The new words on serious diners lips are ‘Gåte’ and ‘Quoin Rock’, both not having been heard of by most, but already associated with superlative dining, on a wine estate tucked away outside Stellenbosch where no expense had been spared to create eating and drinking experiences to take one’s breath away! This is what we experienced when invited to eat at Chef Rikku O’Donnchü’s Gåte restaurant on Friday evening. I was still pinching myself over the weekend as to whether this was real, or just a dream. I invited my friend Stuart Bailey to share this experience with me. Continue reading →
On Tuesday Winemag.co.za awarded 25 Cape Bordeaux Red Blends top scores of 90 and higher, out of 100, the third year that Editor and chairman of the judging committee Christian Eedes has compiled a Report on this wine category. I was unable to attend the function, as I was attending another wine event at the same time, but received the media release, with the results. Continue reading →
This morning I attended the launch and tasting of the new Le Lude Cap Classique, made by winemaker Paul Gerber, from Franschhoek, having received the invitation from Ann Ferreira to attend the launch of Le Lude Reserve Brut and Reserve Rosé.
The venue for the launch was interesting, being a small inner-city winery owned by Tim Martin, down a side street in Salt Continue reading →
If it depends on the Cape weather, it is hardly winter yet. However, the first restaurants are sending out their Winter Specials information, summarised below. The list is updated continuously. We welcome information about new specials:
* Umi in Camps Bay: 2 course set menu R155, 3 courses R195. Beef shortrib R105, beef sirloin R95, fish & fries R85, Tataki Beef R55, Beef sliders R55, Baby squid R45. Half price sushi. Cocktails R40 Tel (021) 437-1802 (added 1/5/15)
* Pepenero in Mouille Point : 2 courses R150, 3 courses R190. Sirloin R90, Rump R90, Lamb cutlets R120, Seafood platter R160, Sushi platter R130, Veal schnitzel R110, Oxtail R110, prawn platter R130, chicken liver pasta R80, and chicken curry R90 . Half price sushi (selected items) all day. Cocktails R35. Daily. Tel (021) 439-9027 (added 1/5/15)
* The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries have signed an agreement to create a New Development Bank, reports The New Age. The Bank’s first loans will be made in 2016, from its pooled resources of $50 billion. South Africa is reported to have contributed R 5 billion to the establishment of the Bank. In addition, a $100 billion ‘contingency reserves pool‘ will be set up, to safeguard any of the five countries from being hit by ‘an exodus of foreign capital‘. The Bank headquarters will be in Shanghai, reports Mail & Guardian, while Johannesburg will be the regional centre of the Bank for Africa.
* SAA has been named Best Airline Africa for the 12th year running, and won the Best Airline Staff Service Africa award for the third time, presented at the Skytrax World Airline Awards in London. The airlines were evaluated on the basis of customer surveys conducted amongst 18 million travelers. SAA has a 4-star rating from Skytrax, the only airline in Africa to have achieved the service quality rating.
Earlier this week Christian Eedes presented the results of his third annual Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report, sponsored by Sanlam Private Investments, at a lunch-time function held at Burrata. A number of the Top 10 winemakers have collected Top 10 awards in the past three years, reflecting the consistency of the results for South Africa’s second largest varietal. Eight of the Top 10 Cabernet Sauvignon winners are from Stellenbosch this year.
Eedes explained that sixty Cabernet Sauvignon producers were invited, on the basis of their performance in Platter’s, at Veritas, and other wine awards, to submit their wines for evaluation for his Top 10 Cabernet Sauvignon Report. Roland Peens and James Pietersen, both from Wine Cellar (James was formerly with Belthazar) were his fellow judges, as has been the case in the first two years. The standard is higher every year, Eedes said, making it more difficult to judge than before. He thanked Social Media writers for assisting him in spreading the results of his Reports. Continue reading →
The Winter 2014 specials for more than 90 Cape Town and Winelands restaurants follow below, and are updated continuously. We welcome information about new specials, and the feedback about your meals at these restaurants:
* Umi in Camps Bay: 3 course set menu R260, 5 courses R360, both include a shared bottle of Warwick First Lady. Order 3 meals off a la carte menu, get the 4th free. Slow cooked shortrib R110, Karan beef sirloin R95, Japanese beer marinated Karan beef fillet R120, pork belly R90, warm salmon and black bean R120, and fish & fries R85. Tel (021) 437-1802 (added 10/5/14)
* Pepenero in Mouille Point : Order 3 meals and get 4th (cheapest) free; Sirloin R89, Rump R89, Lamb cutlets R99, Seafood platter R149, Sushi platter R129, Crayfish tails R169, Veal schnitzel R95, Soup of day R40, Prawn platter R139, Oxtail R110, and Osso Buco R89. Half price sushi (selected items) all day. Daily. Tel (021) 439-9027 (updated 10/5/14)
* 5 Rooms, Alphen Boutique Hotel: 2 courses R170; 2 courses with bottle of Warwick First Lady (shared between two) R220; 3 courses R 220; 3 courses plus bottle of Warwick First Lady (shared between two) R 270. Sirloin R95, Baby chicken R95, Braised oxtail R110, Seafood bouillabaisse R135, Grilled Prawn R99, Slow braised lamb shank R115. Tel (021) 795-6313 (updated 10/5/14)
* Zenzero, Camps Bay: 2 courses R160; 2 courses with bottle of Warwick First Lady (shared between two) R210; 3 courses Continue reading →
* Wine judge and writer Tim James, and winner of a number of wine writing competitions, including the inaugural Du Toitskloof Wine Writer of the Year as well as the Franschhoek Literary Festival wine writing award, has expressed his strongest criticism of the announcement of the 2014 Franschhoek Literary Festival wine writing competition. It has been announced that the competition and its prize money will be split into short writing (less than 1500 words) and long writing (3000 – 4000 words). No award will be given to any writing submitted of between 1500 – 3000 words! Earlier this year the Franschhoek Literary Festival, and the convenor of its wine writing judging committee John Maytham, were lambasted when they chose to not award the prize at all, stating that no entry was of a good enough standard. (Note: the category definitions have subsequently been changed to under 1000 words, and 1000 – 4000 words)
* Only 8% of South African tourism and hospitality businesses plan to appoint more staff, according to tourism consultants Grant Thornton, compared to 25% by their global counterparts.
* South African restaurant brands operating in the United Arab Emirates include Nando’s, Butcher Shop, Meat & Co, Mug & Bean, and Debonairs Pizza.
* Argentina is encouraging its citizens to stay home with a punitive 35% tax on all credit card payments made outside the country, to protect its monetary reserves.
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 →
Graham Beck’s Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) has made headline news in the past ten days, when it appeared on the menu of a lunch hosted by Bono for American First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as on the menu of the wedding celebration dinner of Princess Madeleine and her husband Chris O’Neill, putting Graham Beck’s MCCs on a par with French champagnes in celebrating celebrity occasions! Continue reading →