and barrel, including its cutlery (by Helcometals from Egypt/France), crockery, glassware, table cloths, and serviettes, with a view to buying it in future.  Given Chef Conrad’s reputation related to a Cafe Chic Conrad Gallagher Whale Cottageprevious era of owning restaurants in Cape Town, it is brave of him to return!

Chef Conrad had opened Geisha in 2007 in the building alongside Newport Deli in Mouille Point, spending R3,5 million on its interior, when he received an eviction order, being informed that the building was to be demolished, to make way for a new building.  He moved to the Cape Royale (more…)

The Test KitchenDear Sarah

We are extremely proud to have you living in your newly adopted home city Cape Town, and that you are such a fantastic tourism ambassador for our country in general, and for Cape Town in particular.  You put Cape Town on the world tourist map with your article earlier this year in the New York Times about Cape Town being the number one  ’52 places to go in 2014′, the best free publicity our city has ever had.

I was therefore shocked to see your article about Top Chefs in Cape Town’ in Travel + Leisureand the choices you made in selecting what you have listed as the top five chefs in Cape Town: Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen, Peter Tempelhoff of The Greenhouse, Reuben Robertsons Riffel of Reuben’s x 4 (in Franschhoek, Cape Town, Robertson, and Paternoster) plus Racine, Bruce Robertson of The Flagship, and Franck Dangereux of The Food Barn, in that order. You did not define your guidelines for selecting the five chefs, nor did you appear to use the same criteria in selecting the chefs that are on your list – the justification for inclusion appears more anecdotal and random.  Equally, I am surprised about the chefs you excluded from the list!

You seem to praise Chef Franck for his ‘foreign pedigree, but why single him out when Chefs Luke and Peter also have foreign roots?  Does that make them better chefs?  All of the chefs on your list have worked overseas, so they deserve equal mention in this regard.  You ‘warn’ Travel + Leisure readers to ‘watch out for these five Cape Town chefs and memorize their names now – they’re poised to break through to the global stage any day now‘!

Let me comment on each of your Top Chef choices: (more…)