I cannot remember when an Eat Out Awards event was so exciting in its Top 10 countdown, with so many surprise restaurants on this year’s list, reflecting how more daring the Eat Out judging team has become, no longer playing it safe, which is highly commended. Since Chef Margot Janse took over in heading the Eat Out Awards judging panel in 2018, she has been ruthless in her restaurant recognition, which we already noticed when Eat Out announced its Top 30 nomination shortlist for this year, in some of the top restaurants it excluded! Continue reading →
Each year I attempt a prediction of the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants in South Africa, from the restaurant guide’s Top 30 nomination short list. Each year it seems to get more difficult to predict which restaurants will make the top of the grade, the new Head Judge Margot Janse pulling many surprise punches in her Top 10 List last year, and even this year in her Top 30 nominations list. On Sunday 17 November the Restaurant industry ‘Oscars’ will be presented to the Top 10 South African Restaurants at GrandWest. Continue reading →
It amuses me how much weight La Colombe places on the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, clearly because it is the only awards ranking in which it comes first, and in which it beats its arch enemy The Test Kitchen, despite most serious restaurant diners knowing how questionable a TripAdvisor rating, and therefore this Award ranking, is! Continue reading →
Eat Out released its Top 30 shortlist for the 2019 Top 10 Restaurant Awards minutes ago. The biggest shock is that Chef Liam Tomlin’s Chefs Warehouse & Canteen has not been nominated! Just two years ago Eat Out awarded Tomlin the Chef of the Year Award!
When I first wrote that Chef Liam’s restaurant on Bree Street did not belong on the Eat Out Top 20 shortlist, when it was nominated for the first time four of five years ago, not conforming to the criteria for fine dining, Chef Liam denigrated me in Facebook and banned me from his restaurants! It seems that the new judging team at Eat Out has seen the light, and feels the same about it! Continue reading →
The publishers of the Gourmet Guide 2020 have made it really difficult to write this post, in that it is not revealing its full list of 36 restaurants that received its one, two, or three plate awards on Monday, until January 2020, its website states. One can surmise that it wants the Gourmet Guide 2020 to be bought so that it can generate income. By January these Awards will have long been forgotten! Continue reading →
It was a multi-Award day on Monday this week, with both American Express (for the Western and Southern Cape), as well as the Gourmet Guide (National) announcing their 2020 Restaurant Award winners. A week earlier American Express had announced its Gauteng, Free State, and KwaZulu-Natal Awards. There were many similarities in the winners, yet some strange winners in the American Express Dining awards documented in this post. Continue reading →
It was a Facebook post by Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen of South African/French restaurant JAN in Nice that alerted me to the Hospitality Counsel 2019 ranking of our countries top ten Restaurants as well as Chefs, when he thanked them for being included in the Top 10 Chef List. No other restaurant or chef on the two lists appears to have announced the accolades from the Hospitality Counsel, awarded at an event called the 2019 Luxury Tourism Awards! Continue reading →
In Singapore today The Test Kitchen moved from 50th position last year to number 44 on the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurant list, and was recognised as the Best in Africa. Mirazur in Menton was named the World’s 50 Best top restaurant, not without controversy surrounding a significant change in the rules regarding the top spot this year. The 18th ‘truly global’ ceremony of the Awards was women-dominated, to make up for their past under-representation. Continue reading →
It took six months and R62000 to get to eat at FYN Restaurant last night, the Japanese-style fine dining restaurant which Chef Peter Tempelhoff opened in Speakers Corner in the City centre at the end of November 2018. Whilst very apprehensive, given the unpleasant pre-history, I was most pleasantly surprised at the dining experience, with the exception of our waiter, who was a major let down for the restaurant! Continue reading →
Winter is on our doorstep, the start of a long difficult trading period for our restaurants, with little news usually of restaurant developments. But not so this year!
The most exciting news of the year is the planned opening in November of the next level restaurant of former Gåte Chefs Rikku O’Donnchü and Warwick King in Cape Town. They are already enticing diners with their SŸN pop-ups. Details below.
Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen has announced the opening of a new KLEINJAN restaurant in the Tswalu Kalahari next year and a JAN Innovation Studio in Cape Town. The Grande Roche is being redone, with new owners, a new restaurant Viande, a new Chef Patron, and a new cocktail bar. Details are below.
Gigi’s Restaurant has opened in The Gorgeous George Hotel in Cape Town, with Chef Guy Bennet at the helm.
# Chefs Rikku O’Donnchü and Warwick King have left Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock wine estate, creating the SŸN Group, and are to open a new restaurant in the Cape Town city centre in November.
# Bones Kitchen & Bar has opened in the Palms Design Centre in Woodstock. It is owned and owner-managed by well-seasoned restaurateur Rudi Minnaar.
# Stargarden Boutique Café has opened in Fish Hoek.
#. Michael Townsend, founder of the Harbour House Group but no longer with the Group, has opened Cowboys & Cooks Steakhouse & Bar in Sunset Beach. He has also bought Sevruga in the Waterfront. A third restaurant, in Sea Point will open in September 2019. All three restaurants are/will be operated by Cowboys & Cooks CEO Stuart Bailey.
# 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.
# 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.
# The La Colombe Group has taken over the bar and restaurant at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek, 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 Reuben’s & Co Café has opened at Val de Vie, in conjunction with Chefs Reuben Riffel and Richard Carstens.
# Chef Jarryd has opened So Cal (for South California), a Bar above Charango on Bree Street.
# VIXI Social House has opened on the corner of Strand and Bree Street.
# Chef Bertus Basson has expanded his restaurant empire, opening Eike by bertusbasson as his 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.
# 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 has opened in Paternoster.
# Grande Provence in Franschhoek has opened The Bistro as an extension to its Tasting Room.
# 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.
# The Commissary has opened next door to The Shortmarket Club, with Chef Wesley Randles and Simon Widdison, under the mentorship of Chef Luke Dale-Roberts. It is a no-reservation, back to basics offering.
# 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 has turned it into a La Parada.
# Chef Peter Tempelhoff has opened FYN Restaurant and bar in Speaker’s Corner on Church Square. Jennifer Hugé is the new GM, and Ashley Moss is the Chef, moving across from the Greenhouse.
# Bobo’s Brasserie has opened in Mouille Point, 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, 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 has opened in the former Eurohaus space on Loop Street.
# Chef Matt Manning has opened Grub & Vine Restaurant on Bree Street.
# Anni’s Gourmet Pancakes & Belgian Waffles has opened in 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.
# Macau has opened in the former Savoy Cabbage space.
# The Hungry Monk has closed in Greyton and moved to Paternoster. In its place, a Portuguese/Mozambiquen restaurant will open in Greyton.
# Bush Café has opened as a safari-style restaurant in Gardens
# Charlie Bistro & Bar has opened in Gardens.
# Myog frozen yoghurt has opened as a pop-up in Camps Bay.
# Chef Liam Tomlin has opened Brugarol in Barcelona, with Chef Angelo Duarte Scirocco in the Kitchen.
# The Harbour House Group has bought The Lookout Deck and Equinox in Plettenberg Bay.
# 51 has opened in McGregor.
# GiGi Restaurant under the helm of Chef Guy Bennett has opened in the Gorgeous George Hotel in the Cape Town city centre. .
# Wingerd Vista has opened in the space of Dirtopia Restaurant on Delvera Estate outside Stellenbosch, a joint venture of Janine van Zyl of Cold Gold and Vanessa of Die
# The Dark Horse Rooftop Bar has opened in Kloof Street.
# Bootlegger Café & Grill in Constantia has changed its name to Botanicum Café & Grill, now 50% owned by Bootlegger and 50% by Mark Botes. It opened in March. The website is not yet operational.
# Jewells is opening at Spice Route, with Neil and Tina Jewell.
# Marilyn’s is to open next door to Café Roca Speakeasy in Franschhoek in May, as a champagne and oyster bar, and Sushi restaurant.
# The Fat Man Restaurant has opened in Old Road Wine, in Franschhoek.
# The Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl has new owners, will expand the size of the former Bosman’s restaurant, will rename the restaurant to Viande, with Chef Patron Pete Goffe-Wood at the helm.
# Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen is to open KLEIN JAN in Tswalu Kalahari, as well as a JAN Food Innovation studio in Cape Town.
#. The Ritz is closed, and with it its Top of The Ritz and CASA restaurants.
# Olami on Bree Street has closed down.
# The Restaurant at The Nek, with Chef Duncan Laity, has closed, six weeks after opening. No ‘Manley Magic’ could make this restaurant work.
# Beleef in Franschhoek has closed down.
# Bertus Basson @ Spice Route has closed down outside Paarl.
# Primal Eatery has closed down.
# The Melting Pot has opened as a pop-up where Marrow used to be on Loop Street.
# Thai World has closed down in Harfield Village.
# Open Kitchen has closed in McGregor.
# The Mess has closed down in The Rockwell.
# Delmar has closed down in Camps Bay.
# Chef Evan Coosner has left Open Door/Bocca/Burrata, and is now a consultant chef.
# Chef Archie MacLean has left Catharina’s and moved to Coco Safar. He has since left Coco Safar, and is said to have joined Café Bon Bon 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 now is part of a restaurant consultancy with Chef Reuben Riffel, called Riffel Carstens.
# Carolize Coetzee has been appointed as Executive Chef at Tokara, moving from Dornier wine estate.
# Christian Hellinger is the new Chef at Holden Manz
# Chef Sebastian Smith from Nom Nom/Benguela on Main has moved to Pierneef à La Motte.
# Chef Matthew Ambruster is the new Head Chef at Hartford House. Former Head Chef Chris Papyannis is to open his own restaurant in Mooi River.
# Chef Guy Bennet has left Grande Provence and has moved to Gorgeous George Hotel.
# Nicole Killian is the new Head Chef at Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock.
# Chef Marvin Robyn is now heading up the kitchen at Grande Provence in Franschhoek.
# Chef Peter Tempelhoff is the new Consultant Chef to Ellerman House.
# Chef Peter Tempelhoff has left Greenhouse and the Liz McGrath Collection, to concentrate on his FYN Restaurant.,
#. Culture Club Cheese has changed into Vredehoek Slow Food Club.
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