Chef Christina Semczyszyn is the Head Chef at Tjing Tjing, previously Dear Me, in the City centre. She put Tjing Tjing Momiji on Eat Out’s Top Restaurant list at 19th rank in 2019, and was named a Rising Star by Eat Out in the same year. She wins a bottle of Adhara Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil for being named a 2021 Top 10 Woman Chef.
She has been instrumental in transforming Dear Me into a three storey Japanese restaurant: Tjing Tjing Torii, Tjing Tjing Momiji, and Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar.
Sadly Chef Chridtina is leaving Tjing Tjing st the end of this month, emigrating to Canada. Continue reading →
What a shock announcement it was today: The Test Kitchen, South Africa’s best known restaurant internationally, having climbed up (and down) the World’s 50 Best Restaurants ladder over the past 11 years, and having worn the Best South African Restaurant crown for six years running, until 2017, is to close down at the end of September. This was announced in Cape Town today.
Top Ten restaurants which have also closed down since the beginning of Lockdown are Mosaic at The Orient and Waterkloof. Ironically both Mosaic and The Test Kitchen announced in 2019 that they would no longer accept nominations for The Eat Out Awards, the 2019 awards being the last to have taken place, due to the Covid pandemic and impact thereof on the restaurant industry since the Lockdown commenced on 27 March 2020.
I cannot resist writing a story about Chef Bertus Basson’s latest TV series, ‘In die Sop: Restaurant Evolusie’ on kykNet, a Gordon Ramsay-style ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ reality TV series in which restaurants are given 72 hours in which to be transformed. It is aired on Wednesdays on KykNet at 20h00, the first episode airing last week. The title of the series ‘In die Sop’ refers to restaurants being in trouble.
The irony is that Basson himself has been no expert in restaurant design when one considers his ‘crap’ Spek & Bone off Dorp Street (one of the most widely read reviews on my Blog), and De Vrije Burger on Plein Street, both in Stellenbosch. Surprisingly, Basson admits to his restaurant faults: ‘I’ve achieved great success, but I’ve also made a lot of mistakes and learned lessons that have cost me dearly. I want to share these insights with other restaurant owners.’! His admission should lead him to unban me from his restaurants! Continue reading →
It was a surprise message from Chef Gregory Czarnecki this morning that his Restaurant at Waterkloof will close down on 22 November, a Covid casualty. His future plans nor those of the restaurant space at the Waterkloof Winery are not yet known. Chef Gregory opened the restaurant eleven years ago, and he soon became known for his magnificent food presentation, and for his desserts in particular.
Restaurant at Waterkloof was named the number one restaurant in our country in the Eat Out Top 10 Awards in 2018. Last year it was ranked third on the list. Continue reading →
It has taken three days for me to get back down to earth after experiencing the Secret Supper Club at Homespun by Matt in Bloubergstrand on Monday evening, a unique Magic Music Food Wine Theatre experience which places this restaurant amongst the best in our country. Sadly it has never been recognised by Eat Out in any of its awards, and I too had never previously visited Homespun. Continue reading →
Monday 5 October 2020, Day 15 of Level 1, Day 193 of Lockdown. 😷
Corona Gratitude 🙏
#Grateful for such a fabulous Monday and start to a new week; for being spoilt with two restaurant invitations for today, the reopening day of Yumcious of Chef Jennifer Morris, and at Homespun by Matt in Bloubergstrand; for Henry finding Maya’s Sarong at the bottom of the pool when he cleaned it today; for a lovely weather day after a misty start; for a short sunset walk in Bloubergstrand, my only walk of the day; for a quick catfood shop at Checkers in Sea Point, offering by far the best Whiskas prices compared to Pick n Pay and TakeaLot, but such a pity that the service is so bad; for meeting such nice persons at our joint table at the Secret Supper Club at Homespun by Matt; for getting home safely from Blouberg just before curfew; for there being no damage to my car after last night’s taxi incident; and for being happy and healthy.🙏💙 Continue reading →
Yesterday I met Restaurateur and Chef Prim Reddy for the first time in her new Indian Chapter in Blouberg, on my way to the West Coast. She recently moved into smaller premises across the road from her former venue, grateful for this fortunate misfortune, focusing on her 20 diners with even more care and personal attention. Chef Prim is a kind restaurateur without any ego, yet strong and has exciting future plans. Continue reading →
South Africa is two months into Lockdown, 62 days of restaurants not being allowed to open to serve sit-down customers. For the past 27 days many restaurants have reopened, operating within the Government regulation of offering a Food preparation and Delivery Service. On the eve of Restaurants being allowed to offer a Delivery as well as a Customer Collection Service from Monday 1 June, I looked at what the 2019 Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants are doing currently in terms of keeping their Restaurant brand names visible, and generating income to cover their costs and to employ some of their staff again.
I found that only three of the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants are trading under their restaurant name in offering a Lockdown Food Delivery Service, and offering dishes that are similar to those that they offer at their award-winning restaurants. Continue reading →
Eat Out has launched a Restaurant Relief Fund in conjunction with the Community Chest, to financially help out the restaurants that have transformed their kitchens in preparing meals for needy members of our country’s community, to cover some of their expenses. A relief package, strictly controlled in terms of Terms and Conditions, up to a maximum of R50000 is offered per restaurant. The Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund stands at R 767000.
A number of stringent conditions for receiving the Funding follow below.
Tuesday 7 April 2020, Day 23 of SA Corona Virus, Day 12 of SA Lockdown 😷
Corona Gratitude 🙏
#Grateful for a lovely warm bed on a chilly evening last night; for a day of four seasons, starting with a lovely shower ☔️, being cloudy, and an afternoon of wonderful sunshine; for lovely morning music on Smile FM, especially the 6-in-row of the Rautenbach family, and Kfm this afternoon, getting to my step goal 🎶👣; for having wonderful Llewellyn Lambert helping me to fix a problem on my Blog; for Kfm announcing that it will play ‘South African Royalty’ every evening from 22h00 – 24h00, dedicated to local music, to help local musicians earn royalties Martin Myers; and for being happy and healthy. 🙏💙 Continue reading →