There are few restaurant openings, and restaurant closures are minimal at present, a good sign of some recovery. This list of restaurant news is updated continuously, as we receive information:
* Merchants Café has opened on Long Street, opposite Merchants on Long, both belonging to Hanneli Rupert.
* Luke Dale-Roberts, Eat Out Top Chef at The Test Kitchen, has opened a real test kitchen, called The Kitchen of Dreams, a private experimental place to develop new recipes, at the Old Biscuit Mill. He is also opening a pop-up Pot Luck Club in Swiss ski resort Verbier, at the Hotel Farinet, from 8 December – April, to be run by him, his chef Nicolas Wilkinson, and front of house Selena Afnan-Holmes.
* Col’Cacchio has opened a new outlet in Westlake, and new ones are coming in Claremont and Hermanus.
* New Vida é Caffe new branches are to open on Maindean Place in Claremont, at the new Wembley Square 2 development, at The Paddocks, Groote Schuur, and Roeland Street. Two more branches are planned for Mauritius.
* Honest Chocolate is opening a second outlet, a ‘production kitchen’ in the Woodstock Industrial Centre
* Moyo has opened, where the Paulaner Braühaus was in the V & A Waterfront.
* TRUTH Coffee has opened on Buitenkant Street
* FEAST is to open where Franschhoek Food Emporium was, in Place Vendome
* Okamai Japanese Restaurant has opened at Glenwood wine estate in Franschhoek
* Cavalli restaurant is said to open on the stud farm on R44, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, this year or next
* Stables at Vergelegen Bistro has opened as a lunch restaurant in Somerset West. Its Lady Phillips Restaurant is being given a make-over by Christo Barnard, and will open with a new name Camphors at Vergelegen. The new chef will be PJ Vadas, previously of The Roundhouse in Camps Bay.
* Chef Johan van Schalkwyk has left the Stone Kitchen at Dunstone Winery, and has opened his own restaurant Twist Some More in Wellington.
* Chef Bjorn Dingemans has opened The Millhouse Kitchen restaurant on Lourensford wine estate in Somerset West.
* Down South Food Bar, previously on Long Street, is said to re-open in the Riverside Centre in Rondebosch
* David Higgs (ex Rust en Vrede) has opened Five Hundred, a new 30 seater restaurant in The Saxon in Johannesburg.
* Cousins has opened in the Parliament Hotel, where Il Cappero used to be.
* No. 6 Restaurant at Welbedacht has opened at Welbedacht/Schalk Burger & Sons wine estate in Wellington, run by the ex-owners of Oude Wellington
* Café Dulce is to open a new branch in Tygervalley Centre
* Gourmetboerie has opened at the bottom end of Kloof Street, where Depasco used to be.
* Kushi Indian Restaurant has opened a branch on Main Road in Sea Point
* Thai Café is opening on Plein Street, Stellenbosch
* Simply Asia has opened in Paarl
* Bellini’s is said to be opening on Greenmarket Square
* Moksh Authentic Indian Cuisine restaurant has opened in Paarl
* Vino’s has opened in Wellington
* Alfama’s has opened on Waterkant Street
* Taj Mahal has opened in Sea Point
* It’s a House is to open on Jarvis Street, as a bar, coffee shop, and design art space.
* Lion’s Head Bar is to open on Bree Street, selling craft beer and food
* An Indian restaurant is to open in the original Madame Zingara building on Loop Street, by the Madame Zingara Group
* The Caviar Group has opened three new restaurants in the Gateway Centre in Umhlanga: Beluga, Sevruga, and Osetra
* A new bar and Café is to open underneath the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, where Bamboo used to be
* Cattle Baron has opened in Hermanus, and at Pontac Manor in Paarl.
* Café Blanc de Noir has opened on Brenaissance wine estate in Stellenbosch
* The Reserve is said to be opening a beach restaurant in the V&A Waterfront.
* Chef Nic van Wyk, previously with Terroir, has opened a restaurant at Diemersdal in Durbanville.
* Lizette’s Kitchen has opened in Vöelklip, Hermanus.
* Paulina’s Restaurant has opened at Rickety Bridge in Franschhoek
* Ocean Jewel Deli has opened at Woodstock Junction
* Buitenverwachting has opened Coffee Bloc Coffee Shop and Roastery
* Wakaberry is opening on Kloof Street, and has opened in Stellenbosch
* Rock Sushi Thai has opened in Meadowridge
* Jimmy Jimanos sports bar is opening on Long Street
* Dolcé Bakery has opened in St John’s Piazza in Sea Point
* The Salzburger Grill has opened in Sea Point
* Sacred Ground is opening as a Deli and Bakery in The Square in Franschhoek at the end of November
* The Stall has opened as a Bar and Family Café in the old Pippin Farm Stall, at the entrance to Franschhoek, owned by Essence owner
* The Rotisserie at Leopard’s Leap has opened.
* Burger King will open its first South African branch in Cape Town next year!
* A coffee shop, chocolaterie, bar, and fashion boutique will open in a 3-storey building on Long Street in February, as yet unnamed.
* The Beer Bar is to open on Long Street
* Eataria is to open on Long Street
* Portuguese restaurant Alfama has opened on Bree Street
* Shimmy Beach Club is to open in the V&A Waterfront in December, involving Chef Seelan Sundoo.
* McDonald’s is opening new branches in Cape Town, in Wynberg, Lansdowne, and Claremont
* The Red Table Restaurant at Nederburg has opened for lunches Wednesday – Sunday
* Wilderer Distillery and La Grapperie at Spice Route restaurant are opening in Spice Route wine estate, in addition to their existing location
* Tridici has opened on the N2 near Swellendam.
* TriBakery is to open near Moyo in the V&A Waterfront
* Kloof Street House has opened, where the Opal Lounge was
* Latitude33 has opened on Bree Street
* Antipasto Bar has opened at the new Anthonij Rupert Wines tasting room, where Graham Beck used to be, outside Franschhoek
* Luke Dale Roberts is continuing his expansion trail, and is opening in the current Long Street Café next year.
* Mischu: The Coffee Showroom has opened on Regent Road in in Sea Point.
* Urban Café Sushi & Asian Cuisine to open in the old Cape Quarter.
* The Kove in Camps Bay has closed down, its space has become part of sister restaurant Zenzero
* Sinnfull has closed down in Sea Point and Camps Bay
* Liam Tomlin Food has closed down in Franschhoek
* Planet Green Salad has closed down
* Illyria in the Eikestad Mall has closed down
* Freedom Hill Restaurant has closed down.
* Wale Rose Lifestyle has closed down in Bo-Kaap.
Restaurant staff/venue changes
* Table Thirteen has reduced in size in Green Point and will open in Paarden Eiland later this year.
* The V&A Waterfront Food Court is closed for renovations until November. A sign outside the construction area lists the following businesses moving into or returning to the area: Primi Express, Anat, Carnival, Nür Halaal, Royal Bavarian Bakery, KFC, Boost Juice, Simply Asia, Steers, Debonairs, Subway, Marcel’s, and Haagan Dazs. Nando’s is also opening.
* Fyndraai Restaurant will move to another building on the wine estate in November, and will offer fine dining. The current restaurant will serve light lunches and picnics.
* Chef Andrew Mendes from ex-Valora is now at Nelson’s Eye restaurant, where they are setting up a lunch section and cocktail bar upstairs.
* Giulia’s Food Café Restaurant has opened where Miss K was on Main Road, Green Point. Now serve Italian-style lunch and dinner, but have retained some Miss K breakfast and pastry items.
* Having bought the farm about 18 months ago, Antonij Rupert Wines has taken over the Graham Beck Franschhoek property. They will re-open the tasting room, initially offering all its Antonij Rupert, Cape of Good Hope, Terra del Capo, and Protea wines to taste. They are renovating the manor house, to which the Antonij Rupert and Cape of Good Hope wines will be moved for tasting at a later stage.
* Orphanage is expanding into a property at its back, opening on Orphan Street, in December, creating a similar second bar downstairs, and opening Orphanage Club upstairs, with 1920’s style music by live performers
* MondeVino Restaurant at Montecasino in Johannesburg, the MasterChef SA prize for the next two years, is to be renamed Aarya, and is to be run by Chef Deena Naidoo from November onwards.
* Bizerca has moved into the ex-Gourmet Burger space in Heritage Square on Shortmarket Street.
* Marcellino’s has changed its name to EuroHaus, with a Zerban’s style restaurant added to the bakery.
* Crêpe et Cidre has closed down in Franschhoek. Gideon’s The Famous Pancake House has opened in its space.
* Brampton winetasting bar on Church Street, Stellenbosch has trebled its current size
* Chris Marais is the new chef at Blaauwklippen, previously with The Oyster Box
* Phil Alcock is the new chef at Two Oceans Restaurant at Cape Point, having previously worked at The Cape Grace, The Showroom, maze, and more
* Albert van der Loo, previously with Le Coq and Dieu Donne restaurants in Franschhoek, is the new Head Chef at Oude Werf Hotel in Stellenbosch.
* Chef Emile Fortuin, who was at Reuben’s Robertson for a very short time, has left and moved to Tokara
* Camil and Ingrid Haas (ex Bouillabaisse and Camil’s) have returned to Franschhoek, with the view to get involved in a restaurant
* Chef Cheyne Morrisby has left the Mantella Group (owners of Blake’s and ex-Opal Lounge), and is starting his own pop-up restaurant.
* Tiaan van Greunen is the new Executive Chef at Reuben’s at The Robertson Small Hotel, after the departure of Emile Fortuin
* Alex von Ulmenstein is the new Restaurant Manager at Indochine, at Delaire Graff Estate. Raymond Brown has left Reuben’s Franschhoek, and is the new Maitre’D at Indochine.
* Zelda Oelofse is the new Manager of Harvest Restaurant at Laborie, having taken over from Yolanda Prinsloo.
* Maryna Frederiksen is the new Executive Chef at The Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz.
* The ex-Caveau owners are said to be taking over the running of the Twankey Bar of the Taj hotel.
* Sand at The Plettenberg hotel has changed its name to Seafood at The Plettenberg.
* Lasse Presting is the new Manager of the Haute Cabriere restaurant
* Chef Alistair Lawrence has taken over from Fernando Romano at 5 Rooms at The Alphen Hotel
* De Oude Bank Bakkerij is expanding, and will open a retail section selling charcuterie, fresh meats, home-made ice cream, and wines, collectively called De Companje, from February
* Taste restaurant has moved to Bilton Wines
* Bar1 has opened where Sunbird Bistro was in Camps Bay.
* Oppie Dorp has opened where Cognito was on Dorp Street in Stellenbosch.
* Kloof Street House has opened where Opal Lounge used to be.
* Massimo’s is closing between 6 – 15 November.
* The Pot Luck Club is closed until it re-opens in its new venue in the Old Biscuit Mill in January.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage