On Thursday, the hottest day of the year to date, a number of writers was invited to attend the launch of the new Willow Creek Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Virgin Coconut Oil Blend, held at the Sky Bar at the Grand Daddy Hotel in Cape Town. Continue reading →
Yesterday the respected Sydney Morning Herald published a super article about Cape Town and its food and beverage entrepreneurs in the main (‘Cape Crusaders‘), the visit by its writer Rachel Olding having been sponsored by SA Tourism. Containing two errors, one significant in its incorrect name for Table Mountain, it raises the question as to whether SA Tourism should insist on seeing copy first before it is published, not a popular nor common offer made by writers!
The writer’s focus was on the entrepreneurs in Cape Town, ‘bringing fresh new energy to Cape Town‘. She adds: ‘In Cape Town, like so many international cities, they’re increasingly clad in plaid shirts, plugged into the hottest global trends and leading a hipster revival mixing the best of different eras and cultures with their own Capetonian touch’. She quotes a tour guide that Cape Town has baboons to remind one that Cape Town is in Africa, feeling more European in its nature!
Yours Truly on Kloof Street and on Long Street (owned by Daniel Holland); the Grand Daddy Hotel; Royale Eatery (described as ‘hip new‘ which it is not!); Deluxe Coffeeworks (owned by Carl Wessel and Judd Francis) on Church Street and in Gardens; the Old Biscuit Mill; A Store is Good on Kloof Street (owned by Dario Lette); Supremebeing and Wardrobe on Kloof Street; Frankie Fenner Continue reading →
* 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.
* 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
* 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
* Franschhoek Kitchen, Holden Manz Wine Estate, Franschhoek: Picnic at R295 per couple, including bottle of Rosé; 3-course dinner with glass of Rosé R200 per person. Tel (021) 876-2729
* La Mouette in Sea Point: 4-course dinner R290, or R420 with wine. Tel (021)433-0856
* Café Chic, Breda Street, Gardens: 3-course dinner R225. Tel (021) 465-7218
* Allée Bleue, Franschhoek. 3-course dinner (set menu) and performance by Nianell, Sunday 13 February 18h00, R350 per person. Tel (021) 874-1886
* Cosecha, Noble Hill Wine Estate, Paarl: Valentine’s Day picnic for two costs R218 on 14 February. 3-course set menu on 13 and 14 February with bottle of Noble Hill Chardonnay, R168 per person. Tel (021) 874-3844.
* Brunia Wines, Stanford: 3 course dinner, dance and welcome glass of sparkling wine, R180 per person. 12 February. Tel 028 341-0432.
* Five Flies, Keerom Street: 3 courses and a glass of sparkling wine R250 per person. Tel (021) 424-4442.
* Warwick Wine Estate, Stellenbosch: Picnic basket for 2 plus bottle of Professor Black Sauvignon Blanc R 375 per couple. 13 and 14 February Tel (021) 884-3144
* Salmon Bar, Franschhoek: cocktail and 3-course meal plus Porcupine Ridge wine “gift pack”, 14 February. R 265 per person. Tel (021) 876-4591
* Pappa Grappa, Paarl: 4 course meal plus grappa and ‘mystery gift’, R 245 per person. Tel (021) 8633 555
* Laborie, Paarl: Picnic plus Casablanca movie screening 12/2 R400 per couple; “Phantom of the Opera” theme, rose, glass of Rosé, 4-course dinner 14/2 R 315. Tel (021) 807-3390
* Buitenverwachting, Constantia: 3-course dinner R295, 5 course R 375, includes glass of sparkling wine. Tel (021) 794-3522
* Catharina’s, Steenberg Hotel, Constantia: Seafood grill for two R1400; 5-course dinner R695 per person 14/2 Tel (021) 713-2222
* Grand Daddy Hotel Rooftop, Long Street: Picnic basket with romantic movie R190 per person, add R50 for bottle of Beyerskloof sparkling wine. Tel (021) 424-7247
* French Toast Wine & Tapas Bar: 7 Tapas and glass of Graham Beck Brut Rosé R470 per couple. 14 February. Tel (021) 422-3839
* Rick’s Café, Gardens: 1 course R125, 2 courses R150, 3 courses R175 + glass of Pongracz Rosé. Tel (021) 424-1100
* Cape Town Hotel School, Mouille Point: 3-course dinner R250 per person. Tel (021) 440-5736
* Trees Restaurant, Townhouse Hotel: Glass of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel and 3-course meal R180 per person
* Rickety Bridge, Franschhoek: 3-course gourmet lunch, R200 per person. 13 February. Tel 083 377 4103
* The Square Restaurant, Vineyard Hotel: Glass of sparkling wine, red rose, 3-course dinner, departure gift R295. Dinner at Liesbeeck River R425 per person. Tel (021) 657-4500
* 1800 Degrees, Cape Royale Luxury Hotel: Glass of sparkling wine, amuse bouche, 3 courses R250 per person. 14 February. Tel (021) 430-0506.
* Cuvée Restaurant, Simonsig wine estate, Stellenbosch: Candlelit 3-course dinner outdoors, bottle of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel, and box of chocolates. 14 February. R 350 per person. Tel (021) 888-4932
* Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine, Stellenbosch: 6-course Tasting Menu and ‘lots of bubbly’. R1200 per couple. 14 February. Tel (021) 881-3612
* Ken Forrester Vineyards, Stellenbosch: Glass of sparkling wines plus 3-course dinner R 295 per person. 14 February. Tel (021) 855-2374
* Morgenhof, Stellenbosch: “Under the Stars Dinner Concert” – glass of wine and port, 5-course dinner, live music R 295. 14 February. Tel (021) 889-5510
* Hartenberg, Stellenbosch: 3-course dinner, with wine paired per course. R280 per person. Tel (021) 865-2541
* Adega, Willowbridge: Glass of sparkling wine, 3-course meal, Don Pedro, R 275 per person. Tel (021 914-5091
* Planet Bar, Mount Nelson Hotel: 12 oysters and bottle of Pongracz Brut Rosé R 220. Tel (021) 483-1948
* Planet Restaurant, Mount Nelson Hotel: 4-course dinner R 395 per person. Tel (021) 483-1948
* Il Cappero, Barrack Street: Glass of bubbly plus 3-course dinner R 300 per couple. 12, 13, 14 February. Tel (021) 461-3168
* Cognito Restaurant, Stellenbosch: 3-course dinner R 160. Tel (021) 882-8696
* Glenwood wine estate, Franschhoek: Bring your own picnic, taste wine R30, wine and sweets R50, cheese platter R60, play boules. Sunday 13 February. Tel (021 876-2044
* Pure Restaurant, Hout Bay Manor: 4-course dinner R440. 14 February. Tel (021) 790-0116
* Cafe Max, De Waterkant: Glass of bubbly and 3-course dinner R 220 per person. 14 February. Tel (021) 425-5102.
* Bovlei Valley Retreat, Wellington: 4-course dinner R 200 per person. 14 February
* Diemersfontein, Wellington: Glass of bubbly, picnic basket and bottle of wine R R450 per couple, lunch and dinner, 14 February
* Krugmann’s Grill, V&A Waterfront: Glass of bubbly, 4 prawns, 200g steak and strawberry daiquiri R 95 per person. 14 February. Tel (021) 418-9393
* Blakes, Gardens: Masquerade theme evening – glass of bubbly, DJ, platters of tapas. R120 (webtickets.co.za) or R150 at door. Tel (021) 426-2369
* Pavilion at The Marine, Hermanus: 3-course dinner, glass of sparkling wine, 2 oysrters and ‘sweet treat’ R 320. 14 February. Tel (028) 313-1000.
* Seafood at The Marine, Hermanus: 3-course dinner, glass of sparkling wine, 2 oysters, ‘sweet treat’, R295. 14 February. Tel (028) 313-1000.
* Café Benedict, Franschhoek: Glass of Dieu Donné sparkling wine and 5 course dinner R 200 per person. 14 February. Tel (021) 876-4404
* Trinity, Bennett Street: 3-course dinner R300 per person. Tel (021) 418-0624
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
The current social media “wars” taking place both in the food and wine arena should be a reason for bloggers to get together, and to write a Code of Conduct for blogging. This serious call came from Emile Joubert, a PR consultant to the wine industry, and writer of the Wine Goggle Blog, when he addressed the final and best attended meeting for this year of the Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club at the Grand Daddy Hotel in the Cape Town city centre.
Emile was a most entertaining speaker, and challenged wine bloggers in improving their ‘game’. He had brought along two De Wetshof wines from Robertson-based winemaker Danie de Wet, the Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, as well as Kanonkop Pinotage, the only South African wine in a recent list of “100 most exciting wines in the world”, and a magnum of Glen Carlou Pinot Noir, which were tasted by the bloggers. Emile praised the initiative of the Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club, which was established in May this year. He has seen the benefit that his wine clients have enjoyed through the increasing number of bloggers, all wine lovers with an opinion, he said. Social media is a perfect platform for wine promotion. Every wine has a story, he said, making it eminently ‘blogable”, unlike spirits or beer, which are more generic beverage categories. Wines have a brand name, a culture and a personality, and these characteristics can be used to good advantage by wine bloggers. Emile acknowledged the leadership of Mike Ratcliffe in being the first wine blogger ever, for Vilafonte, about six years ago.
Emile was critical of wineries embracing social media by opening a Facebook page, and paying lip service to social media through poor writing on their blogs and in their Tweets, which give the wine industry a poor image, he said. He said that many wine bloggers “are more enthusiastic than talented in writing” about wine, wasting the time and space for serious wine lovers. They are boring, he said, and if they contain spelling errors, they are an embarrassment. He said that many bloggers are too obsessed with readership numbers, using links non-stop, no use he says if their blogs are lousy! He encouraged bloggers to develop their “own voice”, and to create their own ‘blog brand’. “Speak your own voice clearly, succinctly and passionately”, he urged.
Most social media programs of wineries lack a strategy, in his opinion. He recommended that a 1/3 each of one’s action should be focused on SOCIAL, MEDIA and MARKETING. He described the wine industry as ‘ego-sodden’ terrain, with over-intellectualisation of wines, for example, referring to wine tasting of “tar” and “figpaste”, having run out of new adjectives to describe the taste of wine! Emile feels that bloggers will make traditional mainstream media wine writers obsolete, and that is why Neil Pendock too has taken to blogging. He mentioned that the recent ‘Swartland Revolution’, a marketing activity by a number of Swartland wine producers in Riebeeck Kasteel to make their wine region “sexy” via social media marketing, had made TIME magazine.
In developing a Bloggers’ Code of Conduct, Emile called firstly for anonymous comments to be disallowed, saying that this would never be allowed on a letters’ page in a newspaper. He also called for a boycott of restaurants that ban writers! When asked, he explained the split in the wine industry, based on wine writers being pro- or anti-Platter. The anti-Platter writers are unhappy with sighted tastings to judge the stars awarded to each wine, as they can influence the livelihoods of those affected by lower star ratings. He called Platter “the best phone book” for the wine industry. It would appear that this group of writers is also critical of Wines of South Africa (WOSA), in that they feel that the monies spent on marketing South African wines is not effectively spent. Accepting ‘freebies’, including airline tickets and more, is frowned upon, and leads the anti-Platter faction to expose their ‘colleagues’ guilty of this practice without disclosure. This leads to backstabbing, infantile behaviour, and persons dishing out insults without being able to take them in turn.
The Food Blogger Marisa Hendricks from The Creative Pot blog praised her Twitter and blogging friends for their friendly support and ‘chattiness’, which makes Social Media enjoyable to her. She was honest in saying that she is a ‘messy’ cook, that her family does not eat fancy food every night, and that there are irregular meal times in her household. She focused on three aspects of a blog, in making it more successful. The design of the blog is paramount, as it expresses one’s personality.
Secondly, food photography needs attention. In her household photography is mainly done at night, which is complicated as far as lighting is concerned, making dishes look too yellow. She says that cellphones are not made to give good photograph quality, and that one should choose the right camera (she uses a Cannon), read the manual that comes with the camera, and experiment with the camera settings. Natural light is best, and it can be softened by gauze, she said. Food should also be lit from the side, and not directly from above. Food styling is equally important for successful photography, creating a desire of “I want to lick my screen”, she said! Styling can be enhanced through the use of cutlery, glasses, doilies, napkins, etc. White plates are classic in food styling, but bright plates offer a contrast for a one-colour food dish. The styling should be natural, in how one would eat the dish. This helps one when one submits one’s food photographs to what she called ‘foodporn” sites such as Foodgawker! Thirdly Marisa spoke about advertising, and she only allows text-based ads. She does not want her blog to look like a “billboard”. She knows that advertising could be off-putting to her readers. She also discussed affiliate links, to cookery books sold by Amazon, for example, which can work well if used properly.
In discussion it was mentioned that bloggers’ “user-generated content” is becoming more trusted for recipes and information than are recipe books and magazines. Marisa called for better hardware to read blogs. Disclosure of receiving free products is paramount, it was said, and PR companies should not expect bloggers to write about the products they have handed out, much like a print journalist will not guarantee that he/she will accept a media release. It was felt that one should not write about something one did not like.
A competition amongst attendees to find the most frequent Tweeter during the two-hour Bloggers’ Club meeting led to a flood of Tweets. Hila Jonker (who Tweets as @LadyRaven) won the prize of a bundle of fresh greens from the gardens of the wonderful new restaurant Babel at Babylonstoren.
The 2011 programme for the Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club will be announced closer to the start of the new year. The first meeting of the year will be hosted by Pigalle on 26 January. More information is available from email@example.com.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
From being one of a handful wine estates using social media two years ago, Backsberg is now one of about 300 (around 50 %) of wine estates who do so. This places pressure on all wine estates to constantly reevaluate their social media strategy, to remain ahead as well as relevant to one’s followers and friends, said Simon Back, Marketing Manager of Backsberg.
The Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club last night met at Rainbow Experience in Mandela Rhodes Place, which will be the venue for the Cape Town Show supper club, which opens on 5 November as a musical and food showcase, including Cape Jazz, Goemma, Kaapse Klopse, Township jive, Kwela and Mpantsula on the music side. The bloggers attending were spoilt with a taste of the menu that will be served with the Show: African Hummus and Cape Snoek pate served with Lavache as starters; Lentil cottage pie, Dukkah Crusted Beef fillet and traditional Cape chicken curry as main courses; and desserts were Malay koeksisters, Dutch melktert and a traditional chocolate brownie.
Simon first became interested in social media when he read the Stormhoek case study initiated by marketer Chris Rawlinson, the wine having been marketed purely by means of blogging, long before most winemakers had even heard the word. From early beginnings Simon’s blog readers grew to include regular readers. He switched from Blogger to WordPress, finding it driving more traffic to the Backsberg website. As the blog readership grew, Simon realised that he had to make a commitment to write regularly, and he advised new bloggers to not commit to blogging if they cannot keep up with the regular commitment, and to rather Tweet or Facebook. Simon had to find his focus in writing the Backsberg blog, choosing specifically to write about his family farm Backsberg, and wine in general in South Africa. Twitter and Facebook have grown tremendously in importance, and Simon says that the 900 or so Facebook friends are worth more to him than hitting thousands of ‘uncommited’ readers via an advertisement. Simon writes from a personal Twitter account (@SimonBack) and a colleague writes from the @Backsberg Twitter account, to keep content fresh and unduplicated. A monthly newsletter is sent to members of the Backsberg Wine Club, and the Facebook and Twitter presence of Backsberg is aimed at increasing the number of members. Simon shared with the bloggers that he was shocked to hear recently that newsletters are dead as a form of communication, because they contain too much information, and do not appeal to readers whose attention span is reducing due to information overload. Simon foresees an application like 4Square becoming more important, with incentives being offered linked to one’s brand. Simon has been recognised as one of the most social media savvy wine marketers, and represented South Africa at a Prowein conference in Germany on social media earlier this year.
Backsberg is synonymous with environmental care and reducing its carbon footprint. Backsberg was the third carbon neutral wine estate in the world, and the first in South Africa, a pioneer in this important eco-orientated wine production. It is the first South African wine company to bottle its wines in plastic bottles under the Tread Lightly brand, a further environmental-concern action by Backsberg. The Food and Wine Bloggers were spoilt with Backsberg Sauvignon Blanc 2010 and the Merlot. Simon’s talk was so successful, various aspects of it having been tweeted by the Food & Wine Bloggers during the meeting, that “Simon Back” became a “breaking” trending topic about three hours after the meeting.
Tom Robbins only recently started his eatcapetown Blog, focusing purely on Restaurant Reviews. He has been a journalist at Business Report, and has written about most things other than food in this capacity. He is a freelance journalist writer and “hobby” reviewer, he says. He is interested in the anthropology of food, and regularly reads international restaurant reviewers’ reviews. His policy is to be fair and objective, and he likes to tell the story, making his reviews longer. He likes to discuss the type of clients he sees in the restaurant, its interior and exterior look, including the type of cars parked outside, and does not focus on the food alone.
Tom calls for independence from bloggers, and asks that they declare the free meals and wines reviewed. Tom feels that free gifts make one loose objectivity. Yet, he says, one can argue that an invitation may give one access to a chef, and a chat to him/her may give one interesting insights into the restaurant and its food, which could add to one’s review. He prefers anonymity, and therefore uses an illustration of himself on his blog so that he is not recognised when he enters a restaurant. He does not ask many questions, hoping to experience as average a meal as possible. Tom quoted the example of Jancis Robinson, who refers to www.wine-searcher.com in her reviews, and discloses in them that she receives a fee for her referrals. Guaranteeing editorial coverage for advertising placed in a wine magazine, for example, has no credibility for the reader, when they spot the advertisement a few pages along. “I believe disclosure indicates respect for readers” he said. Disclosure of freebies is currently being debated in the USA and is likely to be legislated. It is already included the American Bloggers’ code of conduct. A question from a blogger about why chefs ands restaurants take reviews so badly was debated, and it was felt that chefs are known to have enormous egos, and that they are ecstatic when the review is good, and tend to ban patrons when it is critical. Tom said this is ‘human nature’, and probably most people would react this way.
The Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club was formed to reflect the tremendous growth in and power of food and wine blogs in forming opinion about food, restaurants and wines. Most bloggers do not have any formal training in blogging, and learnt from others. Each of the two bloggers talk for about half an hour about their blog, and what they have learnt about blogging. The Club gives fledgling as well as experienced bloggers the opportunity to learn from each other and to share their knowledge with others. Attendees can ask questions, and get to know fellow bloggers. The Club meetings are informal and fun.
The next meeting of the Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club is on Wednesday 24 November, from 6 – 8 pm, at the Grand Daddy Hotel in Long Street. Food blogger Mariska Hendricks from The Creative Pot Blog and Emile Joubert from the Wine Goggle Blog will be â€˜paired’. Contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
For the past six months we have run a Restaurant winter specials list, many of which were extended until the end of September.
We are delighted that many restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands have seen the benefit of offering specials, and have decided to continue to do so for summer. The list follows below, and will be updated continuously:
* Pure at Hout Bay Manor: 3 course dinner for R200, and R280 with a glass of wine added, summer. Tel (021) 790-0116.
* Pepenero in Mouille Point : sirloin and chips R 79, seafood platter R 129, 1 kg prawn platter R 99, oysters R 9 each, sushi platter R109. Half price sushi all day. Summer. Tel (021) 439-9027
* Sinn’s Restaurant at Wembley Square: lunch (6 options) at R 50. 3-course dinner at R 150, Autumn. Tel (021) 465-0967
* Theo’s on Beach Road, Mouille Point: oysters R 6 each, 1 kg prawns R 99, line fish R79, for lunch and dinner. 300 gram sirloin steak, spatchcock chicken peri peri, 500 gram spare ribs all R 79 for lunch only. Full sushi platter R99, half platter R50. Summer. Tel (021) 439-3494.
* Sevruga in the V&A Waterfront: half price sushi Monday – Saturday 12 – 6 pm; 25 % off sushi Sunday 12 – 2pm, 50 % off 2 – 6 pm. Summer. Tel (021) 421-5134
* 1800 Degrees in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, Main Road, Green Point: 100g sirloin + 100g rump + 100g rib eye, and sauce = R99. Until end March. Tel (021) 430-0506
* Myoga at Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 6 course dinner, with 5 choices per course, for R 195, Mondays – Saturdays, continues throughout summer Tel (021) 657-4545
* Beluga, The Foundry, Green Point: 1 kg Prawns R 99; 50 % off sushi and cocktails all day Sunday, and from 12h00 – 19h00 weekdays. Mondays – Saturdays. Summer Tel (021) 418-2948.
* 221 Waterfront: 3-course meal and live music R135 on Wednesdays. Dine & Cruise package: 1,5 hour cruise, 2 glasses sparkling wine, 3-course meal R 370; Lunch & Cruise package: 1 hour cruise and meal R210. Until 30 April. Tel (021) 418-3633
* Jakes in the Village/on Summerley, in Tokai and Kenilworth, respectively: 25 % off all dishes but must have a main course as a minimum, 5 – 7 pm only, 25 % off flatbreads on Mondays; Free Peroni, glass of wine or coffee for lunch; every 6th lunch free on Loyalty Card. Mondays – Saturdays, Summer. Tel (021) 701 3272
* The Lookout Deck, Hout Bay: 1 kg for prawns R 99, pay for 12 oysters and get 18, until end March. Tel (021) 790-0900
* La Mouette, Regent Road, Sea Point: Autumn Tasting Menu dinner 6 courses R 240 for 2 persons, Tuesday – Sunday lunch and dinner. Tel (021) 433-0856
* Bertha’s in Simonstown: 1 kg mussels, 1 kg Queen prawns or 1 kg mini seafood platter cost R 99 each, R11 for Peroni linked to seafood platter. Calamari, mussel, chips, BBQ chicken and wing platter R99. Summer. Tel (021) 786-2138
* Pepperclub Luxury Hotel & Spa: 6 oysters and a glass of bubbly R60, Fridays from 16h00, with jazz. Current.
* Aubergine: 2-course lunch R184, 3-course lunch R235, Wednesdays – Fridays, Summer. Tel (021) 465-4909
* Balducci’s: All pizzas (except Flaming Prawns) R49, 26-piece Platinum Sushi Plate for R99, Burgers from R55. Monday – Sunday, 12h00 – 18h00, indefinite. Tel (021) 421-6002
* Ferryman’s Tavern, V&A Waterfront: Combo-specials R100 (linefish + calamari), R85 (sirloin + calamari), R99 (pork rib + chicken wings), Mussel hotpot R75, chocolate mudpie R26. Summer. Tel (021) 419-7748
* Hildebrand: 2 courses R 99, 3 courses R 130; Summer. Tel (021) 425-3385
* Chenin Restaurant and Bar: 200g Sirloin steak R65, Cape Malay prawn curry R70, Moussaka R60 + glass of wine. From 5 May, for Autumn. Tel 021 425-2200
* Leaf Restaurant and Bar: 51 % off sushi from 11h00 – 19h00, and all day on Sunday; 12 prawn platter R89, Dimsum 30 % off. 50 % off cocktails all day Sunday. Summer. Tel (021) 418-4500
* Blowfish in Blouberg: R49 lunch specials, e.g. chicken schnitzel, 12-piece sushi, 6 oysters, hake and chips. Current Tel (021) 556-5464
* Cafe Chic: Six Moroccan tapas for R 70. 2 course meal R 100, 3 course meal R 120. Until 15 April. Tel (021) 465-7218
* OYO at V&A Hotel : 500g crayfish special R185. Summer. Tel (021) 419-6677
* Vanilla, Cape Quarter: 1/2 price sushi 12h00 – 18h00, half-price cocktails. Summer. Tel (021) 421-1391
* Adega, Sea Point: 1 kg King Prawns R119. Summer. Tel (021) 434-3029
* Knife restaurant, Century City: Bagel R35; Salad R45; Rib, meatball, chicken wing and chip platter R60, all specials include a beer/glass of wine/colddrink and coffee. Lunch special, 12h00 – 15h00, Mondays – Fridays. Summer. Tel (021) 551-5000
* St Elmo’s, Kloof Str, Gardens: Cheese-filled crust slices R17,90, until 17h00 daily; 2 large regular pizzas R99,90 daily all hours; 2 pizzas R79,90 Tuesdays all hours. Dipping strips – two for R99,90. Individual small pizza + Coke R29,90 Monday – Friday, until 16h00 daily. Summer. Tel (021) 422-2261
* Saul’s Sushi @ Vegas, Sea Point: Eat as much sushi as you like = R120 – Mondays and Tuesdays; 30 piece sushi platter R99 – Wednesdays and Thursdays; Oriental Buffet = R79 – Fridays and Saturdays; two for the price of one – Sundays. Current. Tel 087 151 4595
* Bhandaris Indian Restaurant: Buffet R99 Wednesday dinner and Sunday lunch and dinner. Two main meals for R99 on Mondays. 30 % off for pensioners on Tuesdays. Until 30 April. Tel (021) 702-2975/Tel (021) 782-1525.
* Zorba’s, Lagoon Beach Hotel, Milnerton: Starter and main course R100 on Monday nights. Summer. Tel (021) 528-2093
* San Marco, V&A Waterfront: 3 course meal plus Peroni or glass of wine and tea/coffee R99. Until 15 December, 15 January – 31 March. Tel (021) 418-5434
* Trees Restaurant, Townhouse Hotel, Cape Town: 2 course dinner R95, 3 courses R130. Summer. Tel (021) 465-7050
* Down South Food Bar, 267 Long Street: Rib & Prawn Platter including a side and sauces R75, until end February. Tel (021) 422-1155.
* Mainland China Restaurant, 111 Main Road, Claremont: Seafood Buffet R89, Saturdays 18h30 – 21h00; Buffet R 49; 50 % sushi discount Tuesday – Sunday. Tel (021) 674-2654
* Il Cappero, Barrack Street: “Eat as much as you can” lunch buffet R75, Monday – Friday. Summer. Tel 461-3168
* Cape Town Fish Market: Sirloin and Calamari Surf and Turf R64,65; Surf and Turf Supreme, with 8 prawns, R99,95. Until 2 May. Calamari duo and 300ml soda R68,95, only at V&A Waterfront, until 15 April. Tel (021) 418-5977
* Trinity, Bennett Street: “All you can eat” Dim Sum R135. Two-for-one burgers Wednesdays. Pizza R50 until 7 pm daily. “All you can eat” ribs Mondays R99. Tel (021) 418-0624
* French Toast, Bree Street: Bruschetta tapas free; Sauvignon.com R 20 per glass. Monday – Saturdays 5 – 7 pm. Tel (021) 422-3839.
* Cru Café Restaurant & Wine Bar, Cape Quarter: Scrambled egg and salmon breakfast for 2 plus bottomless cup of coffee R 78, Weekdays; 2 gourmet burgers with onion rings, French fries and Stella Artois beer R120 weekday lunch; Two pastas and two glasses of wine R99. Sunday – Tuesday evenings. Comfort food (Bobotie or Bredie) for two for R 119, including 2 glasses of wine, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. T-bone steak (350g) for two at R150, Friday and Saturday evenings. Until September. Tel (021) 418-6334
* Krugmann’s Grill, V&A Waterfront: Beef ribs 500 gram BBQ-basted beef ribs and starch R75, Wednesdays only Tel (021) 418-9393
* The Square, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: ‘Tastes of 2011’ focuses on different theme every month, from April – September. April theme is ‘Best of British’, with British menu change weekly, 2 courses R 140 or 3 courses R 170. Dinner only, Monday – Sunday. Tel ()21) 657-4500
* Dunes, Hout Bay : Sunday brunch with smoked salmon, oysters and cooked breakfast R 100. Tel (021) 790-1876
* Sinn’s Restaurant, Wembley Square: Lunch R 50 (choice of six options); 3-course dinner plus glass of wine R 150. Autumn Tel (021) 465-0967
* Café Nood, Claremont: Pizza and glass of wine or a Peroni at R45 via Dealio. Current. Tel (021) 671-4475
* Arnold’s on Kloof, 60 Kloof Street, Gardens: Jack Black stew (type of stew changes throughout winter)for two plus bottle of Altydgedacht R99. Tel (021) 424-4344. Throughout winter.
* Five Flies, Keerom Street: 350g steak plus glass of wine R110. 15 April – 15 May. Tel (021) 424-4442
* Balducci’s, V&A Waterfront: Alfresco Lunch specials – soup and salad R89, fish R89, calamari R89, seafood platter for two R245, Steak Roll and chips R85, Steak and chips R99, Burgers from R55 – R75, Glass of wine R27, bottle R99. daily 12h00 – 16h00. Tel (021) 421-6002
* Harbour House, Kalk Bay: 2-courses R140, 3-courses R160. May. Tel (021) 788-4133
* Live Bait, Kalk Bay: Prawns and stir fry Asian noodle salad R 60. Sunday – Thursday evenings in May. Tel (021) 788-5755
* Polana, Kalk Bay: Steak, chips and mushroom sauce, R50, Sunday – Wednesday dinner April; Half free-range flame-grilled chicken R50, Sunday – Thursday dinner and Saturday lunch, May. Tel (021) 788-7162
* Massimo’s Pizza Club, Hout Bay: “Order any 2 adult take away (pizza, pasta salad)” to a minimum value of R100, and get an &Union beer, Darling Brew beer or a 500ml bottle of Bob’s Your Uncle wine for free, all day Wednesdays and Thursdays, Fridays until 17h00. Current Tel 073 390 1373.
* Allee Bleue, outside Franschhoek: choice of three 250g steaks at R 115, including a glass of estate wine, current. Lunch until 7 pm, Sunday – Thursday. Sunday Spit Braai with live music R175. Summer Tel (021) 874-1021
* Olivello, Klapmuts, outside Stellenbosch: 2-course meal R 115, 3-course meal R 135 plus glass of wine. Summer. Tel (021) 875-5443
* Ryan’s Kitchen at Rusthof, Franschhoek : 3-course dinner R 195; 6 course Taste of Africa dinner R295. Autumn. Tel (021) 876-4598.
* Restaurant Christophe, Stellenbosch: business lunch – 2 courses R130, 3 courses R 150, Tuesday – Friday, served within one hour, all year. Tel (021) 886-8763
* Allora in Franschhoek: mini-seafood platter R100, gorgonzola rump steak R95, marinated venison R95; 3-course Sunday lunch R99. Summer. Tel (021) 876-4375.
* L’ermitage, Franschhoek: 3 course lunch and glass of wine R 140. Current. Tel (021) 876-9200
* Laborie Restaurant in Paarl: 3 courses plus a glass of wine R145, until April.
* The Restaurant @ Clos Malverne: 4 course Food and Wine pairing menu R148, includes four courses and four wines. Tuesday – Sundays.
* 96 Winery Road, Stellenbosch: Free main course for May birthday boys and girls, to celebrate the restaurant’s 15th birthday. Tel (021 842-2020
* Dornier Bodega, Stellenbosch: Meat-free Mondays, Comfort Tuesdays, Pasta Wednesdays, Soup Thursdays, Fish Fridays, R79, lunch, May – September, Tel (021) 880-0557
* Towerbosch Restaurant, Knorhoek Wine Estate, Stellenbosch: Soup & Bredie Menu with soup and bredie R90, Wednesdays – Saturdays; Asado Argentian-style braai on Sundays R165. May – August. Tel (021) 865-2958
* Season in Hermanus: Sunday roast R 65 – R75, 3-course Sunday lunch R 110. Summer. Tel (028) 316-2854
* Mediterrea in Hermanus: 3 course meal R 195, Monday – Thursday dinners and Sunday lunches, current Tel (028) 313-1685
* The Class Room Restaurant, Hermanus: 3 course meal plus amuse bouche, palate cleanser, coffee and friandises R 165. 6 – 30 April. Tel (028) 316-3582
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Copyright: Whale Cottage Portfolio
The Sweet Service Award goes to the new 15 on Orange Hotel, and its Food & Beverage Manager Werner Geere, who invited a guest back to the hotel, to enjoy a drink and canapes, for a group of four, in the spectacular Murano Bar of the hotel, which is only allowed to be used by hotel guests normally. The hotel’s bottle of Cape Velvet could not be found on the guest’s first visit, and the hotel does not stock Baileys, which could have been an alternative choice. On the night of the return visit the barman prepared a lovely Cape Velvet Don Pedro. The canapes were yummy sushi platters.
The Sour Service Award goes to Grand Daddy Hotel in Long Street, Cape Town, and was nominated by Rosanne Turner. She stayed at the hotel on 17 April, and had her Mini Cooper convertible valet parked by the hotel. The car keys were kept by the hotel. Later that evening Rosanne received a call from the hotel management, informing her that her car had been taken by a member of their staff, taken for a drive 50 km away and involved in an accident. She was assured by the hotel’s manager that they would take full responsibility, that she would not be out of pocket, nor inconvenienced by the incident. The hotel made a rental car available for a while. The hotel’s insurance company did not view the car after the accident, and refused to pay out. Rosanne’s insurance paid out the full value of the car, as it was a write-off, but she had to pay an excess of R 9 500. She has had to appoint a lawyer to deal with the matter. Earlier this week Rosanne wrote that the hotel has reversed its decision, and that she has received a refund for the insurance excess and the legal fees from the hotel, probably with the help of the exposure about this matter on www.2oceansvibe.com, to whom Rosanne had also written.
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 email@example.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
Cape Town will be buzzing with energy and excitement this week, as the country’s advertising industry descends on the city for the annual industry Loerie Awards, the top local recognition of the best advertising agencies and campaigns. The Loeries run from 24 – 27 September.
The advertising award functions will take place in the Good Hope Center in the city centre over two evenings, and will be hosted in Cape Town for the first time ever. Previously, the Loeries were held at Sun City for many years, and in Margate for the past three years. Ticket sales are up 20 % relative to last year, reports the Weekend Argus, yet award entries decreased by 5 %.
The Loeries are an excellent tourism and conference marketing opportunity and platform for the city, and Cape Town Tourism and the City of Cape Town were involved in the bid to attract the Awards to Cape Town. Many restaurants in Camps Bay have been booked for lunches over the Loeries weekend, and the evening entertainment will take place in Long Street. The top Loeries Awards executive team will stay in the Grand Daddy Hotel on Long Street, and all registrations will take place there.
Camps Bay is an important daytime location over the Loeries weekend, with Brunches and Lunches taking place at various restaurants on the Camps Bay beachfront on Friday and Saturday, a Very Important Ego Lounge taking place at Caprice over midday on both these days, and a Velocity Party being held at Summerville at midday on Friday. On Saturday a Beach Soccer challenge will take place on Camps Bay beach, while the media will be hosted at a lunch at Blues.
Follow The Loeries on Twitter: http://twitter.com/loeries2009
Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com
Well-known Franschhoek tapas restaurant Bouillabaisse is to open a sister restaurant in the new Epicurean Food Emporium in Cape Town next month. Chef and owner Camil Haas previously owned Klein Oliphantshoek, the guest house at which he and his wife Ingrid prepared award-winning tasting menu meals for their guests.
Not only will a new Bouillabaisse open in Cape Town, but a new restaurant Crepe Suzette will also be opened by the Haas duo.
The Epicurean Food Emporium has been designed by Conrad Gallagher Consulting, and will open in The Rockwell, an apartment building in De Waterkant. It will be set up as a neighbourhood food market, with 15 food and beverage stores selling freshly baked bread, homemade jam, chutney, pesto, olive oil, wine, gourmet sandwiches, chocolates, ice cream, confectionery and cheeses. It is to become a one-stop market synonomous with fine food, outstanding service, quality and food trends, reports Supermarket & Retailer. Further restaurants, in addition to Bouillabaisse and Crepe Suzette, are set to open.
Other restaurant news is that onewaterfront, the restaurant in the Cape Grace Hotel in the Waterfront, which became famous when Bruce Robertson was the chef, is changing its name to Signal, reports eatout, in honour of Cape Town’s traditional noon day gun on Signal Hill. The restaurant will serve Cape food, reflecting the French Huguenot, British, Dutch and Asian heritage of the Cape.
Bruce Robertson, now the owner of award-winning and Top 10 restaurant The Showroom, is opening another restaurant, located in the Grand Daddy Hotel, previously The Metropole Hotel, in Long Street, called theshowroomcafe, reports eatout. The menu will be casual, local and “unfussy”, and the chef is Simone Rossouw.
Richard Carstens, top 10 restauranteur when he was at Lynton Hall in KwaZulu-Natal and Bijoux in Franschhoek, is not moving to Franschhoek, as speculated, but is relaunching Relish in New Church Street, and is now called Nova, reports eatout. A tasting menu (at R 325 per person) and an a la carte menu will be offered.