Tag Archives: Fleur du Cap Unfiltered

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 29/30 November

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has introduced a customer protection program to allow stranded passengers flying to or from or within Europe to be guaranteed a flight back home in the case of the airline going bankrupt.

*   The best-selling red wine in Sweden is South Africa’s Umbala, a Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Pinotage blend from Mare Magnum, while Zumbali Chenin Blanc box wine is a top seller too, reports Euromonitor International. The country’s wine sale grew by 2% last year, and value is important to Swedish wine drinkers.  By 2018 wine sales are expected to grow by 6%.

*   Two former South Africans and rugby players for Ulster, Ruan Pienaar and Robbie Diack, have launched Ballybosch Continue reading →

Gourmet Food and Wine evenings will warm up winter!

One of the exciting things about winter is that a number of restaurants are offering excellent value Gourmet evenings, with top wine makers presenting their wines, paired with special dishes prepared by the chefs of the restaurants.  It is a shame that some of the dates clash.

The Pavilion at The Marine Hotel, Hermanus

6 May:   Bouchard Finlayson Winery

3 June:   Paul Cluver Wines

1 July:   Klein Constantia Wine Estate

5 August:   Creation Wines

2 September:   Hamilton Russell Vineyards & Southern Right

The 5-course dinners, paired with wines, cost R 320 per person.  Tel (028) 313-1000

The Grand Café Camps Bay

11 May:   Peter Falke Wines

15 June:   Stellekaya

13 July:   Haute Cabriere


The Grand on the Beach

18 May:   Antonij Rupert Wines

22 June:   Ernst Gouws & Co

20 July:   Peter Falke

The 3-course food and wine pairing dinner costs R300.  Tel (021) 425-0551

Bosman’s, Grande Roche Hotel, Paarl

27 May:   AA Badenhorst Family Wines with winemaker Adi Badenhorst

10 June:   The House of Krone with winemaker Matthew Krone

22 July:   Glen Carlou with winemaker Arco Laarman

26 August:   Backsberg with winemaker Guillaume Nell

3 September:   Nederburg Auction Pre-dinner with cellarmaster Razvan Macici

28 October:   Raats Family Wines with winemaker Bruwer Raats

The 5-course meal with wine, coffee, canapés and petit fours costs R690.  Tel (021) 863-5100

The Garden Room, Mount Nelson Hotel

29 April:   Vergelegen with winemaker Andre van Rensburg

27 May:   Bouchard Finlayson with winemaker and owner Peter Finlayson

24 June:   Neil Ellis Wines with owner Neil Ellis

29 July:   Groote Post with winemaker Lukas Wentzel

26 August:   Rust en Vrede with winemaker Coenie Snyman

30 September:   Deetlefs with winemaker Willie Stofberg

28 October:   Boschendal with winemaker Lizelle Gerber

15 November:   Moreson with winemaker Clayton Reabow

9 December:   Boekenhoutskloof with winemaker Marc Kent.

The 7-course dinner costs R 395 per person with matching wines.  Tel (021) 483-1000

Chenin Wine Bar and Restaurant

26 May:   Ernie Els Wines

Cost is R 100. Tel (021) 425-2200


28 April: Buitenverwachting winemaker Brad Paton

Cost of the 5-course meal is R460.  Tel (021) 794-3522

Nobu at One&Only Cape Town

29 April:   Stark-Condé Wines

Cost of the 7-course meal is R R480.   Tel (021) 431-5111

What’s On, Watson Street

7 May:   Fleur du Cap winemaker Christoff de Wet

Cost of the 6-course dinner and wines is R300 per person or R500 per couple.  Tel (021) 422-5652

Marika’s, Gardens

9 May:   Mischa and Eventide

6 June:   Barton Wines winemaker JP Geyer

4 July:   Nabygelegen with winemaker James McKenzie

Cost of 5-course dinner and wines is R 200.  Tel (021) 465-2727

1800°C Grill Room, Cape Royale Luxury Hotel

7 May:   Hartenberg Estate

2 June:  Morgenhof

7 July:   Warwick wine estate

4 August: La Motte Wine Estate

Cost of 4-course dinner with welcome drink and wines R335.  Tel (021) 430-0506

Casa Nostra, Sea Point

28 May:   Fairview

2 July:   Klein Constantia

Cost of 4-course meal R230.  Tel (021) 433-0187

Bergkelder, Stellenbosch

30 June:   Fleur du Cap Unfiltered

Cost of 5-course meal, Wine and Flavoured Salt tasting by Craig Cormack of Sofia’s is R400.  Tel (021) 809-8025

French Toast

22 June: L’Avenir Vineyards

6 July:   Constantia Glen

3 August :  Diemersdal

7 September:   Creation Wines

5 October:   Rustenberg Wines

Cost of 3-course Tapas and wine pairing R 220 per person.  Tel (021) 422-3839.

24 August: Overgaauw vintage port pairing (with David van Velden) with food, R80.  Tel (021) 422-3839

Café BonBon, Franschhoek

8 June:  Jacoline Haasbroek from My Wyn

22 June:   Haut Espoir

4-course dinner and wine pairing R195 per person.  Tel (021) 876-3936

La Mouette, Sea Point

8 June:  Arco Laarman from Glen Carlou

4-course French theme dinner R240 per person. Tel (021) 433-0856

Swiss & Austrian Social Club, Sea Point

11 June:   Waverley Hills Organic Wines

5-course dinner paired with five wines R250.  Tel (021) 434-8405


19 July:   Joubert-Tradauw

9-course emal paired with wines R225.  Tel (021) 424-6334

15 on Orange

21 July:  Warwick wines

6-course meal paired with wines R295.  Tel (021) 469-8000

Knife Restaurant

27 July: Glenwood Wines

4-course meal paired with wines R220.  Tel (021) 551-5000

Warwick Wine Estate

22 and 29 July: 4-course dinner paired with Warwick wines, celebrating Stellenbosch Wine Festival.  R390. Tel (021) 884-4410

The Class Room, Hermanus

12 August: Rust en Vrede

3-course dinner paired with wines R195.  Tel (028) 316-3582

Harvey’s at Winchester Mansions

3 August: Avontuur Wine Estate

5-course dinner paired with 7 Avontuur wines R345. Tel (021) 434-2351

5 October: Luddite

5-course dinner paired with 6 Luddite wines at R345 per person Tel (021) 434-2351

Sinn’s, Wembley Square

25 August: Durbanville Hills with winemaker Wilhelm Coetzee

4-course dinner paired with 4 wines R225.  Tel (021) 465-0967

Pure Restaurant, Hout Bay Manor

24 September:   Groote Post wine estate

5-course dinner paired with wines R 260.  Tel (021) 791-9393

96 Winery Road

28 September:   Van Ryn’s

4-course dinner paired with Van Ryn’s brandy R320.  Tel (021) 842-2020

Cassia Restaurant, Nitida wine estate, Durbanville

30 September:  Nitida wines

4-course dinner paired with Nitida wines R 300.  Tel (021) 976-0640

Bayside Café, Camps Bay

30 September: Beyerskloof Wines

5-course dinner paired with Beyerskloof Wines R 175 per person.  Tel (021) 438-2650

Clos Malverne, Stellenbosch

28 October: Clos Malverne wines

5-course dinner paired with Clos Malverne wines R 445.  Tel (021) 865-2022

La Residence, Franschhoek

18 November: Waterford Wines with winemaker Francois Haasbroek

6-course Dinner paired with Waterford wines R 800.  Tel (021) 876-4100

The Vineyard Hotel

Friday 13 May

Schalk Burger & Sons

Friday 27 May

Warwick & Vilafonté

Friday 10 June

West Coast Wines with Tierhoek

Friday 24 June

Stellakaya with Ntsiki Biyela

Friday 1 July

La Motte

Friday 15 July

Solms Delta Wine Estate

Friday 5 August

Dombeya Wines with Rianie Strydom

Friday 19 August

Catherine Marshall Wines

Friday 2 September

Meerlust Wine Estate

Friday 16 September

Favourites from Wine Concepts

Friday 7 October


Friday 21 October

Wines from the Swartland (Kloovenburg, Babylon’s Peak)

Friday 28 October

Constantia Valley Wines

The dinner costs R 250 per person.  Tel (021) 657-4500.

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

Restaurant review: Haiku still star-struck, 50 % more expensive!

Haiku restaurant in the Cape Town city center has been one of my favourites ever since it opened more than four years ago.  It is a sister restaurant to Bukhara, one of Cape Town’s leading Indian restaurants.  I have never written a review about it.

Being named as the Eat Out Best New Restaurant 6 months after it opened (a once-off award category of Eat Out) made the restaurant the in-place for Capetonians, and this led to an extreme degree of arrogance from the staff.  One could not book a table for the same day, let alone just arrive without a booking.

The initial success led the Haiku owner Sabi Sabhawal to open a Haiku in London, but the project failed dismally, due to poor location in an alley off a high street, exorbitant renovation and staff costs, and high menu prices, which resulted in the closure of the restaurant.  It proved to be a blessing in disguise for the restaurant, in that its best staff, but also its most arrogant, was sent to London, and most did not return to Cape Town.

For the past few months Haiku has become friendlier and more flexible.  There is no longer drama with cheeky waiters.   The canopy on the outside of the restaurant now proudly carries the Haiku branding.  But now its pricing has become excessive!

A visit back to a busy and buzzy Haiku last week, unbooked and latish at 22h15,  was a shock, because the menu has changed radically.  Haiku is unique in charging its dishes in stars, rather than in Rand, and prescribes that for dinner one has to eat for 4 stars each.   Each star used to cost R42, i.e. a total cost of R168 per head, and the price had not been increased for a good year.   Now the cost per star has been reduced to R40, and while this may seem that the price has reduced, it is misleading, as many dishes have been re-priced, a new half star pricing for menu items having been introduced.  A 3-course meal previously costing 4 stars, consisting of a starter (1 star), a main course (2 stars) and a dessert (1 star), now has increased to a 6-star cost, at R240 for the same meal items, a 43 % increase!   In addition, the plain rice, which was a free staple served with the main course dishes, now costs 1/2 a star.   The waiter David explained that the recosting was done because patrons “abused” the star allocation on the menu previously, choosing dishes which were better value, and which were meant to act as “loss leaders”.

Dave started at Haiku when it opened, and is the only “surviving” waiter.  He is gentle and nice, and informative.  I ask him what changes he has seen over the four year history of Haiku.   He says that while the restaurants patrons no longer are Cape Town’s trendsetters, they now are tourists, production company representatives, Johannesburgers and loyal international visitors.   He does not mention Capetonians.

The price increases of the dishes are not the only change on the Haiku menu.  The previous list of 260 menu items has been reduced to 200.    The look of the menu, and its headings is so different, that one has to get used to finding one’s favourite dishes.   The menu is divided into sections: Dim Sum, costing 1 – 1,5 stars, with a choice of spring rolls, fried wontons, dumplings and steamed rice rolls; Tempura, costing between 1,5 – 2 stars, with a selection of prawn avocado (still as delicious as ever), salmon, soft shell crab, mixed vegetables, and beef; the Sushi section cost ranges from 1 – 4 stars, and contains 38 options, including sashimi, maki, nigiri, California rolls, sandwiches, handrolls and more;  The Grills section dishes cost 1 – 3,5 stars, for Robata, Teriyaki, Tepanyaki, beef fillet and lamb chops;  Salads cost 1,5 stars; Soups 1 star; Noodle dishes cost 2 stars; Rice dishes range from 1/2 – 2 stars; Hot Pots 2 – 3 stars for mixed seafood and beef; ‘Sizzling’ dishes include beef, lamb, chicken and ostrich, and cost 2,5 stars; sixty Wok dishes are offered, ranging from 1,5 – SQ for the crayfish.  The entry level duck costs 3 stars, and the Duck Orange is still the favourite on the menu, as good as ever, with no reduction in portion size; Desserts now costs 1,5 stars, for coconut ice cream, mango ice cream, lychees and ice cream, chocolate spring roil, a trio of Asian desserts, a banana crepe, and chocolate mousse.

The menu is introduced with the following paragraph: “Dear guest, food at Haiku is served as tapas, each dish when ready, to be shared and enjoyed.  10 % service charge for 4 or more persons. A minimum charge is 4 stars per person for dinners only”.   The menu and the winelist are not available to be seen on the Haiku website, a privacy policy of the restaurant!

The Haiku winelist, in mock alligator cover, is branded Bukhara, and is extensive with about 130 wines, confusingly offering a first list of better value for money wines in bottles and by the glass, and then it continues by offering wines by variety, two pages for red wines and one page for white wines.    The value-for-money white wine list ranges from R 105 per bottle/R35 per glass for a Buitenverwachting Buiten Blanc to R245 per bottle/R82 per glass for a Constantia Uitsig Reserve Semillon; the red wines range from R135 per bottle/R45 per glass for Jordan Chameleon to R445 per bottle/R148 per glass for Rupert & Rothschild Baron Edmond.    Each variety is described succinctly, but no wine vintages are specified.   Sparkling wines cost R190 for Pongracz and R900 for Moet et Chandon; champagnes range from R212 for Graham Beck to R900 for Krug Vintage.  The classification of the Moet and the Graham Beck is interesting, each appearing to be in the wrong section.   The Overgaauw Chardonnay costs R138, the Hamilton Russell R405; Thelema Sauvignon Blanc costs R150, and the Fleur du Cap Unfiltered R220; a Simonsig Gewuerztraminer costs R124, the Platter White Wine of the Year, the Sadie Family Palladius, costs R790; Le Bonheur’s Cabernet Sauvignon costs R208, and that of Rustenburg Peter Barlow R620;   Vergenoegd’s Merlot costs R200, Durbanville Hill’s Luiperdsberg costs R425;  Grootte Post’s Pinot Noir costs R248, and Bouchard Finlayson’s Pinot Noir Tete Cuv R1 050; The Guardian Peak shiraz costs R133, the De Trafford R627 – Dave checks the vintages of the shirazes, and a Cloof 2003 is available – the other shirazes are 2007; a KWV Roodeberg costs R176, the Vergelegen V costs R1 400.

Haiku restaurant, Bree Street, tel 021 424-7000.  Dinner bookings taken for 19h00 and 21h00.  The website can only be accessed via www.bukhara.com, and is outdated, still featuring a page for the ex-London branch!

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