There was trouble brewing for most of the remaining six contestants on Thursday evening, when the Koekedoor Season 2 episode 8 focused on beer, and its role in watching rugby at home, accompanied by beer and beer-related snacks. Craft beers were the hero of this episode. Continue reading →
* Sharing services such as Uber and Airbnb are coming under pressure to comply with laws of running their businesses and paying taxes, some countries reacting strictly, and others welcoming their input to the expansion of the economy. Uber was banned in Germany for a while, but has been allowed to operate again. Airbnb has picked up problems in Barcelona for breaching the city’s rental rules. A number of court cases in the USA alone relate to payment of gratuities to drivers, advertised as being included in the price, but drivers do not appear to be receiving their full gratuities.
* The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has moved its presentation date to Monday 1 June 2015, having hosted the awards at the end of April for the past twelve years. The awards recognise the best restaurants in the world. In 2014 only The Test Kitchen made the prestigious top 50 list. (received via media release from The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, forwarded by Tamsin Snyman)
* Saronsberg has relaunched its Provenance range with a new label, depicting the ‘From Earth, From Water‘ sculpture by Angus Continue reading →
For the first time Chef Seelan Sundoo has opened his own restaurant, after having been used by investors and operators in the past to be their front man, but not getting the recognition from them for the following he has, which I observed when I was invited to enjoy lunch at Seelan Restaurant & Bar at Quay 5 in the V&A Waterfront yesterday. Seelan Restaurant & Bar reflects the past connections of Seelan as chef at the Grand Café and La Perla, but his Shimmy Beach Club and Reserve Brasserie past are not visible.
Seelan worked as Head Chef at La Perla in Sea Point for many years, and he has employed eight staff from La Perla. One cannot help but feel that one is in La Perla, with the smart white tuxedo jackets which the male-only waiters wear. Seelan was attracted to The Grand Camps Bay, which he headed up, with Justin Paul Jansen at his side. Justin displayed his knack of attracting patrons to the restaurants, remembering their names and faces, and offering excellent service. The woven cane chairs in the outside section of Seelan remind one of The Grand. Justin was offered the opportunity to open The Reserve on St George’s Mall, and Seelan moved to The Grand on the Beach. Justin later called in Seelan to open the Reserve Brasserie, and to be its Chef. When The Reserve closed down, Justin went to New York, and Seelan started up the Shimmy Beach Club as co-owner, being its front person. It being time to move on, Seelan made the long overdue decision to open his own Mediterranean style restaurant. Justin said that Seelan is a ‘man of taste and class’, and that Shimmy Beach Club did not suit his style. Continue reading →
Having been on the receiving end of a deceiving, defamatory, and dishonest attempt to extract information about my guest houses from 2oceansvibe ‘Chief Whip’ Simon Hartley, we were interested to read about the dishonest past of 2oceansvibe founder ‘Seth Rotherham’ in the March issue of Playboy!
The article highlights the following about 2oceansvibe and its owner:
* Its slogan of ‘Work is a sideline, live the holiday‘, implying that the owner sits on the beach or at Café Caprice in Camps Bay all the time is obviously not truthful, and interestingly does not reflect the content of his website. Through the slogan he has created a profile of himself as a wealthy person who has hooked in some brand ‘partners’ at great expense to feed his extravagant lifestyle. Those who have met ‘Seth’ know that he works hard, writing for his website, and being involved in his Radio and TV stations 2OV. He has also run a luxury villa rental business (DG Rentals with the Dogon Group), but appears to have fallen out with its owner.
* A sensitive issue appears to be the use of the pseudonym ‘Seth Rotherham’, instead of his real name Will Mellor. When we sent an sms to ask him why he hides behind a false name, he referred us to Playboy, as he had been asked the same question by them. His weak reply was that he needed a clean name for the property rental business (but which he has not operated in the past 4 years), therefore using his real name for that business, and he created ‘Seth Rotherham’ for his 2oceansvibe website, as his ‘risqué party-times might not sit well with my daytime clients’.
* The article shares how dishonest he was whilst working as a Butlers pizza delivery boy, cheating the system so that he got the largest orders, guaranteeing him the largest tips, at the expense of his colleagues, and which led to him being fired!
* He explains in the magazine that he rarely takes calls (one a week, he says), wanting to be contacted on his terms, which is only via e-mail or sms, as we discovered last week, when I tried to contact him about Hartley’s information request. He explains that he is ‘actually quite shy. I need to be in my comfort zone and I don’t like surprises. I feel bad if I don’t remember people’ names. So, everything I do daily is managed digitally’. Having Will’s cell number, I attempted to call him, but I should have known that he never answers his phone. I sent an sms, and he (cowardly) wrote that he could not take the call as he was in a bad reception area (a predictable cop out), but surprisingly he was able to send sms’s perfectly, and almost immediately!
* His radio station 2OV, with Darren Scott’s Ballz, was embarrassed last year when IT expert Shaun Dewberry discovered that their radio listenership data was highly suspect and overstated. NetDynamix, the company hired by both radio stations to supply listener data, said the botch up was a miscommunication on its part and that the figures supplied to the radio stations referred to the number of times people had logged on to the station instead of the actual number of listeners. One wonders how someone as IT astute as Mellor would not have known instinctively that the numbers were inflated, and that he was misleading his brand ‘partners’ (including Pierre Jourdan – it was Boschendal until recently, Vespa, MINI, Mail & Guardian – just the other day it was still News24 – Block & Chisel, Puma, Jack Black, Vida e Caffè, The Westcliff, The Mount Nelson, De Grendel) in terms of claimed listenership! Will tells Playboy: ‘Darren and us (and indeed the public) were all duped by the same incorrect data’ – come on Will, you were paying the company to generate the data!
* The article claims that Mellor is karmic, and that he fired a staff member after four days of being employed, in not fitting the karma of his business, which led to Mellor being called to face a CCMA hearing, which he described as ‘not cool”!
2Oceansvibe has been a benchmark for bloggers, having been created long before most bloggers had even heard the B-word. Many envied ‘Seth Rotherham’ for his advertised lifestyle arrogantly communicated via its pay-off line. As a new blogger I had held Mellor in high esteem, especially after meeting him at a bloggers’ function. He generously organised a pair of Rayban sunglasses from his client Sunglass Hut when our hug led to my sunglasses being crushed.
However, I saw a different side to him and his business last week, when he allowed his website to post a story devoid of all journalistic ethics. On Friday afternoon we received a call from Hartley, mumbling indistinctly about a story he was ‘researching‘ relating to the SA Butler Academy, and requesting a radio interview. I told him that we were frantic, having had a large number of check-outs, and new check-ins expected for the afternoon. I requested more time, explained how busy I was, and asked Simon to e-mail the questions. He set a deadline for 3 pm, and would not budge. The two questions were not related to our SA Butler Academy blogpost at all (which it is evident that he never read, so much for balance!), and when I asked him to explain what the relevance of the questions was to the SA Butler Academy he brushed the question aside. He did not even send the link of the City of Cape Town’s property valuation roll, the crux of his story, and request an explanation. It is clear now that he was in a rush to leave Cape Town to get to Hermanus for the weekend, according to his Tweets. He did offer an opportunity to opt out if I did not want to respond, saying that ‘you will be credited as being unavailable for comment’, but that would have been dishonest, so I did not accept that option! I had sought advice from two communications specialists, and both encouraged me to do the interview initially. In the last minute however one of them sent an urgent sms: ‘Don’t agree to the interview. The chap is apparently not above board’. Seeing the story that Hartley wrote, the advice was spot on, as Hartley had not written about the SA Butler Academy at all, and had tried to dishonestly mislead me, not revealing the real topic of his story.
It made me wonder why 2Oceansvibe would have wanted to publish a non-story, with such a weak headline as ‘Outspoken Guest House owner Knee-Deep in Controversy‘! Short of traffic they are not, with ‘350000 unique readers and nearly a million page views in the past month‘, Mellor smsd proudly, and he was clearly annoyed and sounded almost threatening when I decided to turn the tables, and asked him a few questions, just as Hartley had done to ourselves: ‘Chris I think I need to make something very clear to you because it seems you might be going down a bad path here’. Quoting his readership and page views, he continued: ‘I say that to make clear the fact that it is no longer a blog, it’s a news outlet with 10 permanent editorial staff. Simon is the editor overseeing all of that. This is his job. I can only interfere to a certain point’. He continued, now clearly fired up and concerned about this blogpost: ‘Regarding standards, I expect my staff to be thorough and truthful and to give subjects an opportunity to respond. I also insist they include comment post-publication, if the subject was initially unable to respond. Again I must stress that I can only interfere with Simon’s work to a certain extent. He is a highly ethical person and known for his integrity. Chris I assure you that I am giving every effort to ensure this doesn’t come out as bad as it could, and will keep doing so’ (our underlining). Now please Mr Mellor, don’t think that we will buy that – you ARE brand 2Oceansvibe! You have been lied to by your editor, and the PR industry does not agree with your faith in Hartley either. ‘Response’ is not answering two questions unrelated to the false and misleading topic Hartley spoke about, meaning that Mellor’s instructions are not being followed by his staff! On the top right of the website ‘Seth Rotherham’ is introduced as ‘Editor in Chief’, with no mention of Hartley!
A long sms from Mellor highlighted that ‘I insisted he (Hartley) gets your side of the story before publishing’. This did not happen, as Hartley unprofessionally denied us the opportunity to be told the real topic of his story, or even be given an opportunity to see the full story before it was posted. A follow-up sms from us, to express the disappointment with Hartley’s unprofessional conduct, received Mellor’s reply: ‘I don’t have browsing internet access where I am – data very slow. Simon smsd to say he tried to get comment from you and were able to reply more than once but refused to‘, which is devoid of all truth! Clearly Hartley was desperate to get the story posted, and used Mellor’s absence to post it without any ‘journalistic’ integrity!
Our blog being highlighted as being controversial is not newsworthy, and we carry the badge from the SA Blog Awards, having been nominated as ‘Top 10 Most Controversial Blog’ in 2010 (the category has been discontinued since then), a category that was won by 2oceansvibe in that year, even though it wasn’t controversial, it never was a blog, and Mellor was a judge for the Awards too, showing how poor his ethics are, his sms claim of no longer being a blog being noted – it never was! In fact, his website is nothing more than a rehash of other writers’ work, with little original writing! He is not universally liked, seen by many to be arrogant and a ‘cheat’: here, here, here, here.
In one of Mellor’s sms messages he wrote that he has opened his own Twitter account (@SethRotherham): ‘I even had to get my own twitter handle as I can no longer use 2oceansvibe twitter for personal use‘
That brings us to Hartley, someone I have never met. Asking what his agenda was with the story, he replied that ‘I was following a journalistic lead’, and that we had not met previously. However via Twitter (great research medium which Hartley likes to use too for his so-called ‘research’) we discovered that he had been alerted to the story by Twitch Marthèlize Tredoux, a good friend of Hartley’s wife Lize, and a continual abusive Tweeter (as @konfytbekkie) about ourselves (she and I have never met, but she does love our Blog and Tweets, obsessively reading them and writing about them ad nauseam)! Unsurprisingly, Hartley’s defamatory call via Twitter for information for his ‘research’ was eagerly replied to by Skye Grove, PR and Communications Manager of Cape Town Tourism!
Asking Hartley why he did not send me a copy of his story before posting it, so that I could give him a detailed response, he arrogantly replied: “There is no onus on 2oceansvibe, or any other publication (sic) to send the subject of their investigations an entire article before it is published. On which journalistic handbook do you base this expectation? The onus on the publication is to strive for a balance of views, which we did in earnest by calling, texting and emailing you. Despite your ability to answer multiple emails, you did not comment on two short questions. Quite frankly, I did answer your questions as to how my questions for you were related to your dispute with SABA. I informed you that dozens of readers alerted us to the dispute you had/have with SABA, and while reading all of the available correspondence, an important lead appeared (you’ll see the screenshot in our post) – a lead that required its own investigation. So, as I answered at the time: the questions to you arose over the course of our reading through your dispute with SABA. I completely reject any assertions that I or 2oceansvibe Media acted dishonestly at any point in the investigation or publishing of the article, and should you be able to demonstrate any error in our reporting (we are confident there is none), we will gladly publish an amendment”.
We have highlighted the dishonesty of his misleading approach, and his unprofessional unwillingness to reveal what the story was really about. There was no balance sought, as claimed, as Hartley did not even verify which aspects of the SA Butler Academy blogpost were indeed honest and truthful (we did not terminate the services of Mrs Novacovic, for example, as he claimed, both our blogpost and that of the SA Butler Academy stating that, reflecting his poor research capability!). He spent three hours looking for information, yet gave us an unfairly short lead time to respond. He Tweeted libellously during his research, as he did on Tuesday too, proving how unprofessional he is: ‘Currently standing behind J Arthur Brown in the line for Cirque du Soleil. He’s looking terrifically rested for a criminal’.
‘Infamous’ 2oceansvibe (Hartley’s description) has a chequered past as far as honesty goes, and it makes one wonder how honest and balanced any writing on the website is! Clearly ethics and honesty are not part of the 2oceansvibe karma and vibe!
POSTSCRIPT 8/3: A blog reader asked about the tax liability of Mellor receiving the use of the MINI and the Vespa for free. We sent him a text message: ‘Hi Will, one of my readers has asked if you pay tax on the use of the MINI and the Vespa? What value is placed on each of these two vehicles?’ It was sent at 20h36 last night, and given no reply, again at 9h56 this morning. There has been no response from Mellor!
POSTSCRIPT 20/3: We have sent a lawyer’s letter to 2oceansvibe about their blogpost, which contained numerous untruths and is defamatory. Will Mellor has reacted in anger, and launched another attack. The two (unanswered!) sms messages (the second one was a repeat of the first because of non-reply!) we sent him about his own affairs (the value of and tax paid on his MINI and Vespa) he labels as ‘harrassment’, rich coming from someone who does not allow one to call, and who deals with communication with humans via sms or e-mail, on his terms. This is what we wrote: “Hi Will, one of my readers has asked if you pay tax on the use of the MINI and the Vespa? What value is placed on each of these two vehicles?”. So much for ‘harassment’!
POSTSCRIPT 20/3: 2oceansvibe has added a further article to their website, an angry reaction by Will Mellor to our request to the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) to take down the defamatory and dishonest 2oceansvibe article. Their response ridicules the Take Down notice they received, as well as the ISPA Code of Conduct, especially the clauses relating to “Lawful Conduct’.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
We are delighted that many restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands have seen the benefit of offering specials, and have done so since last winter, many running through summer too. The winter specials for Cape Town and Winelands restaurants follow below, and will be updated continuously:
* Pure at Hout Bay Manor: 3-course dinner for R195, includes 2 glasses of Groote Post wine, 10 May – end June. Closed July. Tel (021) 790-0116.
* Pepenero in Mouille Point : sirloin and chips R79, seafood platter R 129, 1 kg prawn platter R99, oysters R9 each, sushi platter R109. Half price sushi all day. From 9 May. Tel (021) 439-9027
* Sinn’s Restaurant at Wembley Square: lunch (6 options) at R50. 3-course dinner with glass of wine R150. Sunday Buffet – 2 courses plus coffee R120, 3 courses plus coffee R150. Winter. Tel (021) 465-0967
* Theo’s on Beach Road, Mouille Point: oysters R6 each, 1 kg prawns R99, line fish R79, for lunch and dinner. 300 gram sirloin steak, spatchcock chicken peri peri, 500 gram spare ribs all R79 for lunch only. Full sushi platter R99, half platter R50. Winter. 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 Sunday 2 – 6 pm, 3-course menu R160, daily, lunch and dinner; 2-course lunch R120. 3-course lunch and dinner R160. End September. Tel (021) 421-5134
* Myoga at Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 7 course dinner, with 5 choices per course, for R195, Mondays – Saturdays, throughout winter. Tel (021) 657-4545
* Beluga, The Foundry, Green Point: 1 kg Prawns R99; 50 % off sushi and cocktails all day Sunday, and from 12h00 – 19h00 weekdays. 2-course lunch R120; 3-course lunch and dinner R160. End September. Tel (021) 418-2948.
* 221 Waterfront: 3-course meal at R135 on Wednesdays. Dine & Cruise package: 1,5 hour cruise, 2 glasses sparkling wine, 3-course meal R370; Lunch & Cruise package: 1 hour cruise and meal R210. Winter. Tel (021) 418-3633
* The Lookout Deck, Hout Bay: Seafood Platter with line fish, mussels, calamari and prawns R65. Until 31 August. Tel (021) 790-0900
* La Mouette, Regent Road, Sea Point (photograph above): Tasting Menu (items change monthly) 6 courses R240 for 2 persons, Tuesday – Sunday dinner, Friday and Saturday lunch. Winter. Tel (021) 433-0856
* Bertha’s in Simonstown: 1 kg Queen prawns cost R99 each, Calamari, mussel, chips, BBQ chicken and wing platter R99, 600g ribs plus 500ml Windhoek draught R99. Winter. Tel (021) 786-2138
* Aubergine: 2-course lunch R184, 3-course lunch R235. 2-course dinner R200, 3-course dinner R275. Wednesdays – Fridays except public holidays. Winter. Tel (021) 465-4909
* Ferryman’s Tavern, V&A Waterfront: Combo-specials R100 (linefish + calamari), R85 (sirloin + calamari), R99 (pork rib + chicken wings), Mussel hotpot R75. Winter. Sunday Hot Pot Buffet Eat as much as you like R120, Sundays, until end August. Tel (021) 419-7748
* Hildebrand: 2 courses R99, 3 courses R130 if eat before 19h00; Winter. Tel (021) 425-3385
* Leaf Restaurant and Bar: 50 % off sushi all day, Dimsum 30 % off, Burgers R50 – R65. Winter. Tel (021) 418-4500
* Blowfish in Blouberg: Breakfast specials: egg and bacon sandwich R19, Three Cheese and Mushroom omelette R25, Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs R25; Lunch specials of Surf ‘n Turf, Rack of Ribs, Thai Chicken Curry, and Mussel and Chorizo Chowder at R49 Monday – Saturday 12h00 – 17h00; Dinner specials: seafood platter, slow roasted lamb shank, oxtail stew, and seafood curry R99, Monday – Saturday 17h00 onwards. Winter. Tel (021) 556-5464
* Vanilla, Cape Quarter: 1/2 price sushi 12h00 – 18h00, half-price cocktails 4 – 6 pm. Winter. Tel (021) 421-1391
* 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. Winter. Tel (021) 551-5000
* Saul’s Sushi @ Vegas, Sea Point: 30 piece sushi platter R99 – Wednesdays and Thursdays; two for the price of one – Sundays. Winter. Tel 087 151 4595
* Bhandaris Indian Restaurant: Buffet R99 Wednesday dinner and Sunday lunch and dinner. 30 % off for pensioners on Tuesdays. Lowest value meal for free if buy bottle of wine or two drinks for a pre-booked table of up to 10, on Monday evenings; Lamb R79, Chicken R69, Fish R85 – Tuesday – Sundays. Winter. Tel (021) 702-2975/Tel (021) 782-1525.
* Zorba’s, Lagoon Beach Hotel, Lagoon Beach Drive, Milnerton: Seafood and meat platter for two plus two glasses of Hartenberg wine R199 19 August – 19 September. Tel (021) 528-2093
* Trees Restaurant, Townhouse Hotel, Cape Town: Casserole or steak with starch of day and glass of wine R105. Winter. Tel (021) 465-7050
* Down South Food Bar, 267 Long Street: Rib & Prawn Platter including a side and sauces R75. Winter. Tel (021) 422-1155.
* Il Cappero, Barrack Street: Daily lunch main course special at R40. Three month Winter Special Card, costs R 140 for 11 starters, 11 main courses and 11 desserts, at 50 % off the menu price. Monday – Friday. May – July. Tel 461-3168
* Cape Town Fish Market: “All you can eat Breakfast Buffet” R 60, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays; Seafood lunch buffet R125, Sundays and public holidays. Winter. Tel (021) 418-5977
* Trinity, Bennett Street: “All you can eat” Dim Sum R135. Two-for-price-of-one burgers Wednesdays. Pizza R50 until 7 pm daily. Seafood platter R100 on Thursday. “All you can eat” ribs Mondays R99. Two for the price of one sushi and Dim Sum Monday – Saturday 12h00 – 20h00. Pizza R50 Monday – Saturday 12h00 – 19h00. Winter. Tel (021) 418-0624
* French Toast, Bree Street: Bruschetta tapas free Monday – Saturdays, 5 – 7 pm. All wines costing R 400 or less half price on Mondays. 2-course lunch consisting of soup and choice of two tapas plus glass of wine or cup of coffee R89, Monday – Friday 12h00 – 16h00. Winter. 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; Comfort food (Bobotie or Bredie) for two for R119, 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: 250 g rump or sirloin R45, 19 – 21 August; 250g rump and starch R59, daily. Winter. Tel (021) 418-9393
* The Square, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: ‘Tastes of 2011’ focuses on different theme every month, from April – September. British menu change weekly, 2 courses R140 or 3 courses R170. Dinner only, Monday – Sunday. Tel ()21) 657-4500
* Dunes, Hout Bay : Sunday buffet with smoked salmon, oysters and cooked breakfast R100. Current. Tel (021) 790-1876
* 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, One free main course for every main course ordered. Until end August. 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 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. Excludes Sundays. September. Tel (021) 788-4133
* Live Bait, Kalk Bay: Seafood platter R65. Sunday – Thursday evenings, and Monday – Friday lunch. September. Tel (021) 788-5755
* Polana, Kalk Bay: Mozambique-style prawns, Algarve salad and chips. R50, Sunday – Thursday dinner and Saturday lunch. September. 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. Lunch offer – Free glass of house wine or beer when ordering main course, Wednesday – Friday, 12h00 – 16h00. Until August Tel (021) 790-5648.
* Codfather, Camps Bay: half-price sushi 12h00 – 18h00, daily. Winter. Tel (021) 438-0782
* Caffe Milano, Kloof Street: Lunch specials – Rump on a baguette R70; Pizza with pomodoro sauce, mozzarella and basil, R 70. Winter. Tuesday – Sunday. Tel (021)426-5566.
* Black Marlin, Simonstown: 2-course meal R115, 3-course R140 includes glass of wine. Until July. Tel (021) 786-1621
* Savoy Cabbage: 2-course R175, 3-course R195 includes glass of wine . Until end August. Tel (021) 424-2626.
* Bayside Café: for every main course, get another lesser-priced main course. Lunch Monday – Friday, Sunday – Thursday. Until October. Tel (021) 438-2650.
* Mamma Mia Restaurant, Steenberg: 2-courses R150, 3-courses R175. Until August. Tel (021) 701-8585
* Café Chameleon, Plattekloof: lunch pizza minus 10%, until August. Tel (021) 911-1025.
* Cape Town Fish Market, “All you can eat Breakfast Buffet” R60, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays; Seafood buffet lunch R125, Sundays and public holidays. Winter. Tel (021) 554-5962.
* Tobago Restaurant, Radisson Blu, Granger Bay: two main courses for price of one, Monday – Saturdays. Until 30 September. Tel (021) 441-3414
* La Bruixa, Sea Point: Seafood paella for two for R260, includes a salad. Lunch 12h00 – 15h00. Until June. Tel (021) 434-8797
* Sinatra’s, Pepper Club Hotel, Loop Street: Glass of bubbly and 6 oysters for R 60. Fridays from 16h00. Until December. Tel (021) 812-8826
* Chai yo, Canal Walk: Buy two main meals and get lesser priced one free. Winter. Monday – Sunday. Tel (021) 555-0620.
* La Boheme, Sea Point: 2-courses R95, 3-courses R115. Throughout 2011. Tel (021) 434-8797.
* Food Barn, Noordhoek: 3-courses with 2 glasses of Steenberg wine R165, 4-courses with 3 glasses of Steenberg wine R185, 5-courses with 4 glasses of Steenberg wine R215. Lunch daily. Wednesday – Saturday dinner, May – October. Tel (021) 789-1390
* What’s On Eatery, Watson Str: 2 course dinner at R 99, includes a glass of wine. Breakfast weekdays R25. Lunch R39, menu changes daily, on weekdays, R5 extra for glass of wine or milkshake, every 7th lunch is free with What’s On Loyalty Card. 11 May – October. Tel (021) 422-5652
* Nobu, One&Only Cape Town, Cape Town: 5-course R299, May – August. Tel (021) 431-4511.
* The Kove, Camps Bay: 2-courses R 120, 3-courses R150. Rump steak R79, Fillet R99, Grilled Norwegian Salmon R99, Peri Peri baby chicken R90, Line fish R90, Seafood platter R165, Gourmet Burger R60. Winter. Tel (021) 438-0004
* The Greenhouse, Cellars-Hohenhort Hotel, Constantia: 6-course meal with wines from Klein Constantia R295. Tuesday – Friday. Until September. Tel (021) 794-2137
* Dear Me, Longmarket Street: 25 % off standard price of 3-course (R240) or 5-course (R350) dinner. Thursdays. From 19 May until July. Tel (021) 422-4920
* Zenzero, Camps Bay: 2-courses R150, 3-courses R180. Parmesam lamb R99, Veal Saltimbocca R89, Beef & Reef R 120, Gnocchi Ragu R69, Pancetta and pea risotto R79, Canneloni R69, and Kingklip R99. Winter. Tel (021) 438-0007
* The Round House, Camps Bay: 7-course lunch and dinner R240, or R460 paired with wine. Winter. Tel (021) 438-4347
* Planet Restaurant, Mount Nelson Hotel: 4-course Vegan Journey menu R300, 4-course The Journey menu R220, 6-course The Journey menu R300. Winter. Tel (021) 483-1000.
* Brio 1893: 3-course dinner R165. Monday – Thursday. Closing down 12 August. Tel (021) 422-0654
* GOLD Restaurant: Winter special R200 + 10 % service fee. June – September. Tel (021) 421-4653
* Salt Restaurant, Ambassador Hotel: 2 courses R120 amd 3 courses R140. Receive a voucher for a free bottle of Hartenberg wine for the next visit if order two 3-course meals. Until 31 August. Tel (021) 439-7258
* Tuscany Beach, Camps Bay: 50 % off partner’s main course, Dinner, daily; 25 % off Sushi, 12h00 – 18h00, daily. Winter. Tel (021) 438-1213.
* 1800 Degrees, Cape Royale Luxury Hotel: Hot and cold Tapas and jazz, with a bottle of Diemersfontein wine per couple R195 per person, Sundays, 12h00 – 15h00. 100 gram sirloin, 100 gram rump and 100 gram rib eye steaks R99 plus one sauce and jacket potato. Winter. Tel (021) 430-0511.
* St Elmo’s: 2 large regular pizzas R99,90, 2 medium regular pizzas R69,90 Take-away, Daily. 2 Large pizzas R79,90 on Tuesdays; 1 Large pizza plus 400g rack of ribs and chips for R109,90, Take Away, daily; Small pizza plus 330ml Coke R24,90, Monday – Friday lunch. Winter. www.stelmos.co.za
* Café Delicieux, Welgemoed: 2-course dinner R125, 3-courses R155. Friday evenings. Winter. Tel (021) 913-1053
* Café Manhattan, 74 Waterkant Street and 247 Main Road, Three Anchor Bay: Burger and a glass of wine R45. Winter. Tel (021) 421-6666/Tel (021) 439-9666.
* Pigalle, Green Point: 3 course dinner and show R330 – R350, 8 June, 21 July, 10 August, 14 September. Tel (021) 421-4848
* Pepper Club on the Beach, Camps Bay: Seafood platter R149,95; Sirloin plus 3 prawns R 98,95; Prawn platter R98,95. Until 31 December. Tel (021) 438-3174
* Mint, Taj Hotel: 3 courses plus a glass of Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc or Merlot R185, Monday – Sundays, Until 30 September. Tel (021) 819-2000
* News Café, Green Point: English Breakfast R19, 7h00 – 9h00 Monday – Friday, 7h30 – 9h00 Saturday and Sunday, until 1 February 2012
* Long Street Café: Butter Chicken Curry and rice, R55, until 10 June, Monday – Sunday. tel (021) 424-2464
* Savour Restaurant, 15 on Orange: 3-course meal R180, Monday – Sunday, Until 31 August. Tel (021) 469-8037
* La Colombe, Constantia: Lunch – 3-courses R240, 3-courses plus wine R280, Monday – Saturday, until 30 November. Dinner – 5-courses R310, 5-courses plus wine R390, Monday – Saturday, until September. Closed 30 May – 20 June.
* Catharina’s, Steenberg Hotel: 2-course lunch R165, 3-course lunch R195, 3-course dinner R215. Until 1 September. Tel (021) 713-2222
* The Grand Café and Beach Granger Bay: 2-courses R 125, 3-courses R150, Tuesday – Sunday. Winter. Tel (021) 425-0551
* Constantia Uitsig: 2-course lunch and dinner R190, 3-course lunch R220, 3-course dinner R250, Monday – Saturday. Until 30 September. Closed 4 – 26 July.
* Blues, Camps Bay: 2-courses R120, 3-courses R150, includes a glass of wine and cup of coffee. Monday – Sunday. Until 1 September.
* River Café, Constantia: 3-courses and carafe of wine R180, lunch, Monday – Saturday. Until 30 September. Tel (021) 794-3010. Closed 10 – 30 August.
* La Cuccina, Hout Bay: Homemade meal for two plus bottle of wine R100. Monday – Saturday. Until 30 December.
* Mugged on Roeland: All you can eat Pizza R80, Friday evenings. Until 30 December. Tel 084 5894 665
* Chapman’s Peak Hotel, Hout Bay: Free bottle of Elements wine plus 2 Amarula Crème Brulee with two meat main courses ordered; 1 kg prawns R99; Soup R35; Malay Lamb Curry R89; Mussel Mexicana R69; Winter Platter R99. Monday – Saturday lunch and dinner. Until 30 September. Tel (021) 790-1036
* Rick’s Café Américain, Park Road: Tapas or Mezze Platter plus 1/2 litre house wine R105; 1/2 litre Paulaner, Erdinger and Valentins beer R 30, 5 – 7 pm; Lunch specials from R39; and more specials on drinks. Winter. Tel (021) 424-1100
* Barocca, Camps Bay Club: 2 for the price of one burgers Tuesday evenings; Pasta and a glass of wine R50 Thursday evenings. From 5 pm. Winter. Tel (021) 438-1992
* Seaforth Restaurant, Simonstown: Deep fried prawns R90 Tuesdays; hake and chips R38 Wednesdays; Eat as much calamari as you like R49 Thursdays; Steak and calamari R78 Fridays; Eat as much as you like pork spare ribs R88 Saturdays. From 6 pm. June. Tel (021) 786-4810
* Pizzeria Villagio, Howard Centre, Pinelands: Free glass of Teddy Hall wine with home-made pasta on Tuesdays. Winter. Tel (021) 531-4473.
* delish, Hout Bay: Cooked breakfast R35; Soup and ciabatta R30, Monday – Friday lunch; Tagines, ragouts and curries plus glass of wine or beer R75, from 12h00, daily. Winter. Tel (021) 790-5324
* Café Sofia, Sea Point, Kloof Street, Camps Bay and Green Point: Buy 2 main courses and get one free, from 17h00, daily. Winter.
* Saul’s Taverna, Sea Point: 2-course meal and cocktails for two R140. Winter. Tel 087 151 4592
* Adega, Sea Point: Lamb shank R69, Feijoada R89, 1kg King Prawns R95. Winter. Tel (021) 434-3029
* La Grotto, Plumstead: 300g rump steak R89. Winter. Tel (021) 797-8420.
* Wangthai, V&A Waterfront, Constantia, Lagoon Beach, Somerset West: Free glass of Durbanville Hills wine with Curry Festival meal. Winter. Tel (021) 421-8702/(021) 794-0022/(021) 551-9254/(021) 855-0112.
* Addis in Cape Ethiopian Restaurant, 41 Church Street: 2-course set menu R130. Tel (021) 424-5722. Winter
* Ocean Basket, Western Cape: Oysters R8 each, until 15 July.
* Azure Restaurant, Twelve Apostles Hotel, Camps Bay: 4-courses R370, 5-courses R495, wine flight prices R50 – R135, until October. Tel (021) 437-9000
* Diva Pizza, Buitenkant Street: 2 large margherita pizzas with choice of two toppings R85 on Tuesday and Saturday evenings. Until 31 August. Tel (021) 461-0013
* Harveys, Winchester Mansions, Sea Point: 2-course lunch R130, 3-course lunch R160; 2-course dinner R150, 3-course dinner R 180. Monday – Sunday. Winter. Tel (021) 434-2351.
* Savour, 15 on Orange Hotel: Sunday Lunch Buffet plus ‘never-ending supply of Methodé Cap Classique’ R265. Winter. Tel (021) 469-8000
* Karibu, V&A Waterfront: 220g rump, Malay chicken, calamari, and bobotie R49. Monday – Sunday lunch, Sunday – Wednesday dinner. Until 31 August. Tel (021) 421-7005.
* Hussar Grill, Green Point and Camps Bay: 2-courses R99, no corkage. Winter. Tel (021) 433-2081/(021) 438-0151
* Tokyo Restaurant & Sushi Bar: Buy one get one free daily; Sushi Buffet Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday evenings R110. Winter. Tel (021) 424-5108.
* Allee Bleue, outside Franschhoek: choice of three 250g steaks at R115, including a glass of estate wine, current. 3-course lunch R 100, and R150 with wines paired. Chicken and Prawn Potjie with Roti and glass of Allee Bleue Isabeau or Shiraz R85. Lunch, Wednesday – Sunday. Until end September. Chicnic picnics daily (weather depending), R145 per person. Summer Tel (021) 874-1021
* Ryan’s Kitchen at Rusthof, Franschhoek: 3-course dinner R195; 6 course Taste of Africa dinner R295. Winter. Closed 27 June – 14 July. Tel (021) 876-4598.
* Reuben’s, Franschhoek: 2-course lunch and dinner R 220, 3-courses R268, 4-courses R315. Current. Tel (021) 876-3772
* Allora in Franschhoek: 3-course Sunday lunch R100. Winter. Tel (021) 876-4375.
* L’ermitage, Franschhoek: 1-course R93, 2-courses R125, 3-courses R175, and glass of wine with each option. Lunch. Winter. Tel (021) 876-9200
* French Connection, Franschhoek: 2-courses R95, 3-courses R125. Winter. Tel (021) 876-4056
* Grande Provence Jonkershuis, Franschhoek: 4-course lunch and dinner, minimum 8 guests, R200. Monday – Saturday dinner, Monday – Sunday lunch. Closed 18 – 31 July. Until 30 September. Tel (021) 876-8600
* Mon Plaisir @Chamonix, Franschhoek: 2-courses R 170, 3-courses R199. Winter. Tuesday – Sunday lunch, Wednesday – Saturday dinner. Tel (021) 876-2393.
* Monneaux Restaurant, Franschhoek Country House: Cape Malay Curry R95, Wednesday evenings; Firecracker Menu – 2 courses R145, 3 courses R175, all nights. Winter. Tel (021) 876-3386
* Salmon Bar, Franschhoek: 3-course dinner plus glass of Porcupine Ridge R150, Fridays and Saturdays. Winter. Tel (021) 876-4591.
* Mange Tout, Mont Rochelle Hotel, Franschhoek: 2-courses plus glass of wine R150, 3-courses plus glass of wine R190, Winter Brunch Buffet plus glass of bubbly R150. Winter. Tel (021) 876-3000.
* Fyndraai, Solms Delta, Franschoek. 2-course Sunday Lunch Buffet R125. Tel (021) 874-3937.
* Laborie Restaurant in Paarl: 5 food portions each paired with wine R395. Winter. Tel (021) 807-3095
* Freedom Hill: 10 % off discount with Loyalty Card. Closed July and August. Winter. Tel (021) 867-0963
* Bosman’s, Grande Roche, Paarl: 2-courses R120, 3-courses R155. Monday – Sunday lunch. Until April (except 20 December – 10 January). Tel (021) 863-5100.
* Olivello, Klapmuts, outside Stellenbosch: 2-course meal R115, 3-course meal R135 plus glass of wine. Winter. Tel (021) 875-5443
* 96 Winery Road, Stellenbosch: 3-course lunch and dinner from a la carte menu (with a few surcharges), with glass of Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc or Petit Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot, R180, Winter; 4-course Chocolate dinner in conjunction with Lindt Chocolate Studio. R300. 15 June. Tel (021) 842-2020
* Warwick, Stellenbosch: Tapas menu range R15 – R45 per dish. Winter. Tel (021) 884-4410
* Dornier Bodega, Stellenbosch: Meat-free Mondays, Comfort Tuesdays, Pasta Wednesdays, Soup Thursdays, Fish Fridays, all 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
* Tokara Restaurant, Stellenbosch: Chef’s Menu – 3 courses and amuse bouche and palate cleanser R225. From 10 May, during winter. Tel (021) 885-2550
* Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine, Stellenbosch: 1-course meal with glass of wine R95; 4-course meal with 2 glasses of wine R 225. Tuesday – Saturday lunch, Thursday and Friday dinners. From 10 May in winter. Tel (021) 881-3612
* Terroir, Kleine Zalze estate: 2-courses R170, 3-courses R195. Includes glass of Kleine Zalze wine. May – September. Monday – Saturday lunch and dinner, Sunday lunch. Closed 1 – 11 July. Tel (021) 880-8167
* Restaurant Christophe, Stellenbosch: 4-course dinner R150 Tuesday – Saturday. Inexpensive Bistro lunches Tuesday – Friday. Closed down 24 June. Tel (021) 886-8763
* Overture, Stellenbosch: 2-course meal R 160. Winter, but closed in July. Tel (021) 880-2721
* Wild Peacock Food Emporium, 32 Piet Retief Str, Stellenbosch: 3-course dinner and glass of wine R140. Wednesday evenings. Winter. Tel (021) 887-7585
* Delaire Graff, Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch : 3-course Organic Tasting Menu with 2 glasses of wine R295, Monday – Friday lunch, Wednesday – Friday dinner. Winter. Tel (021) 886-8160
* Johan’s at Longridge, Stellenbosch: 2-course lunch plus glass of wine R150. Friday – Tuesday lunch (closed Wednesdays and Thursdays). Winter. Tel (021) 855-2004.
* Delheim, Knorhoek Road, Stellenbosch: 3-course Mushroom Week mushroom menu R120 for 3 courses and 3 glasses of Delheim wine. Until 10 July. Tel (021) 888-4607
* Waterkloof, Somerset West: Receive a R100 voucher off for a meal in June, for meals in May. Tel (021) 858-1491
* Season in Hermanus: Sunday lunch roast from R65; Afval plus soup and glass of wine R65 on Wednesday for lunch or dinner; Lowest priced of two steaks ordered on Friday evenings is free. August. Tel (028) 316-2854
* The Class Room, Hermanus: 3-course Sunday lunch R130. Winter. Tel (028) 316-3582
* Rossi’s Italian Restaurant, Hermanus: Half price pizza and pasta Mondays; free bottle of house wine for table of 2 or more on Wednesdays; Children under 4 eat free on Thursdays. Winter. Tel (028) 312-2848
* Mediterrea, Hermanus: 50 % off all main courses, Sunday – Thursdays. Until 31 August. Tel (028) 313-1685
* Joe’s Restaurant, Stanford: Abalone Buffet (abalone fritters, sausage, scotch eggs, burgers, curry, samoosas, and lasagne) R95, daily lunch. Winter. Tel (028) 3410 662
* Nguni – Friday dinner special R50. Every Friday. Winter. Tel (044) 533-6710
POSTSCRIPT 5/5: TV presenter Liezel van der Westhuizen has praised her Restaurant Special meal at Blowfish as follows: “Thank you for your HotWinter specials on your site, tried out the lunch special at BlowFish, it was good value for money xoxo”
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Copyright: Whale Cottage Portfolio
An outing yesterday to Paarl, to try out the Laborie Wines Lazy Days weekly market, led me to Fairview in Agter Paarl, probably because I had chatted to the friendly representatives at the Eat In Produce Award’s Night Market on Thursday, and I had promised them a visit. I was disappointed about the extreme unfriendliness displayed by the Fairview Goatshed Manager Shannon Riley and her assistant Portia, and felt that it has become a non-caring tourist destination, which is expensive food-wise but offers good value wines.
I have not been to Fairview in years, and definitely not since the Goatshed opened five years ago. A sign at the door commands one to wait to be seated. The problem, however, is that the desk behind which the managers stand, doubling up as the payment desk, faces inward, so all staff have their backs to the new arriving guests. I stood for some time before Portia bothered to come to me. There was no welcome, just a ‘machine’ asking my preference for inside/outside and smoking/non-smoking seating, without interest. When I asked her where the deli was, not having been to the tasting room and cheese shop at that time yet, she looked at me as if I had lost it, and as if she did not know what the word ‘deli’ meant. I remembered a long restaurant building with a counter from which one could buy cheese, breads and other deli items, which I did not see in the Goatshed, nor in the ‘supermarket’ type cheese shop later. She did not show me a table when we got outside, seemingly having lost interest in me already.
Luckily Yolandy came to the rescue, and was efficient in bringing a glass of water. I asked for a foamy cappuccino, but was brought a flat white. I reminded Yolandy of my request, and she told me that it is only made flat, but that she would speak to the barista. Then I asked her if I could have a slice of rye or wholewheat bread instead of the ciabatta with the duck liver paté, and I was told that it only comes with the ciabatta, and if I wanted any other bread served with it, I would have to buy one of their loaves, and then they would cut two slices for me and serve it! I had to laugh out loud. Thereafter Shannon presented herself, and asked me rudely what the problems were. She confirmed that the cappuccino could only be made flat, on the basis of which I declined it, but showed some flexibility on the bread request. Surprisingly, soon thereafter a beautiful foamy cappuccino arrived, but Yolandy told me to not think of ever ordering one like that again, as they are not made that way at Fairview! I did not see Shannon again.
The restaurant interior is large, but very dark inside, so I preferred to sit outside on the terrace. There were tables alongside the terrace as well, and in total the restaurant can seat 320 guests. The outside tables are made from wood and look well used. Each table has a wire basket, containing a bottle each of Fairview olive oil and balsamic vinegar, a salt and a pepper grinder, and cutlery rolled into orange paper serviettes. A heavily used tear-off pad is also in the holder, and is the order form for cheeses. However, one is not advised of the list, and what it is for. There is no tablecloth nor placemat. The restaurant was heaving with customers when I arrived at about 14h30, and I heard Italian spoken by guests leaving, and there were Americans sitting close by.
The duck liver paté is the starter I ordered, and is expensive at R74. It was topped with olive tapenade, an odd combination, and served with two big slices of toasted 70 % rye bread, but is usually served with crostini. The menu does state that the portion is to share, but it is still expensive, given the serving size. I found it very dry and crumbly. I liked the clever plate decoration, which was a vine leaf, on which was placed some grapes, apple slices, peach slices, peppadews, and a lovely whole slice orange preserve. Other starter choices are a spinach, feta and bacon quiche; snoek and trout fish cakes; stir-fried springbok; and a vegetable and goat’s chevin salad, costing between R 48 – R84. Main courses include Sunday roast, chicken pie, lamb curry, seared trout fillet, Earl Grey infused Subu duck, pork spare ribs, and linefish, costing between R 68 – R165. One can order 8 cheeses for one person, at R60, and 10 cheeses for two persons at R66. Foccacia with parma ham and mozzarella, or smoked trout and Fairview cream cheese, costs R56.
I had a dessert which took me to back to my childhood, being Rote Grütze, a most delicious red berry compote, with a ball of ice cream. Alternative desserts range in price from R36 – R48, and include cheesecake, pecan nut croquant parfait on pineapple carpaccio, chocolate brownie and ice cream, crème brûlee, and coconut panna cotta. Breakfast is served from 9h00 – 11h30, and these prices look very reasonable, a health breakfast with muesli costing R28, as do scrambled eggs on a croissant. When salmon is added, it costs R46, being the price for eggs and bacon, as well as smoked trout with Fairview cream cheese, too.
I was interested in the educational message in the menu, on its first page, which is a note to parents, explaining why, in a roundabout manner, they do not have a children’s menu with “fries, bangers, fish fingers and carbonated sugar-laden drinks” – only two of the menu items have a reduced children’s price, and therefore one must order from the standard menu for children. “All Goatshed meals are freshly prepared using wholesome ingredients. A healthy lifestyle starts in early childhood”, the menu stated. “Thank you for understanding and co-operating in fighting diabetes and obesity amongst children”, it continued. I was not sure how parents would react to this ‘lecture’. I was also interested to see how few of the dishes on the menu contain cheese, this being one of the products that are synonymous with Fairview (as is its wine, of course). The menu also contains a glossary of food and wine terms, such as dukkha, chakalaka, sobu (an Asian buckwheat flour noodle), hummus, and coulis.
Something else that appeared impressive in the menu was the special notes about the breads at Fairview and their coffee. The ‘artisanal’ breads are baked by bakers from ‘the community’, the menu explains, and the bread range includes ciabatta, sour dough, and rye, as well as Danishes and croissants, and their ‘unique signature breads’. All the breads had sold out at the counter in the restaurant, and most in the cheese shop too. There seemed to be only a small space allocated to the bread sales in the cheese shop, surprising, given the attention that is drawn to the breads, and one’s ability to buy them, in the menu. It was also written that Johan Sörberg, who owns the two top bakeries in Stockholm, has trained the Fairview bakers, and returns regularly. The menu also proudly states about their coffees: “Our baristas strive to bring you the best in every cup”. Klaus Thomsen, the ‘World Barista Champion’ in 2006, has travelled from Denmark to train the Fairview baristas in “the art of brewing world quality coffee”, and he returns regularly too, the menu states. The coffee beans come from Beans for Africa, Yolandy found out for me.
The wines are very well-priced, and only Fairview-owned wines, being Fairview, Goats Do Roam and Spice Route, are served. Every dish on the menu has a wine recommendation. The Spice Route wines are from Malmesbury, and belong to Fairview owner Charles Back too. The Fairview Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Mouvèdre, Pinotage, Pinotage Viognier, Shiraz and Chardonnay all cost R27 per glass and R65 per bottle. Riesling costs R16/R35, Darling Chenin Blanc R18/R45, Sauvignon Blanc R22/R50, and Viognier R28/R70. Surprisingly for a wine estate, there are no vintages on the list of wines. The availability of Jack Black beer is very visible on the menu. I met the nice tasting room manager Neil du Plessis, and I liked the interesting lamps over the tasting counters, which looked like vine branches with lights in them. I asked about next-door farm Seidelberg, which Back bought recently, and Yolandy thought it would be business as usual there in terms of their Cape Malay restaurant. She was not sure what would happen on the wine side of things.
The cheese shop has a supermarket feel, a large space selling twenty Fairview cheeses, including camembert, brie, Bleu and Blanc, Blue Rock, Feta, White Rock with cranberries, Havarti, Chevin traditional, and with different herbs, four varieties of cream cheeses, La Beryl, crottin, and a Vineyard Cheddar. Surprisingly, one cannot taste the cheeses. There was no staff in the cheese section to answer questions, or to proactively provide information, as they have in the tasting room, which is just around the corner. The camembert and brie cost R 16, not much less than one would pay in a supermarket.
Cyril is the chef, but I could not get a surname nor his track record from Yolandy (nor from Shannon, when I called to verify this – she said Cyril has a long surname). However, the Goatshed website states that Andreas Küng is the chef. My final poor impression of the restaurant was when the bill arrived in a Diner’s Club billfold, that must be as old as the restaurant is, and was falling apart, a poor reflection on the image of the Goatshed. Yolandy told me three times that I had to pay the bill at the counter inside, as they do not have a ‘cordless credit card machine’, she said. The payment taker at the counter did just that, and there is no farewell or thanks to send one on the road with. There also is no attempt to encourage one to visit the cheese shop or the tasting room, as the entrance is not visible from the restaurant. I went to the ‘Nanny Goat’ cloak room, with ‘portable’ toilets, with open top and bottom. The toilets are cleaned continuously, and are functional, but do not add to the Fairview experience – they just reinforced that Fairview is an expensive mass tourist destination, and that building a relationship with any of its visitors is completely unimportant – not the impression one would want tourists or locals to experience!
Fairview Goatshed, Fairview wine estate, Agter Paarl. Tel (021) 863-3609. www.goatshed.co.za (The menu is on the website, and the website has a clever but restricted slide show with good photographs. However, there is no Image Gallery. The photograph of the bread collection does not reflect what is available in the shop and the restaurant). Twitter: @FairviewWine Monday – Sunday 9h00 – 17h00.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
The Power & The Glory is a most unlikely name for a restaurant/bar, and does not reflect anything about this new eatery and bar belonging to talented interior decorator Adam Whiteman. The restaurant name is also the name of a Graham Greene book, written in 1940, and refers to words in the Lord’s Prayer. Not surprisingly, Greene’s novel was controversial. The Power & The Glory is an easy-going laid back place to stop and have a bite to eat and a beer, if one can find parking on this busy intersection on Kloofnek Road and Burnside Road, below Rafiki’s Bar, but don’t expect any service efficiency or much friendliness.
Whiteman’s design teeth were cut in The Grand Café and Rooms in Plettenberg Bay, where he and his mom Gail Behr created a rich plush Moroccan style red velvet palace of rooms and a restaurant. When his mother sold the Grand Café to Susie Main, he was contracted to do the decor for the Grand Cafés in Camps Bay and then The Grand on the Beach. I was a very regular guest at The Grand Café and Rooms in Plett, and Adam’s brother Steven was hands-on in running the business, with Adam living in Cape Town. Given that Whiteman is the owner of The Power & The Glory, I had to come and try it out.
After only being open for a week or two, it was full already, but then it only has four tables, and some bar stools on the inside and outside of its windows, at which counters have been constructed. I was told that a scooter outlet and a laundromat previously operated in this space. The lower level has a huge counter that has a weathered look about it, with a busy collection of things on top of it, and a selection of beers, wines, ready-made sandwiches, a bowl of eggs, rosemary sprigs, natural yoghurt, Toulouse sausages, containers of muesli, and more inside it. Breads lie on the counter, which make one think that one can buy them, but they are for use in the restaurant, and are supplied by Marcelino’s Bakery in Loop Street. The patterned stainless steel counter was made by Gregor Jenkins, to the design of Whiteman, and has an aged look, and is duplicated in the Black Ram Bar. Generally, the interior has a neglected and used look, but I am sure that is completely by design.
In this lower section are the bar stools and window counters, the only seating. In the upper section are the tables and chairs, and through this section is the bar. I was standing at the counter to write down the details and prices, and Whiteman was putting change into his till. I connected with him when he and I arrived simultaneously. I chatted to him over the counter and asked him questions, but he looked stressed, and soon snapped at me, saying that he was busy, and that he only had half an hour before he had to go – an hour later he was still there. He barely spoke to anyone, except to his staff. He was up and down in the restaurant, and looks like an introvert, and one of those owners that should be in the back room, and let his relatively friendly staff (those on the early shift, at least) run the show. I saw a Tweet by Andy Fenner that was less than flattering about the treatment Fenner’s wife received at the mouth of Whiteman the previous day.
The rest of the information that I needed I obtained from a waitress, who stood behind the counter most of the time, as do the rest of the staff. The tables are not cleared quickly, to allow the restricted seating to be made available to the stream of new arrivals. Crockery is ordinary and white, and cutlery pedestrian. Serviettes are tiny brown ones, but have a commendable recycled stamp on them. The staff that made my cappuccino (coffee beans are from Deluxe) (R16) and Caprese salad (R48) seemed relatively more organised, but a shift change took place, and new staff stood behind the counter, with no carry over to existing clients – there was no record of what I had ordered, when I asked for the bill. The waiter that brought it to me had a top on that was torn and it was held together with a big safety pin. He was decidedly unfriendly, somewhat similar to his boss!
The menu is divided into three sections, and is only visible on boards above and alongside the counter. No paper version is available. The sign at the counter says that one must place one’s order at the counter and pay when ordering, but I was not given a bill, until I asked for it on my departure. The “Morning Food” is available all day, and includes granola and yoghurt (R32), boiled eggs and toast (R26) or served with anchovy mayonnaise on toast (R36), goat’s milk cheese on rye toast (R36), croissants cost R16, and sticky pastries R18, a rather unusual breakfast choice. Don’t expect a cooked breakfast – the food preparation area is directly behind the counter, and there is no space to cook anything. From midday one can order sandwiches: gammon, chicken or sirloin (R36 – R42), Danish hot dogs (R30), “Saucissonn” (sausage) and bread (R28), chicken salad (R36), and sirloin salad (R38), a very small selection of easy-to-prepare dishes. I had a wonderful Caprese salad, and it took me straight to Italy, served with a ball of mozzarella, quarters of tomato, sprigs of fresh basil, and drizzled with olive oil, which came with a large thin slice of rye toast (but which I had to ask for twice). “Night Food” is a simple choice of Hot Dogs (R30) and sandwiches, as per the lunch menu.
One helps oneself to cold water in two jugs on a table, with attractive slices of orange. The wine prices are listed on a separate board, but the beer prices are not listed at all. The waitress seemed uncertain about these, but gave them to me as R28 for a large Darling Brew, and R19 for a small one, Black Jack costs R19, Heineken and Windhoek R16. De Morgenzon, Hermit on the HIll, Lammershoek, “Ernst & Gouws” and Black Pearl wines are sold, and range in price from R30/R110 – R46/R180.
What I did love, and what brought back memories of The Grand in Plett, was the music, more jazz initially, but becoming quite heavy rock. Whiteman was the compiler of the iPod which The Grand played, and it was what made the restaurant such an amazing success, creating a tremendous atmosphere, and changing in its type and tempo throughout the day.
Having had a far better and friendlier reception at Caffe Milano earlier that day, I don’t think I’ll be back to The Power & The Glory in a great hurry, given that one will be likely to wait for a table, and has to tolerate variable service levels, even though the salad I had was excellent and I enjoyed some of the music. This is a ‘man’s man’s’ place, and too laid back and unfriendly for my liking.
The Power & The Glory, corner Kloof Nek and Burnside Roads. Tel (021) 422-2108. No website. Monday – Saturday 8h00 – 22h00 for meals, and Bar 17h00 – “late”. A sign on the door says “Ons praat Afrikaans”.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Talk of the town as far as new restaurants go is Giorgio Nava’s newly opened Down South Food Bar in the less savoury southern end of Long Street, near the Long Street Baths. Compared to his 95 Keerom Street and Carne, you won’t find Nava at Down South, the restaurant being far more casual, more friendly, non-Italian, and offering a small selection of good food and beverages, at excellent value for money.
We were told that the restaurant name comes from the restaurant concept of food that comes from the American south, such as gumbo, jambalaya, and cajun fish, something Morton’s did in the Waterfront when the shopping center first opened. Down South does it in a far more casual way, bringing the simple home-style American deep south classics to Cape Town in a tasty and affordable way. It is good as a relaxed place to have a beer, to watch a game with the boys, and to eat inexpensive and tasty food to soak up the drinks, so don’t expect ‘fine’ food here.
Carl Penn is the chef at Down South, having worked with Nava as his right hand man at 95 Keerom Street and Carne. The staff are very friendly and laid back. They wear black pants and T-shirts, strongly Southern Comfort branded.
The restaurant has a narrow front to the street, but extends deep into the space. Light wooden tables are functional, with brushed aluminium chairs and uncomfortable wooden benches providing seating. One wall is wood panelled, another painted cream. The dominant colour scheme is brown. A bar counter has bar stools made in the same brushed aluminium design. Free wi-fi is available. An eclectic mix of music is played, including Coldplay and Moby. The TV is set on sport. Cutlery is cheap and cheerful, with paper serviettes.
The Menu has some stars and typing errors, is made to look old Down South, and is divided into Starters, Ribs, Sandwiches and Prawns, to which is added Sides and Dessert. Having only opened a few days ago, the advertised Daily Specials (Gumbo on Mondays, Jambalaya on Tuesdays, BBQ Brisket on Wednesdays, Best Burger on Thursdays, Cajun fish on Fridays and Fried Chicken on Saturdays) are not yet available, neither were the cheesy grits and coleslaw. Starters cost between R40 – R45, and include prawn cocktail, thick cut bacon, caesar salad, buffalo chicken wings, and 8 of the most wonderful crispy batter fried prawn tails served with a delicious red pepper rÃ©moulade. Ribs are ‘dry spice rubbed and twice baked, basted in Down South BBQ sauce”, and the two racks were sweet and spicy, an extremely tender and generous portion at R 65, which includes one side dish (‘whipped potatoes’, home fries, chopped salad or corn bread). “Po’ Boys” sandwiches (poor boy sandwich originating from Louisiana, usually a submarine sandwich made with meat or seafood) cost R50 – R55, served with pork, prawns or BBQ brisket, while the “Muffaletta” sandwich (originates from New Orleans) costs R45, and contains mortadella, salami, white cheddar, tomato and olive pickle. Butterflied prawns, grilled with olive oil, cost R70, including one side dish too. Desserts cost R35, and the choice is pie – apple, pecan or Mississippi – or baked cheesecake.
The winelist is uncomplicated and simple, the prices being unbelievably affordable, with three categories: Cheap (Buitenverwachting Buiten Blanc, Mooiplaas Chenin Blanc, Villiera Down to Earth Red, Wolftrap, Mount Rozier Red Blend, all at R25 a glass and R100 a bottle); Decent (Villiera GewÃ¼rztraminer, Hartenberg Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz, and Helderberg Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, all at about R 32 a glass/R120 per bottle); and Good (Fat Bastard Chardonnay, Iona Sophie Terblanche Sauvignon Blanc, Thelema Red and Villiera Merlot, at about R34 per glass/R135 per bottle); and a separate mention for RosÃ© (Kleine Zalze at R20/R80), as well as for “Bubbles” (Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel at R30/R125). Beers cost R18 (Heineken), R17 (Amstel, Windhoek) and R21 for 500 ml of Jack Black Draught. A cocktail list features eight options, all with American South names, most costing a very affordable R35. The cocktail menu carries the branding of Southern Comfort, Jack Daniel’s and Frangelico.
One hopes that Nava does not overextend himself in his opening of new restaurants – he has also just opened the Mozarella Bar in lower Kloof Street (opposite the Vida e CaffÃª), and also plans to open a Down South Sandwich Bar.
Down South Food Bar, 267 Long Street, Cape Town. Tel (021) 422-1155. www.downsouthfoodbar.com (website under construction). Monday – Saturday, “10am – late”.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
A unique magical musical and dinner show has opened at The Rainbow Room in Mandela Rhodes Place, in time for the festive season, as well as for tourists arriving in Cape Town. It is a unique way in which the his(story) of the establishment of Cape Town until the present day is told via music, dance and food.
Conceptualised by dynamic event co-ordinator Alison McCutcheon of event company Rainbow Experience Marketing, written by Deney Willie, directed by Godfrey Johnson (known for his Brel productions) and choreographed by ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Didi Moses, the Cape Town Show is a â€˜Marvellous celebration of the people of the Cape, their history, freedom and magnanimous spirit of Ubuntu”. Talented young 19 and 20 years olds have been selected into The Rainbow Academy, and trained for the show. The Rainbow Academy allows its students “to earn while they learn” The show is hosted in a large space, perhaps too large initially until the audience size builds up, and is complemented with audio-visual images screened alongside the stage â€“ the vibrancy of the performers attracts one’s attention to the stage, so that one does not pick up much of the additional information on the screens. Images of Nelson Mandela flank the screens. The show with a three course dinner costs R295, and without dinner it costs R 120.
Prior to the first act one is served the starter, which is the most more-ish French-inspired Lavache crisp bread coated with black and white sesame seeds, served with hummus and a real Cape delicacy Cape snoek fish patÃ©. The first act focused on the arrival of the first visitors to the Cape, going as far back as 1488, with first arrival Bartholomew Diaz making a stop on his way from Portugal to the East. The cultures of the Dutch, German, French, Malaysian, Northern African peoples and other settlers is described, and the historical events of occupations and settlements, as well as the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 and of the Republic of South Africa in 1961 is narrated and sung. The songs chosen to tell the story were not all known, and included a David Kramer/Taliep Pietersen song from their musical â€˜Goem’, a very vibey 1930’s â€˜Get Happy’, and the emotive â€˜Meadowlands’. A Klopse scene includes standards such as â€˜Suikerbossie’, ‘Vat jou goed en trek Ferreira’ and more. District Six also makes an appearance in the show.
In the break, the main course is served, the orders for which are taken prior to the start of the show. Whilst not typically Cape, we ordered the dukkah-crusted beef fillet served on mash and spinach, with a very strongly spiced chakalaka sauce. The fillet was served perfectly as ordered, medium and medium rare for my colleague and for me, respectively. One has two other choices for the main courses, which are more Cape-like: vegetarian curried lentil cottage pie, and Cape butter chicken curry served with a homemade roll and sambas.
The second half of the show focused on the impact of the apartheid laws, the defiance of the population affected by them, and the freedom achieved for the nation, with soundbites of then-President FW de Klerk announcing the scrapping of all laws of segregation, and Nelson Mandela’s speech after his release from Victor Verster prison, saying that all South Africans have the “right to human dignity in our rainbow nation”. The show ended with the celebration of freedom and the spirit of Ubuntu. The music chosen for the second act included the well-known â€˜Pata Pata’, made famous by Miriam Makeba; Jeremy Taylor’s â€˜ Ag Pleez Deddy’ brought back nostalgic memories of a by-gone era of drive-in movies, popcorn and bubblegum!; â€˜Gimme Hope Jo’anna’; â€˜Paradise Road’ by Eddie Grant; and the national anthem â€˜Nkosi Sikelelel iAfrika’, presented in a vibey way.
Dessert is a sweet treat trio of a mini-koeksister, melktert and chocolate brownie. I had it with an excellent LavAzza cappuccino, a surprise, in that I was wondering where I would have to go to find one close by after the show. The catering is done in-house, with a contracted chef doing a great job in a tiny kitchen, we were told. The Beverage list is short and sweet, especially on the wine side, and very inexpensive. Wines-by-the-glass offered are M’Hudi Rea Dry at R20/R90, M’Hudi Kwea Red at R20/R90, and Excelsior Pure Bred Red R25/R100. No Shiraz is offered, with only one or two Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinotage options. Pongracz Brut costs R150, and 2 Oceans RosÃ© R 20/R90. Amstel, Castle, Windhoek Lager and Windhoek Lite all cost R16; Heineken, Peroni and Millers, Hunter’s Dry and Savannah cost R17; and Jack Black costs R20.
A surprise was when the cast came back on the stage for an un-announced encore, singing real Cape classics such as â€˜Daar kom the Alabama’, â€˜Dina Dina Oh’, as well as Ipi Tombi.
The Cape Town Show is a great way for locals to be reminded of the colourful and often painful history of the Cape, and the rich heritage it has. It is also a quick way for tourists to learn about the history of our country, and have a memorable evening, enjoying Cape culture and food. The audience enjoyed the enthusiasm of the performers, and were captivated by the music. There are a few teething problem, like waiter training and understandability of all the words in the spoken story, but as it is early days for the show, they are sure to be addressed.
Disclosure: As a member of the Food & Wine Bloggers” Club, having attended the October meeting which was hosted by the Rainbow Experience, we received complimentary tickets to the Cape Town Show.
Cape Town Show, The Rainbow Room, Mandela Rhodes Place, Wale Street, Cape Town. Tel 072 875 9723. Book at www.webtickets.co.za. Wednesday and Friday evenings. Doors open at 19h00, show starts at 20h00.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
For my last World Cup viewing I chose The Twankey Bar at the Taj Hotel in Cape Town, a bar I had wanted to visit on a previous occasion, but which was closed for stocktake on that day (the Germany versus England match). Last night it was the 3rd and 4th play-off between Germany and Uruguay, and the five Germans at The Twankey Bar were delighted with their team’s 3-2 win.
I did not know that the Widow Twankey is a well-known character in Alladin. According to Wikipedia, she is a “pantomime dame portrayed as a man” (read more here). The Widow Twankey figurine is a feature outside on the erstwhile Board of Executors building in which The Twankey Bar is housed, and gave the bar its name.
The Twankey Bar has a swanky feel, as you step into it from the corner of Adderley and Wale Streets, in a venue separated from the Taj Hotel. It has beautiful wooden floors, marble table and bar tops, red leather tub chairs (uncomfortably high and very sharp arm rests), bar chairs and some of the other tub chairs are in silver leather, a silver painted pressed steel ceiling, beautiful art deco lamps, and silk-like curtains in a deep red and silver. The silver and red theme is not carried through in the staff uniforms, which are a creme shirt, black cap and black pants, odd given the colourful uniforms the staff wear in Mint and Bombay Brasserie inside the Hotel. A lone black and white photograph of a boat decorates one wall, and echoes the “seafood” theme, probably picked up from the anchor in the Twankey statuette. I would have liked a little more light, especially to read the bill.
We were given the choice of rugby or soccer, as the initial guests in the Bar were not watching any sport. When they left, soccer won, and the volume was turned up. Nothing in The Twankey Bar reflected the world’s largest sport event taking place in the country. With five of us in the Bar during the match, we certainly made the “gees”, but there were not enough customers on the rainy and cold Cape Town night to give it the spirit. But when your team wins, you don’t need other people’s “gees”! It was an exciting match, and kept one holding thumbs and begging Paul the Octopus to make his prediction of a win for Germany come true, his seventh correct prediction!
The menu is a simple yet elegantly designed one, laminated, and I was encouraged by the Manager Leslie Heaven to take it home with me so that I did not have to write it all down. The menu states “Seafood * Champagne * Guinness * Oysters” on the front, and this gives one a feel of its focus immediately. The manager told me it is an Irish pub, due to the Guinness served. The Seafood focus is odd for a pub, but it is only Calamari (R55), Tempura Prawns (R85), and the Tuna Tatiki (R85) that meet this description. On the table were heavily spiced cashew nuts, wasabi peanuts and chilli poppers, encouraging one to drink more beer to get over the spiciness. On the reverse side it refers to its “Tapas Menu”.
Our food and beer were brought quickly after placing the order, with new-looking quality cutlery and very small material serviettes. The Guacamole and spicy tortilla dish (R50) was massive – despite having asked for the least spicy tortillas, they were still pretty hot, and the manager organised some toast instead. The guacamole was spicy too, with a strong taste of onion. I am used to guacamole being smooth – The Twankey Bar’s was chunky. The Quail spring rolls were served with chilli plum sauce, and were an expensive choice at R 65 for four small rolls, but were enjoyable. I liked the Karoo Lamb Samoosas, four small ones costing R 55, not having any spices in them. The serving of four large prawns came with a very diluted soy sauce, but I was brought the real thing when I requested it. Oysters cost R90 for six. Other “Small plates” one can order are Chicken Tikka Wrap served with mint chutney (R55), Tequila Salmon Gravlax (R75) and Jalapeno Poppers (R45). What I liked was that as far as pub food goes, this was the most creative menu of all the pubs I visited during my World Cup journey. What I disliked was the spiciness of almost all the dishes, limiting my choice.
The Menu is dominated by the drinks on offer; including ten Cocktails all costing R40; four non-alcoholic ones (R30 each); two draught beers (Guinness at R 29 and Jack Black at R 20); and bottled beer – Heineken, Peroni and Windhoek are very reasonably priced at R 20, while the Brewers Union Unfiltered, Dark and Stepheiss (sic) all are charged at R 40, the same price at which it is sold at &Union up the road. One can order Moet et Chandon at a precious R 225 per glass, or at R 900 per bottle, and even splurge on a bottle of Dom Perignon Brut Rose at R 8000! Seven of the thirteen Methode Cap Classique wines offered can be ordered by the glass, and seem expensive – Pierre Jourdan Cuvee Brut and the Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel are the cheapest at R 50 per glass, while the Teddy Hall Blanc de Blanc costs R 100 per glass. I was proud to see Melissa Nelsen’s Genevieve Blanc de Blanc listed – what a prestige for the new sparkling wine producer who only launched her brand earlier this year! A small selection of red and white wines is offered, by the glass and per bottle, and commendably the vintages are specified. The prices seemed more reasonable here – for example the 2007 Villiera Merlot costs R 35 by the glass, and the Warwick First Lady Red Blend 2008 costs R40.
I was grateful when the Manager took over looking after our table when our waitress seemed more interested in chatting to her colleague and watching the soccer. She was asked to bring the prawn tempura dish to the table in the halftime, but this did not happen and had to be requested. While the World Cup is history after tonight, it surprised me that, generally speaking, bar staff do not seem to understand that one would like to hear the commentator during a match – a problem I picked up at Harvey’s Bar and Salt Vodka Bar too. It irritated me that they kept coming to ask something and even blocked the TV screen during what was a most exciting match. At one stage we had to ask them to stop the icemaking machine because it made such a noise. It was one of few pubs (also Salt Vodka Bar, and Pure at Hout Bay Manor) in which I saw a manager, and whilst he could have been more assertive with his staff about the disturbances, he was good at reading customer irritations, coming to check with us, and acting upon feedback immediately.
The Twankey Bar is not a food destination in itself, but would be the start or end to a special evening in town. Recently it was decided that The Twankey Bar should stay open until 23h00, as guests were popping in for a late snack. The food is expensive and spiciness dominates, but the drinks are more reasonably priced.
The Twankey Bar, Taj Hotel, corner Wale and Adderley Streets, Cape Town. Tel (021) 819-2000. www.tajhotels.com (The website exaggerates, in my opinion, when it describes The Twankey Bar as a “seafood restaurant”. It also claims to have “sublime jazz”, but we did not experience any music). Open from 11h00 – 23h00, Mondays – Saturdays.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com