Last Friday I drove to McGregor via Franschhoek, so that a friend and I could try out the new Reuben’s Franschhoek, which opened two weeks ago in a new location off the main road. The year of reshaping and renovating the new venue has been well worthwhile, the restaurant feeling homely, offering good service, the food being excellent, and with Chef Reuben in the kitchen. Continue reading →
If luxury stands for being out of the ordinary, transporting one from the world one is in to something more special, enjoyed by some but not all, is beyond the day to day basics, provides good service, and leaves one with a good feeling, then Cape Town is a luxurious destination, said seasoned hotelier Nick Seewer at a meeting of PR-Net held at Continue reading →
My first visit in 2010 to what was then called Tokara DeliCATessen was very disappointing. In July the ownership team of the Tokara Restaurant took over the management of the now named Tokara Delicatessen, and moved its Chef Aviv Liebenberg from its Tokara Restaurant to the Delicatessen, raising the bar greatly!
Previously the Tokara Delicatessen was managed by Tokara owner GT Ferreira’s wife and daughter, and a succession of chefs was in the kitchen over the years. Food was average and service poor, but the building Continue reading →
Last night I attended an interesting group discussion about chocolate, and Honest Chocolate in particular, at their Honest Chocolate Café on Wale Street. It demonstrated that the brand of artisanal chocolate has evolved in the four years since its launch, and that it cares enough to conduct market research to establish what chocolate lovers like and dislike about the brand.
Having received the invitation to attend whilst on holiday, I had not picked up that the event would be more than a chocolate and wine pairing. We had to document our demographic details, our chocolate purchasing habits, and source of information about the brand. Our Continue reading →
Word has spread about newly opened Chardonnay Deli in Constantia, and my expectations were high when Manley Communications sent the media release about it in December. The expectations created via the media release were not met unfortunately, and we found a Farm Stall with below-average and poorly presented food in its Eatery!
I had arranged to meet my lunch host Tony Ward at the Farm Stall, not knowing exactly where it was, and hard to see in a bend, and to turn right into to park, given the traffic load on Constantia Main Road. The branding on the roof of the building is smallish, not helping one to find it. There was barely any parking in front of or near the Farm Stall, it Continue reading →
Within 2 minutes of walking into Biga Café, Bakery, and Deli the rudeness of co-owner Hanli Carstenson came to the fore, and this continued from her, magnified by a rude departure ‘greeting‘ from fellow co-owner Glen Herringshaw, when I popped in there yesterday, after visiting the Hermanuspietersfontein market further down the street!
Biga (meaning sourdough starter in Italian, Hanli said) has been open since December, and has taken over the space of former Season, one of the few restaurants in Hermanus which I enjoyed eating at (mainly for its calf’s liver and mash). It has also taken over some of the space of Hornbill House, an art gallery, Continue reading →
Boschendal has been below the radar for the past year, the only news having been that the estate was closed while it transformed itself into a wedding function venue. It appears that the wine estate is not only catering for weddings, but has a number of exciting restaurant developments up its sleeve too, some completed and some more to come. Having new Chef Christiaan Campbell on board, formerly of Delaire Graff, the estate is transforming itself into Boschendal Farm, with a focus on ethical and sustainable sourcing of ingredients and preparation of food.
I visited Boschendal Farm yesterday, and was astounded at the energy, and part transformation which has already taken place. Gone are the ‘cobwebs’ and the old fuddy-duddy feel which one experienced in the Buffet restaurant and the Café. It started with me parking my car and Events and Functions Manager Aldo du Plessis (previously with La Motte and Grande Provence) driving past, stopping immediately, and inviting me on a guided tour, an offer which I could not refuse!
We drove to the new wedding and conference venue The Olive Press, which is in a section of the more than 2000 ha farm which one has not seen Continue reading →
Last week I attended a presentation by Professor Tim Noakes on ‘The Science behind Banting Diets’, which was organised by PR-Net and held on the top floor of the Naspers building. I went as a sceptic, but it appeared that almost all attendees were already committed Banters.
I have not followed the initial controversy about Professor Tim Noakes, co-founder of the Sport Science Institute, who published ‘The Real Meal Revolution‘ in which he advocates a ‘LCHF‘ (Low ‘Carb‘ High Fat) balanced diet eating focus to help one lose weight. While ‘LCHF’ was not a very catchy a name for the diet, the ‘Banting‘ word spread like wildfire, being the name of a diet tried with success by William Banting more than 200 years ago. Professor Noakes was not believed initially, given that he had advocated a low fat, high carbohydrate eating plan in the past, and now was turned his thinking around 360°! The medical fraternity is not sure whether to support his recommendations.
The Franschhoek Food Emporium was a favourite stop in Franschhoek, until it closed down a year ago. Fortunately it has just re-opened as Good Food & Co, with a new owner Johanita Henning and Chef Kim Cox, and does not look very different to its past interior. It was a delight to see Michelle van Sittert again, who was at Sacred Ground when it opened, and was a fantastic asset for the bakery/coffee shop.
Kim is the chef, whom I have met twice already, and she prepares the cooked foods, and orders the stock from the best suppliers. Her meat comes from Ryan Boon, for example, who distributes Spier’s Farmer Angus’ beef. Her lamb comes from Fairview. In her display cabinet Continue reading →
One can commend Franschhoek Wine Valley tourism for constantly finding new ways to attract visitors to its gourmet food and wine village. Now it has launched the Franschhoek Artisan Food Route, attracting attention to the diversity of 21 hand-made high quality small quantity food producers in the valley, with more to be added.
The little A5 Franschhoek Wine Valley leaflet about the Franschhoek Artisan Food Route does not do justice to the quality of the food artisans on the Route, and one wonders why they skimped to keep the map so small, when the Wine and Restaurant map is A3 in size! The result is that the detail provided is minimal, just three lines per food artisan, with the exception of La Motte’s entry. The Franschhoek Artisan Food Route will be launched to the media later this week. Many of the food artisans on the Route have operated in the valley for years. Not all the listed artisanal outlets seem true to the definition provided in the Route map: ‘Artisan producers understand and respect the raw materials with which they work. They know where these materials come from and what is particularly good about them’! A number of artisanal producers have been left off the list, Continue reading →