The local JHP Gourmet Guide once again tried to link itself to the Michelin star rating of our local restaurants, by awarding top local restaurants one, two, and three plate accolades, as if they are equivalent to Michelin one, two, and three stars. I have been critical of this exaggerated and dishonest link by Jenny Handley and her Gourmet Guide Awards, especially as I know how the restaurant visits are done by her. (See the Blogpost link at the end of this article). A recent Forbes article ‘The Secret Life of an Anonymous Michelin Restaurant Inspector’ therefore attracted my attention, and I summarise it below, so that I could double check my view on this. Continue reading →
Last week I enjoyed the special Heritage Day lunch at pop-up SŸN restaurant on Bree Street, and after the lunch I heard the first details of the permanent fine-dining restaurant opening on 1 November, to be called Exhibit A. The restaurant will be located on the 3rd floor of the Villa 47 building at 47 Bree Street. Yesterday I returned to the restaurant to hear more details from the chefs about their new 46-seater restaurant. Continue reading →
Since my return from a three month trip to escape our winter, my number one newly-opened restaurant on my list to visit in the Cape was SŸN, the pop-up having opened whilst I was away, and headed by Chefs Rikku Ó’Donnchü and Warwick King, formerly of Gåte restaurant at Quoin Rock. The one-day special Heritage Day Menu (at R690) was the perfect opportunity to taste and see what these two creative chefs and their team have come up with since setting up on their own, initially as a Pop-up before they open their new restaurant on 1 November. Continue reading →
Fresh from the Easter weekend break, Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen made a dramatic announcement yesterday, introducing a new KLEIN JAN restaurant, to be established at Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve, as well as a JAN Innovation Studio, set to open in Cape Town. Continue reading →
In 2015 I met Chef Kevin Grobler at JAN Restaurant in Nice, the now one Michelin star restaurant, a week after he had started working in South Afrca’s Best South African cuisine restaurant. He had left Delaire Graff Restaurant to join dynamic and creative Chef Jan-Hendrik at JAN, and last week he went full circle, in starting at Delaire Graff as Head Chef again. Continue reading →
I saw an article by Post & Courier recently, randomly as I do not follow this publication, and was attracted to its topic, being the impact of restaurant reviews and their power to close a restaurant down. Being our country’s harshest restaurant reviewer, this got me thinking about why the top chefs in our country, including Giorgio Nava, Bertus Basson, Peter Tempelhoff, Liam Tomlin, and Scott Kirton & Co are so sensitive to constructive criticism by banning (or attempting to) me from their restaurants, yet new (to our country) chef Wunderkind Rikku O’Donnchü of Gåte Restaurant welcomes it so! Continue reading →
JAN the JOURNAL has published its second volume of 2018, just before the year closed. It has taken me almost two months to look at it after buying a copy at Woolworths, the 297 page manuscript of The Jan Hendrik Group (PTY) Limited being more than intimidating in thickness, and time required to do it justice in reading it. Despite having an editor for the publication, one wonders how Chef Jan-Hendrik manages to find the time to collate such a heavy-weight Journal in his role as Editor-in-Chief, given his commitment as chef to his one Michelin star restaurant JAN in Nice, and his regular trips to Cape Town and SA. Continue reading →
November is an exciting month, with new restaurant openings by Chef Luke Dale-Roberts (The Commissary), by Chef Peter Tempelhoff (FYN), and the very eagerly awaited restaurant Gåte by Chef Rikku O’Donnchü at Quoin Rock in Stellenbosch. There is a marked slow down in new restaurant openings, other than by new restaurant group Cowboys & Cooks.
# Le Petit Manoir has opened as a Deli and Restaurant in Franschhoek, with Chef Kevin Grobler heading up the kitchen. (Photograph)
#. Michael Townsend, founder of the Harbour House Group but no longer with the Group, is to open The Grill Room in Sunset Beach. He has also bought Sevruga in the Waterfront. A third restaurant, in Sea Point, will open in September 2019.
# The new Cowboys & Cooks restaurant group is to open a Cowboys and Cooks restaurant in Stellenbosch; The Backyard BBQ in various locations; Cabron Tex Mex restaurants in Durbanville and Stellenbosch, alongside the Bree Street Branch; and Viva Tex Mex in Kenilworth. It has taken over Slug & Lettuce, a Gastropub franchise with six branches, for which a new look and menu will be developed, starting off in Durbanville. The group has also just bought a 50% share in Primi Piatti, with 18 outlets.
# Maison J Café et Croissant, a joint venture between renowned Jason Bakery baker Jason Lillie and his sister Brigitte, as well as Vida e Caffé founders David Chait and Rui Esteves, has opened alongside the Pick ‘n Pay in Camps Bay, in a joint venture with the retailer. If this branch works well, it is set to roll out in other Pick ‘n Pay stores, the Waterfront likely to be the next branch to open.
# Between Us has opened on Bree Street, as a restaurant and bar, belonging to the twin sisters who originally opened Skinny Legs & All.
#. The Deli Coffee Co is the new rebranded name of four Melissa’s branches: V&A Waterfront, Kloof Street, Somerset West, and Hermanus, owned by Surine van Niekerk. Prices are set to drop, she says. The Waterfront branch has opened in the former Dalliance and White Rabbit space.
# Restaurateur Ian Halfon has opened a smallish intimate new restaurant Walther’s Steakhouse next door to Belthazar in the V&A Waterfront.
# Chef Jenny Morris has opened Yumcious Durbanville.
# The Skotnes Restaurant has opened at the Norval Foundation, with Executive Chef Phil de Villiers, previously of Primal Eatery.
# Paris Café has opened in Green Point.
# 42 on Canterbury has opened as a bar and an event venue in District Six/Zonnebloem
# The La Colombe Group is taking over the bar and restaurant at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek, after refurbishments. It will be called Protégé. Stephen Raaff is the Head Chef.
# Back’s Bar has opened on Main Road in Paarl, where Juno used to be.
# Chef Reuben Riffel has opened Reuben’s at The Capital Moloko in Johannesburg, his first Gauteng restaurant.
# A new breakfast and lunch Eatery is being developed at Val de Vie, in conjunction with Chef Reuben Riffel.
# Chef Jarryd has opened So Cal (for South California), a Bar above Charango on Bree Street.
# Manga has opened on Church Street
# Sotana Bree Street has opened where Odyssey used to be.
# 1 Oak is set to open on Strand Street, an upmarket celebrity bar, music, and event venue modeled on a New York counterpart. The restaurant Butter will open inside this venue.
# Chef Bertus Basson has expanded his restaurant empire, opening Eike by bertusbasson as his sixth restaurant, and fifth in Stellenbosch.
# Bao Down Restaurant has opened in Oranjezicht.
# Upper Bloem has opened on Main Road in Green Point, where Maggie’s Café used to be, a joint venture between Chefs Henry Vigar and Andre Hill of La Mouette.
# TOSSD Salad Bar has opened on Sloane Square in Gardens, Cape Town.
# Chef George Jardine has opened Restaurant Seven with George Jardine in Somerset West.
# Safari #7 Somali take-away restaurant has opened on Long Street.
# Chef David Higgs’ newest restaurant Saint ‘Pazzo Italiano’ has opened in Sandton.
# No 89 has opened on Bree Street.
# Sans Ethical Green Grocer Deli has opened in the Artem Centre in Sea Point.
# Pauline’s Stand Up Coffee Bar has opened in the Artem Centre in Sea Point.
# Victoire Boulangerie, Pâtisserie, and Bistro has opened in Speakers Corner on Church Square, a joint venture between Chef William Galzin of Montpellier and Drikus Hancke of Cape Town, a former Melissa’s franchisee.
# Chefs Luke Dale-Roberts and Ryan Cole have opened Salsify @ The Roundhouse in Camps Bay.
# Crayfish Wharf is to open in Paternoster.
# Beleef has opened in the space in which Ryan’s Kitchen operated in Franschhoek.
# Grande Provence in Franschhoek has opened The Bistro as an extension to their Tasting Room.
# Ellen Jay has opened as a coffee shop inside Constantia Fabrics.
# Garden’s Club has opened where Chalk & Cork used to operate on Kloof Street.
# The Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa restaurant has opened in Klapmuts, with Executive Chef Terrence Ford.
# Osetra has opened in Kalk Bay, with co-owner Oscar Kotze.
# The Commissary will open next door to The Shortmarket Club, with Chef Wesley Randles and Simon Widdison, under the mentorship of Chef Luke Dale-Roberts. It is planned to be a no-reservation, back to basics offering.
# Gåte restaurant is to open at Quion Rock Winery on 1 December, with Rikku O’Donaghue as the Executive Chef, who worked at a two Michelin star restaurant Merchants Manor before moving to our country. He has been a restaurant consultant locally, including at Sevruga. Head Chef is Warwick King, previously with Delaire Graff, The Stack, and The Ritz Revolving Restaurant. Other team members include Pastry Chef Izelle de Villiers, Nicole Loubser, Tyrone Truter, Josh Crewdson, and Rufus Scholtz.
# Seattle Coffee Company has taken over the coffee shop at Exclusive Books in the V&A Waterfront.
# Chef Seelan Sundoo has opened Chicha in Sea Point.
# The Harbour House Group has bought Mondiall in the V&A Waterfront, and is to turn it into a La Parada, to open in November.
# Chef Peter Tempelhoff has announced that his FYN Restaurant and bar will open in Speaker’s Corner on Church Square in November. Jennifer Hugé is the new GM! And Ashley Moss is the Chef, moving across from the Greenhouse.
#. The Harbour House at Constantia Nek has been remodelled into the fine dining The Restaurant at the Nek, with Chef Dylan Laity in the kitchen.
# Stargarden Boutique Café has opened in Fish Hoek
# Bobo’s Brasserie is opening in Mouille Point in November, where Pepenero used to be.
# Roca Café has opened where Melissa’s used to be in Franschhoek, open from midday to 21h00, and serving Tapas.
# Chef Chris Erasmus is said to be opening a restaurant at Haut Espoir in November, with Chef Nick Oosthuizen in the kitchen.
# Riverine Rabbit has opened where ASH used to operate, by Chef Ash Heeger.
# Chef Ciska Rossouw has opened Loaves in Salt River, no longer operating Loaves on Long.
# BOCCA has re-opened on Bree Street, with new owners Guido Brambilla and Adnana Blaj
# Haus & Laib Deli is opening in the former Eurohaus space on Loop Street.
# Chef Matt Manning is opening Grub & Vine Restaurant on Bree Street.
# Bones Kitchen & Bar has opened at Palms Lifestyle Centre.
# Anni’s Gourmet Pancakes & Belgian Waffles has opened in a Franschhoek
# Vadas Smokehouse and Bakery has opened at Spier, taking the place of Hoghouse, which Chef PJ Vadas no longer appears to be associated with.
# Syrup Breakfast is opening on Bree Street.
# The Creamery is to open a branch in Durbanville Village Square.
#. The iconic Melissa’s, with 19 stores, has been declared insolvent. Some stores will be rebranded (four as The Deli Coffee Co), while others have closed down, including the Table View Branch. The Waterfront branch is currently closed, but will reopen in a new location in mid-September.
#. Dalliance restaurant and White Rabbit coffee shop, part of the Kove Collection, have closed their doors in the V&A Waterfront.
#. IYO Burgers has closed on Bree Street
#. Iconic Kitima has closed down in Hout Bay, following a rumour of its demise circulating last year but denied at the time.
#. Odyssey (with French Toast before it) has closed down on Bree Street
#. The Ritz is temporarily closed, and with it its Top of The Ritz and CASA restaurants.
# Shego has closed down at the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel.
# The Crazy Horse gastropub has closed down on Bree Street.
# Mitico has closed down on Kloof Street. Yours Truly has expanded into the space.
# So sad to hear that Chef Warrick Taylor of SOURCE restaurant in Hermanus has sold the restaurant and is leaving the country with his family.
# Cargills in Rondebosch has closed down.
# Savoy Cabbage in Heritage Square in the city centre has closed down, after 20 years.
# Eurohaus on Loop Street has closed down
# Karoux has closed down in McGregor.
# Olami on Bree Street has closed down.
# BlackandCo has closed down in Constantia.
# Chalk & Cork has closed down.
# Bukhara has closed down in Stellenbosch.
# Loaves on Long has closed.
# ASH restaurant has closed.
#. Chef Sidwell Yarrow has left La Petite Ferme, to return to the cruise ships. The restaurant on the wine estate is now headed up by Chef Kyle Norris.
#. Chef Gerard van Staden is the new chef at Pearl Valley.
# Chef Gary Welgemoed is the Head Chef at the Carrol Boyes Chocolate division.
# Lee-Andra Govender is the new Pastry Chef at The Table Bay Hotel.
# Chef Evan Coosner has left Open Door/Bocca/Burrata.
# Chef Archie MacLean has left Catharina’s and moved to Coco Safar. He has since left Coco Safar, and is said to have joined La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek.
# Chef Guy Clark has left Tintswalo, now consulting.
# Carmen Rueda is the new Pastry Chef of Coco Safar, formerly from El Bulli and The Fat Duck.
# Chef Richard Carstens has left Tokara Restaurant, and is said to be starting a restaurant consultancy with Chef Reuben Riffel.
# Carolize Coetzee has been appointed as Executive Chef at Tokara, moving from Dornier wine estate.
# Chef Archie MacLean has left Coco Safar, and is running Café Bon Bon in Franschhoek with his wife
# Christian Hellinger is the new Chef at Holden Manz
# La Parada Camps Bay is undergoing renovations, and is transforming into a Tiger’s Milk.
Please share news about restaurant openings and closures with me at email@example.com
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein
Last week I invited my friends Clint and Llewellyn Lambert (GM of the Franschhoek Boutique Hotel, and influential blogger at Hospitality Hedonist) to join me for dinner at Le Petit Manoir in Franschhoek, which opened in July. Having had more than enough time to settle in, it was a severely (and costly) experience, of a completely dysfunctional restaurant. I apologise for the longer than average Review, summarizing my experiences with Chef Kevin Grobler’s cooking since 2015. Continue reading →
I am a very keen fan of one Michelin Star JAN restaurant in Nice, having eaten there three times in the past three years. When I saw that Chef Scott Armstrong announced his departure from JAN ten days ago, I sat up, and wondered where he was moving to. Reading the news that Head Chef Kevin Grobler has finished up at JAN is of even greater concern, seen on Facebook yesterday. Continue reading →