Last week I wrote that Eat Out has announced that it is changing to a Top 30 Restaurant shortlist for its 2017 Awards. As is customary. I have tried to predict which top South African restaurants will make the Top 30 Restaurant shortlist, which should be announced by Eat Out shortly! I have struggled to find more than twenty worthy restaurants to make the Top 30 list! Continue reading →
It could have been a disaster, changing the venue from the Mistico Equestrian Centre outside Paarl to the SunEvents Centre at GrandWest two days prior to the 17th Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards 2015 today. It turned out to be the best Friday the 13th disaster for New Media Publishing, organizers of the Eat Out Awards, described by many as the best Eat Out Awards ever! Continue reading →
We are extremely proud to have you living in your newly adopted home city Cape Town, and that you are such a fantastic tourism ambassador for our country in general, and for Cape Town in particular. You put Cape Town on the world tourist map with your article earlier this year in the New York Times about Cape Town being the number one ’52 places to go in 2014′, the best free publicity our city has ever had.
I was therefore shocked to see your article about ‘Top Chefs in Cape Town’ in Travel + Leisure, and the choices you made in selecting what you have listed as the top five chefs in Cape Town: Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen, Peter Tempelhoff of The Greenhouse, Reuben Robertsons Riffel of Reuben’s x 4 (in Franschhoek, Cape Town, Robertson, and Paternoster) plus Racine, Bruce Robertson of The Flagship, and Franck Dangereux of The Food Barn, in that order. You did not define your guidelines for selecting the five chefs, nor did you appear to use the same criteria in selecting the chefs that are on your list – the justification for inclusion appears more anecdotal and random. Equally, I am surprised about the chefs you excluded from the list!
You seem to praise Chef Franck for his ‘foreign pedigree, but why single him out when Chefs Luke and Peter also have foreign roots? Does that make them better chefs? All of the chefs on your list have worked overseas, so they deserve equal mention in this regard. You ‘warn’ Travel + Leisure readers to ‘watch out for these five Cape Town chefs and memorize their names now – they’re poised to break through to the global stage any day now‘!
Let me comment on each of your Top Chef choices: Continue reading →
In the past week three further Top 20 Restaurant candidate chefs have announced their resignation, making the restaurants at which they work ineligible to be nominated for the 2014 Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant shortlist. This year is the most volatile we have ever seen as far as top restaurant chef departures go, opening up the opportunity for a fresh 2014 Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards list.
The latest chef resignations are the following:
* Chef Oliver Cattermole left Mondiall Kitchen & Bar two weeks ago, today joining the Leeu Collection as its Executive Chef for its five star Dassenberg Estate hotel and Rusthof Country House in Franschhoek, both opening next year. Chef Oliver has worked locally at Dash at the Queen Victoria Hotel, the Le Franschhoek hotel, and Mondiall, as well as internationally at Ivy Restaurant, La Gavroche, Novelli, and at Cannizaro House hotel.
* Chef Brad Ball, who helped open Bistro Sixteen82 at Steenberg, leaves in two weeks to start up what sounds like a collective of three restaurants at Pedlars on the Bend in Constantia
* Chef Christiaan Campbell leaves Delaire Graff Estate, after opening up the main restaurant more than Continue reading →
After two disastrous years, New Media Publishing was brave enough to take stock earlier this year, and asked the industry what it wanted in the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards. Last night that hard work paid off, with a new venue for the event, a slick and short presentation, new Awards introduced, and three new restaurants making the Top 10 Restaurant list. The surprise was the emotion which the chefs expressed when receiving their plaques, challenging MasterChef SA Season 2 on tears!
We were one of the interviewees, meeting with Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly, its GM Aileen Lamb, MD Bridget McCarney, and Director Irna van Zyl. We were forthright in our feedback and suggestions, including that a team of judges would be needed again (we suggested Garth Stroebel, and have yet to meet him!). We fed back that the preferential relationship with Luke Dale-Roberts in TASTE magazine (also published by New Media Publishing, and of which Abigail is the Food Editor) was unfair towards all other chefs, by featuring him every month – we were told that Woolworths had a contract with him, and therefore he received the coverage in the magazine. This contract was terminated earlier this year, which is excellent news. Other recommendations can be read here. Flowing from the interviews and discussions with previous Top 20 chefs and restaurant managers, owners, and suppliers, as well as media representatives and bloggers, New Media Publishing allowed restaurants to apply to be included in the Eat Out Top 500 Restaurant List, which was selected by a Continue reading →
It’s that time of the year again, and this week Eat Out will announce its shortlisted Top 20 Restaurants for the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards 2014. The judges have been furiously eating their way around the country, and top restaurants are licking their lips in the hope of cracking the Top 20 list, from which the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants will be announced at the gala dinner in the V&A Waterfront on 10 November.
Given the turmoil in the judging of our country’s Top 10 restaurants in the past two years, Eat Out publisher New Media Publishing communicated with the industry, and invited past Top 20 chefs and some restaurant owners to chat about what they want in restaurant awards. The overwhelming majority of respondents requested a panel of South African judges (British blogger ‘judge’ Bruce Palling used last Continue reading →
Eat Out has just announced its Finalist Top 20 Restaurant list, from which the Top 10 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Award winners will be chosen. Seven each of the twenty finalist restaurants are from Stellenbosch and Cape Town, three are from Franschhoek, one is from Johannesburg, one is from KwaZulu-Natal, and one from Pretoria. Bruce Palling, UK food blogger and new right-hand judge to Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly, has just returned to London after a 14 day and 25 lunch and dinner ‘feasting and tasting’ trip to South Africa, mainly spent in the Cape.
We congratulate the following Top 20 finalists:
The Pot Luck Club (subsequently withdrawn)
The Test Kitchen
Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine
Rust en Vrede
Pierneef à La Motte
The Tasting Room
Our prediction of the Western Cape Finalists did not include Bizerca (odd selection as the restaurant is moving to a new venue next month) and The Pot Luck Club (the tapas restaurant of Luke Dale-Roberts)! The Roundhouse is a surprise entry to the list, as its Chef PJ Vadas left in March, and it is a shame that the creativity of Chef Gregory Czarnecki at Waterkloof has once again not been recognised. For the second year running Chef Reuben Riffel has not made the Top 20 list, his Robertsons and Rama endorsement no doubt costing him a standing in this list! The Top 20 list is very predictable this year.
The Top 10 Eat Out Restaurant Award winners will be announced at a gala dinner at The Westin hotel on 25 November.
POSTSCRIPT 18/9: In speaking to restaurateurs today after the Top 20 Restaurant Awards Finalist List was announced, the following criticism about the list has been expressed:
* The Pot Luck Club only opened in December 2011, and therefore it has not been open for a full twelve months, as the rules state. We all know that Mrs Donnelly has a very soft spot for Chef Luke Dale-Roberts, but the same rules must apply to all.
* Grande Provence Chef Darren Badenhorst worked alongside Chef Darren Roberts for more than a year, as did Chef Eric Bulpitt at The Roundhouse work alongside Chef PJ Vadas before he left. Grande Provence was not evaluated for the Top 20 list, while The Roundhouse was! Last year Rust en Vrede had to sit out a year, when David Higgs left, even though Chef John Shuttleworth had worked alongside Chef David for more than a year. This highlights how inconsistent the application of the rules is.
* Eat Out Judge Bruce Palling flew to Johannesburg to have lunch at DW Eleven-13 on Saturday, but does not appear to have made it to Restaurant Mosaic in Pretoria or to Hartford House in KwaZulu-Natal.
POSTSCRIPT 19/9: It is ironic, if not shocking, that Mr Palling’s presence in the Top 20 Restaurant Award Finalist evaluation did not safeguard Mrs Donnelly from falling into the same trap of her bias in including The Pot Luck Club, which has not been operating for a full year. It appears that Chef Luke Dale-Roberts has withdrawn The Pot Luck Club from the Awards today, and we salute him for doing the right thing. However Eat Out should never have selected the restaurant in the first place! This is how Eat Out subsequently announced the withdrawal of The Pot Luck Club from the Top 20 list, stating that they will not replace the restaurant with another: ‘Our original communication listed The Pot Luck Club as one of the nominees. However, on discussion with chef Luke Dale-Roberts, we discovered the restaurant only opened in December 2011, and not in November 2011. (One month short of the cut-off.) Therefore, as per our judging criteria, The Pot Luck Club is not eligible for the awards this year. Luke fully supports our decision and we wish him all the best with the restaurant for 2013!’
POSTSCRIPT 3/10: I met Werner Hayward, Brand Manager at New Media Publishing, at The Christian Eedes Chardonnay Report presentation yesterday, and we discussed the infamous new UK Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants judge Bruce Palling, and how he did not prevent the embarrassing error of including The Pot Luck Club into the Top 20 Finalist Restaurant List. He admitted that this had been a ‘stupid mistake’ by his company!
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
This year the newly-named mouthful of a Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards will see a number of changes, and hence predicting a Top 20 finalist is harder, as a number of new award categories have been introduced, including that Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly is the sole judge, which we have written about previously. Today the Top 20 Restaurant Award finalists will be announced.
As we did last year, we have made a prediction of the Top 20 Restaurant shortlist, with a motivation, as well as indicated which restaurants will not make it this year. We apologise for the very strong Western Cape bias:
1. Tokara: I firmly believe that Tokara in the Helshoogte Pass will be the number 1 restaurant this year, given the outstanding 13-course dinner which Chef Richard Carstens prepared on 30 July, in honour of the closing down of El Bulli on that day. The chef and his team received a standing ovation, and Ms Donnelly attended, and expressed her admiration of it. Chef Richard never stands still, stretching himself and his team with new dishes.
2. The Test Kitchen: Luke Dale-Roberts’ restaurant in the Old Biscuit Mill will be a close contender for the top crown, having been a number 1 winner whilst at La Colombe, and 12th on the San Pellegrino 50 World Best Restaurant Awards last year.
3. Pierneef à La Motte: This Franschhoek restaurant, with Chef Chris Erasmus, has consistently impressed with its creative interpretation of Winelands Cuisine, in a restaurant with outstanding decor and attention to detail, and prides itself on its quest for excellence.
4. The Tasting Room: Making an annual Top 10 list appearance, and the only South African restaurant making the San Pellegrino World Best 50 Awards, this Franschhoek restaurant, with Chef Margot Janse at the helm, is what has given Franschhoek its gourmet status in the past, now challenged by Stellenbosch, as is evident from this list.
5. Overture: The Stellenbosch restaurant has a beautiful view on the Hidden Valley wine estate, and an energetic, continually renewing Chef Bertus Basson. On the Top 10 list since it opened.
6. Planet Restaurant: The refurbished and modernised ex-Cape Colony restaurant at the Mount Nelson Hotel is headed by Chef Rudi Liebenberg, a previous Eat Out Top 20 finalist.
7. The Round House: Despite its arrogance, the restaurant has two excellent foraging chefs in the kitchen, being PJ Vadas and Eric Bulpitt (ex-Jardine). The restaurant is a previous Eat Out Top 10 winner, but did not make it last year.
8. Nobu: This One&Only Cape Town restaurant’s inclusion is uncertain, as it also deserves to win the newly introduced Best Asian Restaurant Award. It is not clear whether a restaurant can be eligible for participation in both categories.
9. Bosman’s: After a long absence, this Paarl-based Grande Roche Hotel restaurant featured on the Eat Out Top 10 list last year. Great work is being done to make the restaurant more accessible, through an amazing summer special. Chef Roland Gorgosilich has been in the kitchen for a number of years.
10. The Food Barn: This Noordhoek restaurant is quietly making a good name for itself, its owner and Chef Franck Dangereux having been a Eat Out Top 10 chef in the past.
11. The Greenhouse: Reports about Chef Peter Tempelhoff’s creativity at the Cellars Hohenhort Hotel are very positive. He has featured on the Eat Out Top 10 list in the past, whilst at Grande Provence.
12. Terroir: This restaurant on the Kleine Zalze estate has been on the Eat Out Top 10 list for a number of years, with Chef Michael Broughton.
13. Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine: The Chef and owner has featured on the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant list whilst he was at Jardine, and also last year for his new restaurant. Consistent delivery on his creative food, and baking specialist.
14. Aubergine: The only current Eat Out Top 10 restaurant in Cape Town, and owned by Chef Harald Bresselschmidt, having been on the Eat Out Top 10 list for many years, but then fell of the list for a number of years too, until last year.
15. Delaire Graff: The restaurant is known for its good service and beautiful views, and Chef Christiaan Campbell and his team quietly get on with what they are good at.
16. Waterkloof: The Somerset West restaurant, with Chef Gregory Czarnecki, has an excellent view, interesting architecture, and good presentation.
17. The Restaurant at Grande Provence: Another low key restaurant, this Franschhoek restaurant has featured on the Eat Out Top 10 list twice, with chefs Jacques de Jager and Peter Tempelhoff. Chef Darren Roberts is passionate about cooking, and creates beautifully prepared and plated fare.
18. Reuben’s One&Only Cape Town: This restaurant could also be eligible for inclusion in the Best Bistro category. At best a token inclusion on this list.
19. Hartford House: This KwaZulu-Natal delivers consistently, and has been a regular on the Eat Out Top 10 list in past years, with passionate ‘local is cool’ Chef Jackie Cameron.
20. DW Eleven-13: This Johannesburg restaurant, with Chef Marthinus Ferreira, made its first appearance on the Eat Out Top 10 list last year.
Restaurants that will not appear on the Top 20 shortlist, we believe, are the following:
1. Rust en Vrede: Due to the departure of David Higgs, the new Chef John Shuttleworth has not run the wine estate restaurant kitchen for a full year, a criterion for the award. Number 1 Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant last year.
2. La Colombe: Chef Scott Kirton probably needs some time to settle in, having worked with Luke Dale-Roberts previously.
3. Reuben’s Franschhoek: The opening of the Reuben’s One&Only Cape Town was at the expense of this restaurant, a previous Top 10, and even number 1 restaurant on the Eat Out Top 10 list.
The Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards will be presented at the Rotunda at the Bay Hotel on 20 November. Last month the American Express Platinum Restaurant Awards were announced. JP Rossouw’s annual restaurant star award list has not been announced yet. It is interesting to hear that Spill Blog is planning to organise a new Restaurant Award next month, with potential funding by Cape Town Tourism, it is said.
POSTSCRIPT 5/10: The Top 20 Finalist list has just been announced (11h30): We had 15 of the 20 finalist correct. Our prediction of Aubergine (a surprise!), Delaire, Waterkloof, Reubens at the One&Only Cape Town, and The Food Barn were incorrect, not making the short-list. Five restaurants we did not have on our list, that are short-listed, are Azure at the Twelve Apostles, Babel at Babylonstoren, La Colombe, Roots in Gauteng, and Restaurant Mosaic at Orient in Pretoria.
POSTSCRIPT 13/10: Eat Out has presented an informative profile of each of the Top 20 chefs in its newsletter today.
POSTSCRIPT 23/10: Tony Jackman has written critically in the Weekend Argus about the Eat Out Top 20 Finalist List. He believes that new restaurants should not be included in such a list before they have not been open for two years. He questions the wisdom of not including Rust en Vrede. He believes that longevity of a restaurant should be taken into account. He is very critical about the 16 Cape restaurants on the list, compared to only 4 for the rest of the country. He wonders whether the geographical balance of the list would be the same if the publishers of Eat Out were based in Johannesburg, and says there should be more balance, given that it is a national publication. He highlights that none of the three Reuben’s are on the list. Interestingly, he questions how long Luke Dale-Roberts will stay in his current location. He raises the question as to whether great restaurants can remain great, irrespective of the chef, mentioning La Colombe and Bosman’s as examples of restaurants not influenced by who is the chef, and suggests ‘let’s lose this cult of the chef perosnality‘, adding ‘The restaurant should be the point – not the chef’. Jackman mentions every Top 20 finalist, with the following exceptions: Richard Carstens from Tokara, and Margot Janse from The Tasting Room.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Sad news since Saturday is that David Higgs, chef at Rust en Vrede and number one Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant, will be leaving the Stellenbosch wine farm restaurant mid-June. He is heading for Johannesburg, but exact details are not yet available. David will be replaced by John Shuttleworth. Higgs is not the first chef to have resigned in his year of being named a Top 10 chef, following in the footsteps of Peter Tempelhoff and Jacques de Jager.
We received the following media release from Rust en Vrede’s PR agent Emile Joubert:
STATEMENT FROM RUST EN VREDE ON RESIGNATION OF HEAD-CHEF DAVID HIGGS
David Higgs has resigned as head-chef of Rust en Vrede Restaurant to take up a business offer in Johannesburg.
Since starting the restaurant on Rust en Vrede Wine Estate in 2007 with proprietor Jean Engelbrecht, Higgs and his team have developed the restaurant into one of South Africa’s leading restaurants, garnering various accolades in the process.
Higgs will be running the restaurant until the winter break commences on 18 June. John Shuttleworth, currently sous chef at Rust en Vrede, will replace Higgs as head-chef when the restaurant reopens on 19 July.
“David will always be known as the chef who established one of the winelands’ finest restaurants as well giving the Rust en Vrede brand an added dimension of excellence,” says Engelbrecht. “I would like to thank him for his invaluable contribution and wish him well on his new career path where I am sure he will achieve the same degree of success he did at Rust en Vrede.
“Together with David, I have decided to appoint John as the new head-chef as his experience will ensure that our innovative and original cuisine, commitment to service excellence and sourcing of the finest produce will continue to remain at the heart of the Rust en Vrede offering.”
Higgs said his tenure at Rust en Vrede offered him the opportunity to realise his full potential as a restaurant chef. “As part of a fantastic team, I am proud to say that Rust en Vrede helped push winelands dining to a new level, and I have no doubt that Jean, John and the rest of the team will continue doing so,” he says.
“Moving to Johannesburg from this environment is not an easy decision. However, the opportunity of being involved on a greater strategic business level within the food industry is one I feel compelled to pursue.”
We wish David Higgs all the best of luck in his future endeavours, and know that we will see him on a future Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant list again.
POSTSCRIPT 17/4: If what Rapport writes today about the reasons for the departure of David Higgs from Rust en Vrede is correct, then it is just a matter of time before the restaurant closes down after he leaves. The report alleges that Jean Engelbrecht, who leases Rust en Vrede from his father Jannie, at an astronomical rental of R140000 per month, is in financial trouble, and is struggling to pay the rent, leading to cost cutting, which must be affecting the restaurant operation too. Higgs must have seen that the writing is on the wall. Jannie and Jean have had an acrimonious father-and-son-relationship, and Jean is accused of financial mismanagement since leasing the wine estate five years ago. Higgs’ departure is seen to make the financial situation at Rust en Vrede even worse, as he and his restaurant have been an important part of the Rust en Vrede brand, especially when Higgs and his Rust en Vrede team won Top Chef, Top Restaurant and Top Service in the 2010 Eat Out Top Restaurant Awards in November.
Since the first Tweet by Wouter Lombard on 9 April, announcing Higgs’ departure from Rust en Vrede, we have tried to contact Higgs. He had left for the day when I called that same evening, but I could get Sommelier Neil Grant on the line, and he denied the ‘rumour’ regarding Higgs’ departure. On Thursday Lombard again Tweeted about Higgs’ departure. I called the restaurant again, and was told that Higgs was not available, but managed to speak to Grant again, who confirmed the departure and apologised for not revealing the correct information on Saturday evening. I was given Higgs’ cell number, and called twice, to reach him. He asked if he could call back, as he was in a staff briefing. He did not call, but sent the following sms instead: “A little crazy at the moment. Will release something more substantial soon. Thx for understanding”. Higgs has always been a gentleman, and it would appear that he does not want to talk to anyone about the reasons for his departure, nor about his future plans.
POSTSCRIPT 20/4: We have received another e-mail from Emile Joubert, denying the previous Postscript written on the basis of a Rapport report: “As mentioned, Rust en Vrede denies the sensationalist allegations in Rapport. We have stated this to the editor, Liza Albrecht, who has launched a “thorough investigation” into the various lies expressed in the article by her journalist Marlene Malan. See my comment on the Rapport article. This pretty much explains everything. I’ll keep you up to speed re further developments”.
POSTSCRIPT 16/5: In Rapport yesterday the paper retracted its story referred to in the above Postscript, having seen evidence that Rust en Vrede does not belong to Jannie Engelbrecht, and therefore he cannot be leasing the farm to his son Jean Engelbrecht. Further, David Higgs is quoted in the article as saying that he is leaving Rust en Vrede due to a new business opportunity, and that his departure has nothing to do with the relationship between Jannie and Jean Engelbrecht.
POSTSCRIPT 20/6:Chef David Higgs cooked his last meal at Rust en Vrede on Saturday evening. The restaurant is closing for a month, and then the sous chef steps into David’s shoes. David is said to be going to Radissons’s Hotel in Johannesburg, running the Food & Beverage side of the hotel. It is also said that he is investigating launching a range of products bearing his name.
POSTSCRIPT 22/6: In the Eat Out newsletter today, David Higgs confirms his move to Radisson’s Blu Gautrain Hotel, where he will be responsible for all the hotel’s food. He is working on a redesign of the hotel’s unimaginatively named Central One Bar and All Day Restaurant, using Michelin 2-star chef Joel Robuchon’s L’Atelier brand as his inspiration.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
We have been tracking recent restaurant opening, closure, and restaurant and chef change information in Cape Town and in the Winelands on our Winter Restaurant Specials blog post, but have decided to do an update for those not looking for specials necessarily.
* La Mouette has opened at 78 Regent Road in Sea Point.
* Brio is a new jazz restaurant, in half of the ex-Riboville in town (on the Adderley Street side)
* Van Hunks has opened at 1 Union Street, off Kloof Street in Gardens
* Cafe Nood has opened in Wilderness Road, Claremont
* Ryan’s Kitchen has opened at Rusthof guest house in Franschhoek – the chef Ryan Smith is ex-Mont Rochelle.
* The House of Meat has opened in the Pepper Club Hotel, corner Long and Bloem Streets, offering a full braai for R 295
* Spiros has opened in Hout Bay
* La Cantina has opened in the Alliance Francaise.
* The De Leuwen Jagt restaurant on the Seidelberg wine estate outside Paarl has opened The Fabulous Bakery.
* Gesellig has opened on the corner of Church and Regent Roads in Sea Point, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
* Indochine has opened at the Delaire Graff wine estate in Stellenbosch.
* The Long Table Restaurant and Cafe has opened at Haskell Vineyards in Stellenbosch.
* The Wild Peacock Food Emporium has opened in Stellenbosch.
* De Oude Bank Bakkerij has opened in Stellenbosch.
* Knife Restaurant has opened in the Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa, a sister restaurant to Fork.
* Sommelier Restaurant has re-opened, after a two-year closure, at Sante Hotel & Wellness Centre
* Illyria coffee shop has opened in the Eikestad Mall in Stellenbosch
* Pierneef à la Motte has opened at La Motte in Franschhoek.
* The Artisan Cafe has opened inside Table Thirteen in Green Point, with a barista
* The Fish Shack has opened in The Paddocks, Milnerton
* Maison in Franschhoek is to open a restaurant
* Etienne Bonthuys (ex-Tokara) has opened his long-awaited restaurant on Dorp Street, Stellenbosch, called Casparus, in partnership with artist Strijdom van der Merwe.
* Luke Dale Roberts, award-winning chef whilst at La Colombe (reaching 12th place on Top 50 Restaurants in the World list), has opened The Test Kitchen at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.
* Sofia’s at Morgenster has opened.
* Down South has opened on Long Street
* Victoria Eatery has opened in Hermanus.
* French Toast has opened at 199 Bree Street, a wine and tapas bar
* DISH has opened at Inn on the Square, Greenmarket Square
* Babel has opened at Babylonstoren near Klapmuts/Simondium (next to Backsberg)
* Hemelhuijs has opened at 71 Waterkant Street, for breakfast and lunch
* Barracudas has opened with ‘simply sumptious seafood’ served, in Fish Hoek.
* The Olive Shack at Allora in Franschhoek has opened as a deli, doing olive oil tastings, and serving Breakfast, Greek lunches and picnics
* Sotano by Caveau has opened in the La Splendida Hotel in Mouille Point
* Tables restaurant has opened at Nitida wine estate in Durbanville
* Mozarella Bar has opened on Kloof Street, Gardens
* Café Benedict has opened on the main road in Franschhoek.
* Trinity has opened as a ‘super club’ in Bennett Street in Green Point
* Il Cappero Italian Restaurant has opened in Barrack Street
* Sugar Hut Club has opened in the old Castle Hotel building on Canterbury Street, next door to Charly’s Bakery
* Caffé Milano has opened on Kloof Street, Gardens
* The Stone Kitchen has opened at Dunstone Winery in Wellington
* The Franschhoek Food Emporium has open in Place Vendome, and is owned by legendary Topsi’s daughter Danielle
* What’s On Eatery has opened in Watson Street, between Loop and Bree Street
* Haas Coffee Collective has opened on Rose Street in Bo-Kaap
* Crush coffee shop and bakery has opened in Paarl, owned by Gerard van Staden, previously chef at le Franschhoek Hotel, and later overseer of all restaurants owned by Robert Maingard in Franschhoek.
* Dear Me Brasserie and Tjing Tjing Bar has opened on Longmarket Street.
* Quilter & The Workmen is to open in Bree Street in May
* Act Restaurant and Play Bar have opened at the Baxter Theatre
* Le Coq has opened in Franschhoek
* Dash has opened in the Queen Victoria Hotel in the Waterfront
* Café Dijon has opened another branch at Zorgvliet wine estate
* Harbour House is to open a branch in the V & A Waterfront in September, in the Fisherman’s Choice site, near Sevruga
* KOS Coffee & Cuisine has opened in The Regency on Regent Road in Sea Point
* Café Extrablatt opens where shu used to be, next door to Doppio Zero in Green Point, in August
* Skinny Legs & All That has opened on Loop Street
* Leopard’s Leap opens its new picnic facility, tasting room and cookery school in October
* Josephine’s Patisserie on Loop Street
* Ginja on New Church Street
* maze at the One&Only Cape Town
* Panarotti’s and Shimmi’s Bar in Hermanus
* Bouillabaisse in Franschhoek.
* Yum in Vredehoek.
* Cape Town Fish Market in Camps Bay
* Vista Mare in Camps Bay
* La Table de France in Sea Point
* La Brasserie in Franschhoek
* shu on Main Road in Green Point
* Camil’s on Main Road in Green Point
* Madame Zingara has left Cape Town
* Fiesta in the Old Cape Quarter
* Jardine’s Restaurant has closed on Bree Str
* Liquorice and Lime has closed down on St George’s Mall
* Cheyne has closed on Bree Street
* The Kitchen Bar in the Quarters’ Hotel in Hermanus has closed
* The Bistro in Franschhoek has closed down
* The Sandbar in Camps Bay has closed down
* The Blonde building is up for sale, and does not appear to be re-opening in August, as was announced by The Caviar Group, owners of Blonde, two months ago.
* The Green Dolphin Jazz Club in the V & A Waterfront has closed down
* Mezzaluna in Loop Street has closed down
* Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant judge Pete Goffe-Wood’s Wild Woods Restaurant has closed down.
* Restaurant Christophe closes down in Stellenbosch on 25 June. Chef Christophe Dehosse will be back at Joostenberg from August.
* Nando’s in Camps Bay has closed down
* Haute Cabriere under the chef-manship of Matthew Gordon closes on 7 June at the wine tasting venue with the same name in Franschhoek.
Restaurant name-changes/take-overs/chef changes/address changes
* Leaf Restaurant and Bar has opened where The Showroom/Portofino used to be.
* Mason’s Cafe and Grill has opened where Cafe Gainsbourg used to be
* On Broadway has moved to the New Space Theatre building, and is using the ex-Anytime restaurant space as one of the restaurants its patrons can eat at before the show.
* Camil Haas, the co-owner of Camil’s in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, has left the restaurant (which has since closed down). He is working for Reuben Riffel at Reuben’s in Franschhoek and at the One&Only Cape Town.
* Tank in the old Cape Quarter has changed its name to Aqua.
* Luke Dale-Roberts is no longer the Executive Chef at La Colombe, but will consult to the restaurant.
* Cafe Rouge in Franschhoek has been renamed Chez d’Or.
* Buena Vista Social Club has moved to the top end of Portswood Road in the Waterfront.
* Reuben’s at One&Only Cape Town has opened, where maze used to be.
* Cafe Le Chocolatier has taken over from Cafe Vendome in Place Vendome in Franschhoek.
* Dutch East has taken over from Burgundy in Franschhoek
* Cafe des Arts has taken over Topsi’s in Franschhoek.
* Amazink, ex-Roots, in Khayamandi in Stellenbosch, has opened, with Bertus Basson from Overture an advisor.
* Chef School owner Kevin Warwick has taken over Kate’s Village in Hermanus, now called The Class Room
* Da Luigi has opened where Vista Mare was in The Promenade in Camps Bay
* Satay Bar has opened where Zucca was in Kloof Street
* Le Quartier Francais has closed its bistro iCi, and opened The Common Room
* Franko’s Kitchen in Plettenberg Bay has reopened as a sushi restaurant called Kitchen Café
* Fu.shi in Plettenberg Bay has closed down, and has a new owner and a new name The Terrace
* The Old Post House in Plettenberg Bay has closed down, but is set to re-open for three months with a new owner
* Blakes has opened on Buitengracht/New Church Street, where Relish/Ninja used to be, belonging to Rochelle Bushelle, owner of the Opal Lounge, and offering a lounge, bar and dining services
* Franschhoek Kitchen is the new name of Genot restaurant on the renamed Holden Manz Wine Estate in Franschhoek (previously Klein Genot)
* Chef Eric Bulpitt has moved to The Roundhouse, due to the closure of Jardine’s
* Woodlands Eatery is the new name of ex-Yum in Vredehoek, with chef Larry, previously with Emily Moon in Plettenberg Bay
* ZAR nightclub has opened in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, where Camil’s used to be
* Marika’s Greek Restaurant from Bakoven has moved to a new venue, at 176 Buitenkant Street, above 7Eleven.
* The Rhubarb Room moves to 227 Bree Street
* David Higgs is leaving Rust en Vrede on 18 June and is moving to Johannesburg. John Shuttleworth will step into his chef’s shoes.
* Vanessa Quellec is to leave Caffe Milano in July
* Restaurant winter break closures
* The Mount Nelson’s Cape Colony has re-opened, with a new name, Planet Restaurant, and menu.
* Vaudeville has reopened.
* Massimo’s Pizza Club in Hout Bay will re-open on 20 April, in their original venue in Hout Bay.
* The Salmon Bar in Franschhoek has moved into a new main road outlet in The Yard (part ex-Bouillabaisse and Pam Golding) and has re-opened.
* Miguel’s in Plettenberg Bay has re-opened in the same location.
* Rust en Vrede will close from 18 June – 18 July
* Tokara will clsoe between 2 – 9 May
* The Test Kitchen will clsoe between 7 – 23 May
NOTE: This information will be updated regularly, as we receive new information.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com