Entries tagged with “Grand Cafe”.


imageCape Town

#   Meloncino: Glass of Moët et Chandon and 2 oysters R169; 750ml bottle of Moët et Chandon Impérial R 749, 750ml bottle of Moët et (more…)

imageYesterday my friend Jenny and I visited the new venue of the Oranjezicht City Farm Market in the V&A Waterfront, alongside Beach Road near the Grand Café on the Beach at Granger Bay.  The new venue offers lots of space, all on the same level, and all under cover, which makes it more suitable for the Cape winter, with lots of parking.

I was overseas when the market moved to its new home in June,  from the charming grounds of Premier Helen Zille’s official Leeuwenhof residence in Tamboerskloof.  However, the venue was not ideal for the Cape winter, necessitating the new venue until October. Straw soaked up the aftermath of the heavy rainstorm of Friday when we visited on a beautiful sunny day, there being little effect of the (more…)

Restaurant fireplaceThe Winter 2014 specials for more than 90 Cape Town and Winelands restaurants follow below, and are updated continuously. We welcome information about new specials, and the feedback about your meals at these restaurants:

Cape Town

*   Umi in Camps Bay: 3 course set menu R260, 5 courses R360, both include a shared bottle of Warwick First Lady. Order 3 meals off a la carte menu, get the 4th free.  Slow cooked shortrib R110, Karan beef sirloin R95, Japanese beer marinated Karan beef fillet R120, pork belly R90, warm salmon and black bean R120, and fish & fries R85.  Tel (021) 437-1802 (added 10/5/14)

*   Pepenero in Mouille Point : Order 3 meals and get 4th (cheapest) free; Sirloin R89, Rump R89, Lamb cutlets R99, Seafood platter R149, Sushi platter R129, Crayfish tails R169, Veal schnitzel R95, Soup of day R40,  Prawn platter R139, Oxtail R110, and Osso Buco R89.  Half price sushi (selected items) all day. Daily. Tel (021) 439-9027 (updated 10/5/14)

*    5 Rooms, Alphen Boutique Hotel: 2 courses R170; 2 courses with bottle of Warwick First Lady (shared between two) R220; 3 courses R 220; 3 courses plus bottle of Warwick First Lady (shared between two) R 270. Sirloin R95, Baby chicken R95, Braised oxtail R110, Seafood bouillabaisse R135, Grilled Prawn R99, Slow braised lamb shank R115. Tel (021) 795-6313 (updated 10/5/14)

*   Zenzero, Camps Bay:    2 courses R160; 2 courses with bottle of Warwick First Lady (shared between two) R210;  3 courses (more…)

Seelan Exterior branding Whale Cottage PortfolioFor the first time Chef Seelan Sundoo has opened his own restaurant,  after having been used by investors and operators in the past to be their front man, but not getting the recognition from them for the following he has, which I observed when I was invited to enjoy lunch at Seelan Restaurant & Bar at Quay 5 in the V&A Waterfront yesterday.  Seelan Restaurant & Bar reflects the past connections of Seelan as chef at the Grand Café and La Perla, but his Shimmy Beach Club and Reserve Brasserie past are not visible.

Seelan worked as Head Chef at La Perla in Sea Point for many years, and he has employed eight staff from La Perla. One cannot help but feel that one is in La Perla, with the smart white tuxedo jackets which the male-only waiters wear.  Seelan was attracted to The Grand Camps Bay, which he headed up, with Justin Paul Jansen atSeelan Seelan Sundoo Whale Cottage Portfolio his side.  Justin displayed his knack of attracting patrons to the restaurants, remembering their names and faces, and offering excellent service.  The woven cane chairs in the outside section of Seelan remind one of The Grand.  Justin was offered the opportunity to open The Reserve on St George’s Mall,  and Seelan moved to The Grand on the Beach. Justin later called in Seelan to open the Reserve Brasserie, and to be its Chef.  When The Reserve closed down, Justin went to New York, and Seelan started up the Shimmy Beach Club as co-owner, being its front person. It being time to move on, Seelan made the long overdue decision to open his own Mediterranean style restaurant.  Justin said that Seelan is a ‘man of taste and class’, and that Shimmy Beach Club did not suit his style. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Passengers want comfort when flying, and are prepared to pay more to secure this comfort on long haul flights.

*   Wilhelm Pienaar, Nederburg winemaker, led a tasting of the 56Hundred range at the residence of the South African High Commissioner to Kenya last week, oddly with entertainment by dancers from Botswana!

*   Kfm’s Breakfast Show with Ryan O’Connor and his team is broadcasting from The Rubens at The Palace Hotel in London, sister hotel to the Twelve Apostles, The Oyster Box, and Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve,  all belonging to the Red Carnation group,  until Wednesday. (received via FIVE STAR PR)

*   The Beachhouse Red 2010 is the only South African wine in the ‘Wine Pick of the Week‘ in the Vancouver Sun.

*   South African born but London-based Chef Petrus Madutlela is a member of (more…)

Our list of latest restaurant openings and closures lists more openings than closures, and a number of restaurant location changes. This list is updated continuously, as we receive information:

Restaurant Openings

*   Café Dijon has closed its restaurants on Plein Street and at Zorgvliet in Stellenbosch, and has opened in the Rockwell Centre in Green Point, Cape Town, on Napier Street opposite Anatoli’s.

*   Luke Dale-Roberts, Eat Out Top Chef at The Test Kitchen, is to open a real test kitchen, called The Kitchen of Dreams, a private experimental place to develop new recipes, at the Old Biscuit Mill

*  Chef Luke Dale-Roberts is opening a pop-up Pot Luck Club in Swiss ski resort Verbier, at the Hotel Farinet, from 8 December – April, to be run by him, his chef Nicolas Wilkinson, and front of house Selena Afnan-Holmes.

*   Col’Cacchio has opened a new outlets in Westlake, and a new one is coming in Claremont too.

*   A new Vida é Caffe new branches are to open on Maindean Place in Claremont, at the new Wembley Square 2 development, at The Paddocks, and Groote Schuur.  Two more branches are planned for Mauritius.

*    Honest Chocolate is opening a second outlet, a ‘production kitchen’ in the Woodstock Industrial Centre

*   Moyo is to open in November, where the Paulaner Braühaus was in the V & A Waterfront.  It has taken over the tearoom at Kirstenbosch already.

*   TRUTH Coffee has opened on Buitenkant Street

*   FEAST is to open where Franschhoek Food Emporium was, in Place Vendome

*   Deluxe Coffeeworks has opened where Reuben’s Deli used to be in Franschhoek.

*   Okamai Japanese Restaurant has opened at Glenwood wine estate in Franschhoek

*   Cavalli restaurant is said to open on the stud farm on R44, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, this year or next

*   The Slug & Lettuce has opened where Beads was on Church Street in Stellenbosch

*   Stables at Vergelegen Bistro has opened as a lunch restaurant in Somerset West.  Its Lady Phillips Restaurant is being given a make-over by Christo Barnard, and will open on 1 November with a new name called Camphors at Vergelegen. The new chef will be PJ Vadas, previously of The Roundhouse in Camps Bay.

*   Coopmanshuijs in Stellenbosch is opening a restaurant.

*   Chef Johan van Schalkwyk has left the Stone Kitchen at Dunstone Winery, and has opened his own restaurant Twist Some More in Wellington.

*    Chef Bjorn Dingemans has opened The Millhouse Kitchen restaurant on Lourensford wine estate in Somerset West.

*   Chef Shane Sauvage (ex-La Vierge) has opened La Pentola restaurant in Hermanus.

*   Ali Baba Kebab (renamed from Laila) has opened as a small beef and lamb kebab take-away and sit-down outlet, next door to Codfather in Camps Bay

*   Gibson’s Gourmet Burger and Smoked Ribs has opened as a 70-seater restaurant in the V&A Waterfront, taking part of Belthazar. Owned by the Belthazar/Balducci group.

*   Down South Food Bar, previously on Long Street, is said to re-open in the Riverside Centre in Rondebosch

*   Ou Meul Bakkery from Riviersonderend has opened a bakery and coffee shop in Long Street

*   Deluxe Coffeeworks has opened a roastery and coffee bar at 6 Roodehek Street

*    The Deli @ The Square has opened at Frater Square in Paarl.

*   David Higgs (ex Rust en Vrede) is opening a new 30 seater restaurant in The Saxon in Johannesburg.

*   Big Route Top Gourmet Pizzeria has opened on Main Road, Green Point, next door to Woolworths, serving 52 different pizzas, salads and crêpes.

*   Cousins has opened in the Parliament Hotel, where Il Cappero used to be.

* Aces ‘n’ Spades Bar has opened in ex-Boo Radley on Hout Street

*   No. 6 Restaurant at Welbedacht has opened at Welbedacht/Schalk Burger & Sons wine estate in Wellington, run by the ex-owners of Oude Wellington

*   Café Dulce is to open a new branch in Tygervalley Centre

*   Gourmetboerie is to open at the bottom end of Kloof Street, where Depasco used to be, in October.

*   Kushi Indian Restaurant has opened a branch on Main Road in Sea Point

*   Time & Place Restaurant and Bar has opened on the corner of Wale and Buitengracht Street

*   Make Sushi Bar has opened in Sea Point

*   Thai Café is opening on Plein Street, Stellenbosch

*   Simply Asia has opened in Paarl

*   Restaurant @ Zomerlust has opened in Paarl

*    Christina’s has opened at Van Loveren in Robertson

*   Bellini’s is said to be opening on Greenmarket Square in October

*   Moksh Authentic Indian Cuisine restaurant has opened in Paarl

*   Vino’s has opened in Wellington

*   Alfama’s has opened on Waterkant Street

*   Taj Mahal has opened in Sea Point

*   It’s a House is to open on Jarvis Street in October, as a bar, coffee shop, and design art space.

*   Lion’s Head Bar is to open on Bree Street in October, selling craft beer and food

*   An Indian restaurant is to open in the original Madame Zingara building on Loop Street, by the Madame Zingara Group

*   The Caviar Group is opening three new restaurants in the Gateway Centre in Umhlanga by the end of this year: Beluga, Sevruga, and Osetra

*   A new bar and Café is to open underneath the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, where Bamboo used to be

*   Cattle Baron has opened in Hermanus.

*   Café Blanc de Noir has opened on Brenaissance wine estate in Stellenbosch

* The Reserve is said to be opening a beach restaurant in the V&A Waterfront.

*   Chef Nic van Wyk, previously with Terroir, is opening a restaurant at Diemersdal in Durbanville during the course of this month.

*   Lizette’s Kitchen has opened in Vöelklip, Hermanus.

*   Cattle Baron is to open at Pontac Manor in Paarl

*   Col’Cacchio is opening in Hermanus at the end of November

*   Merchant Café is opening on Long Street, opposite Merchants on Long, later this month.

* Paulina’s Restaurant is opening at Rickety Bridge in Franschhoek

*   Ocean Jewel Deli opens at Woodstock Junction on 22 October.

*   Buitenverwachting has opened a Coffee Shop and Roastery

* Wakaberry is opening on Kloof Street at the end of October

*   Rock Sushi Thai has opened in Meadowridge

*   Jimmy Jimanos sports bar is opening on Long Street

*   Dolcé Bakery is opening in St John’s Arcade in Sea Point

*   The Coffee Bloc has opened at Buitenverwachting

*   The Salzburger Grill has opened in Sea Point

Restaurant Closures

*   Sabarosa in Bakoven has closed down.

* Sunbird Bistro in Camps Bay has closed down

*   Limoncello in Gardens has closed down, but is continuing with its pop-up restaurant truck

*   Paparazzi has closed down on St George’s Mall

*   Wicked Treats in Franschhoek has closed down.

*   Casa Nostra has closed down in Sea Point, until it finds a new venue.

*   Bistro on Rose in Bo-Kaap has closed down as a restaurant

*   The Kove in Camps Bay has closed down, its space has become part of sister restaurant Zenzero

*   Sinnfull has closed down in Sea Point and Camps Bay

*   Liam Tomlin Food is closing down in Franschhoek at the end of October

Restaurant staff/venue changes

*    Il Cappero has moved from Barrack Street, to Fairway Street in Camps Bay.

*  Table Thirteen has reduced in size in Green Point and will open in Paarden Eiland later this year.

*   The V&A Waterfront Food Court is closed for renovations until November.  A sign outside the construction area lists the following businesses moving into or returning to the area: Primi Express, Anat, Carnival, Nür Halaal, Royal Bavarian Bakery, KFC, Boost Juice, Simply Asia, Steers, Debonairs, Subway, Marcel’s, and Haagan Dazs.  Nando’s is also opening.

*   Fyndraai Restaurant will move to another building on the wine estate in November, and will offer fine dining.  The current restaurant will serve light lunches and picnics.

*   Josephine Gutentoft has moved to Makaron at Majeka House as Restaurant Manager and Sommelier.

*   The Reserve has changed its name to Reserve Brasserie. Seelan Sundoo, ex Grand Café Camps Bay and ex La Perla, is the new consultant chef and GM (Seelan Sundoo has since left, now running the Shimmy Beach Club).

*   Chef Andrew Mendes from ex-Valora is now at Nelson’s Eye restaurant, where they are setting up a lunch section and cocktail bar upstairs.

*   Giulia’s Food Café Restaurant has opened where Miss K was on Main Road, Green Point. Now serve Italian-style lunch and dinner, but have retained some Miss K breakfast and pastry items.

*   Having bought the farm about 18 months ago, Antonij Rupert Wines has taken over the Graham Beck Franschhoek property. They will re-open the tasting room in October, initially offering all its Antonij Rupert, Cape of Good Hope, Terra del Capo, and Protea wines to taste.  They are renovating the manor house, to which the Antonij Rupert and Cape of Good Hope wines will be moved for tasting at a later stage.

*   Orphanage is expanding into a property at its back, opening on Orphan Street, in December, creating a similar second bar downstairs, and opening Orphanage Club upstairs, with 1920’s style music by live performers

*   GOLD Restaurant has moved into the Trinity building

*   Opal Lounge has closed down on Kloof Street, and has moved into Blake’s Bar building, renaming it Dinner at Blake’s. A wine and tapas bar has also been opened, called Bar Rouge.

*   Mano A Mano has opened on Park Street, where Green’s used to be.

*   MondeVino Restaurant at Montecasino in Johannesburg, the MasterChef SA prize for the next two years, is to be renamed Aarya, and is to be run by Chef Deena Naidoo from November onwards.

*   Bizerca has moved into the ex-Gourmet Burger space in Heritage Square on Shortmarket Street.

*    Co-owner Abbi Wallis has taken over the running of The Stone Kitchen at Dunstone Winery in Wellington.

*   Marcelino has left Marcelino’s Bakery, leaving the control with Mr Zerban.  A Zerban’s style restaurant is being added onto the bakery and will open mid-October.  It will change its name to EuroHaus.

*   Chef Chris Erasmus from Pierneef à La Motte is doing a stage with Chef Rene Redzepi at Noma, the number one World’s 50 Best Restaurants, in Copenhagen this month

*   MasterChef SA runner-up Sue-Ann Allen is joining South Africa’s number one Eat Out Top 10 restaurant The Greenhouse as an intern for a month, from 21 August.

*   Vintage India has moved out of the Garden’s Centre to the corner of Hiddingh and Mill Street, around the corner.

*   Nook Eatery in Stellenbosch has been sold, with new owners.

*   Crêpe et Cidre has closed down in Franschhoek.  Gideon’s The Famous Pancake House has opened in its space.

*   Brampton winetasting bar on Church Street, Stellenbosch, is undergoing renovations to treble its current size, planning to reopen in the first week of September.

*   Noop restaurant in Paarl has new owners

*   Buena Vista Social Club has changed its name to Barbosa Social Club

*   Chris Marais is the new chef at Blaauwklippen, previously with The Oyster Box

*   Daniel de Villiers is the new chef at Grand Dedale in Wellington, previously with Delaire Graff

*   Phil Alcock is the new chef at Two Oceans Restaurant at Cape Point, having previously worked at The Cape Grace, The Showroom, maze, and more

*   Albert van der Loo, previously with Le Coq and Dieu Donne restaurants in Franschhoek, is the new Head Chef at Oude Werf Hotel in Stellenbosch.

*   Chef Emile Fortuin, who was at Reuben’s Robertson for a very short time, has left and moved to Tokara

*   Camil and Ingrid Haas (ex Bouillabaisse and Camil’s) have returned to Franschhoek, with the view to get involved in a restaurant

*   Chef Cheyne Morrisby has left The Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz, and has joined the Mantella Group (owners of Blake’s and ex-Opal Lounge). Update: Chef Cheyne has left the Mantella Group, after a very short time.

*   Tiaan van Greunen is the new Executive Chef at Reuben’s at The Robertson Small Hotel, after the departure of Emile Fortuin

*   Alex von Ulmenstein is the new Restaurant Manager at Indochine, at Delaire Graff Estate

*   Manager Raymond Brown has left Reuben’s Franschhoek, and has been replaced by Martell Smith.

*   Zelda Oelofse is the new Manager of Harvest Restaurant at Laborie, having taken over from Yolanda Prinsloo.

*   Maryna Frederiksen is the new Executive Chef at The Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz.

*   The ex-Caveau owners are said to be taking over the running of the Twankey Bar of the Taj hotel.

*   Sand at The Plettenberg hotel has changed its name to Seafood at The Plettenberg.

Restaurant breaks

*   Grande Provence is closing on Sunday evenings until the end of September.

*   Tokara is closing for a Spring break from 24 September – 4 October

*   Planet Restaurant is closed on Sunday evenings until the end of September

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

Our list of latest restaurant openings and closures fortunately lists more openings than closures, and will be updated continuously, as we receive information.

Restaurant Openings

*    De Grendel wine estate has opened De Grendel Restaurant, with Chef Ian Bergh and owner Jonathan Davies (photograph left)

*   Luke Dale-Roberts, Eat Out Top Chef, is to open a real test kitchen, called The Kitchen of Dreams, a private experimental place to develop new recipes, at the Old Biscuit Mill

*   Col’Cacchio has opened a new outlets in Westlake, and a new one is coming in Claremont too.

*   A new Vida é Caffe has opened on Prestwich Street, and a new branch is to open on Maindean Place in Claremont, and one in the new Wembley Square 2 development in July.  Two more branches are planned for Mauritius, it is said.

*   Madame’s on Napier has opened in De Waterkant

*   Hussar Grill is to open at Steenberg

*   Richard’s Supper Stage & Bistro has opened on Main/Glengariff Roads in Sea Point, as a dinner theatre, and Bistro restaurant, owned by Richard Loring and Roland Seidel

*    Honest Chocolate is opening a second outlet with a ‘production kitchen’ in the Woodstock Industrial Centre

*   The Fez has reopened as a nightclub on Friday, to be called Sideshow

*   West Street Café has opened in the new Woodstock Foundry, owned by Chef Alan West

*   Moyo is to open where the Paulaner Braühaus was in the V & A Waterfront in summer.  It has taken over the tearoom at Kirstenbosch too.

*   Josephine’s Cookhouse has opened in Newlands, belonging to the Societi Bistro owners

*   Vovo Telo has opened in the V&A Waterfront, in half of the original Vaughn Johnson shop. They have branches in Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, and Johannesburg already.  The name is Portuguese, and means ‘Grandfather’s place’.

*   Orinoco has opened on Bree Street, serving Mexican and Venezuelan food

*    Keenwa has opened the P.I.S.C.O Bar above its restaurants, open Thursdays – Saturdays from 5 pm

*   Characters has opened on Roeland Street

*   TRUTH Coffee has opened on Buitenkant Street

*    Planet Green Salad Bar has opened on Kloof Street

*    Liam Tomlin Food Studio and Store at Leopard’s Leap in Franschhoek is opening a Deli in September

*   FEAST is to open where Franschhoek Food Emporium was, in Place Vendome

*   Deluxe Coffeeworks has opened where Reuben’s Deli used to be in Franschhoek.

*   Okamai Japanese restaurant has opened at Glenwood wine estate in Franschhoek

*   Cavalli restaurant is said to open on the stud farm on R44, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, this year or next

*   Dorpstraat Deli has opened in Stellenbosch, where Cupcake used to be.

*   De Oude Bank Bakkerij has opened a bar, serving Bartinney wines, and craft beers.

*    Slug & Lettuce is to open where Beads was on Church Street in Stellenbosch

*   Stables at Vergelegen Bistro has opened as a lunch restaurant in Somerset West.  Its Lady Phillips Restaurant is being given a make-over by Christo Barnard, and will open in June with a new name called The Vergelegen Restaurant.

*      Chef Jonathan Heath has left Indochine, and will be opening a restaurant at Coopmanshuijs on Dorp Street in August.

*   Chef Johan van Schalkwyk has left the Stone Kitchen at Dunstone Winery, and has opened his own restaurant Twist Some More in Wellington.

*    Chef Bjorn Dingemans is to open up The Millhouse Kitchen restaurant on Lourensford wine estate in Somerset West in July.

*   Grilleri (ex-Mediterrea) has closed down, and Chef Shane (ex-La Vierge) is now heading the re-named La Pentola restaurant.

*   Cassis Paris Salon de thé has opened in the Gardens’ Centre, on the first level.

*  Melissa’s has opened at Somerset Mall in Somerset West

*   Ali Baba Kebab (renamed from Laila) has opened as a small beef and lamb kebab take-away and sit-down outlet, next door to Codfather in Camps Bay

*   Gibson’s Gourmet Burger and Smoked Ribs has opened as a 70-seater restaurant in the V&A Waterfront, taking part of the Belthazar space. Owned by the Belthazar/Balducci group.

*   Giorgio Nava is said to be re-opening his Down South Food Bar, previously on Long Street, in the Riverside Centre in Rondebosch

*   Tamboers Winkel has opened on De Lorentz Street, just off Kloof Street, Gardens/Tamboerskloof *   Ou Meul Bakery from Riviersonderend is said to be opening a bakery in Long Street

*   Deluxe Coffeeworks is opening a roastery to service all its outlets, at the previous German Club and Roodehek Restaurant.

* The Deli on the Square is to open at Frater Square in Paarl in July.

*   David Higgs (ex Rust en Vrede) is opening a new 30 seater restaurant in The Saxon in Johannesburg.

*   Big Route Top Gourmet Pizzeria has opened on Main Road, Green Point, next door to Woolworths, serving 52 different pizzas, salads and crêpes.

Restaurant Closures

*   Valora on Loop Street has closed down

* Vanilla in the Cape Quarter has closed down.

*   Toro Wine and Aperitif Bar in De Waterkant has closed down

*    Gesellig on Regent Road in Sea Point is standing empty, closed down or undergoing a major renovation

*   Sapphire has closed down in Camps Bay

*   Caveau at Josephine’s Mill has closed

down and the Bree Street venue is up for rent

*   High Level Restaurant in Bo-Kaap has closed down

*   Caveau on Bree Street and Gourmet Burger on Shortmarket Street, belonging to the same owners, have been closed down by their bank.

*   Sabarosa in Bakoven has closed down.

Restaurant staff/venue changes

*    Il Cappero has moved from Barrack Street to Fairway Street in Camps Bay.

Table Thirteen has reduced in size in Green Point and will open in Paarden Eiland later this year. *   Chef Fred Faucheux is the new Executive Chef at Nobu.

*    Piroschka’s Kitchen has moved from Bree Street to Waterkant Street, De Waterkant

*  MasterChef SA finalist Guy Clark, who was eliminated in episode 9, has started as a chef at the Madame Zingara restaurant group, at Café Mozart and the Bombay Bicycle Club.

*   Rotisserie 360° on Bree Street has changed its name to Café Frank

*   Salt Deli has changed its name to Salt Café

*   The V&A Waterfront Food Court is closed for renovations until November.  A sign outside the construction area lists the following businesses moving into or returning to the area: Primi Express, Anat, Carnival, Nür Halaal, Royal Bavarian Bakery, KFC, Boost Juice, Simply Asia, Steers, Debonairs, Subway, Marcel’s, and Haagan Dazs.  Nando’s is also opening.

*   Chef Darren Badenhorst is the new Executive Chef at Grande Provence. Chef Darren Roberts has left for a new appointment in the Seychelles.

*     Alton van Biljon has been appointed as Restaurant Manager at Haute Cabriere.

*    Ryan’s Kitchen is now offering cooking classes on Friday mornings, starting on 1 June

*   Chef Shaun Schoeman of Fyndraai Restaurant at Solms Delta has the amazing honour to be working at Noma in Copenhagen for two weeks in July.  He also shared that Fyndraai will move to another building on the wine estate in November, and will offer fine dining.  The current restaurant will serve light lunches and picnics.

*  Taste South Africa, belonging to Cybercellar, has closed down in The Yard off the main road. They have Tweeted that they are looking for new premises.

*    Reuben’s, which was said to be moving its Franschhoek branch, appears to be staying at his existing venue, despite having bought another restaurant venue off the main road close to Place Vendome.  He is also thought to open a restaurant in his home on Akademie Street.

*   Emile Fortuin has been appointed as Executive Chef at Reuben’s Robertson

*   Sommelier Josephine Gutentoft has left Grande Roche, and starts at Makaron at Majeka House in July, F&B Manager Chretien Ploum having left

*   The Reserve will change its name to Reserve Brasserie next month. Seelan Sundoo, ex Grand Café Camps Bay and ex La Perla, is the new chef.

*   Haiku does not enforce the minimum 4 star order requirement in winter.

*   Café Dijon is closing its restaurant on Plein Street in Stellenbosch later in June, and re-opening in the Rockwell Centre in Green Point, Cape Town, where Camil Haas once had his Bouillabaisse restaurant.

*   Chef Andrew Mendes from closed down Valora is now at Nelson’s Eye restaurant, where they are setting up a lunch section and cocktail bar upstairs.

*   Miss K Food closed down in Green Point, now ex-owner Kerstin going on a well-deserved break after 5 years. The new owner Maurizio Porro, with his chef Ernesto, has kept the staff and furniture of Miss K, and most of her menu initially. By September they will have transformed themselves into an Italian fine-dining restaurant to be called Guilia’s Food Café Restaurant, and will be open from 8h00, as well as for dinner.

*   Rob and Nicky Hahn have left Proviant in Paarl, and now run eat @ Simonsvlei on the Old Paarl Road

*   Karl Lambour is the new General Manager of Grande Provence.

*   Virgil Kahn is the new head chef at Indochine at Delaire Graff

*   La Motte is said to be working on a relaunch of a restaurant it owns in Somerset West.

*   Having bought the farm about 18 months ago, Antonij Rupert Wines has taken over the Graham Beck Franschhoek property. They will re-open the tasting room in October, initially offering all its Antonij Rupert, Cape of Good Hope, Terra del Capo, and Protea wines to taste.  They are renovating the manor house, to which the Antonij Rupert and Cape of Good Hope wines will be moved for tasting at a later stage.

*   Chef Marco, who opened Rocca at Dieu Donné in Franschhoek, has returned to Durban.

*   Orphanage is expanding into a property at its back, opening on Orphan Street, in December, creating a similar second bar downstairs, and opening Orphanage Club upstairs, with 1920’s style music by live performers

Restaurant breaks

*   La Colombe is closing for renovations from 17 May – 16 June.

*   Constantia Uitsig is taking a winter break from 25 June – 24 July.

*   The River Café is closing for a winter break from 13 August – 4 September.

*   Nguni in Plettenberg Bay closes from 1 May – 31 July

*   Bientang’s Cave in Hermanus is closed for renovations until 21 June.

*   The Kove in Camps Bay will be closed from 1 May – 30 August

*    Burgundy in Hermanus will be closed for dinners until 17 June

*   Makaron Restaurant at Majeka House will be closed until 2 July

*   Olivello at Marianne Estate will be closed from 30 July – 21 August

*   Grande Provence is closing on Sunday evenings until the end of September.

*   Pierneef a La Motte will be closed from 18 June – 13 July.

*   The main Delaire Graff restaurant closes from 3 June – 6 July, but Indochine continues to trade.

*   Blues will be closed from 1 – 30 June

*   Waterkloof in Somerset West is closing for all June.

*   The Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz is closed for all of June

*   Pure Restaurant at Hout Bay Manor will be closed from 23 June – 3 August

* L’Apero at the Grand Daddy Hotel is closed for repairs until 17 June

*   Charly’s Bakery closes between 23 June and 16 July.

*  Kitima is re-opening from its winter break on 17 July

*   Terroir, Kleine Zalze: Closed from 25 June – 9 July. Open for dinner only 10 – 13 July. Open for lunch and dinner 14 July. Open for lunch 15 July.

*   Pane e Vino is closing from 1 – 31 July

*   Bistro 1682 at Steenberg is closed from 1 – 26 July.

*   The Kitchen at Maison is closed until 3 August

*   De Oude Bank Bakkerij will be closed from 8 – 16 July

*   Massimo’s Pizza Club is closing from 23 – 31 July

*   Rust en Vrede is closed from 8 July – 6 August

*   Tokara is closed between 9 – 16 July

*   Reuben’s Franschhoek is closed from 16 July – 1 August

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

The Sweet Service Award goes to the Grand Café in Robertson, and its owners Simon and Wendy Bernstein. Four times in the past month we have passed through the town between Franschhoek and Plettenberg Bay, and have found their service to be friendly, the cappuccinos are excellent (the beans come from Strictly Coffee across the road), they offer good value, and we discovered the time-saving benefit in ordering from the car, half an hour before arrival.  Wendy organised a photocopy of their menu for us to keep in the car. On Wednesday we arrived at the coffee shop at 16h00, the closing time, unbeknown to us, but Wendy and Simon showed their customer care in staying open for an extra half an hour.

The Sour Service Award goes to Kodak Express in Stellenbosch Square, and is nominated by Erica Meles-Liebenberg (we have edited it to shorten it): Having gone there for an Australian passport photo I was very clear on the specifications, the most important being that the facial dimensions on the print be no less than 32mm and no more than 36mm in length. The young lady taking the photo disregarded my instructions, stating that “we take passport photos all the time”. I explained that this was not a local passport photo, but she shrugged my comments off, and insisted that I remove my scarf and all traces of hair from my face; neither of which are stipulated in the specifications from the Australian High Commission in Pretoria – and the latter of which is impossible given my short fringe. When I objected she asked if the photo was for a Schengen visa, at which point I repeated that the image was for an Australian passport. When the photo was finally taken I was sent away while it printed, and when I returned to my dismay the facial length was less than 28mm. When I raised my concerns she insisted that this was acceptable for passports, at which point I said that I would not pay for the image. Her supervisor came over and said he would arrange a larger reprint as the image was clearly too small. I instructed him about the correct dimensions – he too explained that this was their core business and he knew the correct dimensions. Again I explained that this is an Australian passport;  he replied that they frequently take photographs for such passports. He returned with a photo with a facial length of 30mm and when I refused to pay he said “look, if you don’t pay, the staff will have to pay”. I lost it and said that R38 hardly compared to the courier fees should the application be returned, not to mention the lengthy delays and waste of time for all involved. The store proprietor stepped in and suggested that he reset the machine to a maximum length of 36mm, but the final print was still only 31mm in facial length. I gave up and paid, thinking that perhaps I could scan the image in and resize it correctly myself – which has proven futile, so the images have been binned. At no stage did any of the members of staff apologise, nor acknowledge my attempts to explain why strict adherence to the guidelines was so important”.

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog.  Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at info@whalecottage.com.   Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.

An unlucky restaurant location for the Cape Town branch of Bouillabaisse, and new sister restaurant Crepe Suzette, in the Rockwell Centre in De Waterkant in Cape Town, in what was meant to have become Conrad Gallagher’s Epicurean Gourmet Market before he fled the country with huge debts, resulted in both the restaurants closing down in September.  These restaurants have fused, and have just opened as Camil’s Restaurant, ironically in the previous location of Gallagher’s Geisha Wok in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel on Main Road in Green Point.   Whilst now fused into one restaurant, a creperie menu and an a la carte menu will be offered to all patrons.   Camil and Ingrid Haas are to run the operational side of the restaurant, while the new partner Jochen Buechel, previous owner of the Place on the Bay in Camps Bay, will look after the marketing of the restaurant.   It is bold to close two restaurant brands which were marketed jointly, off the base of the respected Bouillabaisse brand in Franschhoek, and to start from scratch with the new Camil’s brand.   A review of Camil’s will follow.

A new “Caffe”, which opened five weeks ago, is L’Aperitivo, a wine and cocktail bar that serves breakfast, and light lunches and dinners from “9h00 till late”, the sign on the door says.  Owners Andrea Gargiulo (Italian) and Stef Rau (Swiss) are charming hosts.  They met two years ago, on a cruise liner, and fell in love with Cape Town.   Before setting up their restaurant, they ran the Primi Piatti in the V&A Waterfront for two years.  It is located next door to the Bang Bang Club, a favoured haunt of teenage disco lovers, adding a free bonus to L’Aperitivo patrons, if they enjoy the music and watching the youngsters coming and going from the venue from Wednesdays – Saturdays.   The food menu is written onto a blackboard: the base Insalata L’Aperitivo costs R 30, and R 40 when tuna or chicken mayonnaise are added, and R 55 if salmon is added.   The Frittata costs R 40, the Chicken Parmigiana and a salad (just some green leaves) R 55, Roast Beef with baby potatoes and salad costs R 58, and sandwiches R 45.   For dessert the choices were an Affogato at R 22 and half a pineapple and ice cream at R 25.   Every day fresh ingredients are bought, and the menu changed to reflect what is available.   L’Aperitivo only stocks the very good Glen Carlou wines at the moment, Stef having a close relationship with the Swiss owner Hess.  They plan to offer 30 – 40 wines-by-the-glass, a commendable goal (Stef used to work at Belthezar, known for its wide selection of wines-by-the-glass).    Andrea was previously a ‘mixologist’, he says, a cool word for a barman!    His favourite restaurant is Aubergine.   L’Aperitivo stands for fresh quality food, and good and prompt service.  An ordered take-away Parma ham and brie roll turned out to be a salami roll when opened, a disappointment in an otherwise good experience!  Its brochure states: “L’Aperitivo is a Wine & Cocktail Bar with a Caffe providing a variety of freshly produced food, and which encapsulates a European style of life.   Enjoy the gathering of like-minded people to understand the way of life.   The setting is intimate, comfortable and relaxing, to ensure you enjoy your stay at whatever time you visit L’Aperitivo”.   L’Aperitivo, 70 Loop Street, tel 076 574 1805/082 898 7079.   Open Mondays – Saturdays.

Vanilla officially opened in the Cape Quarter just over a week ago, to a record crowd of 250 guests, the launch invitation being such a hit that the expected one-third no-show did not happen.   This created a problem for the owners initially in coping with serving the drinks and excellent snacks, but was quickly addressed.   It is a shame that the City of Cape Town cannot get the paving completed outside the main Somerset Road entrance to the Cape Quarter.   In fact, the main entrance to the centre was closed off on Thursday evening, meaning that one would have to find the entrance from the street behind the centre.  Franschhoek chef Matthew Gordon is the consultant chef to Vanilla, while its chef is Evan Coosner, previously with Reubens in Franschhoek and at Ginja.  A review of Vanilla is to follow.

The Grand Cafe’ branches in Plettenberg Bay and Camps Bay are soon to be joined by a third branch in The Water Club in Granger Bay, adjacent to the V&A Waterfront. 

Franschhoek is set to see the opening of a new bakery and cafe’ in the building which once housed the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau and, more recently, Winelands Experience.  The new La Place Vendome, a stylish center set to open at the entrance to Franschhoek soon, will house another new coffee shop, a deli and food hall, and a champagne bar.

Genot restaurant on Klein Genot wine estate in Franschhoek was relaunched last week, with the owner Angie Diamond taking over the management of the restaurant.   It is beautifully located above the wine cellar, with a view of the vineyards and surrounding Franschhoek mountains when one sits on the terrace outside.  Inside no expense has been spared in the large restaurant space, with lots of chandeliers perhaps making it too bright at night. The restaurant’s model is Baia, a well-known seafood restaurant in the V&A Waterfront, but at far more reasonable pricing.  Angie feels that Franschhoek does not offer its visitors a good selection of fish dishes.  The winelist is restricted with about five choices per variety, one of them being the Klein Genot, where applicable.  The Klein Genot Shiraz is the lowest priced, at R 158 per bottle, but is still very young, being a 2007 vintage.   The chefs come from Malawi, Mocambique and Zimbabwe, and they add an African feel to dishes, Angie says.   Eleven starters are priced from R 38 (chicken livers, sardines) to R 58 (mussels, and a delicious prawn cocktail), with oysters costing R 18 each.   Five salads (Caprese, Greek, etc) cost about R 48 and three soup choices are also offered, at R 48.   Eight seafood main courses range in price from R 78 for the calamari to R 228 for a seafood platter, and include two kingklip dishes.  The baby kingklip was huge, and came on the bone, which re-created an old childhood fear of bones. The restaurant would have filleted it, had one requested it.  Steaks cost R 138 for a 500 gram fillet, and R 78 for a stuffed chicken dish.  Eight desserts (excellent Pavlova being one of them) cost R 48 each.   On weekend nights live music will be offered, and a Frank Sinatra interpretor Andre Ahlers entertained the fully booked restaurant.   It was a pleasure to meet a fellow Twitterer @MarcKatzy, who came over to introduce himself.   Genot, Klein Genot estate, Franschhoek, tel 021 876-2738, www.kleingenot.com

Rust & Vrede has just been named the best Restaurant of all wine regions in the world, in the 2010 Best of Wine Tourism Awards, organised by the Great Wine Capitals Global Wine Network.  It was lauded for its “welcoming, top quality restaurant”.  It is the only South African entry to have won an accolade.   Will it become South Africa’s Top restaurant of the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards, presented on 22 November?

Steenberg Winery is opening a new restaurant this week, called Bistro Sixteen82, serving breakfast, lunch and tapas seven days a week, its ad says.   Reservations tel 021 713 2211.  

Beefcakes is a new restaurant with a large space on Somerset Road in Green Point, close to Limnos.  It is clearly set to cater for hungry soccer fans when they walk along Somerset Road to and from the Cape Town Stadium for the 2010 World Cup!

Ginja has made the move into its new premises at the previous Nova/Relish location, at the start of New Church Street.  Chef Chris Erasmus and executive chef Michael Bassett run the restaurant, which now also serves lunches.

Bukhara has re-opened in its Burg Street location in Cape Town, after a fire necessitated a renovation lasting about three months.   “Bukhara Cape Town is proud to announce the opening of their new look restaurant”, its ad says.    Tel 021 424-0000.

Doppio Zero has a special Breakfast offer of R 35 for a cooked breakfast, or fruit and yoghurt, with toast and a cappuccino or a fruit juice, at its Main Road, Green Point branch, from Mondays to Fridays.  Tel 021 434-9581, www.doppio.co.za

Clos Malverne wine estate is one of a number of wine estates to open a restaurant this month (George Jardine opens The Restaurant at Jordan next week).  The restaurant opened last week on the Stellenbosch Devon Valley estate, simply called “The Restaurant”.   It offers a choice of five starters, ranging from R 39 – R 44, seven main courses, ranging in price from R 89 – R 98, and four desserts, at R 35 – R39.  The ad refers to the restaurant as follows: “…this Contemporary South African cuisine style restaurant will truly tantalize your taste buds”.   The Restaurant is open on Tuesdays – Sundays for lunch only. Tel 021 865-2022.

Reuben’s in Robertson was a refreshing pit stop on a trip to Plettenberg Bay last week.   The 30-seater restaurant is located in the 10-bedroom Small Robertson Hotel, a beautifully renovated historical building creating an oasis in an otherwise dreary town.    The staff at all levels were extremely friendly.   The menu design is the same as that of the Reuben’s Franschhoek branch, but the menu items differ vastly.   Four starters range in price from R 58 for a salad of beetroot and goat’s cheese to R 70 for salmon sashimi.   Five main courses start with R 78 for a gnocchi, to R 135 for the veal fillet.  Two cheese courses are offered, at around R 65, and four desserts range in price from R 30 – R 62.   Whilst our party of four loved our food and the good service, one was left with a feeling that the prices may be too high for a small town restaurant, no matter how good it is, and that its menu may not be appropriate for someone wanting a good light lunch, having a further 2 – 4 hours to travel to the Garden Route or to Cape Town.   As per the Reuben’s menu in Franschhoek, the menu lists Reuben Riffel as the Concept Chef.  The Reuben’s Robertson team are Aviv Liebenberg as the Executive Chef, and Christien van der Westhuizen as the Pastry Chef.  An interesting feature of the menu not seen on the Franschhoek menu is a listing of the suppliers of the fruit and vegetable, dairy and olive products, and the pork (including Happy Hog!).   Reuben’s Robertson is located at 58 Van Reenen Street, tel 023 626 7200. www.therobertsonsmallhotel.com.  

Reuben Riffel has been a Brand Ambassador for South African Tourism, in its campaign on CNN.   Erstwhile Top 10 chef Richard Carstens is said to be cooking at Reuben’s in Franschhoek.  Recently he was helping out at Roots restaurant in Gauteng, after Nova closed down.

Alle’e Bleue in Franschhoek has a new surprise every few weeks, and the latest is its menu for its beer garden adjacent to the picnic area at the bottom end of the wine estate.   One can order Paulaner beer and a spinach and smoked chicken salad, a quiche and salad, a Swiss sausage salad or a local cheese platter, at prices ranging from R 45 – R 59.  It hosted its first sushi/wine pairing dinner on Friday, and its first High Tea yesterday.

Grande Provence received a rave review in the Weekend Australian last month, journalist Susan Kurosawa describing it as the “best restaurant in South Africa’s winelands”.    She makes one odd comment about the Grand Provence menu: “The menu is seasonal but, for this being South Africa, expect cute wildlife to be involved. …..  I can’t pronounce much of it, let alone countenance eating Bambi’s relatives”!

Allora in Franschhoek, an Italian restaurant that is part of a chain with a number of branches in Johannesburg, has introduced a restaurant booking incentive called the Allora Miles Program.   The Allora Miles Card will be handed to accommodation staff, and they will receive points each time they make a booking for guests (who arrive!).   Prizes are awarded on the basis of points accumulated, and include airtime and Allora vouchers, vouchers for shopping at Woolworths and Pick ‘n Pay, and electrical appliances.   Feedback supplied to the restaurant is that the incentive programme is ‘too Johannesburg-like’ to be a success in Franschhoek.

Col’cacchio Pizzeria makes delicious pizzas (in Camps Bay at least), and all eight branches in the greater Cape Town area, including Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, are offering a special “Mix & Match” lunch offer, with two courses on the lunch menu for R 99 on Mondays – Thursdays, between 12h00 – 17h00.

Baraza in Camps Bay is to relaunch itself next week as Sapphire.

Nando’s, South Africa’s most creative chicken restaurant chain, is turning up the heat in Turkey, when it opened its first branch in Istanbul last week, reports the Hurriyet Daily News of Turkey.   The company aims to open 60 Nando’s in Turkey, to add to its total of 850 restaurants in 26 countries.  Known for its sharp marketing and cheeky advertising campaigns in South Africa, the Nando’s co-founder Robert Brozin said at the Istanbul opening: “I think that we are representing our leader Nelson Mandela with our restaurants.  Nando’s is like a messenger of South Africa.   With each new restaurant that Nando’s launches in other countries, Mandela sends a signed letter to us”!   Nando’s in Knysna has just closed down, reports CX Express.

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

Camps Bay became the temporary home and eating place to a number of celebrity visitors to Cape Town over the festive season, reports The Times.

The Grand Cafe was the dinner venue for John Cleese (of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers fame), Adrian Brophy (Oscar winning actor), Sir Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings), Sir Richard Branson, and Queen drummer Roger Taylor.  Cleese left a card behind which praised the restaurant’s “wonderful lobster and CHEAP”!

Sir Richard Branson also entertained 13 ladies at Blues, and 30 guests at Paranga for New Year’s eve lunch.   He rented a six-bedroom house in Camps Bay, as did the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, and her two daughters, the Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.  

Felicia Mabuza-Suttle, former SA TV talk-show queen and ex-South African Tourism representative in the USA, partied with her daughters in Camps Bay, before seeing in the New Year at Sol Kerzner’s estate in Hout Bay, a party attended by Sarah Ferguson and her princess daughters as well.

Sir Elton John and Jamie Oliver were spotted in Cape Town over this period as well.