Entries tagged with “Haut Espoir”.


November is an exciting month, with new restaurant openings by Chef Luke Dale-Roberts (The Commissary), by Chef Peter Tempelhoff (FYN), and the very eagerly awaited restaurant Gåte by Chef Rikku O’Donnchü at Quoin Rock in Stellenbosch. There is a marked slow down in new restaurant openings, other than by new restaurant group Cowboys & Cooks. 

Restaurant openings

#   Le Petit Manoir has opened as a Deli and Restaurant in Franschhoek, with Chef Kevin Grobler heading up the kitchen. (Photograph)

Restaurant Review: Le Petit Manoir Restaurant just does not gel, despite Chefs’ experience In a Michelin star restaurant!

#. Michael Townsend, founder of the Harbour House Group but no longer with the Group, is to open The Grill Room in Sunset Beach. He has also bought Sevruga in the Waterfront. A third restaurant, in Sea Point, will open in September 2019.

New Cowboys and Cooks restaurant operations and consultancy group starting to cook up a storm!

#  The new Cowboys & Cooks restaurant group is to open a Cowboys and Cooks restaurant in Stellenbosch; The Backyard BBQ in various locations; Cabron Tex Mex restaurants in Durbanville and Stellenbosch, alongside the Bree Street Branch; and Viva Tex Mex in Kenilworth. It has taken over Slug & Lettuce, a Gastropub franchise with six branches, for which a new look and menu will be developed, starting off in Durbanville. The group has also just bought a 50% share in Primi Piatti, with 18 outlets.

#   Maison J Café et Croissant, a joint venture between renowned Jason Bakery baker Jason Lillie and his sister Brigitte, as well as Vida e Caffé founders David Chait and Rui Esteves, has opened alongside the Pick ‘n Pay in Camps Bay, in a joint venture with the retailer. If this branch works well, it is set to roll out in other Pick ‘n Pay stores, the Waterfront likely to be the next branch to open. 

#   Between Us has opened on Bree Street, as a restaurant and bar, belonging to the twin sisters who originally opened Skinny Legs & All. 

#. The Deli Coffee Co is the new rebranded name of four Melissa’s branches: V&A Waterfront, Kloof Street, Somerset West, and Hermanus, owned by Surine van Niekerk. Prices are set to drop, she says. The Waterfront branch has opened in the former Dalliance and White Rabbit space. 

#  Restaurateur Ian Halfon has opened a smallish intimate new restaurant Walther’s Steakhouse next door to Belthazar in the V&A Waterfront. 

#  Chef Jenny Morris has opened Yumcious Durbanville.

#  The Skotnes Restaurant has opened at the Norval Foundation, with Executive Chef Phil de Villiers, previously of Primal Eatery. 

#  Paris Café has opened in Green Point.

#   42 on Canterbury has opened as a bar and an event venue in District Six/Zonnebloem

#  The La Colombe Group is taking over the bar and restaurant at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek, after refurbishments. It will be called Protégé. Stephen Raaff is the Head Chef.

New Protégé Restaurant to open at Le Quartier Français, second Le Colombe Group restaurant!

#  Back’s Bar has opened on Main Road in Paarl, where Juno used to be. 

#   Chef Reuben Riffel has opened Reuben’s at The Capital Moloko in Johannesburg, his first Gauteng restaurant. 

#   A new breakfast and lunch Eatery is being developed at Val de Vie, in conjunction with Chef Reuben Riffel. 

#  Chef Jarryd has opened So Cal (for South California), a Bar above Charango on Bree Street. 

#  Manga has opened on Church Street

#  Sotana Bree Street has opened where Odyssey used to be.

#  1 Oak is set to open on Strand Street, an upmarket celebrity bar, music, and event venue modeled on a New York counterpart. The restaurant Butter will open inside this venue. 

#   Chef Bertus Basson has expanded his restaurant empire, opening Eike by bertusbasson as his sixth restaurant, and fifth in Stellenbosch. 

#  Bao Down Restaurant has opened in Oranjezicht. 

#   Upper Bloem has opened on Main Road in Green Point, where Maggie’s Café used to be, a joint venture between Chefs Henry Vigar and Andre Hill of La Mouette. 

Restaurant Review: Upper Bloem brings Bo-Kaap and Cape Malay cuisine to Green Point!

#    TOSSD Salad Bar has opened on Sloane Square in Gardens, Cape Town. 

#   Chef George Jardine has opened Restaurant Seven with George Jardine in Somerset West.

#   Safari #7 Somali take-away restaurant has opened on Long Street. 

#  Chef David Higgs’ newest restaurant Saint ‘Pazzo Italiano’ has opened in Sandton. 

#   No 89 has opened on Bree Street.

#   Sans Ethical Green Grocer Deli has opened in the Artem Centre in Sea Point. 

#   Pauline’s Stand Up Coffee Bar has opened in the Artem Centre in Sea Point. 

#   Victoire Boulangerie, Pâtisserie, and Bistro has opened in Speakers Corner on Church Square, a joint venture between Chef William Galzin of Montpellier and Drikus Hancke of Cape Town, a former Melissa’s franchisee. 

#   Chefs Luke Dale-Roberts and Ryan Cole have opened Salsify @ The Roundhouse in Camps Bay.

Restaurant Review: Salsify at The Roundhouse brings Fine-Dining to Camps Bay, a crazy contrast of colonial and contemporary experiences!

#   Crayfish Wharf is to open in Paternoster.

#  Beleef has opened in the space in which Ryan’s Kitchen operated in Franschhoek. 

#  Grande Provence in Franschhoek has opened The Bistro as an extension to their Tasting Room.

#   Ellen Jay has opened as a coffee shop inside Constantia Fabrics. 

#   Garden’s Club has opened where Chalk & Cork used to operate on Kloof Street. 

#   The Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa restaurant has opened in Klapmuts, with Executive Chef Terrence Ford. 

#  Osetra has opened in Kalk Bay, with co-owner Oscar Kotze.

#   The Commissary will open next door to The Shortmarket Club, with Chef Wesley Randles and Simon Widdison, under the mentorship of Chef Luke Dale-Roberts. It is planned to be a no-reservation, back to basics offering. 

#   Gåte restaurant is to open at Quion Rock Winery on 1 December, with Rikku O’Donaghue as the Executive Chef, who worked at a two Michelin star restaurant Merchants Manor before moving to our country. He has been a restaurant consultant locally, including at Sevruga. Head Chef is Warwick King, previously with Delaire Graff, The Stack, and The Ritz Revolving Restaurant. Other team members include Pastry Chef Izelle de Villiers, Nicole Loubser, Tyrone Truter, Josh Crewdson,  and Rufus Scholtz. 

Preview: New Gåte restaurant to become a rock star at Quoin Rock Winery, Fine Dining at its finest!

#   Seattle Coffee Company has taken over the coffee shop at Exclusive Books in the V&A Waterfront. 

#  Chef Seelan Sundoo has opened Chicha in Sea Point. 

#   The Harbour House Group has bought Mondiall in the V&A Waterfront, and is to turn it into a La Parada, to open in November. 

#  Chef Peter Tempelhoff has announced that his FYN Restaurant and bar will open in Speaker’s Corner on Church Square in November. Jennifer Hugé is the new GM! And Ashley Moss is the Chef, moving across from the Greenhouse. 

Chef Peter Tempelhoff opens first own restaurant FYN in Speakers’ Corner in Cape Town city centre!

#. The Harbour House at Constantia Nek has been remodelled into the fine dining The Restaurant at the Nek, with Chef Dylan Laity in the kitchen. 

#   Stargarden Bistro has opened in Fish Hoek 

#   Bobo’s Brasserie is opening in Mouille Point in November, where Pepenero used to be. 

#  Roca Café has opened where Melissa’s used to be in Franschhoek, open from midday to 21h00, and serving Tapas. 

#   Chef Chris Erasmus is said to be opening a restaurant at Haut Espoir in November, with Chef Nick Oosthuizen in the kitchen.

#  Riverine Rabbit has opened where ASH used to operate, by Chef Ash Heeger. 

#  Chef Ciska Rossouw has opened Loaves in Salt River, no longer operating Loaves on Long. 

#   BOCCA has re-opened on Bree Street, with new owners Guido Brambilla and Adnana Blaj

#   Haus & Laib Deli is opening in the former Eurohaus space on Loop Street. 

#  Chef Matt Manning is opening Grub & Vine Restaurant on Bree Street.

#   Bones Kitchen & Bar has opened at Palms Lifestyle Centre. 

#   Anni’s Gourmet  Pancakes & Belgian Waffles has opened in a Franschhoek 

#   Vadas Smokehouse and Bakery has opened at Spier, taking the place of Hoghouse, which Chef PJ Vadas no longer appears to be associated with. 

Restaurant closures

#. The iconic Melissa’s, with 19 stores, has been declared insolvent. Some stores will be rebranded (four as The Deli Coffee Co), while others have closed down, including the Table View Branch. The Waterfront branch is currently closed, but will reopen in a new location in mid-September. 

#.  Dalliance restaurant and White Rabbit coffee shop, part of the Kove Collection, have closed their doors in the V&A Waterfront. 

#.  IYO Burgers has closed on Bree Street

#.  Iconic Kitima has closed down in Hout Bay, following a rumour of its demise circulating last year but denied at the time. 

#. Odyssey (with French Toast before it) has closed down on Bree Street

#. The Ritz is temporarily closed, and with it its Top of The Ritz and CASA restaurants. 

#  Shego has closed down at the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel. 

#  The Crazy Horse gastropub has closed down on Bree Street. 

#  Mitico has closed down on Kloof Street. Yours Truly has expanded into the space. 

#   So sad to hear that Chef Warrick Taylor of SOURCE restaurant in Hermanus has sold the restaurant and is leaving the country with his family. 

#   Cargills in Rondebosch has closed down. 

#   Savoy Cabbage in Heritage Square in the city centre has closed down, after 20 years. 

#  Eurohaus on Loop Street has closed down

#  Karoux has closed down in McGregor. 

#   Olami on Bree Street has closed down. 

#  BlackandCo has closed down in Constantia. 

#   Chalk & Cork has closed down. 

#   Bukhara has closed down in Stellenbosch. 

#  Loaves on Long has closed. 

#  ASH restaurant has closed.

Chef changes 

#. Chef Sidwell Yarrow has left La Petite Ferme, to return to the cruise ships. The restaurant on the wine estate is now headed up by Chef Kyle Norris.

#. Chef Gerard van Staden is the new chef at Pearl Valley. 

#  Chef Gary Welgemoed is the Head Chef at the Carrol Boyes Chocolate division. 

#   Lee-Andra Govender is the new Pastry Chef at The Table Bay Hotel. 

#   Chef Evan Coosner has left Open Door/Bocca/Burrata.

#   Chef Archie MacLean has left Catharina’s and moved to Coco Safar. He has since left Coco Safar, and is said to have joined La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek. 

#   Chef Guy Clark has left Tintswalo, now consulting. 

#   Carmen Rueda is the new Pastry Chef of Coco Safar, formerly from El Bulli and The Fat Duck.

#   Chef Richard Carstens has left Tokara Restaurant, and is said to be starting a restaurant consultancy with Chef Reuben Riffel. 

#   Carolize Coetzee has been appointed as Executive Chef at Tokara, moving from Dornier wine estate.

#  Chef Archie MacLean has left Coco Safar, and is running Café Bon Bon in Franschhoek with his wife 

#  Christian Hellinger is the new Chef at Holden Manz

Restaurant changes

#  La Parada Camps Bay is undergoing renovations, and is transforming into a Tiger’s Milk.

 

Please share news about restaurant openings and closures with me at chrisvonulmenstein@gmail.com

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein

Every winter is a tough time for the restaurant industry. With the dip in Tourism due to the water shortage, and the early and continued winter rains, the restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands have felt the pinch, and many have closed down. We have experienced our first Summer weekend in the Cape, and more tourists can be seen and heard in our city. Will this mean a welcome boost for the restaurant trade? The new Cowboys & Cooks restaurant group is super optimistic, and plans to open more than twenty restaurants in the Cape Town area. 

Chef Richard Carstens has left Tokara Restaurant, after an eight year tenure, one of our most creative and hard-working chefs, in researching and implementing international food trends. Chef Richard has not yet announced his future plans, but initially is taking a break.  (more…)

I was very excited to sit with Chef Darren Badenhorst yesterday morning, to hear more about his new restaurant Le coin Français By Darren Badenhorst, which will open in Franschhoek on 11 October.  (more…)

Yesterday I attended the Winemag.co.za 10 Year Wine Awards at Magica Roma in Pinelands, and 19 wines (six white wines, ten red wines, and three fortified wines) scored 90 points or more. Tokara won the most awards, with three of the 19 awards collected by its GM Karl Lambour. Tokara Elgin Sauvignon Blanc 2007 and Nuy Muscadel 2007 were the highest scoring wines, at 94 points out of 100.  (more…)

The Franschhoek Wine Valley tourism organisation is celebrating the cooking talents of its top restaurant chefs and its award-winning wines by pairing them in ‘Cook Franschhoek‘, a festival of cooking running over this coming long weekend, from 14 – 16 June.

Taking the form of cooking demonstrations in the chefs’ restaurant kitchens, food and wine lovers will be shown how to prepare the chefs’ special dishes, and will be taken through wine tastings, with a Franschhoek winery paired with each restaurant.  The cost of demonstrations ranges from R85 – R2100 each.

Participating restaurants are :

*   Antonij Rupert Tasting Room/L’Omarins – guided tour of culinary and medicinal herb garden with glass of L’Omarins sparkling wine, olive oil tasting, and a goodie bag. Friday 9h30 -11h00 and 15h00 – 16h30, Saturday 9h30 – 11h00 and 15h00 – 16h30,  Sunday 9h30 – 11h00 and 15h00 – 16h30, R85 each.

*   Le Quartier Français/Môreson – Tandoori chicken demo and tasting by Chef Vanie Padayachee. Friday 10h00 and Saturday 10h00, R370 each.

*   Leopard’s Leap Rotisserie/Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards – Chef Pieter de Jager will demonstrate making a salt meringue Santer on garlic brochette, paired with Leopard’s Leap Culinary Pinot Noir, introduced by Eugene van Zyl.  Friday 10h30;  Breakfast Tart demo, paired with Leopard’s Leap Culinary Methodé Cap Classique, Saturday 9h30,  R110 each.

*   Terra del Capo Tasting Room – Chef HW Pieterse will host an Italian food and Italian wine variety pairing at Antonij Rupert. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11h00 – 12h00, R85 each.

*   Ryan’s Kitchen/Rickety Bridge – Chef Ryan Smith will demonstrate the making of a guava and vanilla soufflé with a Tennis Biscuit ice cream, and serve a 2 course meal, paired with Rickety Bridge Paulina Reserve Chenin Blanc by winemaker Danie de Bruyn. Friday 12h00, R300;  Chicken and crab curry lunch paired with Paulina Reserve Semillon, and includes 2 course meal. Saturday 12h00, R300.

*   Franschhoek Kitchen/Holden Manz Winery – Chef Maryna Frederiksen will demonstrate the use of fresh herbs in creative ways, and a light lunch will be served, winemaker Schalk Opperman introducing  their 2012 Chardonnay and 2010 Merlot. Friday 12h30 and at 16h00, Saturday 12h00, R220 each.

*   Café BonBon/Haut Espoir – Chef Tijn Hahndiek will demonstrate the making of Butter chicken curry and basmati rice. One course lunch and gift. Friday 14h00, R220; Eggs Benedict demo, inclusive of breakfast and gift, Saturday 10h30, R110;  Home-made pasta demo with one course lunch and gift, Saturday 14h00, R220.

*   Allora/Rickety Bridge – Chef Roaan Erasmus will demonstrate making gnocchi and folded pasta, paired with Rickety Bridge wines by winemaker Danie de Bruyn. Lunch included. Friday 15h00, Saturday 12h00, R220 each.

*   SalmonBar/Haut Espoir – owner Gregg Stubbs will demonstrate how to debone and fillet trout, and tasting of cold smoked, hot smoked, cured, marinated, and grilled salmon.  Friday 17h00, R250; sustainability talk and salmon tasting, Saturday 17h00, R250.

*   Haute Cabrière/Pierre Jourdan – 6 course Pinot Noir winter Tasting Menu prepared by Chef Ryan Shell and presented with Takuan von Arnim, Friday and Saturday at 19h00, R655 each.

*   Bread & Wine/Môreson – Chef Neil Jewell will demonstrate Wagyu beef three ways, with winemaker Clayton Reabow pouring the wine. Saturday 10h00, R110.

*   Paulina’s at Rickety Bridge/Rickety Bridge Winery – Chef Melissa Bruyns will demonstrate making seafood risotto, paired with a tasting of Chenin Blanc by winemaker Wynand Grobler. Saturday and Sunday 11h00, R180 each.

*   Fyndraai/Solms-Delta – Chef Shaun Schoeman will demonstrate the use of culinary fynbos flowers, with a 3-course meal and wine pairing by Joan Heatlie of The Vastrap Chenin Blend and The Hiervandaan Shiraz Blend, Saturday and Sunday 12h00, R320.

*   Pierneef à La Motte/La Motte – Chef Chris Erasmus will demonstrate making classic pâté and terrines, paired with La Motte wines by Michael Langenhoven, Saturday 17h00, R165.

*   Reuben’s/L’Omarins – Chef Reuben Riffel will take attendees to Antonij Rupert Wines, to taste their sparkling wine and to see the culinary and medicinal herb garden, followed by lunch at Chef Reuben’s home, winemaker Dawie Botha pouring L’Omarins wines, with a gift pack and herb bouquet, Sunday 12h00 – 15h00, R2100.

Cook Franschhoek, 14 – 16 June. www.cookfranschhoek.co.za. Tel (021) 876 2861.  www.webtickets.co.za

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

From small beginnings, Twitter last week celebrated its 7th anniversary. with 500 million Twitter users sending up to 340 million Tweets daily, described as the ‘SMS of the internet’, according to Wikipedia!   Many on Twitter will say they are hooked, even worse addicted, but for many the dark side of Twitter may soon outweigh its benefits.

Twitter users love the social medium for the following:

*   its information role – faster than any conventional broadcast medium, Twitter users are well informed about world events almost as they happen, can listen to a courtroom bail application judgement real time, obtain weather updates, read the world’s newspapers and magazines digitally, and update themselves about anything and everything.

*   its friendship role – many new friendships have been made via Twitter, with Tweeters with similar interests meeting and connecting, and becoming real time friends.

*  its profiling role – should one wish to build a profile of a person as a potential employee or employer, friend, competitor, or business partner, one can read their Twitter stream to check how well they can communicate, how well they can spell, how courteous (or not) they are in their communication.

*   its experience-sharing role, in sharing restaurant experiences (a great irritation for other Twitter users, research shows), recipes for cooking and baking, evaluation of wines drunk, and general tourism experiences.

*   its micro-messaging role, in users productively reducing their communication to 140 characters and still communicating coherently.

*   it has moved communication into the visual realm, allowing one’s Followers to share great restaurant meals, beautiful sunsets, great sporting achievements, and life in general via one’s photographs, allowing them to be there digitally.

*   it is an immediate brand feedback platform, highlighting the positive and negative attributes of every brand around the world, given the immediacy of sharing information.

*   it leads to dialogue and conversation, often generating funny and interesting points of view, such as during the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

The dark side of Twitter has overtaken its benefits for many Tweeters:

*   Less original material is Tweeted, and more Tweets by others are re-Tweeted, especially first thing in the morning.

*   The flood of Tweets is never-ending on weekdays, slowing down vastly on weekends and in the evenings, showing how much Tweeting is done from the office.  Finding it difficult to reduce the number of Followers, Tweeters are unable to read all the Tweets in their timeline, and feel that they are missing out because they cannot read all the Tweets.

*   Twitter’s policy of allowing freedom of speech, without action to remove Tweets that are abusive, that harass, are defamatory, and spread untruths, is its biggest weakness, and while one can block unpleasant Tweeters, and even report them for Spam, Twitter never acts against them as Facebook would do, in closing their account down after one warning.  Slowly but surely Social Media is receiving attention from Twitter cyberbullying victims and their lawyers, for Tweeters not respecting libel laws for excessive defamation. Even re-Tweeting defamatory Tweets makes one liable for libel. Ignorant Tweeters who abuse others, and have their employers’ names in their Twitter Bio, are learning that they and their employers can be sued for libel, and can claim damages from both parties.

*   Even worse is the ganging up by a small number of Tweeters, who not only target Twitter victims, but also badger, bash, and bully their friends and those that they interact with on Twitter at every turn.  Because they don’t like a Tweeter, all the friends and followers of that Tweeter are disliked as well, and ridiculed, bullied, harassed, and even stalked by Tweeters such as Sonia Cabano, an old hand at Twitter abuse and at setting up anonymous accounts to disparage others (e.g. @TableMountain_); as well as Twitch Marthèlize Tredoux, who Tweets as @Konfytbekkie, and is regarded as one of the most abusive Tweeters at the moment, ‘out-performing’ Cabano in terms of venom and persistence. One wonders how Tredoux does her job at Siyavula, Tweeting ad nauseum!  These two Tweeters are assisted with behind-the-scenes input from Skye Grove at Cape Town Tourism, recipe blogger Jane-Anne Hobbs, and supermarket wine promoter Michael Olivier, known to do anything in their power to disparage ourselves. Twitter has become their ‘school ground’ bullying domain, weaklings hiding behind anonymous accounts to disparage and destroy others. Ironically, every time an abusive Tweet is sent, it pushes up the readership numbers of our blog, which is hardly what the Tweeters would want to achieve!

Twitter users seem ignorant about the legal implications of their defamatory Tweets, often shooting off Tweets without evaluating the content for defamation, and re-Tweeting libelous Tweets, making them guilty of libel too.  Recently Webber Wentzel Social Media lawyer Emma Sadleir warned that abusive Tweeters could land up behind bars if they ‘put up racist or offensive posts’, opening themselves up to charges of crimen injuria or facing charges under the Equality Act, reported Times LIVE.  Sadleir has encouraged cyberbully victims to report such defamation at a police station and lay a charge of crimen injuria. A recent new ‘Protection against Harassment Act’ allows online victims to obtain a ‘protection order against their perpetrators‘.  The South African Press Council has also announced that its press code will be expanded to include online media, allowing for the same standards of ethical and professional communication to apply to all media platforms.

Well-known constitutional lawyer Pierre de Vos summarised the worst aspects of Twitter on his ‘Constitutionally Speaking’ blog, in that it (with Facebook) seems ‘to bring out the worst in people. Otherwise reasonably decent people who might well carefully weigh their words can become raving hatemongers and irresponsible tattletales on these platforms’. Analysing the differences in defamation between printed media and Social Media, Professor de Vos came to the conclusion that defamation is defamation, when it leads to the ‘lowering of your reputation’, which is unlawful, with the exception of substantiated truthful reporting which is in the public interest.  Yet Professor de Vos comes to an interesting conclusion, writing that legal action against defamation on Social Media may in fact attract more attention to the matter, and that one should hold one’s head high, and allow one’s reputation on other Social Media platforms and one’s blog to speak for oneself.  He concludes: When somebody says something defamatory about me I usually laugh and instinctively feel pity for the person who is so damaged that he or she has to resort to insults to make him or herself feel better about themselves’ (our underlining).

2oceansvibe owner Will Mellor (he lives his life under the pseudonym ‘Seth Rotherham) has produced an etv Tech Report about defamation prevention, ironic in that his blog was subject to a charge of defamation and dishonest reporting about the zoning of the property which is rented by our Whale Cottage Camps Bay.  We question his honesty and ethics, and that of his company. Earlier this week the City of Cape Town confirmed the zoning of the property, and found that there is ‘no land use contravention in terms of the conditions of approval‘, which was granted to the property in 1999! This counters the unsubstantiated 2oceansvibe allegation that the property was incorrectly zoned by the City of Cape Town, and their libelous allegation that the Trust that owns the building may have ‘defrauded’ the City of Cape Town in terms of rates and taxes!  We expect Mellor and his unethical self-proclaimed ‘journalist’ Simon Hartley to remove the libelous post, which was based on unsubstantiated information, and to offer us an apology.  We expect an apology too from Len Steenkamp from the University of Stellenbosch, Ben Wagner and Amanda Sevasti from Native digital agency, Marthèlize Tredoux, Cape Point Trails, Sonia Cabano, Rob Armstrong from Haut Espoir, and Lisa Strachan for alleging impropriety via Tweets or Re-Tweets. See Mellor in drag, for a good laugh, preaching about Social Media defamation prevention!

One hopes that the nasty Tweeters will realise that incessant abusive Tweeting is boring for one’s Followers, leading them to be unfollowed, and reflects their own personal issues, according to Professor de Vos. Twitter has become an open ‘skinner (gossip) space’, in which many have no manners in talking negatively about others publicly, knowing full well that the Tweets can be read by the person(s) they are Tweeting about.  Twitter could be such a pleasant space for all if there were not regular Twars spoiling the communication value of the medium for so many!  In Twitter’s next seven years it is likely that legal controls about what is written will get tighter, in that action will be taken against Twitter abuse, harassment, and defamation.

POSTSCRIPT 3/4: Sonia Cabano closed down her personal Twitter account on Thursday evening.

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

I became a fan of Chef Oliver Cattermole when he was at Dash restaurant at the Queen Victoria hotel last year.  The opportunity to try some of the dishes on his new menu at Dish restaurant at the Le Franschhoek hotel reflected the creative cuisine skills of the Michelin two-star La Gavroche trained chef.

Seeking clarification on a winter menu special, I Tweeted Chef Oliver, and he invited me to try his new winter menu last month, the first menu containing only his dishes since he started at the hotel nine months ago. I had not been impressed with the restaurant on previous visits, but a number of changes, including the menu, made the meal one of my highlights in Franschhoek this year.

When I arrived, I saw a special table with new high back chairs and a tall silver candelabra prepared for me. I was happy to see that the Eetrite cutlery had been set out for a number of courses, eliminating the problem of stretching.  On the table was a vase with the most beautiful Blushing Brides, and coarse Atlantic sea salt and pepper grinders.  The beautiful table setting alone made me feel like a queen. The table was closest to the pass, which is open to the restaurant, so I could chat to Chef Oliver and ask him questions about his delicious dishes.  I was delighted to see that the piano had been moved to the side of the dining room, and was not played, as I have experienced before. Despite it being a freezing cold evening, it was cosy and warm inside, with a modern mobile gas heater in the centre of the room.

Chef Oliver started his career on a part-time basis whilst still at school, cutting his teeth with Chef George Jardine, then at the Cellars Hohenhort hotel. After school he started at Haute Cabriere, working for Chef Matthew Gordon, before leaving for London, where he worked in Chef Michel Roux Jnr’s La Gavroche kitchen in London for a year, describing ‘him as generally a nice guy’. The kitchen had a staff complement of about 20, all French speaking. He learnt the discipline of cooking at La Gavroche.  Chef Michel Jnr did a Masterclass on MasterChef SA, and impressed with his way of dealing with the Finalists, firm but friendly. Chef Oliver also did a two day stage in Alain Ducasse’s kitchen at the Dorchester Hotel, just for the opportunity to learn from this esteemed chef. He also worked at top London restaurants The Ivy and Cannizaro House, before missing sunny South Africa, and returning to Cape Town.

Phillip is a Zimbabwean Hospitality Management intern from the International Hotel School, doing his training at the Le Franschhoek hotel, and he was very proactive in looking after me in serving the food as well as pouring the wine.  He told me that he is studying in South Africa, due to the better quality hospitality training offered locally, and the excellent wine estates in the Cape, having visited almost all of those in Franschhoek already. The dishes were served paired with wines especially selected by Chef Oliver from the special wine collection of the hotel.

The first dish was a Forest mushroom soup served with a semi-dried tomato and mushroom soil, which came to the table with home-made brown bread, and was paired with Hoopenburg Pinot Noir 2008.  It was one of the highlights of the meal, being thick and creamy, and a perfect antidote to the cold outside. The mushrooms are foraged by a supplier in Stellenbosch.  On the starter menu the dish costs R 65.

One of the most beautiful Autumn-inspired dishes was the vegetarian ‘A Taste and Textures from the garden’, costing R100 on the main course section of the menu, and consists of a purée of beetroot, parsnip, sheets of beetroot, dried red onion, cavioli (cauliflower), baby marrow, a beetroot crisp, butternut purée, spinach purée, baby turnips, served with beetroot soil, and red and green caviar drops. This dish was paired with a Mont Rochelle Unwooded Chardonnay 2010.  Chef Oliver told me that he sources his vegetables and herbs from Daniel Kruger, who grows special produce to chefs’ specification outside Franschhoek. He brings seeds for unusual sized and coloured vegetables (e.g. purple potatoes, black radishes, yellow and green-striped aubergines the size of golf balls) from the USA and Holland.

The Duck Bon-Bon starter with parsley root pureé and hot pickled vegetables costs R65, and was paired with a Terra del Capo Sangiovese 2008 from Antonij Rupert Wines in Franschhoek.  The duck is shredded, parsley is added, and rolled in Japanese breadcrumbs, served with spinach purée, and a piccalilli relish made from courgette, cauliflower, peppers, onions and vinegar.  The parsley root comes from the hotel’s own garden. The fourth course was a starter of pan-seared scallops served with a celeriac triangle and Ras El Hanout (honey-infused Moroccan spice mix, which has 21 spices such as hibiscus, rose petals, cardamom, cumin, fennel, ginger, chilli peppers, nutmeg, tumeric, pepper, cinnamon, pollen, curry powder, and coriander), as well as a golden cauliflower, coloured with tea and saffron, at R75.  This dish was served with a French wine, which Oliver had found in the hotel cellar, a Louis Satour Ardèche 2008 Chardonnay.  Chef Oliver sources the scallops from French importer Socomaf.

Compressed pork was served with a medley of apple pureé, toffee apple, and apple caviar, a fruit mustard, as well as a haricot bean purée, a dish which is also on their starter menu, and costs R60.  This dish was paired with Thelema Rhine Riesling 2008.  Other starters on the Dish menu are oak-smoked salmon (R75), and roasted beetroot with whipped goats’ cheese (R60).

The Roast rump of Karoo lamb with minted mash and young white and orange and red carrots was a filling main course, with three slices of lamb served, at R160.  This course was paired with Haut Espoir Cabernet Sauvignon 2004. Other main courses include Chicken Bourguignon, line fish of the day, dry-aged beef fillet, and thyme-roasted venison, ranging in price from R125 – R160.

To complete the more than generous dinner Chef Oliver served Carrot Cake as a dessert, with a medley of carrot pureé, mousse, jelly, and paper, to which he had added walnut candy and raisin pureé, costing R60.  Other desserts have a similar cost, and include apple and sultana crumble, goats’ milk pannacotta, barrel-smoked chocolate fondant, and brioche treacle tart pain.

Every one of Chef Oliver’s dishes is a work of art, created by his team of thirteen, who not only prepare these lovely dinner dishes, but also look after the breakfast requirements of the hotel guests, prepare lunch and dinners at their Le Verger restaurant in the glass ‘hothouse’, and banqueting requirements for conferences, weddings, and other events. Chef Oliver is in the right place in Franschhoek, in the village which positions itself as the gourmet centre of the country, to present his creative cuisine.

Dish Restaurant, Le Franschhoek Hotel, Franschhoek.  Tel ()21) 876-8900.  www.lefranschhoek.co.za Monday – Sunday dinner, Sunday buffet.  Twitter @Le_Franschhoek

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

The Winter 2012 specials for Cape Town and Winelands restaurants follow below, and will be updated continuously:

*   Pepenero in Mouille Point : Sirloin and chips R89, Seafood platter R 129, 1 kg prawn platter R99, Sushi platter R109, Mussels and chips R79, Pasta of the day R79, Chicken schnitzel R79, Lamb chops R109, Crayfish tails R149. Half price sushi all day. Daily. Winter. Tel (021) 439-9027 (checked 11/8)

*   Sinn’s Restaurant at Wembley Square:  Lunch (6 options) at R55. Monday – Saturday, 11h00 – 17h00.  Current. Tel (021) 465-0967 (updated 9/8)

*   Theo’s on Beach Road, Mouille Point: Oysters R 6 each, 15 prawns R99, 250g Sirloin steak R99, 3 lamb chops R99,  400g Rump Espetada R110, Kingklip and 6 prawns R99, 250g Lobster and 6 prawns R125. Current. Tel (021) 439-3494 (updated 9/8)

*   Sevruga in the V&A Waterfront: half price sushi Monday – Saturday 2 – 6 pm; 25 % off sushi, daily 12 – 2pm, 50 % off Sunday 2 – 6 pm, 3-course menu R160, lunch and dinner; 2-course lunch R120. Current. Tel (021) 421-5134 (updated 9/8)

*   Beluga, The Foundry, Green Point: 50 % off sushi, dimsum and cocktails all day Sunday, and from 12h00 – 19h00 other weekdays. 2-course lunch R120; 3-course lunch and dinner R160.  Current. Tel (021) 418-2948 (updated 9/8)

*   La Mouette, Regent Road, Sea Point : 6-course Tasting Menu R 185, with wines paired R 370. Monday – Sunday dinner, Friday and Saturday lunch. September. Tel (021) 433-0856 (updated 1/9).

*   Bertha’s in Simonstown: 1 kg Queen prawns cost R99 each, 1kg mussels R99, 1 kg chicken wings R99,  Half rack of ribs R59. Bertha’s seafood platter R109. 2 courses R 120, 3 courses R150. Until end September. Tel (021) 786-2138 (updated 9/8)

*   Aubergine:  2-course lunch R198,  3-course lunch R254, Wednesdays – Fridays.  Monday – Saturdays except public holidays. Daily dinner specials. 3-course R365, 4-course R425, 5-course R 495 meat and seafood degustation menu. Winter Bistro 2 courses R200, 3 courses R 275, optional wine pairing.End August. Tel (021) 465-4909 (updated 17/8)

*   Ferryman’s Tavern, V&A Waterfront: Ostrich burger plus red wine R 75. T-bone steak plus a beer R95. Winter. Tel (021) 419-7748 (updated 9/8)

*   Hildebrand: Main course R90, 2 courses R 120, 3 courses R150.  Until August. Tel (021) 425-3385 (updated 9/8)

*   Blowfish in Blouberg: half-price sushi Wednesday  and Sunday 5 – 8 pm; Seafood platter plus two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc R150, Rump steak plus glass of red wine R99, Chicken curry R79, seafood linguini R69.  Current. Tel (021) 556-5464 (updated 9/8)

*   Knife restaurant, Century City:  Bagels R35/R45/R55 Lunch special, 12h00 – 15h00, Mondays – Fridays. Indefinite. Tel (021) 551-5000 (updated 9/8)

*   Saul’s Sushi @ Vegas, Sea Point: Eat as much sushi as you like for R120 Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturday; Mongolian eat as much as you can R79; Sushi 30 % off on Wednesdays; Sundays 40 % off. Winter. Tel 087 151 4595

*   Trees Restaurant, Townhouse Hotel, Cape Town:  Grill special plus glass of wine R125 daily, buffet R155 Sundays – Thursdays. Indefinite. Tel (021) 465-7050 (updated 9/8)

*   Trinity, Bennett Street:  All you can eat rib R99 Mondays ; 2 Pizzas and 2 glasses of wine R99 Monday – Thursday from 12 pm;  I/2 price sushi, cocktails and tapas Monday – Thursday 16h00 – 22h00. Current. Tel (021) 418-0624

*   French Toast, Bree Street: Bruschetta tapas free with glass of wine Mondays – Saturdays, 5 – 7 pm.  All wines costing R 400 or less half price on Mondays.  Daily lunch specials. Current. Tel (021) 422-3839

* The Square, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 5 course menu R 195/R295 with wines, dinner only. Half price sushi 5 – 7 pm.  Monday – Sunday.  Current. Tel ()21) 657-4500 (updated 9/8)

*   Dunes, Hout Bay : Sunday buffet with smoked salmon, oysters and cooked breakfast R120. Current. Tel (021) 790-1876

*   Arnold’s on Kloof, 60 Kloof Street, Gardens:  Early bird breakfast half-price special if order before 7h00 Monday – Friday.  Peppa Poppers R35, Biltong fillet steak mens/ladies R69/R99, Stew for U2 R110, Chicken Kloof R 59.  Until 15 July. Tel (021) 424-4344.

*   Five Flies, Half price for all main courses. Mondays – Sundays. August and September. Tel (021) 424-4442 (updated 2/8)

*   Codfather, Camps Bay:  half-price sushi 12h00 – 18h00, daily.  Indefinite. Tel (021) 438-0782

*   Black Marlin, Simonstown:  2-course meal R115, 3-course R140. Indefinite. Tel (021) 786-1621

*   Cape Town Fish Market, Big Bay, V&A Waterfront, Canal Walk, Tyger Valley, Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Tokai, Grand West Casino: “All you can eat Breakfast Buffet” R60, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays; 4-course Seafood buffet lunch R125, Sundays and public holidays.  Buy one, get one free – hake on Mondays, sushi on Tuesdays, calamari on Wednesdays.  Indefinite. Tel (021) 554-5962.

*   La Bruixa, Sea Point: Seafood paella for two for R260, includes a salad.  Current. Tel (021) 434-8797

*   La Boheme, Sea Point: 2-courses R95, 3-courses R 120. Current. Tel (021) 434-8797

*   The Round House, Camps Bay: 4-course a la carte menu R450, 6-course set tasting menu R595. 3 course lunch R220.  Current. Tel (021) 438-4347

*   Planet Restaurant,  Mount Nelson Hotel:  5-course Vegan Journey menu (R300), 5-course The Journey menu R330. Current. 5-course Titanic Menu R330, until 30 April. Tel (021) 483-1000.

*   Café Manhattan, 74 Waterkant Street: 2 Beef burgers + 2 chicken burgers + 2 chips + 2 cokes + 2 draft beers or 2 glasses of house wine R200; Pasta and a glass of house wine R 69. May and June. Tel (021) 421-6666

*   Savour Restaurant, 51 on Orange: Sunday Lunch Buffet plus ‘never-ending supply of Methodé Cap Classique’ R265.  Current. Tel (021) 469-8037

*   La Colombe, Constantia: 8-course Gourmand menu R 625, or with wine R850, Monday – Saturday, Current. 3 course lunch R240 from 16 June – 15 November, 5 course dinner R395 with wine, R310 without wine 16 June – 31 October.  Specials do not apply to Sundays.  (Renovation break 16 May – 16 June). Tel (021) 794-2390

*   Catharina’s, Steenberg Hotel: 2-course lunch R185, 3-course lunch R215, 3-course dinner R250.  Current.  Tel (021) 713-2222

*   Constantia Uitsig: 3-course lunch and dinner R390, Monday – Saturday. Current. 3-course lunch R210 . 17 April – 15 November, 3-course dinner R250 from 17 April – 31 October. Specials do not apply to Sundays.  (Winter break from 25 June – 24 July). Tel (021) 794-4480

*   River Café:  2 course lunch plus tea/coffee R99, 3 courses R 119;  tea/coffee plus muffin, scone, croissant or slice of cake of the day R35 15h00 – 16h30. Not available on Sundays. (Winter break from 13 August – 4 September).  1 May – 31 October. Tel (021) 794-3010

*   Rick’s Café Américain, Park Road: Lunch specials R45, change daily; and more specials on drinks. Indefinite.  Tel (021) 424-1100

*   Barocca, Camps Bay Club: 2 for the price of one burgers Tuesday evenings; From 5 pm. Indefinite. Tel (021) 438-1992

*   Seaforth Restaurant, Simonstown: Cheese Burger R38 Mondays, Deep fried prawns R90 Tuesdays; hake and chips R38 Wednesdays; Eat as much calamari as you like R49 Thursdays; Steak and calamari R88 Fridays; Eat as much as you like pork spare ribs R88 Saturdays. From 6 pm. Current. Tel (021) 786-4810 (Closing at 5 pm Mondays and Sundays June, July and August)

*   Pizzeria Villagio, Howard Centre, Pinelands: Free glass of Teddy Hall wine with home-made pasta on Tuesdays; get cheaper main course free for table of two, or 20 % of bill for table of more than two, on Wednesdays.  Winter. Tel (021) 531-4473

*   Azure Restaurant, Twelve Apostles Hotel, Camps Bay: 5-courses R315 includes movie and popcorn, Current. Tel (021) 437-9000

*   Diva Pizza, Buitenkant Street: 2 large margherita pizzas with choice of two toppings R89, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.  Sit-down pizza for two, with two toppings and two glasses of wine R99 on Sundays and Tuesdays.  Current. Tel (021) 461-0013

*   Tokyo Restaurant & Sushi Bar: Buy two get one free daily until 5pm; Sushi Buffet Fridays and Saturday from 5 pm, 7 plates R99, unlimited number of plates R118.  Indefinite. Tel (021) 424-5108

*   BlueFin Seafood & Sushi, Plattekloof: 50 % off sushi 11h00 – 17h00; ‘Eat as much a you like’ Sushi R129; Platters ½ price from 11h00 – 19h00. Monday – Sunday. Current. Tel (021) 558-4281

*   Rhapsody’s, Green Point: 50 % off sushi daily from 10h00 – 20h00. Current. Tel (021) 434-3004

*   Reuben’s, One&Only Cape Town, V&A Waterfront: One&Only Seafood Platter for Two R995. Dish of the day and glass of wine R99 lunch. Sunday lunch buffet R225. Current. Tel (021) 431-5888

*   Bayside Café, Camps Bay:  Order two main courses, and second person gets lower priced dish free. Until end August. Tel (021) 438-2650.

*   Café Chameleon, Plattekloof: Monday – Friday lunch special of small pizza R 45.  Monday and Saturday dinner large pizza special R55.  Ongoing. Tel (021) 911-1025

*   Taiwan City Chinese Cuisine, Century City: 3 courses for 2 persons for R175. Until 30 June. Tel (021) 555-3081

*   Myoga, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 7-course dinner R 225. Until April.  Tel (021) 657-4545.

*   Zorba’s, Lagoon Beach: Seafood and meat platter for two R220. 18 Prawns R99, Chicken kebabs R60, 600g ribs, 500 g rump steak R125, Beef espetada R110. Lunch and dinner daily (not valid Saturday lunch). Current. Tel (021) 528-2093

*   Den Anker, V&A Waterfront: Vol au vent  with Vedett white beer R 85.  Until October. Tel (021) 419-0249

*   F.east, Loop Street: chicken or vegetable curry lunch special R59. Current. Tel (021) 424-5903.

*   Sinatra’s at The Pepper Club Hotel has a business lunch special of R50 for a meal ordered, served and eaten in 50 minutes, or you get your money back. Includes free parking. Monday – Friday 12h00 – 15h00. Current. Tel (021) 812-8888.

*   Mugg & Bean, V&A Waterfront: Free cappuccino with slice of cake Mondays 3 – 6 pm; buy one BBQ Burger and get one free Wednesdays 5 – 10 pm;  three free toppings on BBQ Burger Fridays 5 – 10 pm; free extra 200 g ribs with 600g rib order Saturdays 5 – 10 pm.  Winter. Tel (021) 419-6451

* I my Laundry, Buitengracht Street: 8 pieces of Dim Sum and a cappuccino or glass of wine R40. Daily 7h00 – 19h00.  Current. Book at 084 6600 777.

*   Slug & Lettuce, Kloof Street: 300g rump steak, chips and pumpkin fritters R89. Current. Tel (021) 422-5325

*   Foodbarn, Noordhoek: 50 % of all lunch dishes Monday – Friday, until end April. Tel (021) 789-1390

*   Cru Café, Cape Quarter: 2 jumbo gourmet burgers R99, 12h00 – 14h00 daily. Buy one tapas and/or cocktail, get one free (except calamari tapas) 16h00 – 18h00; two 150 g T-bone steaks for price of one R150 Fridays and Saturdays from 6 pm; oxtail and mutton stew for two R 119 daily from 6 pm. Hake and chips, or chicken schnitzel and chips, R39, Sundays 12h00 – 15h00. Current. Tel (021) 418-6334

*   1800°, Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, Green Point: ‘Christmas in July’ 3 course meal R295, with Sally Williams and Equinox Spa gift pack. July. Tel (021) 430-0506

*   Tuscany Beach, Camps Bay: 50 % off partner’s main course. 25% off all sushi. Every evening, Monday – Friday lunch.  Winter. Tel (021) 438-1213

*   Pigalle, Green Point: 2-courses R140, 3-courses R170, 4-courses R 200 Monday – Thursday, until 1 September. Seafood Platter for two R275, Monday – Thursday dinner, and Tuesday – Friday lunch.  Current. Tel (021) 421-4848 (updated 28/7)

*   RBG Bar & Grill, Park Inn, Foreshore: Classic Burger R50, Grilled Chicken Caeser R50, Sirloin steak R85 Monday – Thursday 12h00 – 14h00. Current. Tel (021) 427-4800.

*   Hussar Grill, Green Point: 2 courses R99.  Winter. Tel (021) 433-2081.

*   Blues, Camps Bay: 2 courses R120, 3 courses R 150. Winter. (Closed in June) Tel (01) 438-2040.

*   5 Rooms, Alphen Boutique Hotel: Seafood platter R159, 1 kg Prawn platter R99, Osso Buco R89, Lamb shank R129, 400g Prime rib R119, Butter Chicken curry R79;  2 courses R140, 3 courses R190. Winter. Tel (021) 795-6313.

*   Liberty’s, Upper Eastside Hotel: 3-courses paired with three wines R185; choice of one of three pasta dishes R48 on Mondays; one bottle of Brickfield red or white wine for two main courses ordered on Wednesdays; 12 Mozambican prawns done three ways for R85 on Thursdays; 3 &Union beers plus a tasting prego roll R100 on Fridays; daily blue plate specials R45. Winter. Tel (021) 404-0570

*   Harbour House, Kalk Bay: 2 courses R 150, 3 courses R170. Winter. Tel (021) 788-4133.

*   Harbour House, V & A Waterfront: 2 courses R150, 3 courses R170, all meals except Sunday lunch. September. Tel (021) 418-4744 (updated 30/8)

*   Mezepoli, Camps Bay: Beef, chicken or vegetarian pita with chips, beer, or cold drink R70 on Mondays; half-price sushi on Wednesdays; Meze platter R120 Sundays. Winter. Tel (021) 438-1915.

*   Cascades, Sea Point: 3-courses R150, from 10 May. Tel (021) 434-5209

*   Ocean Blue, Camps Bay: Seafood platter R99, Linefish R79, Calamari R79, Sirloin steak R79, Prawns and linefish R79, Calamari and linefish R79, calamari and prawns, R79, Steak and prawns/calamari R79, Lobster and prawns R129, Oysters R6. Breakfast R30. Until end September. Tel (021) 438-4204 (updated 23/7)

*   Sinatra’s, Pepper Club Hotel: 3 course meal with glass of house wine R200, from 10 May until end September. Tel (021) 812-8888

*   Zenzero, Camps Bay: 3-courses set menu R 149. Butternut and Feta cannelloni R79, Parmesan lamb chops R119, Osso Bucco R99, Lamb shank R109, Wild mushroom risotto (R89), chicken risotto (R89), pan fried tuna R119.  Winter. Tel (021) 438-0007 (updated 23/7)

* Bungalow, Clifton: ‘Speciality Winter Menu’, with six main courses ranging in price from R90 for Bouillabaisse to R155 for crayfish pasta, and one dessert, chocolate fondant, at R60. Winter. Tel (021) 438-2018.

*   Mariner’s Wharf, Hout Bay: Free filter coffee or tot of Allesverloren port for 2 courses ordered. Starters R25 – R39, Mains R60 – R99, Desserts R25. Until 15 September, excludes Sundays and public holidays.  Tel (021) 790-1100

*   Salt Café, Bantry Bay: Breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage and coffee or juice R65. Spring. Tel (021) 439-3354 (Updated 3/9)

*   Rocca, Cape Quarter: Crayfish R99 on Monday and Tuesday evenings. 3-course dinner R123 Monday – Saturday. Winter. Tel (021) 418-8000

*   Mezbaan Indian Restaurant, Hilton Cape Town: ‘Curry Cup’ Buffet with soup, salads, nine curries, sambals, naan bread, poppadoms, and a selection of desserts, and all soft drinks R151, Thursday evenings. All year.  Tel (021) 481-3700

*   Buitenverwachting Restaurant, Constantia: 2 courses R175, 3 courses R225.  Tapas menu 5 dishes R129 and 7 dishes R179. Winter. Tel (021) 794-3522

*   Haiku: Dim Sum, Robata and Sushi platters R119, Lunch Monday – Friday. 3 courses R179, 5 courses R249, Dinner Monday – Wednesday.  Winter. Tel (021) 424-7000

* Saints on 84 Kloof, Gardens: Order 2 flatbreads and pay for one Monday; order 2 Saints classic burgers and pay for one Thursday. Winter Tel (021) 424-0030

*   The Raj, Camps Bay : 3 courses and glass of house wine R134.80. Winter. Tel (021) 438-4555.

*   Alexander Bar and Café, Strand Street:  Home cooking dish of day R40, Mondays. Winter.  Tel (021) 300-1088

*   Il Cappero, Camps Bay: 50 % off pasta and desserts on Monday lunch and dinner. Winter. Tel (021) 438-7074

*   The Grand on the Beach, The Grand Camps Bay: 2 courses R140, 3 courses R160, each with a glass of house wine.  Winter. Tel 072 586 2052/(021) 438-4253

* St Elmo’s: 4 Pizza pies R99; 2 large regular pizzas R109,90; 2 medium regular pizzas R74,90; 2 large pizzas R89,90 on Tuesdays only; Large regular pizza plus 400 gram rack of sticky ribs and chips R 129,90; Small regular pizza plus 330ml Coca Cola R29,90. Winter. All branches.

*   Krugmann’s Grill, V&A Waterfront: Fusion Oxtail Thali R110. Winter. Tel (021) 418-9393

*   Andiamo, old Cape Quarter, De Waterkant: 2 pizzas or 2 pastas, or one of each, at R 109,95. Until October.  Tel (021) 421-3687.

*   Upstairs @ Quay Four: Malay Kreef Curry R90, 2 courses R120, 3 courses R130.  Until end August.  Tel (021) 419-2008

*   Debonairs Pizza: Pizza Tower (4 layers of large pizza) R109,90. Until 29 October. Tel (021) 439-7575

*   Maxi’s, Cape Gate, N1 City, Paarl, Zevenwacht:  350 gram T-Bone steak R59,90. From 15h00. T&Cs apply. Current.  Tel 0834562947

*   Café Chic, Gardens: 3-course dinner R150. Beef Bourguinon or oxtail R99. Winter.  Tel (021) 465-7218 (updated 2/8)

*   Pepper Club on the Beach, Camps Bay: Order two main courses, and get the lesser priced one for free. Lunch Friday – Sunday, Dinner Wednesday – Sunday. Winter.  Tel (021) 438-3174.

*   Balducci’s, V&A Waterfront: Sushi plate R109, all pizza and pasta R49. Free bottle of Sauvignon Blanc or House Red for two main meals ordered, at R90 minimum spend per main meal. Current. Tel (021) 421-6002 (checked 22/8)

*   Willoughby’s, V&A Waterfront:  ‘Clicquot Fridays’: 3 sashimi dishes with tuna and salmon, and glass of Veuve Clicquot R149. Fridays. Winter. Tel (021) 418-6115 (added 5/8)

*   Sotano by Caveau, La Splendida Hotel, Mouille Point: Beef burger, lamb pita, club sandwich, and haloumi/tomato/caper flatbread R65, 2 lamb burgers for the price of one on Wednesdays from 17h00, Spring. Tel (021) 433-1757 (updated 3/9)

*   Kushi Indian Restaurant, 315 Main Road, Sea Point, and Red Sails, Main Road, Hout Bay: Butter Chicken, mixed vegetable curry, Naan, Basmati rice, and glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon R149. Winter. Tel (021) 433-2069/791-4805 (added 11/8)

*   The Slug & Lettuce, Kloof Street: Gourmet Burger R49 Sunday from 17h00. Current. Tel (021) 422-5325. (added 19/8)

WINELANDS

Franschhoek

*   Allee Bleue, outside Franschhoek: choice of three 250g steaks at R115, including a glass of estate wine, current. Lunch, Wednesday – Sunday.  ‘Jazzed Up Sundays’ Buffet R145 per person.  ‘Winter Hotties Menu’ : Braised oxtail, prawn curry, springbok shank, and lentil stew with Frankfurters, all R75. Winter. Chicnics (standard and vegetarian picnics) from 1 September, cost R155 per person, winetasting offered. Tel (021) 874-1021

*   Allora in Franschhoek: 3-course Sunday lunch R99 all year. Lunch and dinner: 2 courses R89,  3 courses R110. Winter. Tel (021) 876-4375.

*   L’ermitage, Franschhoek: 3-courses R185 and a glass of wine. Lunch. Current. Tel (021) 876-9200

*   Grande Provence Jonkershuis, Franschhoek: 3-course meal for a minimum of eight guests, R 250 per person. 1 May – 30 September. Closed Sunday evenings until September. Tel (021) 876-8600.

*   La Residence, Franschhoek: 2 courses R 380, 3 courses R 490, 4 courses R 600 per person, all inclusive of ‘house wines’ and local beverages. Dinner. Daily.  Current.  Tel (021) 876-4100

*   Haute Cabriere, Franschhoek: 4-course Table d’Haut lunch R150, Tuesday – Friday;  Pierre Jourdan Breakfast, cellar tour, and tasting R150, from 10h00 Saturdays;  Pinot Noir Tasting Menu – 5 courses and wine R495, Friday and Saturday dinner, Saturday and Sunday lunch. From 1 May. Tel (021) 876-3688

*   Freedom Hill Restaurant, outside Franschhoek: 3-course meal R135. Selection of tapas R10 – R30. Wednesday – Mondays. Winter. Tel (021) 867-0963.

*   Reuben’s: Burger and chips R 85.  Current. Tel (021) 876-3772 (updated 4/9)

*   Dish at Le Franschhoek:  3 courses R 195. Winter. Tel (021) 876-8900

*   Monneaux: 2 course Fireplace soup and curry R120 Wednesday and Friday. 2 course lunch R120, 3 courses R150. Winter. Tel (021) 876-3386

*   Cosecha, Noble Hill: Slow cooked vegetarian chilli R40. Weekdays. Winter. Tel (021) 874-3844

*   Fyndraai, Solms-Delta: Cape Family Buffet R185, Sundays.  Winter. Tel (021) 874-3937

*   The Tasting Room, Le Quartier Français: Get one dinner free for two ordered, Wednesday evenings, until end August. Tel (021) 876-2151 (updated 23/7)

* Pierneef à La Motte, La Motte: 6-course dinner with ‘surprises in-between’ R350, or R495 with wine pairing. Summer.  Tel (021) 876-8800 (updated 31/8)

Paarl

*   Bosman’s, Grande Roche, Paarl: 2-courses R135, 3-courses R170.  Monday – Sunday lunch  (Bosman’s and at Bistro) and dinner (Bistro only).  Winter. Tel (021) 863-5100.

* eat @ Simonsvlei, Simonsvlei Winery, Old Paarl Road: Steak and baked potato R95. Friday evenings. Winter.  Tel (021) 863-3040

Stellenbosch

*   Towerbosch Restaurant, Knorhoek Wine Estate, Stellenbosch:  Asado Argentian-style braai on Sundays R165. Indefinite. Tel (021) 865-2958*

*   Tokara Restaurant, Stellenbosch: Chef’s Menu – 4 courses, inclusive of glass of wine R 250.  Winter, from 8 May. Tuesday – Sunday lunch, Tuesday – Saturday dinner. Tel (021) 885-2550

*   Wild Peacock Food Emporium, 32 Piet Retief Str, Stellenbosch: Specials as per menu, dinner   Wednesday and Friday evenings. Early bird mini breakfast plus tea/coffee R25 Monday – Friday 7h30 – 9h00. Terrific Tuesday lunch R59 Tuesdays 12h00 – 14h00. Indefinite. Tel (021) 887-7585

*   Johan’s at Longridge, Stellenbosch: 6-course lunch and dinner plus 6 glasses of wine R 400. Friday – Tuesday (closed Wednesdays and Thursdays). Current. Tel (021) 855-2004.*

*   Clos Malverne, Stellenbosch: 4-course wine and food pairing lunch R198, Tuesday – Friday, Summer. Tel (021) 865-2022 (updated 21/8)

*   Lord Neethling Restaurant, Neethlingshof, Stellenbosch:  choice of 6 main courses with 250 ml wine R115, Sunday buffet lunch R150.   2 Impala schnitzel, 2 beef medallions or 2 lamb shanks, with 2 paired glasses of Neethlingshof wines R160, Wednesday and Friday dinner, and Monday – Saturday lunch. Winter. Tel (021) 883-8966.

*   96 Winery Road, Stellenbosch: 3 course meal R185. Monday – Saturday, 3 – 30 September. Tel (021) 842-2020 (update 29/8)

*   Wild Peacock Food Emporium: Early Bird Breakie (cooked breakfast) R25 Monday – Friday 7h30 – 9h00; cake of the day and tea/coffee R25 Monday – Friday 15h00 – 17h00; 2-course set lunch R59 Tuesdays 12h00 – 14h00. Current.  Tel (021) 887-7585.

*   Warwick wine estate: Tapas range from R25 – R60. Winter. Tel (021) 884-4410.

*   Terroir, Kleine Zalze: 2 courses R 175, 3 courses R198, both with a glass of Kleine Zalze wine. Monday – Saturday lunch and dinner. Until 30 September. (closed 25 June – 9 July) Tel (021) 880-8167

*   Dornier Bodega Restaurant, Dornier wine estate: Swiss Chocolate Affair: 2 courses R190, 3 courses R 250. Lunch daily, but closed Tuesdays. Until 2 September. Tel (021) 880-0557

*   Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine, Jordan wine estate:  4 courses and 2 glasses of Jordan wines R225 Tuesday – Saturdays.  Bread-baking course R650 Saturday mornings. Until 1 September. Tel (021) 881-3612

*   Overture: 4-courses R 250, and R350 if paired with wines. Tuesday – Friday lunch, Dinner Thursday and Friday. Winter. Tel (021) 880-2721

*   Hartenberg: Steak and Shiraz, R95, Fridays. Winter.

*   Taste, mid-way between Stellenbosch and Somerset West: 3 course meal R175, Lunch and Dinner, Thursdays – Mondays. Winter. Tel (021) 855-3686

Hermanus

*   Season in Hermanus: 50 % off selected lunch menu items Tuesday – Saturday.  Afval R45 Tuesdays. 50% dinner discount for pensioners on Wednesday. Hake and calamari combo R55 Thursday. Free 200g rump steak free for a 300 g rump steak ordered for R110, on Friday.  Sunday lunch: 1 course R70, 2 courses R92. June. Tel (028) 316-2854

*   The Class Room, Hermanus: Choice of Venison dishes R70, Wednesdays and Fridays. Tel (028) 316-3582 (update 15/8)

*   Rossi’s Italian Restaurant, Hermanus: Small Pizza R38 Lunch Mondays – Fridays. Current. Tel (028) 312-2848

*   Amigos Cantina Restaurant: Free bottle of house wine for table of 4.2 bottles for table of 8 Tuesdays; buy one get one free on chicken liver starter or Chicken/Beef/Vegetarian Tortilla Wednesdays; free coffee and a port/sherry Thursdays. Current. Tel (028) 313-0384

*   Oskars, Harbour Road and Eastcliff Village Centre: Free glass of wine with any lunch ordered.  Winter. Tel (028) 313-0629

Plettenberg Bay

*   Nguni: Friday night special R50. Tel (044) 533-6710 (updated 31/8)

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

Copyright: Whale Cottage Portfolio

Franschhoek understands the value of regular events, and the power they have in attracting visitors to the village.  During October it is hosting its first ‘Franschhoek Art in Clay’ ceramics exhibition, Ceramics Fair, a pop-up ceramics shop, and setting up ‘pop-up’ restaurants in some of the participating galleries too.  In addition, the summer season of Cook Franschhoek takes place, and a Classical Music Festival will end off the month on a high note.

The driving force behind the ‘Art in Clay’ event is David Walters, who is one of South Africa’s leading potters and has been working in Franschhoek for a number of years now.   The participating galleries, and the ceramicists exhibiting their work, are the following:

Ceramics Gallery: Potter David Walters has been working in ceramics for 35 years, and now specialises in porcelain.  He has started specialising in creating dinnerware for some of the top restaurants in our country, including Reuben’s. He founded the Midlands Meander.  Exhibition of work by him, his daughter Sarah Walters, and by Jonathan Keep, Christo Giles, John Wilhelm, and Lindsay Scott.  Reuben Riffel will prepare a lunch on 23 October (sold out already). High Tea will be served, using David Walters’ hand-made tea sets, including Wedgewood nougat and Angel biscuits, on weekends, at R50.   24 Dirkie Uys Street.  Monday – Sunday 10h00 – 18h00. Tel (021) 876-4304.

Artefact: Tiny gallery with ceramics work by Vuyisa Potina, Andrea Desmond Smith, Kobus Stander, David Walters, and Sarah Walters.  Daniel Hugo Street.  Tel (021) 876-4304.

Ebony: Ceramics work by Clementina van der Walt, Hennie Meyer, Katherine Glenday, Lisa Ringwood, Mick and Sally Haigh, and Michael Chandler. Opening cocktail party for invited guests only, with food served by Neil Jewell on ceramicware made by the exhibitors. Franschhoek Square, Huguenot Street.  Tel 082 558 2221

Gallery at Grande Provence: Ceramics works by Imiso Ceramics, Zizamele Ceramics, Michael Haig, Louise Gelderblom, and Rae Goosen.  Lunches available daily next door in the Restaurant at Grande Provence. Main Road.  Tel (021) 876-8600.

IS Art: Ceramics work by Hylton Nel, Ralph Johnson, Helen Vaughan, Lisa Firer, Ann Marais, Wilma Cruise, Dale Lambert, Wendy McLachlin, Sue van Rensburg, Chris Smart, Caroline Heydenrecht, Hannes van Zyl, John Wilhelm, and Rebecca Tetley.   Lunch for 12 served in the gallery on 23 October by Margot Janse.  Huguenot Str.  Tel (021) 876-8443.

La Motte Museum: The theme if the exhibition is “Potters who are no longer with us”, paying tribute to deceassed and emigrated potters, in exhibiting the Ceramics SA exhibition at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, and from the Social History Collection of Iziko Museums of Cape Town.  Artists’ work exhibited includes that of Barbara Jackson, Bonnie Ntshalinsthali, Hyne Rabinowitz, Esias Bosch, Tim Morris, Sonja Gerlings, and Marietjie van der Merwe.  Lunches are available at Pierneef à La Motte.   Tel (021) 876-8850. Tuesday – Sunday 9h00 – 17h00.

The ‘Pop-Up’ Ceramics shop will be located in The Yard (where Isabellina was, at 38 Huguenot Road, home of the Salmon Bar and Pam Golding Properties) for the month of October,  including ceramics work by Heath Nash, Zizamele, Imiso Ceramics, Andy de Klerk of Cabinetworks, Urban Africa, Soulchild, and Chimpel. Under the trees outside the Dutch Reformed Church hall members of the Cape Craft & Design Institute and of Ceramics SA will display and sell their pottery on Saturday 29 October.

In honour of Franschhoek’s Gourmet status, and many potters’ crafting dinnerware for the local restaurants, the Summer season of ‘Cook Franschhoek’ takes place next weekend, from 7 – 9 October, and allows food lovers to rub shoulders with the local chefs and winemakers.  On Friday Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon will prepare beetroot risotto, beetroot chutney, and beetroot flatbread, paired with Haut Espoir wine; Chef Adrian Buchanan of Freedom Hill will demonstrate preparing grilled scallops with prawns, chorizo and pea shoot salad; Salmon Bar’s Chef Judy Sendzul will do a salmon and trout tasting, paired with Boekenhoutskloof wines; Chef Paula Johnson of Le Verger at Le Franschhoek Hotel will prepare chocolate hazelnut dacquoise, paired with La Bri wines; Chef Ryan Smith of Ryan’s Kitchen will do an ice cream, and sorbet demo, pairing with Antonij Rupert Wines; Chef Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte will demonstrate cooking meat with shiraz, chocolate spice and berries, using La Motte wines.  On Saturday the Franschhoek Food Emporium’s Chef Robert Rittel will do a talk on the art of patés and terrines, pairing with Lynx Wines; Chef Shaun Schoeman of Fyndraai Restaurant will talk about veldfood flavours, pairing with Solms-Delta Winery; Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon does a pork belly demo, pairing with Haut Espoir; Chef Ryan Smith repeats the ice cream and sorbet demo, paired with Antonij Rupert Wines; Chef Margot Janse prepares beetroot sponge, spinach and onion puree, buttermilk labne, dill and cucumber granita, paired with Haut Espoir wines; Chef Paula Johnson of Le Verger repeats her chocolate hazelnut dacqouise, paired with La Bri wines; and Chef Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte repeats his course on cooking meat with Shiraz;  Chef Adrian Buchanan repeats the scallop, prawn, chorizo and pea shoot salad demo, paired with their Freedom Hill wines; and the Salmon Bat trout and salmon tasting , paired with Boekenhoutskloof wines, is repeated.  On Sunday Chef Reuben Riffel will cook miso glazed Franschhoek salmon trout, paired with Boekenhoutskloof; Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon demonstrates the making of a Christmas apple and cranberry cake, and a spice-infused milk tart, paired with Haut Espoir; and the art of patés and terrines by Chef Robert Rittel of Franschhoek Food Emporium, with wines by Lynx, is repeated.

To add a crescendo to the month-long ceramics exhibition, talented Steinway pianist Christopher Duigan has organised the 8th Classic Music Festival for the last weekend of October.  The programme kicks off with a tribute to ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, with Zorada Temmingh performing in the Dutch Reformed Church, utilising a restored 1925 silent movie version of the film, with organ improvisation, on Friday 28 October. On the programme for 29 October are Claude Bolling’s suites for flute and jazz piano in the Dutch Reformed Church; a Food, Wine and Music tasting takes place in the courtyard in The Yard, outside the Salmon Bar and Taste South Africa, with cheese, charcuterie, and trout boards, a wine tasting, and music by accordionist Stanislav Angelov; and ‘Music of the Night’ with Louise Howlett and Albert Combrink at Café Bon Bon, with dinner.   On Sunday Christopher Duigan will perform ‘Liszt vs Liszt’ at the Dutch Reformed Church; classical guitarist James Grace performs at Bread & Wine over lunch; and a ‘Festival Finale’ will be held at Café Bon Bon.

Franschhoek Art in Clay, Franschhoek.  1 – 30 October.  Contact David Walters for more information: Tel (021) 876- 4304.   For details of the Classic Music Festival: www.musicrevival.co.za For tickets for Cook Franschhoek: www.webtickets.co.za

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

I had recently been to the Le Franschhoek Hotel, after an absence of more than a year, to try out its Afternoon Tea.  I met Chef Daniel Botha, and was impressed with the menu for DISH, which I asked to see while I was there.  I liked the look of the Chicken liver cognac parfait (R55) so much that I took some with me, and vowed to return for dinner at DISH as soon as I returned to Franschhoek over the Franschhoek Literary Festival weekend.  It was interesting to hear that the restaurant had changed its name from Relais Gourmand, and allegedly faces legal action from Relais & Châteaux, which appears to have trademarked the word “Relais”!

I arrived without making a booking, and the restaurant only had three tables occupied other than mine, out of the 14 in the restaurant – two tables were hotel guests and another was a 10-person party of media from China, hosted by Eben Lassen, GM of the Le Franschhoek Hotel, and Jenny Prinsloo, the CEO of the Franschhoek Wine Valley tourism association.  For the 17 patrons in the restaurant in total, the service from the 4 – 5 waiters and Restaurant Manager Ruaan Spencer should have been far better than that which I experienced on Thursday evening, especially given the fine food that is offered at DISH.

The Customer Services gentleman of the hotel recognised me, and immediately told me that he had passed my feedback form from my Afternoon Tea, where there was a service issue, on to his boss Mr Lassen.  He escorted me inside the restaurant, and asked his colleagues to organise a table for me.  Ruaan brought the menu and winelist, and asked me to choose between still or sparkling bottled water, and I opted for the fresh Franschhoek version, as I always do.  He then told me about two main course specials, but forgot to tell me that they had run out of duck for the main course, which I was told at a later stage by the waitress.  Busi was the waitress that came to my table the most, and we discussed the wines by the glass, a disappointingly small selection, none being a Shiraz.  Busi wanted to please, and said she had an open bottle of Zandvliet Shiraz 2008, from which she could pour a glassful at R40, and I accepted her offer.  She came to the table with a bottle of Nederburg Manor House 2006 Shiraz, telling me that she had discovered that the Zandvliet had run out, and she was therefore offering me the Nederburg in its place, but at R90 a glass!   I felt this to be unfair, and so she kept the charge at the originally promised R40.  The wine was outstanding.  I was not asked if I wanted to order another glassful when I had finished the first! 

The DISH dining room is large, and the tables are far apart from each other, creating a lack of cohesion and atmosphere.  The lighting from the overhead lamps is very low, but there are a number of candelabras which make the room look very romantic.  In the middle of the restaurant was a portable gas ‘fireplace’.  Each table had a tall candlestick on it, but my candle had been exposed to too much sun, and had become bent, and I could not straighten it.  The tables are covered with a table cloth, and material serviettes and Eetrite cutlery is provided.  My table was not laid with sideplates, and none was brought when the rather ordinary looking home-made white and brown bread was brought to the table.   When the food was served, an impressive heavyweight set of Maxwell Williams salt and pepper grinders was brought to the table.  I missed the touch of flowers on the table, or in the restaurant in general, which could come from the hotel grounds that are blessed with flowers.  Decor is bare in this large room, with only one picture of an angel in one lone corner, and a piano, that luckily was not played.  There was no dishy looking food photography or artwork to link to the restaurant name.   Music was typical hotel-like.

There are about ten starters and ten main courses to choose from.  I started with smoked salmon tartar, which was topped with a quail egg, and was served with two minute slices of ‘fennel and orange rye’ – the punctuation in this description led me to expect fennel and I was not sure about the colour of the rye, but I was told that the rye bread was topped with fennel seeds and orange zest.  It was a small portion for R65, not good value, and the strong onion and salmon tartar did not taste as good on the bread when the toast ran out.  The other starter choices include Pernod shellfish bisque and buttered crayfish and prawn tail, Thai chicken noodle soup, Carpaccio of springbok, Caprese salad, and Duck Rillette salad (R85), all costing around R60, with the exception of the duck salad.  For the main course I ordered Green Pea and Fennel Risotto (R95), that was oddly presented on spinach, with a spoonful in the centre of the plate, and another three around this, making the presentation look messy and clumsy.  I wasn’t expecting tomato in the risotto from the menu description, and cooked tomato is one of the food items I do not enjoy eating.  The risotto was topped with two prawns, and I felt it too saucy, and expensive, yet it was filling.   Other main courses include butternut tagliatelle (R95), Glazed Norwegian salmon (R125), Braised lamb shank (R155), Beef fillet stuffed with wild mushroom and camembert (R145), Thai Green chicken and prawn curry (R170), and Glazed Confit duck with Van der Hum jus (R130).  Desserts cost around R55, and one can choose between Hot chocolate fondant with Romanoff parfait and berry compote, Belgian white and dark mousse with Cape Gooseberry compote, Date stuffed poached pear and almond tart served with a Chardonnay wine sauce (but which had run out, I was told), Baked Mascarpone cheesecake, and Cappuccino crusted Amoretti parfait served with Grand Marnier Sabayon and a raspberry and orange salad, which is what I ordered.  I am not sure where the ‘cappuccino’ was in this dessert, and I thought the fruit salad an odd marriage to an otherwise nice dish.  The cappuccino I had with the dessert was made with Avanti coffee, which I had not heard of before, and was served in a cup with a logo that looked suspiciously similar to that of LavAzza.

The focus of the kitchen was to serve the media table of ten, and the Restaurant Manager never came back to the table again, except to wish me ‘Bon Appetit’ when I started eating the main course.  He did not check on the enjoyment of the starter.  He had company, it appeared, and sat himself at a table in the restaurant to chat, rather than focusing on what was happening, or rather not happening, in the restaurant.  At this stage Mr Lassen came over to introduce himself, and he said that he had not been given my Afternoon Tea feedback form.  He asked if all was okay. My feedback must have led him to address the Restaurant Manager, and he was far more attentive thereafter, even spontaneously coming to stabilise my table, but I had not felt it wobbling at all.  Ruaan told me that he grew up in Malmesbury, where his family owned the local Wimpy, and felt that he had experience in the hospitality industry from this.  He went to the UK, where he worked and then studied Tourism at Bournemouth University, he told me, and then returned to work at Beluga, for only six months, due to the poor treatment of the staff by its owner Oskar Kotze.  From there he moved to DISH a year ago.

The light was so low in the restaurant, that I asked the staff to let me photograph the dishes at the serving area.  It was hilarious that the staff let me carry my plates for both the starter and the main course to my table, and I felt like a waiter!  The GM and the Restaurant Manager were in the restaurant all the time, and did not react to this.  The waitress had no idea what the Cappuccino dessert consisted of, and went back to the kitchen twice to check with the chef (unfortunately chef Daniel had the day off) how this dessert was made.   I don’t think she had been asked so many questions before, and said that this dessert was a recent addition to the menu.  

The winelist cover is black leather, and it has no link to the starter/main course and dessert menus in preparation or look.  The winelist is printed on nice silver paper, but the pages are heavily worn.  What I loved about it, but it seemed an odd place to see these, was the old black and white photographs of the hotel, when it was still called the Swiss Farm Excelsior, and I remembered it fondly from many visits there in my childhood.  On the first page of the winelist is a wax seal of the Three Cities hotel group logo, the management company that runs the Le Franschhoek Hotel.  None of the wines have a vintage provided, but the region it comes from is specified, as is the Platter star rating.  The seven wines by the glass are inexpensive, and include Haut Espoir Sauvignon Blanc, Dieu Donné Unwooded Chardonnay and Dieu Donné “Cab/Shiraz” (all three at R25), Beyerskloof Pinotage R32, Pinehurst Cabernet Sauvignon (R36), Pierre Jourdan Brut (R43), and Boschendal Sauvignon Blanc (R45).  It must be noted that the hotel belongs to Mr Maingard, who owns a number of hospitality interests in Franschhoek, including Dieu Donné. Ten champagnes are offered, starting at R340 for Tribaut Brut, up to R3000 for Veuve Cliquot La Grand Dame.  MCC’s start at R170 for Pierre Jourdan Brut, up to R420 for Graham Beck Rosé Brut.  There are about eight wines offered per variety, and the Shiraz selection starts at R125 for Vrede en Lust, up to R290 for Glen Carlou Syrah.

Busi was willing to do what she could for me, but her knowledge about the menu was constrained, and her training poor, as she stretched in front of me regularly to add or remove cutlery, even when I asked her not to.  The final service failure was my request for the bill at the time that my dessert and cappuccino were brought to the table.  I finished both, and it still had not arrived.  My waitress had disappeared from the restaurant, and I asked another waiter to bring it.  The waitress reappeared, left again, and in irritation I got up to look for the bill.  The Restaurant Manager had left, it appeared, and my irritation showed when I waited for the bill at the entrance to the restaurant, the GM coming to see if he could help.  Then the portable credit card machine had to be fetched from somewhere else.  I felt that the waitress was completely out of her depth, and she received no support from her Restaurant Manager.  Mr Lassen did invite me to share a cup of coffee with him when next I am in Franschhoek, and he did offer to comp the meal due to all the service problems, but I refused his latter kind offer.  

I could not help but to compare DISH with Le Bon Vivant in Franschhoek, where both restaurants have quality chefs working hard in creating above average cuisine, but the service from the waiters destroys all this hard work.  It is such a shame, as DISH has good potential.

DISH, Le Franschhoek Hotel, Franschhoek.  Tel (021) 876-8900.  www.lefranschhoek.co.za. (The website is very disppointing in respect of DISH, it mentioning that it has a winelist, but there is no link to it.  There is no mention of the menu at all, and a mix of photographs of the venue and the food at La Verger and DISH restaurants can be seen,  The site is generally out of date, a section referring to events for 2010).  Dinners only, Monday – Sunday.

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