Entries tagged with “Gastropub”.


Bree Street 2Bree Street is once again welcoming city-dwellers and tourists to visit the trendy foodie street on Sunday 17 January, when the street will be closed to traffic, many of its restaurants will be open, and entertainment will be offered in the street. It is the second such event in a year.

Open Streets is an international initiative, which allows the residents of an (more…)

imageYesterday I was spoilt by my friend Katie Friedman, who took me to lunch at The Hinds Head in Bray, one of three restaurants owned by Chef Heston Blumenthal in this tiny Berkshire gourmet village.

Bray first attracted attention when the Roux brothers Michel and Albert opened The Waterside Inn in the village in 1972, and have held a three star Michelin rating for the past 25 years. Chef Heston, whose father grew up in South Africa, was attracted to the village too, (more…)

Rossouw's by Diner's Club South African Restaurant GuideAfter a one year absence, the Rossouw’s Restaurant Guide is back, with a new name, new sponsor, new editor, and a new methodology of recognising top restaurants.  Restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands still dominate the 5-star restaurant list by far, with 13 out of 20 restaurants in the Western Cape, out of 300 restaurants evaluated in total!

Yesterday ‘Rossouw’s by Diners Club International 2015 South African Restaurant Guide’ was launched in Johannesburg, now sponsored by Diners Club, the same company also sponsoring the Platter’s by Diners Club 2015 South African Wine Guide.  Anna Trapido has been the editor for just more than half a year, writing individual reviews about restaurants on their website, and has compiled the new Guide, awarding twenty restaurants with 5 star ratings nationally, another change, as the Rossouw’s restaurants only achieved a maximum of 3 stars in the past, when it was run by previous owner JP Rossouw.  The publication format now matches that of the Platter’s Guide.  A 5-star rated restaurant is defined as a ‘consistently superlative restaurant in its category – with no/almost no issues’!  To obtain a 5-star rating the restaurant had to achieve a score in excess of 90%, errors in food being unbalanced, or wines and foods not matching, counting against a restaurant, for example.  Every element of the restaurant visit, from making the telephonic booking to the departure, was scored.  All meals were paid for by Anna’s reviewers, all largely unknown (more…)

The Odyssey interior Whale Cottage PortfolioWhen Anne Myers invited me to lunch, and asked me to choose a venue in town, I recommended The Odyssey, which I had eaten at about a month ago when Cape Legends hosted a function for its Monis brand, just after the restaurant had re-opened with a new name and new menu, having previously been French Toast Wine & Tapas Bar.  It felt familiar, as the restaurant has retained the furniture,  minimal interior changes having been made, yet it is lively and new, with a new chef and new menu, no longer just serving tapas in this first local Gastropub.

The staff are youngish and friendly, even indulging our request for the volume of the music to be toned down so that we could hear each other speak. Matt Cowan is the Manager, who was promoted from waiter at Blues, the ‘parent’ restaurant, and has a marketing background, which he applies to the restaurant too.  We discussed the surprise news that they are using Spill blog as their ‘PR company‘, and there appears to be some tension already, the relationship not appearing to have got off the ground yet.  The biggest surprise of all was the charm ofThe Odyssey Chef Lapo Magni Whale Cottage Portfolio Chef Lapo Magni, who has also moved across from Blues, and is a cousin of Lorenzo Magni, the GM of the new restaurant.  Lapo has been in the country for four years, having left his home city Florence to help out at Blues, and he has just stayed on. He is on a high, having just won the Italian RAI TV La Terra dei Cuochi award for best fledgling chef, with a substantial prize tag.  His mother runs a cookery school, and encouraged him to enter the TV cooking competition in Rome.  It was her chicken liver paté recipe that won him the competition. He is focused on sustainable sourcing, and their goal is to obtain produce within a 100 km radius, where feasible.  Warthog is excluded, for example, it coming from the Botswana border, but is something Italians love, and it offers him the opportunity to serve it as a stew with wild berries, or as sausages, he said, also sourcing desert-fed lamb.  (more…)

The first taste of the Cape winter this weekend is likely to be felt by the restaurant industry, which will see hard times in the next two months, if close to zero accommodation bookings in the Cape are anything to go by.  Other than Hermanus FynArts and the Wacky Wine Weekend kicking off next week, ‘Cook Franschhoek‘ running over the Youth Day long weekend, and the Bastille Festival weekend on 13 – 14 July, no significant events are planned to attract visitors to Cape Town and the Winelands.  A number of restaurants are closing for an annual break in the next two months.

This list of restaurant openings and closings isupdated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*   The Crypt Jazz Restaurant has opened below St George’s Cathedral.

*   Frères Bistro has opened next door to Col’Cacchio on Hans Strydom (more…)