On our recent trip to Plettenberg Bay, my friend from Paris and I tried to visit as many of the better restaurants in the town as we could fit in. Given the disappointing visits to SeaFood/Sand at The Plettenberg in the past five years, it was not on my list of restaurants to eat at, but as it was on my friend’s list, I obliged, holding thumbs that things have improved! Sadly the service and food left much to be desired, despite it being under the guardianship of Eat Out Top 10 Group Executive Chef Peter Tempelhoff! Continue reading →
Yesterday I received a letter from the lawyers of Chef Peter Tempelhoff of newly opened FYN Restaurant, reacting with threat and intimidation to my Blogpost dated 28 November, about being banned from his restaurant, which opened on 30 November. Some speculate that the banning is a cheap publicity shot by Tempelhoff, to fill his 40-seater restaurant, and that the lawyer’s letter is a follow-up to his marketing strategy, to attract further attention to the restaurant. Continue reading →
Last week I ate lunch at the new Origins Restaurant at The Marine, the second poor experience I have had at the hotel, despite the hotel having new co-owners, and a new GM and Chef. Given its five star status (they have lost their Relais & Chateux status), the dining experience was unacceptable. Continue reading →
* Label design can make an important impact on the purchase of a bottle of wine, argues the Wall Street Journal, as can a comedy play on wine brand names for ‘much cheaper wines‘, mentioning Fairview’s Goats do Roam, based on Côtes du Rhône!
* The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français has dropped to 88th spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, the 51 – 100 ranking having been released today, ahead of the Gala awards function on 1 June.
* Nederburg winemaker for the past 15 years, Razvan Macici, is to take on the role of Distell’s head winemaker as of 1 July, a new position, to oversee the style and quality of the company’s total wine portfolio, driving innovation, and acting as the ambassador Continue reading →
* A new (yellow) frame for Table Mountain has been erected at Bloubergstrand, to showcase Cape Town’s icon for tourists and locals wishing to get a perfect picture, and to tie in with Cape Town hosting the World Design Capital 2014.
* In what many see as surprise news, Facebook will buy WhatsApp for $19 billion. WhatsApp has 450 million users, growing by 1 million a day. It is attractive to Facebook in reaching a younger audience and to improve its mobile communication reach.
* Constantia Fresh Fine Wine and Food Festival will be held this weekend. On Saturday 22/2 wines from Constantia can be tasted as can be canapés prepared by Chefs Brad Ball from Steenberg’s Bistro Sixteen82, Bertus Basson from Overture, Edgar Osojnik from Buitenverwachting, and Peter Tempelhoff from The McGrath Collection, all available at Buitenverwachting, from 15h00 – 20h00. The cost is R400 and tickets can be booked via Webtickets. Tomorrow a themed tasting will be held by Jörg Pfützner, from 18h00 – 19h30, at R990 per person. The Annual Constantia Fresh Dinner will be held tomorrow at Klein Constantia, and will be cooked by Chef Bertus Basson. Cost is R990.
* The Cape Winemakers Guild has put together an amazing auction lot for the AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction, which will be held at Delaire Graff on 15 March. The lot includes Continue reading →
After a superb sail around Table Bay, for the media launch of the Cape2Rio Yacht Race, during which we were escorted back into the harbour by a school of dolphins, my birthday lunch at Mondiall, previously The Green Dolphin, was a super spoil on Friday, both by Nicolette Waterford and the restaurant.
Mondiall is co-owned by Chef Peter Tempelhoff, Executive Chef of the McGrath Collection and Eat Out Top 10 Chef of The Greenhouse, and Patrick Symington, previous owner of Café Dharma and Asoka. Chef Peter remains at the McGrath Collection (we were told Mrs McGrath has eaten there four times since the restaurant opened at the beginning of the month), and pops in regularly. Patrick was in the restaurant on Friday, and was a most charming host, sitting down at our table to chat. I asked Patrick about their incorrect spelling of ‘Mondial‘, meaning around the world, apt for the V&A Waterfront location as South Africa’s leading tourist attraction. Patrick had a most plausible esoteric explanation for it numerologically (it’s a very lucky number 8, and balanced too), as well as design wise, the two legs of the ‘M’ balancing with the two ‘l’s at the end of the word! He said that it is a unique word, and is theirs now! Patrick is involved in solar heating now, when he is not at Mondiall. He said that they are ‘in for the long haul‘ with the restaurant, having signed a lease for 5 years, with an option to renew for a further five. Patrick led the staff in singing for my birthday! Chef Oliver Cattermole is one of my favourite chefs, having met him when he was at Dash at the Queen Victoria Hotel, whereafter he had a short stint at the former What’s On, and then he worked at the Le Franschhoek Hotel before joining and setting up the kitchen at Mondiall, the menu design being a partnership between Chefs Peter and Oliver. Suzanne Taylor, previously of former Constantia Uitsig, was a gracious Restaurant Manager. Continue reading →
* The Top 5 restaurants based on service in the UK are: Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London, The Fat Duck in Bray,
Carters in Birmingham. HKK in London, and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester in London. Perhaps Eat Out could add such an evaluation to its Restaurant Awards?!
* McGrath Collection Executive Chef Peter Tempelhoff is opening Mondiall as a Brasserie in the former Green Dolphin Restaurant in the V&A Waterfront on 29 November with Patrick Symington, and Chef Oliver Cattermole as Head Chef. (received via media release from FIVESTAR PR)
* Uma Thurman is the star chosen for the cover picture Continue reading →
The recession has taken its toll, and a number of restaurants have closed down. Interestingly, a number of chefs are moving too, an unusually high staff turnover, some of the movements due to the restaurant closures. It is noticeable that many restaurants which opened earlier this year have closed their doors already. Despite the recession, new restaurants have opened or are in the process of opening (we have previously listed restaurants which opened and closed earlier this year). We will update the list of restaurant openings/closures/changes regularly, and welcome contributions:
* F.east Indian Restaurant has opened on the corner Long and Bloem Streets, in Cape Town
* Bean There Fair Trade Coffee has opened on Wale Street, two doors down from Honest Chocolate
* What’s On Eatery on Watson Street has closed down
* Chef Christo Pretorius, previously of De Huguenot, has started as Sous Chef at 1800 Restaurant at the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel
* Wildflour has closed down on Regent Road in Sea Point.
* 221 Waterfront has closed down in the V&A Waterfront, and a ‘concept store’ McDonald’s is opening in its space
* Dash Restaurant at the Queen Victoria Hotel has lost its Chef Oliver Cattermole (now at Le Franschhoek Hotel), Manager Darren Morgan (now at the One&Only Cape Town), and F&B Manager Alton van Biljon. Executive Chef Stephen Templeton has also left for a position in the Caribbean.
* Café Extrablatt has opened where shu used to be, in Green Point
* Mezepoli from Johannesburg has opened in the Nando’s space in Camps Bay
* Goloso Italian Deli and Wine Bar has opened on Regent Road in Sea Point, near KOS
* Clarke’s Bar and Dining Room has opened, two doors away from Bird’s Café on Bree Street, as an American-style diner, owned by Lyndall Maunder, ex-Superette
* A late night dinner and dance restaurant will open in the ex-Brio space, with a chef from St Tropez, and a DJ from Cannes
* Chez Chez has opened as an Espresso and Cheesecake Bar (serving 13 different cheesecakes), 3 De Lorentz Street, Tamboerskloof.
* The Black Pearl is the new name of the Tapas, Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, with new owners, of the ex-Seven Sins on Kloof Street.
* Bistro on Rose has opened at 35 Rose Street
* Rhapsody’s franchise restaurant, mainly in Pretoria, has opened next door to Café Extrablatt in Green Point, where Doppio Zero used to be, with Exceutive Chef Claire Brown, previously with Ginja and Pierneef à La Motte
* Wale Rose Lifestyle has opened in Bo-Kaap, on the corner of Wale and Rose Street, serving Cape Malay as well as ‘cosmopolitan food’.
* Andy Fenner (JamieWho?) and friends have opened Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants in Metal Lane, 8 Kloof Street, opposite McDonald’s. They are stocking Farmer Angus McIntosh’s beef, Richard Bosman’s pork, and eggs and chicken from Simply Wholesome. A barista will make coffee, and Jason will bake special chorizo muffins and bacon brioche for them. Saturday markets in the parking area outside may be on the cards.
* Renamed Blues Beach House restaurant (right) in Camps Bay has re-opened, having been reduced in size by about half, and changed its menu to ‘beach food’*
* Chef Jacques de Jager, has left Salt Restaurant, setting up a consultancy. Chef Daniel Botha from Le Franschhoek Hotel has taken over his job.
* Cocoa Oola has opened on Kloof Street, where Oishii used to be
* Sommelier Neil Grant, ex-sommelier of Rust en Vrede, is opening Burrata, a new Italian restaurant in the Old Biscuit Mill in mid-February
* Societi Brasserie has opened in Constantia
* Manna Epicure is now owned by Betsie van der Merwe from Johannesburg
* Luke Dale-Roberts, just crowned Eat Out Top Chef, has opened the Pot Luck Club, a Tapas Bar next to The Test Kitchen.
* Chef Scottie Henry is the new chef at Sinatra restaurant at the Pepper Club Hotel
* The Mussel Bar has opened on the Victoria Street level of the Bay Hotel in Camps Bay.
* Peter Tempelhoff of the McGrath Collection, and The Green House in the Cellars Hohenhort Hotel specifically, has been honoured with the title Grand Chef of Relais & Chateaux. He is the first Cape Town and only the third South African chef to receive this honour.
* The Bungalow has opened as a 400-seater restaurant where La Med used to be, part of the Kovensky Group, also owning Pepenero, Paranga, The Kove and Zenzero.
* Chef Brian Smit is now at Tides Restaurant at the Bay Hotel in Camps Bay, previously with Noisy Oyster in Paternoster
* La Belle Café & Bakery has opened in the Alphen Boutique Hotel.
* 5 Rooms Restaurant has opened at the Alphen Boutique Hotel
* Gypsy Café has opened in Observatory
* Kuzina in the Cape Quarter has been sold, and whilst still serving Greek food, it is now called Rocca.
* Sabrina’s has opened where Depasco was, at the corner of Kloof and Long Street
* Arts Café has opened at Artscape.
* Chef Craig Paterson has started as Executive Chef at Dash (Queen Victoria Hotel), the V&A Hotel, and Dock House
* Caveau at the Josephine Mill has closed down
* Café Sofia in Green Point has become Slainte
* Knead has opened a large outlet in Lifestyle on Kloof, Gardens
* Mitico has opened a pizzeria and ‘spaghetteria’ on Kloof Street, where St Elmo’s used to be
* Mamma Mia in Steenberg is closing down at the end of February
* Don Pedro’s in Woodstock will re-open on 14 February, under Madame Zingara management
* Madame Zingara is said to be re-opening in its original building on Loop Street
* Tong Lok on Kloof Street has closed down.
* Mason on Kloof Street has closed down
* Buzz on Kloof Street has closed down
* Black Pearl on Kloof Street has closed down
* Myög has opened as a frozen yoghurt outlet, at 103 Kloof Street
* Thai Café has opened in the Cape Quarter
* Bruce von Pressentin has been appointed as Executive Chef at The Restaurant@Longridge
* David Higgs has resigned as Executive Chef from Radisson Blu Gautrain in Johannesburg (previously with Rust en Vrede).
* Paulaner Bräuhaus in the V&A Waterfront is closing down on Sunday 19 February!
* The Fez is closing down.
* The Olive Shack at Allora in Franschhoek has closed its restaurant operation, and will only operate as a shop selling olive-related products.
* The Kitchen and The Tasting Room has opened on Maison wine estate in Franschhoek, with Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg (ex Ginja, Myoga), and Manager Julian Smith (ex Azure, Grande Provence, Waterkloof, Pierneef a La Motte) (left)
* Haute Cabriere Cellar Restaurant has re-opened with new decor, and new chef Ryan Shell.
* Reuben’s is opening a Franschhoek branch in nhis self-owned building off the main road, and will run it concurrently until its Huguenot Road branch lease expires next year
* Franschhoek Famous Pancake House, with owner Gideon, has re-opened as a take-away pancake outlet, in Mont View Centre, next to the gym, in Fabriek Street, Franschhoek.
* Batho’s Place African Restaurant has opened in the township in Franschhoek. 082 090 8660
* Chef Oliver Cattermole, previously with Dash and What’s On Eatery, has started as Executive Chef at Le Franschhoek Hotel.
* Dieu Donné in Franschhoek has leased its restaurant to Martin and Marco from Durban, and they have renamed it Roca. Chef Jo van Staden has returned to Durban with her husband, Chef Gerard van Staden, who has returned to the Beverley Hills Hotel, after a short stint at the Pepper Club Hotel’s Sinatra restaurant.
* Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon has resigned
* Café Le Chocolatier has opened a chocolate manufacturing and demo outlet Le Chocolatier Factory, next to its restaurant, in Franschhoek
* Bijoux Chocolates has opened on Huguenot Road in Franschhoek.
* Terbodore Coffee Roasters have opened a coffee roastery and coffee shop, at Goederust, outside Franschhoek
* The sushi restaurant has closed down
* MCC Franschhoek has opened in the Village Square, opposite the church, stocking 34 MCC’s from Franschhoek and serving food as well
* Judy Sendzul has sold her share in The Salmon Bar to Gregory Stubbs of Three Streams trout farm
* Babel Tea House has opened at Babylonstoren, serving sandwiches, cake and teas.
* Donovan Dreyer from Grande Provence has resigned and starts as Restaurant manager of Indochine at Delaire Graff on 6 January. Aldo du Plessis has taken over as Restaurant Manager at Grande Provence.
* Mon Plaisir Restaurant has moved next door to the Chamonix tasting room
* De Huguenot Restaurant and Harry Q Bar have closed. The De Huguenot Estate will concentrate on weddings and events only.
* Cavallo restaurant is said to open on the stud farm on R44, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, in 2012 or 2013
* Chef Anri Diener has left Majeka House, and Chef Tanja Kruger from De Huguenot Restaurant has taken over her position
* Vanessa Quellec has joined Wild Peacock Food Emporium, to promote their Valrhona Chocolates
* The owners of Sweet have returned to Sweden, and Dimitri has bought it and renamed it Dimi’s.
* Manager Chris Oliver and Chef Marissa Chandansing of Johan’s@Longridge have left, and will start a new restaurant, details as yet undisclosed
* Casparus will close between 24 December and 9 January
* Laurille and Lynne from Olivello Restaurant on Marianne wine estate outside Stellenbosch are handing over the ownership of the restaurant to Alex and Jane Bradbeck on 23 January.
* Cupcake on Dorp Street has closed down, and Dorpstraat Deli opens at the end of February
* De Oude Bank Bakkerij has opened a bar, serving Bartinney wines, and craft beers.
* Chef Matthew Gordon has opened Harvest, a new restaurant at Laborie
* Peaches and Cream on the Main Road in Paarl has been taken over by Anica Bester
* The Spice Route Restaurant has opened on the ex-Seidelberg, now belonging to Fairview.
* Events manager Mandy Smith and Restaurant Manager Allan Ware have been retrenched at Waterkloof
* Mediterrea in Hermanus has changed its name to Grilleri
* Patron Chef Stefan Louw has taken over the running of Heaven on Newton Johnson wine estate in the Hemel en Aarde wine valley.
* Ex-Hermanos chef/owner Wayne Spencer is now at Burgundy in Hermanus
* Simone’s Restaurant has opened in Napier
* Tipples Bar and Grill has opened in Hermanus
* Rivendell Estate and Bistro has opened as a restaurant and winetasting venue on the road between Hermanus and the N2, near the Kleinmond turn-off.
* Katarina’s has opened at the Kurland Hotel.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage
Cape Town and its surrounding towns are seeing a flood of restaurant openings and relaunches, to such an extent that one wonders how they, and all the existing restaurants, will be full when the Festive Season is over.
New restaurants that have opened recently are the following:
* Kuzina is a Greek restaurant in the Cape Quarter, which opened last weekend
* Salt Deli opens later this week, in the space that was Carlucci’s in Bantry Bay, across the road from the Ambassador Hotel and its Salt restaurant. Its interior is Stefan Antoni designed, with an eclectic flooring mix of slate, wood and tiles, and an eyecatching desk which looks like a pile of wood. It has a staircase to an upper level, and the deli will serve oysters and bubbly.
* Eight has just opened at Spier outside Stellenbosch
* Waterkloof restaurant opened 2 weeks ago at Waterkloof wine estate in Somerset West – read our review here
* Vaudeville opened as a supper club in the city center a week ago – its show is outstanding, but it needs work on the menu and food preparation – read our review here
* The Grand on the Beach has only recently received its liquor licence, and is fully booked for dinners 2 weeks ahead. Lunch bookings can be made more quickly. The newest of the three Grand Cafe’s, it is located on the beach between the Water Club in Granger Bay and the V&A Waterfront.
* Truth.coffeecult is a new coffee shop and roastery, and has opened in the hard-to-find Prestwich Memorial center on the corner of Somerset and Buitengracht Streets, owned by David Donde
* Warwick’s gourmet picnics, designed by chef Bruce Robertson, opened at the beginning of the month on Warwick wine estate outside Stellenbosch
* Jardine at Jordan opened on the Jordan wine estate outside Stellenbosch at the end of last month
* Camil’s opened in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel in Green Point last month – read the review here
* DeliCATessen has opened at Tokara wine estate in the Helshoogte Pass, and is owned by Tokara owner GT Ferreira’s daughter
* Cafe Chic is a new French-style restaurant in a beautifully renovated and chic building on Breda Street in Gardens. Read the review here
* Bistro 1682 has opened at Steenberg wine estate in Constantia.
Restaurant relaunches include the following:
* Sapphire is a new bar serving snacks, redecorated and renamed from the previous Baraza, next to Blues in Camps Bay
* St Yves is the new nightclub in the place of Ignite in Camps Bay, above Pepper Club on the Beach
* Pepper Club on the Beach is the new restaurant previously called Summerville in Camps Bay, above Paranga. It is linked to the Pepper Club, a hotel/apartment block opening in the city centre (on Pepper Street) in February. It will offer Pepper Club hotel clients changing rooms, when they return from the Camps Bay beach. Dinner Dance “in the tradition of grand Old Hollywood” is offered on Friday and Saturday evenings. The Group Executive Chef is Michelin-starred Carsten Kocke, who has 30 years of experience in Germany. The menu contains a selection of starters such as Avocado Ritz (R 79) and Lobster Cocktail (R 98); crayfish, prawn and avocado, and Caesar salads; seafood dishes such as salmon, calamari, and prawns; steaks at around R 120 for 200 grams – R 165 for the beef fillet, as well as ostrich game, curry, and duck; pasta dishes ranging from R 70 – R 189; and desserts.
* The Raj in Camps Bay has taken over from where the Gateway to India restaurant was in The Promenade in Camps Bay, taking over the furnishings of the restaurant as well. The Raj has sister restaurants in Johannesburg.
Other restaurant news is the following:
* Top 10 Eat Out chef Jacques de Jager is moving to Salt restaurant at the Ambassador Hotel in January, leaving Grand Provence just 2 months after winning the Top 10 accolade. This is the second time that a chef has left Grande Provence soon after winning the Top 10 award – Peter Tempelhoff left even sooner after his win in 2007, joining the McGrath Hotel Collection.
* Table 13, a lovely breakfast and lunch venue inside the T & Co furniture and deco shop across the road from the Green Point Traffic department, is offering a 3-course dinner and a glass of bubbly for R 170, for the first time, tonight and tomorrow night. They serve all day breakfasts, and lovely home-made lunches. Tel 021 418-0739
* Overture has started its Le Piqnique picnics at Hidden Valley wine estate outside Stellenbosch.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com