Entries tagged with “Monneaux”.


It had been rumoured that Chefs Richard Carstens and Reuben Riffel were starting a joint venture after Chef Richard left Tokara Restaurant, after eight years in its kitchen, at the end of September. Despite requesting both chefs for information about the new partnership since then, the collaboration of the two chefs in the restaurant consultancy RiffelCarstens was only formally announced this week. (more…)

MasterChef SA Season 3 Chefs Benny, Reuben, PeteMasterChef SA fans have been waiting in anticipation for their favourite reality TV cooking show to return to their screens, with the first episode of Season 3 starting at 19h30 this evening.  A new judge is introduced, and the contestants are said to be of a high standard. M-Net has also announced that its first Season of MasterChef SA Celebrity will stir things up for charity in January.

The M-Net media announcement about Season 3 is full of food clichés and fighting talk about how excellent the programme series is:  ‘The contestants are hungry for victory, the Judging panel has been refreshed by the addition of award-winning chef Reuben Riffel, and viewers can look forward to epic culinary triumphs as well as some spectacular gastronomic fails. MasterChef SA (more…)

StreetSmart Banner Whale Cottage PortfolioI have not been a great fan of the forced R5 addition to one’s restaurant bill without permission in Streetsmart restaurants, but after attending the presentation of monies to support the good community work for street children it is funding, and hearing what a difference the money makes to the less fortunate at a function held at The Salesian Institute on Thursday evening, my perception about Streetsmart has changed completely.

Established in 2005 by tour operator Margi Biggs as a means of helping street children, and now chaired by committee junkie Nils Heckscher (he has been or currently serves on the board of FEDHASA Cape, Cape Town StreetSmart Nils Heckscher Whale Cottage PortfolioTourism, the former Cape Town Routes Unlimited, and Tourism Marketing of South Africa), Streetsmart generated just over R900000 in the past year, and a total of R7 million since its establishment.  R5 is added to the restaurant bill per table, irrespective of the number of patrons seated at the table.  This money is transferred to Streetsmart once a month.  Streetsmart is also collected in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and in India.

Heckscher suffers badly from being in the shadow of his very well-known (more…)

Diners Club Winelist Awards 2More restaurants in the Western Cape than in any other province entered and received a Diners Club International Winelist Award 2013. At the 30th Awards function held for the Western Cape at the Vineyard Hotel on Wednesday,  MasterChef SA Judge and Tsogo Sun Chef Benny Masekwameng announced the 38 winners in the Diamond, 30 in the Platinum, 26 in the Gold,  and 2 in the SilverDiners Club Chef Benny Whale Cotatge Portfolio Award categories, 96 awards in total.

Veteran wine critic Dave Hughes chaired the judging panel, which included fledgling judge Chef Benny, restaurant guide editor JP Rossouw,  wine judges Christine Rudman and Fiona McDonald,   Winestyle.biz owner Nikki Dumas, and the Cape Wine Academy head Marilyn Cooper.  He said that it was fitting that the Awards ceremony was held at The Vineyard hotel, the Newlands area having been the first in Cape Town in which grapes were grown, but soon (more…)

The Autumn and Winter 2013 specials for Cape Town and Winelands restaurants follow below, and are updated continuously. We welcome information about new specials, and feedback about your meals at these restaurants:

*   Pepenero in Mouille Point : Sirloin and chips R89, Lamb shank lasagne R99, Seafood platter R149, Sushi platter R129, Crayfish tails R169, Chicken schnitzel R85, Minestrone R65, Chicken liver pasta R80, Prawn platter R119. Half price sushi all day. Daily. Tel (021) 439-9027 (updated 2/9)

*   Theo’s on Beach Road, Mouille Point: Oysters R8 each, Seafood soup R55, Prawn special R110, Linefish and prawn combo R99, Linefish and calamari R99, Sole and Calamari R99, Rump or sirloin R99, Spare Ribs R99, Rump Espetada R99, 250g Lobster and prawn platter R139; Seafood platter R125. Tel (021) 439-3494 (updated 12/6)

*   Sevruga in the V&A Waterfront: 2 course lunch R125, 3 courses R165, 4 courses R195;  half price sushi and dim sum Monday – Saturday 12h00 – 18h00; 25 % off sushi and (more…)

I had heard about new restaurant Lizette’s Kitchen in Hermanus from a review by JP Rossouw and tried it a week ago with my colleague Carole.  It is a refreshing addition to what is generally an average collection  of restaurants in this seaside village.

The restaurant opened three months ago, and  is cleverly located on the traffic circle as one enters Voëlklip, a historic house built around the 1920s and was the first farmstead in Voëlklip, which everyone who has been to Hermanus will know.  It is a large property, which was lovingly renovated by Lizette Crabtree and her fiancé Scott, following prescriptions of the Heritage Council.  They did not use any decor design service, they said proudly, and it is one of the smarter restaurant interiors we have seen in Hermanus. The building is also the home of Scott and Lizette, laughingly telling us that they sleep in the garage.  The off-street parking area is neat and spacious.  The seating space is large, inside and outside, and the doors are stacked back so that the two merge.  One faces the traffic circle, with greenery behind it, and it has a very peaceful aura.  The roof has been newly thatched, and some interior walls must have been removed to create the open space.  One section has a bar counter, and further down one can see a lounge area with a fireplace.   At the till there is a Buddha, next to a vase of proteas.  There is a lot of wood – on the floors, the table tops, and the (rather uncomfortable) café style chairs.  Outside sheets of corrugated iron have been cleverly used to make planters in which jasmine is growing.  The waiters wear black shirts and pants, with a Hermanuspietersfontein branded apron.

Scott and Lizette met in Vietnam, where she worked in the kitchen of a large top hotel. They managed a $10 million boutique chain resort, but decided to come back to Lizette’s home country, although she never previously lived in Hermanus.

Outside a bar counter has been made from wooden crates, and Creation gets a plug, its branded crates having been used.  We were told that three wine estates have a special home at Lizette’s Kitchen, Boekenhoutskloof being prominent, its winemaker Marc Kent having a soft spot for the restaurant, and he has made umbrellas and other support available to the restaurant.  Interesting was a new Boekenhoutskloof brand Le Cap Maritime, which we heard about from Scott, which is served in Business Class on Emirates flights, and is now available (Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – at an inexpensive R25 per glass/R90 per bottle, and Shiraz 2010 – at R25/R100) at the Hermanus restaurant, having been made from grapes from Hermanus, and the label describing the brand as ‘A coastal venture by Boekenhoutskloof’. Lizette had met Marc a number of years ago, having worked as chef in Franschhoek at La Petite Ferme, and at Monneaux Restaurant, when Chef Reuben Riffel had left to open a restaurant in the UK. Lizette left for Vietnam, taking 20kg of Springbok as her luggage, and a case of wine each from eight Franschhoek Vignerons was shipped over. She hosted a South African promotion in that country, most of these wines now selling well in Vietnam.  Other favourite wine brands the restaurant supports are Creation, and Hermanuspietersfontein.

We were welcomed by the waiter Astin Jangle, and I asked him if he could print out a copy of the menu,  so as to not have to write down the whole menu.  He seemed very unsure about my request, and had to call on Scott for permission.  Scott initially was hesitant, saying we should see the menu on the website, as it changes so often.   When I mentioned the Rossouw review, he opened up, and told me that they did not know when JP visited the restaurant. They appeared annoyed that he had called it a Vietnamese restaurant, not having got the concept right, they felt.  Our Franschhoek connection, and knowing Boekenhoutskloof, helped to relax Scott, and he relented on providing a copy of the menu.   The menu is described as being Afro-Asia fusion, to describe Lizette’s South African roots and the influence that Asia, and more specifically Vietnam, has had on both their lives.

A nice touch was the rolled facecloths brought to the table, with a fresh fragrance, which the waiter could not identify.  Carole and I were both undecided about what to order, and had a lot of catching up to do, so Lizette volunteered to bring three courses to the table, our only proviso being that it should not contain chilli or be too hot.  Lizette suggested that we share the three dishes. Commendable was the black material serviette, although there are no table cloths, with only a cheap-looking place mat.  Carole ordered an alcohol-free Mojito, the Mosquito looking beautiful with a slice of watermelon and a piece of sugarcane.  We started with Saigon Summer Spring Rolls (R65), a combination of fried spring rolls with a bite, and fresh (i.e. raw, as we discovered, and therefore tasteless) rice paper rolls, served with three dipping sauces, being chilli jam, peanut, and Hoisin.   This was followed by the best dish, being Paprika Squid served with Tabbouleh, which was sautéed with lemon, and was served on broken wheat salad with Spanish onion and tomato (R65).

The third dish was Bun Cha, a traditional North Vietnamese dish offering three variations of pork, being pork rashers, pork patties, and (once again) pork spring rolls, with which came cold rice noodles, fresh herbs, and the Hoisin dipping sauce again (R75).  This was the order we had placed, and therefore we asked for the bill. The waiter begged us to try the dessert, being a very delicious lemon curd served with home-made shortbread and a slice of apricot (R30), even though we had not ordered it, and made it sound as if it was a special ‘gift’ offered by Chef Lizette.  Only when checking the bill that evening did I see that we were charged for this ‘gift’!

The menu introduction explains that it is varied, reflecting ‘our journey from Africa to Asia’, and that ‘the flavours are fresh and pronounced’, and that only the best local produce is sourced.  The Asian dishes are made using traditional recipes, and no seasoning has been added commendably, allowing the diner to add fish sauce, herbs, sprouts, soya, lemon, and more, to suit one’s preference of a sweet, sour, or salty taste.  One is wished ‘Chuc ngon mien’, a wonderful meal.   Most dishes are Vietnamese, but with some Thai and North African dishes too.  There is a bread and cheese section, a plate of mezzes costing R75; Pita wraps are available with fillings of beef, chicken and lamb, at R55; Artisan Flatbreads are served with options of chicken, pork ribs, lamb, goats’ cheese, and tiger prawns, at R52 – R65; salads are unusual, including Lamb Kofta, and Moor Lamb Kibbeh, both containing lamb patties (R78);   Noodle Bowl dishes, served with prawns or beef red curry, cost around R75; Tom Yum soup is R70 and a Vietnamese Pho Bo beef broth R50; Moroccan lamb shanks cost R130, and are served with Tabbouleh and a Greek salad; Thai style steam mussels in coconut and sweet chili cost R70; linefish steamed in bamboo, prepared with sesame, ginger and soya, costs R84; and a Vietnamese Heo Kho To interestingly contains braised pork belly stew with quail eggs R75.  The dessert list contains a mix of very basic South African treats (ice cream and Bar One sauce, brownies, cake) as well as Che Chuoi, a traditional Vietnamese warm sago, banana and peanut pudding, all very reasonable priced in a range of R22 – R35.

The wine list is part of the menu, and wines are listed under quirky headings, more creative than those used in the 100 Women 100 Wine’ so-called competition! So, for example ‘Refreshing, zingy wines’ are La Petite Ferme’s Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (R165) and Beaumont’s Hope Marguerite Chenin Blanc 2011 (R200). ‘Rosé, not just for the girls’ lists Hermanuspietersfontein’s Bloos 2012 at R108, and Sir Robert Stanford Rosé 2012, at R135. The ‘Fat Cat Selection’ offers the Sir Robert Stanford Shitaz 2009 at R195, Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block at R320, and Bouchard Finlayson’s Hannibal 2008 at R350. Wines by the glass are very reasonably priced, ranging from R21 for Sir Robert Stanford’s Cutter’s Cove Chenin Blanc  and Helderberg Wijnmakerij Cabernet Sauvignon at R21, to Creation’s Syrah/Grenache R35/R145.  ‘Bubbles’ by the glass are by Krone (R30/R160), and Domaine Des Dieux Rose of Sharon (R150), and Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut NV costing R850 are also on offer.

While the waiter was very helpful and friendly, he disappointed when we wanted to leave in a hurry, to make a 14h00 meeting, and he told me that he could not bring the credit card machine to the table due to the portable one not working, which meant that I had to go to the bar counter.  When I got there, an older lady expressed surprise, saying that the credit card machine had been fixed that morning, and should have been brought to the table.   The duplication of foods in what we were offered, the raw spring roll, and the forced acceptance of a dessert we did not order were off-putting. The presentation of the dishes is very attractive. Conservative Hermanus and tourist palates may find the menu too Asian, with too few familiar dishes.  The venue itself is attractive, barring the bathroom, offers enough parking, and is not as crowded as the seafront restaurants in the village.  The food and beverage prices are reasonable, and it would be a great meeting place for out of town visitors to Hermanus, staying in Voëlklip in particular.

Lizette’s Kitchen, 20 on 8th Street, Voëlklip, Hermanus.  Tel (028) 314-0308.    www.lizetteskitchen.com. Daily from 11h00, lunch and dinner.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage

An Amsterdam restaurant concept has been introduced to South Africa, kicking off in Cape Town and the Winelands, offering a real-time reservation system, and introducing the first Dining City Restaurant Week of specials from 22 – 29 September, whereby locals will be able to enjoy two and three course lunches and dinners at reasonable prices, and experience the real-time booking system of new restaurant website www.diningcity.com.  In the Netherlands the most recent Restaurant Week generated 200000 bookings from more than 1000 restaurants.

DiningCity Restaurant Week is the concept of ​​the world’s leading online restaurant guide www.DiningCity.com. The company was founded in 1998 in Amsterdam, and is currently active in Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Italy and Spain, and outside Europe in cities like New York, Singapore, Dubai, Shanghai, and Beijing. On the South African website one can select restaurants on price, cuisine, location and atmosphere. Information about the restaurants is presented by means of photos, menus and videos.

The principle of the system is that for Restaurant Week restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands offer a certain number of their seats to Restaurant Week, with a 3 course lunch costing R125 and a 3-course dinner costing R200.  Some restaurants will charge a supplement of R50, indicated with a star on the Dining City website (and in the list below). The condition is that all restaurant reservations must be made via the website, which automated system will confirm the booking, send reminders on the date of the booking, and will request feedback about the meal experience the following day. This will eliminate the taking of bookings telephonically or by e-mail, and should reduce no-shows, a problem which Cape Town restaurants experience regularly.  Initially the restaurants will not be charged to join Restaurant Week (in Amsterdam restaurants pay € 200 per year to be part of the system, said Dining City CEO Tertius van Oosthuyzen), but they will pay R10 per seat booked.  I caught Tertius just before his flight back to Amsterdam, and he was delighted that he had managed to get 20000 seats on board in the first few days of launching Restaurant Week almost a month ago. He is hoping to get 40 restaurants on board by the time that Restaurant Week starts.

The 38 restaurants which have signed up for Restaurant Week already are: Planet Restaurant*, The Roundhouse*, The Duchess of Wisbeach*, Pigalle*, 5 Rooms*, Ashton’s at Greenways, Baia, Balducci’s, Belthazar, Blakes*, Blues Beach House, Buitenverwachting*, Bukhara*, Café Chic, Café Dijon, Catharina’s*, Chandani, Five Flies*, Gold Restaurant*, Haiku*, Il Cappero, Jackal & Hide, L’Apero*, La Mouette*, Marimba, Myoga*, Paranga*, Pepenero*, Pure, Reserve, Roberto’s, Savoy Cabbage, Signal Restaurant, The Bungalow,* The George @ Romney Park Hotel, The Grand Café and Beach, Top of the Ritz, and Westin Executive Club*.

Few Winelands restaurants have been signed up to date:  Roca* at Dieu Donné, Haute Cabriere*, Dish at Le Franschhoek (photograph), Mange Tout*, Monneaux*, and Waterkloof*.

Tertius was at pains to explain that they are not taking on beleaguered Eat Out, the largest restaurant database in South Africa, and he was happy to see that they have posted a write-up about Restaurant Week on their site.

Restaurant Week will form part of Cape Town’s promotion of tourism in September. “We are keen to encourage locals to come out of hibernation, with an offer that will not be equalled in terms of quality and value, until the next DiningCity Restaurant Week,” said Tertius.  Next year Dining City SA will focus on Johannesburg, for the second Restaurant Week they will organise, in April.  It is planned to host two such restaurant special promotions every year.

POSTSCRIPT 22/9: The Restaurant Week started today, and I tried to make a booking at Dish Restaurant at Le Franschhoek via the Dining City website, but it has no link to the Restaurant Week website, on which one has to make the restaurant bookings for the Restaurant Week.  When I got to the right website, I could not make the booking, as it had already eliminated today’s date, and only offered dates from tomorrow onwards. Earlier in the day I was asked to provide feedback about the booking process by Dining City via Twitter, which I did, and I received a number of defensive and aggressive Tweets as well as DM’s (Direct Messages), basically questioning my intelligence about not understanding their websites and booking system.  The Tweeter was Tertius van Oosthuyzen, the Dining City CEO! Not a good introduction of this Dutch businessman to our local restaurant industry!

Despite the bad Tweet start with Dining City, I had a lovely evening at Dish Restaurant, and Chef Oliver Cattermole and his team were firing on all cylinders. Three courses at R200 is exceptional value. His amuse bouche was the highlight this evening, a cranberry-coated chicken liver ‘popsicle’.  The starter was a mushroom soup which I have tasted previously.  The main course was beef fillet with Chef Oliver’s famous ‘vegetable garden’ plating, using vegetables grown for him especially at La Motte by Daniel Kruger.  The dessert was a chocolate fondant made from 100% smoked chocolate, served with a cognac ice cream, and a hazelnut chocolate paste smear.  Chef Oliver sent a taste of Le Franschhoek’s new Lemoncello, which he made from the hotel’s own produce, to the table.

Dining City Restaurant Week, 22 – 29 September. www.DiningCity.co.za Twitter: @DiningCitySA

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

More Western Cape restaurants were recognised for their winelist quality than those in other provinces, it was announced at the Diner’s Club Winelist Awards 2012 yesterday.  A total of 30 Western Cape restaurants won a Diamond Award, 36 received a Platinum Award, 25 received Gold Awards, and two received Silver Awards.  La Colombe was recognised as having the best winelist in the province, and its Ewan Mackenzie was acknowledged as the Best Wine Steward.

Judged by MasterChef SA judge Pete Goffe-Wood, Cape Wine Academy head Marilyn Cooper, Winestyle owner Nikki Dumas, restaurant reviewer JP Rossouw, Fiona McDonald, Christine Rudman, last year’s Diner’s Club Young Winemaker of the Year winner Matthew van Heerden, a panel which was chaired by David Hughes. The Diner’s Club Winelist Awards has been run for more than twenty years.  The judges evaluated the winelists on the basis of creativity; choice offered in respect of ‘price, producer and area’; the range of wines-by-the-glass offered; the range of price points offered; the listing of boutique winery brands; the description of the wines; guidelines for food and wine pairing; vintage information; and the overall impression, layout and legibility.

Diamond Award winners, scoring 91% or more for their winelists, are: 96 Winery Road, Abalone House in Paternoster, Aubergine Restaurant, Azure at the Twelve Apostles Hotel, Bientang’s Cave in Hermanus, Bombay Brasserie, Bosman’s at Grande Roche, B’s Steak House in Hermanus, Bushman’s Kloof, Catharina’s at Steenberg hotel, Dash at the Queen Victoria hotel, Durbanville Golf Club, Ellerman House, Flavours at the Devon Valley hotel, Harvey’s at the Winchester Mansions, Karibu in the V&A Waterfront, La Colombe, Makaron Restaurant at Majeka House, Monneaux Restaurant at the Franschhoek Country House, Mint at The Taj, Pure at the Hout Bay Manor, Rust en Vrede, Signal at the Cape Grace hotel, The Atlantic Grill at the Table Bay hotel, The Bayside Café, The Mount Nelson hotel, The Plettenberg hotel, The Square at The Vineyard hotel, Tokara, and Zachary’s at Pezula.

The Platinum Award category (81 – 90%) was won by the winelist of Pierneef à La Motte, and other winners were 95 Keerom, Belthazar, Blakes, Blowfish, Buitenverwachting, Balducci’s, Carne, Chatters Bistro, City Grill, Cru Cafè, Den Anker, Greek Fisherman, La Capannina, Meloncino, Milkwood in Hermanus, Panama Jacks, Peddlars on the Bend, Pembreys Bistro, Pistachio, Simola Hotel, Surval Boutique Olive Estate, The Garden Lounge, The George, Hussar Grill branches in Green Point, Camps Bay, Steenberg, Stellenbosch, Willowbridge, and Rondebosch, The Slug and Lettuce in Newlands, The Wild Fig, Turbine Boutique Hotel, Wild Peacock Food Emporium, and La Pentola in Hermanus.

Surprising was the low score of the winelist of The Roundhouse, its Gold Award (71 – 80%) putting it into a category dominated by Col’Cacchio Pizzeria branches.  Notable exclusions from the Awards list (signalling that they did not enter, or predominantly offer their own wines if the restaurant is located on a wine estate) are Grande Provence, The Tasting Room, Le Franschhoek, Delaire Graff, Overture, Terroir, Waterkloof, Burrata, The Test Kitchen, The Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenhort, Nobu, and Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine.

POSTSCRIPT 18/9: La Colombe has informed us that they have also won the Best Winelist in South Africa, in addition to being the best in the Western Cape!  We have been promised the national results on Friday.

POSTCRIPT 19/9: La Colombe Chef and Manager Scot Kirton has corrected its Diner’s Club Winelist Award achievement, as follows: May we please offer a correction and our humble apologies. La Colombe was awarded best winelist in the Western Cape and not the entire South Africa. Perhaps in his excitement our Scottish Wine Steward got a little over excited and forgot that the Western Cape is not the entire South Africa :) We apologise for the misinformation and we abide by the National results out on Friday”.

POSTSCRIPT 21/9:  The national Diner’s Club Restaurant Winelist Award winners were announced today, and La Colombe did indeed take the honours of having the best winelist in the country!  Ewan Mackenzie also took the national honours as best Wine Steward in South Africa.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

The Spring and Summer 2012/13 specials for Cape Town and Winelands restaurants follow below, and are updated continuously. We welcome information about new specials, and feedback about your meals at these restaurants:

*   Pepenero in Mouille Point : Sirloin and chips R89, Seafood platter R 129, 1 kg prawn platter R99, Sushi platter R109, Mussels and chips R79, Pasta of the day R79, Chicken schnitzel R79, Lamb chops R109, Crayfish tails R149, Mussels and fries R79. Half price sushi all day. Daily. Spring/Summer. Tel (021) 439-9027 (checked 5/9)

*   Sinn’s Restaurant at Wembley Square:  Lunch (6 options) at R55. Monday – Saturday, 11h00 – 17h00.  Current. Tel (021) 465-0967 (updated 5/9)

*   Theo’s on Beach Road, Mouille Point: Oysters R 6 each, 400g Rump Espetada R 125, Kingklip and 6 prawns R 110; kingklip and calamari R110;  250g Lobster and 6 prawns R179; Seafood platter R139. Current. Tel (021) 439-3494 (updated 5/9)

*   Sevruga in the V&A Waterfront: half price sushi Monday – Saturday 12h00 – 18h00; 25 % off sushi, Sunday 12 – 2pm, 50 % on Sunday 2 – 6 pm, 3-course R160, lunch and dinner; 2-course lunch R120. Until end September. Tel (021) 421-5134 (updated 5/9)

*   Beluga, The Foundry, Green Point: 50 % off sushi, dimsum and cocktails all day Sunday, and from 12h00 – 19h00 other weekdays. 2-course lunch R135; 3-course lunch and dinner R175.  Spring. Tel (021) 418-2948 (updated 5/9)

*   La Mouette, Regent Road, Sea Point : 6-course Tasting Menu R 295, with wines paired R 480. Monday – Sunday dinner, Sunday lunch. Summer. Tel (021) 433-0856 (updated 4/11).

*   Bertha’s in Simonstown: 1 kg Queen prawns cost R99 each, 1kg mussels R99, 1 kg chicken wings R99,  Half rack of ribs R59. Bertha’s seafood platter R109. 2 courses R 120, 3 courses R150. Until end September. Tel (021) 786-2138 (updated 5/9)

*   Aubergine:  2-course lunch R198,  3-course lunch R254, Wednesdays – Fridays.  Monday – Saturdays except public holidays. Daily dinner specials. 3-course R365, 4-course R425, 5-course R 495 meat and seafood degustation menu. Winter Bistro 2 courses R200, 3 courses R 275, optional wine pairing. Until mid-September. Tel (021) 465-4909 (updated 5/9)

*   Ferryman’s Tavern, V&A Waterfront: Ostrich burger plus red wine R 75. T-bone steak plus a beer R95. Current. Tel (021) 419-7748 (updated 5/9)

*   Blowfish in Blouberg: half-price sushi Wednesday  and Sunday 5 – 8 pm; Prawns R5,90 each, 24 prawns R135, 10 prawns R59.  Current. Tel (021) 556-5464 (updated 5/9)

*   Knife restaurant, Century City:  Bagels R35, Chicken sandwich R45, Steak sandwich R55. Lunch special, 12h00 – 15h00, Mondays – Fridays. Summer. Tel (021) 551-5000 (updated 5/9)

*   Saul’s Sushi @ Vegas, Sea Point: Eat as much sushi as you like for R120 Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturday; Mongolian eat as much as you can R79; Sushi 30 % off on Wednesdays; Sundays 50 % off. Summer. Tel 087 151 4595 (updated 5/9)

*   Trees Restaurant, Townhouse Hotel, Cape Town:  Grill special plus glass of wine R125 daily, buffet R155 Sundays – Thursdays. Indefinite. Tel (021) 465-7050 (updated 9/8)

*   French Toast, Bree Street: Bruschetta tapas free with glass of wine Mondays – Saturdays, 5 – 7 pm.  All wines costing R 400 or less half price on Mondays.  Big Bottle Thursday wine sold by the glass. Daily lunch specials. Current. Tel (021) 422-3839 (updated 5/9)

* The Square, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 5 course menu R 195/R295 with wines, dinner only. Half price sushi 5 – 7 pm.  Monday – Sunday. Current. Tel ()21) 657-4500 (updated 5/9)

*   Dunes, Hout Bay : Sunday buffet with smoked salmon, oysters and cooked breakfast R120. Summer. Tel (021) 790-1876 (updated 5/9)

*   Arnold’s on Kloof, 60 Kloof Street, Gardens:  Early bird breakfast half-price special if order before 7h00 Monday – Friday.  Peppa Poppers R35, Biltong fillet steak mens/ladies R115/R 75, Stew for U2 R119, Chicken Kloof R 59, Chicken parmesan R69, Carpaccio kudu fillet biltong R49.  Summer Tel (021) 424-4344 (updated 5/9)

*   Five Flies, Half price for all main courses. Mondays – Sundays. August and September. Tel (021) 424-4442 (updated 2/8)

*   Codfather, Camps Bay:  half-price sushi 12h00 – 18h00, daily.  Indefinite. Tel (021) 438-0782

*   Black Marlin, Simonstown:  2-course meal R115, 3-course R140. Indefinite. Tel (021) 786-1621

*   Cape Town Fish Market, Big Bay, V&A Waterfront, Canal Walk, Tyger Valley, Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Tokai, Grand West Casino: “All you can eat Breakfast Buffet” R60, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays; 4-course Seafood buffet lunch R125, Sundays and public holidays.  Buy one, get one free – hake on Mondays, sushi on Tuesdays, calamari on Wednesdays.  Indefinite. Tel (021) 554-5962.

*   La Bruixa, Sea Point: Seafood paella for two for R260, includes a salad. Meat paella R200. Current.Tel (021) 434-8797 (updated 5/9)

*   La Boheme, Sea Point: 2-courses R95, 3-courses R 120. Current. Tel (021) 434-8797 (updated 5/9)

*   The Round House, Camps Bay: 4-course a la carte menu R450, 6-course set tasting menu R595. 3 course lunch R220.  Current. Tel (021) 438-4347 (updated 5/9)

*   Planet Restaurant,  Mount Nelson Hotel:  5-course Vegan Journey menu (R300), 5-course The Journey menu R330. Until end October. Tel (021) 483-1000 (checked 5/9)

*   Savour Restaurant, 51 on Orange: 2-course R189, 3-courses R225, for lunch and dinner.  Current. Tel (021) 469-8037 (updated 5/9)

*   La Colombe, Constantia: 8-course Gourmand menu R 625, or with wine R850, Monday – Saturday, Current. 3 course lunch R240 from 16 June – 15 November, 5 course dinner R395 with wine, R310 without wine 16 June – 31 October.  Specials do not apply to Sundays. Tel (021) 794-2390

*   Catharina’s, Steenberg Hotel: 2-course lunch R185, 3-course lunch R215, 3-course dinner R250.  Current.  Tel (021) 713-2222 (updated 5/9)

*   Constantia Uitsig: 3-course lunch and dinner R390, Monday – Saturday. Current.3-course lunch R210 . 17 April – 15 November, 3-course dinner R250 from 17 April – 31 October. Specials do not apply to Sundays. Tel (021) 794-4480

*   River Café:  2 course lunch plus tea/coffee R99, 3 courses R 119;  tea/coffee plus muffin, scone, croissant or slice of cake of the day R35 15h00 – 16h30. Not available on Sundays. 1 May – 31 October. Tel (021) 794-3010

*   Rick’s Café Américain, Park Road: Lunch specials R45, change daily; and more specials on drinks. Indefinite.  Tel (021) 424-1100

*   Barocca, Camps Bay Club: 2 for the price of one burgers Tuesday evenings; From 5 pm. Indefinite. Tel (021) 438-1992

*   Seaforth Restaurant, Simonstown: Buy one pizza get one free Mondays, Deep fried prawns R98 Tuesdays; hake and chips R38 Wednesdays; Eat as much calamari as you like R49 Thursdays; Steak and calamari R78 Fridays; Eat as much as you like pork spare ribs R88 Saturdays. From 6 pm. Current. Tel (021) 786-4810 (updated 5/9)

*   Pizzeria Villagio, Howard Centre, Pinelands: 20 % of bill for table of more than two, on Wednesdays.  Current. Tel (021) 531-4473 (updated 5/9)

*   Azure Restaurant, Twelve Apostles Hotel, Camps Bay: 5-courses R315 includes movie and popcorn, Current. Tel (021) 437-9000 (updated 5/9)

*   Diva Pizza, Buitenkant Street: 2 large margherita pizzas with choice of two toppings R89, Monday, Tuesday.  Current. Tel (021) 461-0013 (updated 5/9)

*   Tokyo Restaurant & Sushi Bar: Buy two get one free daily until 5pm; Sushi Buffet Fridays and Saturday from 5 pm, 7 plates R99, unlimited number of plates R118.  Indefinite. Tel (021) 424-5108

*   BlueFin Seafood & Sushi, Plattekloof: 50 % off sushi 11h00 – 17h00; ‘Eat as much as you like’ Sushi R129; Platters ½ price from 11h00 – 19h00. Monday – Sunday. Current. Tel (021) 558-4281 (updated 5/9)

*   Rhapsody’s, Green Point: 50 % off sushi daily from 10h00 – 19h00. Burger plus Castle Lite draught R50 on Fridays. Children under 16 eat free per adult. Current. Tel (021) 434-3004 (updated 5/9)

*   Reuben’s, One&Only Cape Town, V&A Waterfront: One&Only Seafood Platter for Two R995. Dish of the day and glass of wine R99 lunch Monday – Friday. Sunday lunch buffet R225. Current. Tel (021) 431-5888 (updated 5/9)

*   Bayside Café, Camps Bay:  Order two main courses, and second person gets lower priced dish free.  Sunday dinner – Friday lunch. Until end September. Tel (021) 438-2650 (updated 5/9)

*   Café Chameleon, Plattekloof: Monday – Friday lunch special of small pizza R 45.  Monday and Saturday dinner large pizza special R55.  Ongoing. Tel (021) 911-1025

*   Taiwan City Chinese Cuisine, Century City: 2 courses for 2 persons for R 128. Current. Tel (021) 555-3081 (updated 5/9)

*   Myoga, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 7-course dinner R 225. Current. Tel (021) 657-4545 (updated 5/9)

*   Zorba’s, Lagoon Beach: Seafood and meat platter for two R220. 500g rump steak R135, Beef espetada R110. Lunch and dinner daily, Current. Tel (021) 528-2093 (updated 5/9)

*   Den Anker, V&A Waterfront: Vol au vent with Vedett white beer R 85.  Until October. Tel (021) 419-0249

*   F.east, Loop Street: chicken or vegetable curry lunch special R59. Current. Tel (021) 424-5903 (updated 5/9)

I ♥ my Laundry, Buitengracht Street: 8 pieces of Dim Sum and a cappuccino or glass of wine R40. Daily 7h00 – 19h00. Fondue Thursdays R125.  Current. Book at 084 6600 777 (updated 5/9).

*   Slug & Lettuce, Kloof Street: 300g rump steak, chips and onion rings R89. Until mid-September. Tel (021) 422-5325

*   Foodbarn, Noordhoek: 50 % of all lunch dishes Monday – Friday; 3-courses R175, 4-courses R195, 5-courses R225, all with Ntida wines, until end September. Tel (021) 789-1390 (updated 5/9)

*   Cru Café, Cape Quarter: 2 jumbo gourmet burgers R99, 12h00 – 14h00 daily. Hake and chips, or chicken schnitzel and chips, R39, Sundays 12h00 – 15h00. Bucks Fizz free with breakfast on Sunday. Current. Tel (021) 418-6334 (updated 5/9)

*   1800°, Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, Green Point: Get Rubbed 200g rump/sirloin plus glass wine/beer R99. Current. Tel (021) 430-0506 (updated 5/9)

*   Tuscany Beach, Camps Bay: 50 % off partner’s main course. 25% off all sushi. Every evening, Monday – Friday lunch.  Until mid-September. Tel (021) 438-1213 (updated 5/9)

*   Pigalle, Green Point: 2-courses R140, 3-courses R170, 4-courses R 200 Monday – Thursday, Seafood Platter for two R275, Monday – Thursday dinner, and Tuesday – Friday lunch.  Until end September. Tel (021) 421-4848 (updated 5/9)

*   RBG Bar & Grill, Park Inn, Foreshore: Classic Burger R50, Grilled Chicken Caeser R50, Sirloin steak R85 Monday – Thursday 12h00 – 14h00. Until end September. Tel (021) 427-4800 (updated 6/9).

*   Hussar Grill, Green Point: 2 courses R99.  Until end October. Tel (021) 433-2081 (updated 7/10)

*   Blues, Camps Bay: 2 courses R120, 3 courses R 150. End September. Tel (01) 438-2040 (updated 5/9)

*   5 Rooms, Alphen Boutique Hotel: ‘Chalmer’ sirloin R95, Hanger steak R109, Tempura lobster R129,  3 courses R199. Summer. Tel (021) 795-6313 (updated 26/11)

*   Liberty’s, Upper Eastside Hotel: choice of one of three pasta dishes R48 on Mondays; one bottle of house red or white wine for two main courses ordered on Wednesdays; 12 Mozambican prawns done three ways for R85 on Thursdays; 3 &Union beers plus a tasting prego roll R100 on Fridays; Current. Tel (021) 404-0570 (updated 5/9)

*   Harbour House, Kalk Bay: 2 courses R 150, 3 courses R170. September. Tel (021) 788-4133 (updated 5/9)

*   Harbour House, V & A Waterfront: 2 courses R150, 3 courses R170, all meals except Sunday lunch. September. Tel (021) 418-4744 (updated 30/8)

*   Mezepoli, Camps Bay: Beef, chicken or vegetarian pita with chips, beer, or cold drink R70 on Mondays; half-price sushi; Meze platter R120 Sundays. September. Tel (021) 438-1915 (updated 5/9)

*   Ocean Blue, Camps Bay: Seafood platter R99, Linefish R79, Calamari R79, Sirloin steak R79, Prawns and linefish R79, Calamari and linefish R79, calamari and prawns, R79, Steak and prawns/calamari R79, Lobster and prawns R129, Oysters R6. Breakfast R30. Until end September. Tel (021) 438-4204 (updated 23/7)

*   Sinatra’s, Pepper Club Hotel: 3 course meal with glass of house wine R200, until end September. Tel (021) 812-8888

*   Zenzero, Camps Bay: 3-courses set menu R 149. Butternut and Feta cannelloni R79, Parmesan lamb chops R119, Osso Bucco R99, Lamb shank R109, Wild mushroom risotto (R89), chicken risotto (R89), pan fried tuna R119.  Until end September. Tel (021) 438-0007 (updated 5/9)

Bungalow, Clifton: ‘Speciality Winter Menu’, with six main courses ranging in price from R90 for Bouillabaisse to R155 for crayfish pasta, and one dessert, chocolate fondant, at R60. Until end September. Tel (021) 438-2018.

*   Mariner’s Wharf, Hout Bay: Free filter coffee or tot of Allesverloren port for 2 courses ordered. Starters R25 – R39, Mains R60 – R99, Desserts R25. Until 15 September, excludes Sundays and public holidays.  Tel (021) 790-1100

*   Salt Café, Bantry Bay: Breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage and coffee or juice R65. Spring. Tel (021) 439-3354 (Updated 3/9)

*   Rocca, Cape Quarter: 3-course dinner R123 Monday – Saturday. Current. Tel (021) 418-8000 (updated 5/9)

*   Mezbaan Indian Restaurant, Hilton Cape Town: ‘Curry Cup’ Buffet with soup, salads, nine curries, sambals, naan bread, poppadoms, and a selection of desserts, and all soft drinks R151, Thursday evenings. All year.  Tel (021) 481-3700

*   Buitenverwachting Restaurant, Constantia: 2 courses R175, 3 courses R225.  Tapas menu 5 dishes R129 and 7 dishes R179. Until end September. Tel (021) 794-3522 (updated 5/9)

*   Haiku: Dim Sum, Robata and Sushi platters R119, Lunch Monday – Friday. 3 courses R179, 5 courses R249, Dinner Monday – Wednesday.  Current. Tel (021) 424-7000 (updated 5/9)

Saints on 84 Kloof, Gardens: Order 2 flatbreads and pay for one Monday; order 2 Saints classic burgers and pay for one Thursday. Winter Tel (021) 424-0030

*   Alexander Bar and Café, Strand Street:  Home cooking dish of day R40, Mondays.  Current. Tel (021) 300-1088 (updated 5/9)

*   Il Cappero, Camps Bay: 50 % off pasta and desserts on Monday lunch and dinner. September. Tel (021) 438-7074 (updated 5/9)

St Elmo’s: 4 Pizza pies R99; 2 large regular pizzas R109,90; 2 medium regular pizzas R74,90; 2 large pizzas R89,90 on Tuesdays only; Large regular pizza plus 400 gram rack of sticky ribs and chips R 129,90; Small regular pizza plus 330ml Coca Cola R29,90. All branches.

*   Andiamo, old Cape Quarter, De Waterkant: 2 pizzas or 2 pastas, or one of each, at R 109,95. Until October.  Tel (021) 421-3687.

*   Upstairs @ Quay Four: Malay Kreef Curry R90. Until end September.  Tel (021) 419-2008 (updated 5/9)

*   Debonairs Pizza: Pizza Tower (4 layers of large pizza) R109,90. Until 29 October. Tel (021) 439-7575

*   Maxi’s, Cape Gate, N1 City, Paarl, Zevenwacht:  350 gram T-Bone steak R59,90. From 15h00. T&Cs apply. Current.  Tel 0834562947

*   Café Chic, Gardens: 3-course dinner R150. Summer. Tel (021) 465-7218 (updated 11/10)

*   Balducci’s, V&A Waterfront: Sushi plate R109, all pizza and pasta R49. Free bottle of Sauvignon Blanc or House Red for two main meals ordered, at R90 minimum spend per main meal. Until 18h00 daily. Current. Tel (021) 421-6002 (checked 5/9)

*   Willoughby’s, V&A Waterfront:  ’Clicquot Fridays’: 3 sashimi dishes with tuna and salmon, and glass of Veuve Clicquot R149. Fridays. Current. Tel (021) 418-6115 (updated 5/9)

*   Sotano by Caveau, La Splendida Hotel, Mouille Point: Beef burger, lamb pita, club sandwich, and haloumi/tomato/caper flatbread R65, 2 lamb burgers for the price of one on Wednesdays from 17h00, Spring. Tel (021) 433-1757 (updated 3/9)

*   Kushi Indian Restaurant, 315 Main Road, Sea Point, and Red Sails, Main Road, Hout Bay: Butter Chicken, mixed vegetable curry, Naan, Basmati rice, and glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon R99. End September. Tel (021) 433-2069/791-4805 (updated 5/9)

*   OYO at V&A Hotel, V&A Waterfront: 500g crayfish R199. From 1 October.  Summer.  Tel (021) 419-6677. (added 20/9)

*   Andiamo, old Cape Quarter: 2 pastas or 2 pizzas, or one of each R109,95. Until end October. Tel (021) 421-3687 (added 23/9)

*   Reserve Brasserie, Adderley Street: 3-course Business Lunch  and local beer or mineral water R140, Wednesday – Friday. Tel (021) 422-0654. Current (added 23/9)

*   Krugmann’s Grill, V&A Waterfront: 250 gram Rump steak R49, 8 – 14 October.  Tel (021) 418-9393 (added 8/10)

*   San Marco, V&A Waterfront:  2 for the price of one main meals; Pastas R69, Gourmet Burgers R69, Breakfast from R29. Current. Tel (021) 418-5434 (added 10/10)

*   Blues, Camps Bay: glass of bubbly and 3 oysters; Fritto Misto; West Coast mussels, all cost R69, between 3 – 6 pm

*   Leaf Restaurant: Combos R99. Sushi Buffet eat as much as you like R119, 50% off sushi before 18h00, free sushi platter up to R80 value on guest’s birthday. Summer. Tel (021) 418-4500. (added 27/11)

WINELANDS

Franschhoek

*   Allee Bleue, outside Franschhoek: choice of three 250g steaks at R115 – 145, including a glass of estate wine, current. Lunch, Wednesday – Sunday.  Chicnics (standard and vegetarian picnics) from 1 September, cost R145 per person, winetasting offered. Tel (021) 874-1021 (updated 5/9)

*   Allora in Franschhoek: 3-course Sunday lunch R99 all year. Lunch and dinner: 2 courses R89,  3 courses R110. Current. Tel (021) 876-4375 (updated 5/9)

*   L’ermitage, Franschhoek: 3-courses R 200 and a glass of wine. Lunch. End September. Tel (021) 876-9200 (updated 5/9)

*   Grande Provence Jonkershuis, Franschhoek: 3-course meal for a minimum of eight guests, R 250 per person. 1 May – 30 September. Closed Sunday evenings until September. Tel (021) 876-8600.

*   La Residence, Franschhoek: 4 courses R 600 per person, all inclusive of ‘house wines’ and local beverages. Dinner. Daily.  Current.  Tel (021) 876-4100 (updated 5/9)

*   Haute Cabriere, Franschhoek: 4-course Table d’Haut lunch R150, Tuesday – Friday;  Pierre Jourdan Breakfast, cellar tour, and tasting R150, from 10h00 Saturdays;  Pinot Noir Tasting Menu – 5 courses and wine R495, Friday and Saturday dinner, Saturday and Sunday lunch. Current. Tel (021) 876-3688 (updated 5/9)

*   Freedom Hill Restaurant, outside Franschhoek: 2-courses R105, 3-course R135. Selection of tapas R10 – R30 each. Wednesday – Mondays. Summer. Tel (021) 867-0963 (updated 5/9)

*   Reuben’s: Burger and chips R 85.  Current. Tel (021) 876-3772 (updated 4/9)

*   Dish at Le Franschhoek:  3 course lunch R 195. Sundays. Bookings essential. September. Tel (021) 876-8900 (updated 5/9)

*   Pierneef à La Motte, La Motte (photograph): 6-course dinner with ‘surprises in-between’ R350, or R495 with wine pairing. Summer.  Tel (021) 876-8800 (updated 31/8)

*   The Tasting Room, Le Quartier Français: two for the price of one on Wednesdays, FIRST TEN ONLY, until end September.  Tel (021) 876-2151.

Paarl

*   Bosman’s, Grande Roche, Paarl: 2-courses R135, 3-courses R170.  Monday – Sunday lunch  (Bosman’s and at Bistro) and dinner (Bistro only).  End September. Tel (021) 863-5100 (updated 5/9)

eat @ Simonsvlei, Simonsvlei Winery, Old Paarl Road: Steak and baked potato R95 Friday evenings.  3 course carvery R135 Sundays. Free milkshake and kiddie’s pizza with adults eating Tuesday – Saturday.   Summer. Tel (021) 863-3040   (updated 5/9)

*   Harvest at Laborie: 2 courses R110, 3 courses R 135, Monday – Friday lunch. Until end October. Tel (021) 807-3095 (added 11/9)

Stellenbosch

*   Towerbosch Restaurant, Knorhoek Wine Estate, Stellenbosch:  Asado Argentian-style braai on Sundays R165, R175 from 1 October. Indefinite. Tel (021) 865-2958 (updated 6/9)

*   Tokara Restaurant, Stellenbosch: Chef’s Menu – 4 courses, inclusive of glass of wine R 250.  End September. Tuesday – Sunday lunch, Tuesday – Saturday dinner (closed 24/9 – 4/10). Tel (021) 885-2550 (updated 5/9)

*   Wild Peacock Food Emporium, 32 Piet Retief Str, Stellenbosch: Specials as per menu, dinner Friday evenings. Early bird mini breakfast plus tea/coffee R25 Monday – Friday 7h30 – 9h00. Terrific Tuesday lunch R59 Tuesdays 12h00 – 14h00. Indefinite. Tel (021) 887-7585 (updated 5/9)

*   Johan’s at Longridge, Stellenbosch: 6-course lunch and dinner plus 6 glasses of wine R 400. Friday – Tuesday (closed Wednesdays and Thursdays). Current. Tel (021) 855-2004.*

*   Clos Malverne, Stellenbosch: 4-course wine and food pairing lunch R198, Tuesday – Friday, Summer. Tel (021) 865-2022 (updated 21/8)

*   Lord Neethling Restaurant, Neethlingshof, Stellenbosch:  choice of 4 hot dishes with 250 ml wine R80 mid-September, Sunday buffet lunch R150 Summer. Wednesday and Friday dinner, and Monday – Saturday lunch. Tel (021) 883-8966 (updated 5/9)

*   96 Winery Road, Stellenbosch: 3 course meal R185. Monday – Saturday, 3 – 30 September. Tel (021) 842-2020 (update 29/8)

*   Warwick wine estate: Picnics for two R299. Monday – Sunday.  Summer. Tel (021) 884-4410 (updated 5/9)

*   Terroir, Kleine Zalze: 2 courses R 175, 3 courses R198, both with a glass of Kleine Zalze wine. Monday – Saturday lunch and dinner. Until 30 September. Tel (021) 880-8167

*   Dornier Bodega Restaurant, Dornier wine estate: 2 courses R150, 3 courses R 175. Lunch daily, but closed Mondays.  Asparagus menu from 28 September.  Tel (021) 880-0557 (updated 11/9)

*   Overture: 4-courses R 250, and R350 if paired with wines. Tuesday – Friday lunch, Dinner Thursday and Friday, until 14 September, thereafter R350/R490. Tel (021) 880-2721 (updated 6/9)

*   Hartenberg: Steak and Shiraz, R95, Fridays.

*   Taste, mid-way between Stellenbosch and Somerset West: 3 course meal R175, Lunch and Dinner, Thursdays – Mondays. Tel (021) 855-3686

* Makaron Restaurant at Majeka House: 3 courses R195, or R255 if paired with wines. Until end October.  Tel (021) 880-1549 (added 11/9)

Hermanus

*   Season in Hermanus: Afval R45 Tuesdays. Two for the price of one main course Wednesdays. Hake and calamari combo R55 Thursdays. Free 200g rump steak for a 300 g rump steak ordered for R110, on Fridays.  Sunday lunch: 1 course R70 upwards, 2 courses R 92 upwards. Curry Festival R110 Saturdays. Tel (028) 316-2854.  Spring. (updated 5/9)

*   The Class Room, Hermanus: 2 courses R120, 3 courses R150. Wednesdays – Fridays. 10 October – 3 November. Tel (028) 316-3582 (update 27/9)

*   Amigos Cantina Restaurant: Free bottle of house wine for table of 4.2 bottles for table of 8 Tuesdays; buy one get one free on chicken liver starter or Chicken/Beef/Vegetarian Tortilla Wednesdays; free coffee and a port/sherry Thursdays.  Current. Tel (028) 313-0384

*   Cattle Baron: 300g Chateaubriand R125; Lunch Buffet R59, pensioners R45,90, Wednesday – Friday 12h00 – 15h00. Current. Tel (028) 313-0384 (added 21/9)

*   Annie se Kombuis: 2 courses R75, 3 courses R90. Current. Tel (028) 313-1350 (added 21/9)

*   Monneaux, Franschhoek Country House:  Spring salad with complimentary glass of Rosé R65, Gourmet Ostrich Burger with complimentary lager R65.  Until 30 November. tel (0210 876-3386.

Plettenberg Bay

*   Nguni: Friday night special R50. Tel (044) 533-6710 (updated 31/8)

What an exciting show MasterChef South Africa episode 11 was last night, with a number of surprises, including VIP guests having to evaluate the remaining nine Finalists’ pairing of their food and the Nederburg wine they selected, and the ability of the winner of the best dish to earn an Immunity pin, providing immunity against all Pressure Tests with the exception of the last two stages, if he/she wins in a cook-off against a top chef, which turned out to be Chef Reuben Riffel.  No Finalist was eliminated, the first time in any of the past episodes, but the three Finalists going into the Pressure Test in episode 12 were selected.

The judges congratulated the Finalists on being the final nine, and reminded them that it was ‘time to shine’. Called an Invention Test, preparing food paired with beautiful wines, where 1 + 1 = 3, can also go horribly wrong, said Chef Pete Goffe-Wood. Immediately Deena Naidoo spoke to the camera, saying that he had never ever drunk wine, and that his knowledge of it was ‘dismal‘. Chef Pete said that in food and wine pairing, one seeks a ‘balance’, and that the texture of the food should match the texture of the wine. They should not fight each other.

Nederburg Cellarmaster Razvan Macici spoke to each wine that the Finalists selected in a wine cooler, and they had 90 minutes to prepare a dish that was suited to the character of the wine. In this episode it wasn’t only the three judges that evaluated the pairing – they were joined by seven VIPs, being Unathi Msengana (radio and TV personality), Desmond Dube (singer and actor), Springbok rugby player Breyton Paulse, model Ryan Botha, Milan Murray (actress), R&B singer Loyiso Bala, and Drum food editor Siba Mtongana, and therefore they had to prepare ten portions of their dish.

*   Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc was chosen by Ilse Fourie, and the wine was described as fresh and crisp, and suitable to be served with seafood.  Ilse decided against serving prawns, given the time that it would take to clean them, so she chose to make roasted salmon served on a bed of asparagus, and a sauce made of oranges and gooseberries, to balance the acidity.  The guests praised her perfect vegetables, and her food brought out the best in the wine.

*   Nederburg Winemasters Reserve Rosé was chosen by Lungi Nhlahla, and she was told that it is well paired with fish. She chose to make a seared ostrich salad with a balsamic sauce.  The guests enjoyed it, saying that they would have it ‘any time’.

*   Manisha Naidu seemed nervous when she was allocated the Pongracz Rosé, a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blend, well paired with oysters. When she started off, she said that she had struck a blank as to what to prepare with her sparkling wine.  She decided to make a dessert, with white chocolate ganache, mint, almonds, and a strawberry soup which contained the Pongracz.  She was praised for having done a ‘great job’.

*   A stylish-looking Khaya Silingile chose the Nederburg Winemasters Reserve Noble Light Harvest, the wine brand’s ‘most awarded wine‘ in the range, excellent to serve with patés. She chose to make a trio of chocolate desserts (panna cotta, fondant, and truffle), but ran out of time, the panna cotta not having enough time to set. She opted for a fondant only, served with a berry coulis. It had a very rich sauce, with a nice crusty top and ‘gooey inside’, and gave the wine structure, the guests said.

*   Nederburg Merlot was described as being ‘robust’, good to serve with duck, fruit, pizza, pasta, and roasts, and was the choice of Deena.  He decided to prepare a lamb curry, but Chef Pete warned him against ‘overpowering the wine with the curry’. Chatting amongst themselves, the judges agreed that Deena’s curry and tomato ‘will kill the Merlot’. The guests were silent when they tasted his curry, nodding their heads in approval, saying it was ‘yummy’. Yet Chef Pete said that the vinegar, tomato, and spices in his dish made the wine ‘tannic’.

*   Sarel Loots chose Nederburg Riesling, to be served with intense aromatic dishes. He surprisingly chose to make a curry, not having done well with it in a previous challenge, but said that he had mastered it since. His dish was to be a light chicken curry in a butternut case, served with apricot purée and roti.  His dish was praised by the guests, describing it as well presented, and a ‘delight’ in its match with a complex wine.

*   Nederburg Winemakers Reserve Shiraz has berry flavours and spiciness, and should be paired with spicy lamb, kebabs, and souvlaki. This wine was chosen by Jade de Waal. She chose to make lentils, Mediterranean vegetables, ravioli, and a Shiraz poached beef fillet, but said that she had blown it away. Her guests contradicted themselves in their feedback, saying that they ‘like the girl but not the dish’, ‘quite bland‘, ‘strong taste’, ‘meat not great‘, and that ‘the elements were not connected’, said Chef Pete.

*   Sue-Ann Allen chose the Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon, the ‘biggest’ of the wines in weight and texture, best served with red meat. She chose to make beef fillet, which was enjoyed by her guests, and they liked its ‘simplicity’.

*   Thys Hattingh selected the Nederburg Chardonnay, with vanilla and citrus notes, a good match with grilled fish and cheese, a versatile wine. He chose to make an open lasagne with mushrooms and herbs, ‘a simple dish with lots of flavour’, he said, its creaminess pairing well with the wooded and creamy Chardonnay. He seemed to have a problem with his pasta, taking forever to cook. Bravely he had made his own pasta for the first time. The guests described his dish as ‘more buttery’, ‘richer’, ‘very nice’, ‘too rich’, ‘too oily’, contradictory feedback, but his pasta was praised.

All the Finalists were praised by the judges for their ‘outstanding’ job, and were given a round of applause. Khaya’s chocolate fondant was chosen as the top dish, described as ‘superb’ by Chef Andrew Atkinson, which led her to burst into tears.  It was explained to her that she would go up against guest chef Reuben Riffel, and should she beat him in the cook-off, she would win the Immunity pin. Chef Reuben was introduced as putting Monneaux restaurant onto the map when it was named an Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant, before he went overseas, returning to open Reuben’s Franschhoek in 2004, and winning Eat Out Top Chef and Top Restaurant six months later.  Chef Reuben said that he is passionate about ‘fresh produce‘, ironic given his Robertsons’ endorsement!

The three Finalists that were chosen to go into the Pressure Test in episode 12 are Thys, for his dish being too rich and oily, but with great pasta; Jade, for her flavours not combining, and not complementing her Shiraz; and Deena, his first Pressure Test, as his dish did not complement the Merlot. His reaction was: ‘What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger‘!  The next episode is likely to be an exciting one, in that the three Finalists need three hours to prepare their Pressure Test dishes. It will also show the cooking duel between Chef Reuben and Khaya.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage