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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein
Every winter is a tough time for the restaurant industry. With the dip in Tourism due to the water shortage, and the early heavy winter rains, the restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands are feeling the pinch, and many have closed down, even some on the iconic restaurant Bree Street, as well as in the Waterfront! Continue reading →
La Parada is my favorite Constantia venue, spending every Sunday afternoon there, enjoying the music of DJ René Tanguy, and dancing. From tomorrow onwards, Toast Brunch will be served at Constantia Nek on the first Sunday of the month, from 10h00 – 14h00, at R 350 per head. Continue reading →
Rey Franco, FEDHASA Cape chairman of the Restaurant and Catering Industry segment, seems to be out of touch with the segment which he represents, in claiming in Cape Business News that 27 new restaurants opened and only three closed down in the Cape in the past year! The situation is much worse in terms of restaurant closures, despite far more new restaurant openings.
Our ongoing tracking of restaurant openings shows that new restaurant openings were greater in number than the FEDHASA Cape figure, at 80 openings in the past twelve months, and included Cousins, Thai Café in Stellenbosch and Sea Point, De Oude Meul Bakkerij, Frères Bistro, The Urban Garden, Goloso Deli & Restaurant, Goloso Pizzaria, Bar1, Tamboerswinkel, I ♥ my Laundry, Millhouse KItchen at Lourensford, Reserve Brasserie, The Rotisserie at Leopard’s Leap, Café Blanc de Noir at Brenaissance, Moyo at the V&A Waterfront, Mischu, Cattle Baron in Paarl, Latitude33, Baked Bistro, Richard’s Supper Stage & Bistro, Deluxe Urban Café, The Eatery at Diemersdal, De Grendel Restaurant, Camphor’s at Vergelegen, Antipasto Bar at Antonij Rupert Wines, Kloof Street House, Orphanage, Peter’s House, Le Venue at JC le Roux, Mitico, Slug & Lettuce on Kloof Street and in Stellenbosch, Ali Baba Kebab in Camps Bay, 5Rooms, La Belle Café & Deli, Big Route Top Gourmet Pizza, Stables at Vergelegen, Vovo Telo, Glashuis at Babylonstoren, Hussar Grill at Steenberg, Dorpstraat Deli, The Boat House, Orinoco, Cassis Paris Salon de Thé, Dog’s Bollocks, Jackal & Hide, Saints on 84 Kloof Street, Sushibox, Mama Cucina in Riebeek Kasteel, Salzburger Grill, The Stall, Shimmy’s Beach Club, The Red Table Restaurant at Nederburg, EuroHaus, Merchant’s Café, Truth on Buitenkant Street, Deluxe Coffeeworks, No 6 Restaurant at Welbedacht, Simply Asia in Paarl, La Pentola in Hermanus, Lizette’s Kitchen in Hermanus, Vino’s in Wellington, Sacred Ground Bakery & Deli in Franschhoek, Col’Cacchio In Hermanus and Westlake, Christina’s at Van Loveren, four Vida e Caffè, Gourmetboerie, Kushi Indian Restaurant, Moksh Authentic Indian Cuisine, Alfama, Paulina’s Restaurant at Rickety Bridge, Wakaberry in Rondebosch and Kloof Street, Okamai at Glenwood, Café Dijon in Green Point, and Deli @ The Square in Paarl.
Restaurant closures were more severe in the past year than reflected (maybe Franco wanted to project a perfect picture of the Cape restaurant industry, or he is that out of touch?), with at least 29 closures as per our count, which included Vanilla, two Café Dijon in Stellenbosch, Sabarosa in Bakoven, Toro Aperitif Bar, Caveau on Bree Street, Gourmet Burger, Limoncello, Casa Nostra, Wicked Treats in Franschhoek, Bistro on Rose, Paparazzi, Rhapsody’s, Cape Town Fish Market in Somerset West, Josephine’s Cookhouse, Wale Rose Lifestyle, Mason, Café Sofia in Camps Bay (all outlets may have closed down), Gesellig, Beads in Stellenbosch, French Toast Wine Bar & Tapas, ACT Restaurant, The Kove, Planet Green Salad Bar, Freedom Hill, Sapphire, Grilleri in Hermanus, Franschhoek Deli, and Illyria in Stellenbosch.
The article emphasises how tough the restaurant industry is, with rising cost of food, electricity and gas, rental, and staff a major challenge, as is the tightening budgets of restaurant patrons. The restaurant industry is highly overtraded and fragmented, and Franco says that ‘keeping a restaurant above water (sic) has always been a tough challenge’. He adds that only a few have a winning ‘recipe of setting, food, social placement and value proposition’.
He noted a trend of restaurants opening at the start of summer, with restaurant closures visible at the start of winter. His statistic of two restaurants opening for every restaurant closure knocks his own restaurant opening and closure statistics mentioned above. He also has seen an increased demand of catering for children, and a focus on healthy and organic food. Loyalty programmes work, and refurbishments keep a restaurant interior fresh, he advises.
The larger franchised restaurants have done well in the past year, the Spur Corporation’s sales having increased by 17,5% in the last six months of 2012, whilst the Famous Brands franchises of Steers, Debonairs, Wimpy, Mugg & Bean, and Fishaways jointly increased turnover by 13% last year. It is the smaller independents that may face another bleak winter to come, starting early this year due to the early Easter, which is synonymous with the end of the summer season.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
It was a surprise to see that Antonij Rupert Wines (correctly speaking Antonij Rupert Wyne, as per the gates, there not being an English translation) has started operating from its new tasting room in the previous Graham Beck Wines premises outside Franschhoek, and an even bigger surprise was to discover the Antipasto Bar, which opened five days ago.
More than a year ago Johan Rupert, owner of the neighbouring Antonij Rupert Wines, bought the Franschhoek Graham Beck property, and moved into the property mid-year. On the surface little has changed, but the tasting room has been moved upstairs to the light and spacious landing, and the Antipasto Bar has been created downstairs where the tasting room was. The security guard at the boom is much stricter than the Graham Beck Wines one used to be, and initially did not want to allow me to enter at 16h35, because they close at 17h00! I promised to not do a tasting, and on that basis I was allowed in. It was a surprise to meet Gidi Caetano there, as the Hospitality Manager, having left French Toast about six months ago, to help set things up. She was previously the manager of Salt Restaurant.
The Antipasto Bar seats about 35, and faces the tanks through a glass window. It looks cosy with neutral decor greys and browns making the space look sophisticated. The Chef is HW Pieterse, who moved across when Café Dijon closed its restaurants in Stellenbosch, and was at Delaire Graff and the Grande Roche before. The menu has a small selection of dishes, but this list will grow, Gidi assured me. Three different olives, in three different marinades, cost R30; Artichokes marinated in thyme, lemon and olive oil cost R48; Caprese salad costs R60; Parma ham and melon costs R50; a selection of Italian cured meats costs R55; a platter with four Italian cheeses and fig preserve costs R75; artisanal bread is R20; a mixed antipasto platter R50/R85; and Biscotti costs R25. I ordered the Franschhoek smoked salmon trout bruschetta, which was served with crème fraiche. lemon, and pink peppercorns (R60). The restaurant will be sourcing supplies from the new L’Omarins (belongs to Johan Rupert too) organic herb and vegetable garden, and in future they will serve carpaccio from their own Wagyu cattle. Marinated white anchovies will be added to the menu in future. All dishes are offered with the L’Omarins olive oil, which won Silver in the recent Olive Oil awards, and the Terra del Capo olive oil range, which is still made for them by Willowcreek. They bake their own breads, and marinade their own olives. A new dessert special which is not yet on the menu, is Burrata, honey and strawberry, drizzled with balsamic, costing R35.
With one’s meal one can enjoy a glass or bottle of wine, very reasonably priced at mainly cellar door prices, at R13 – R21 per glass/R41 – R80 per bottle for the Protea range, R17 – 28/R59 – R115 for the Terra del Capo range, R17 – R43/R85 – R190 for the Cape of Good Hope range; and R30/R125 for the Antonij Rupert Optima.
The Tasting room opened three weeks ago, and the staff manning it looked professional, with white shirts, black pants and black aprons. The 2013 Platter’s Guide is on the tasting counter. The tasting offering is unusual, one tasting a choice of flights: Protea whites (Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Chenin Blanc 2011, and Chardonnay 2010) for R10; Protea reds (Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Merlot 2011, Shiraz 2011, and Reserve 2011) for R15; The ‘TDC’, which is the Terra del Capo range (Pinot Grigio 2011, Sangiovese 2009, Arne 2008) for R15; ‘The Blends’ are Protea Reserve 2011, Terra del Capo Arne 2008, and Antonij Rupert Optima 2008 at R20; ‘The Unusual’ is a collection of Terra del Capo Pinot Grigio 2011, Sangiovese 2009, Cape of Good Hope Semillon 2010, and Pinotage 2008, at R30; The Cape of Good Hope whites (Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Chenin Blanc 2010, Semillon 2010, and Chardonnay 2010 at R30; ‘Merry Merlot’ comes from the Protea 2011, Cape of Good Hope 2008, and Antonij Rupert 2007 ranges, at R40; and the Antonij Rupert range, being Optima 2008, Merlot 2007, and Shiraz 2007, at R60. Some typos are unforgivable on this list.
Gidi shared that they are keeping the opening low key until they have completed setting up the late Mr Beck’s manor house, in which tastings of the Antonij Rupert and Cape of Good Hope wines will be done from the end of January onwards, ‘paired’ with High Tea. The idea is to offer a ‘whole day package’ to visitors, Gidi said.
Antipasto Bar, Antonij Rupert Wines, R45, Franschhoek. Tel (021) 874-9004. www.rupertwines.com (Restaurant website under construction). No Social Media. Monday – Sunday 10h00 – 17h00.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage