More restaurant opening and movement news continues to reach WhaleTales.
Klein Genot is ending its relationship with Mark Radnay, of the Overture partnership with Top 10 chef Bertus Basson, after a one-year marriage, due to the restaurant not being financially viable, says Basson. Angie Diamond, the owner of the luxury 5-star Klein Genot boutique hotel and winery called WhaleTales to say that she is taking over the Genot restaurant, with a name refinement to Genot Restaurant Cigar Bar, from 1 November, and is celebrating the opening with a Frank Sinatra tribute evening on 5 November, and a jazz evening on 6 November. Diamond says her new restaurant model is Baia, the upmarket seafood restaurant in the V & A Waterfront, but at far reduced prices. Starters range in price from R 38 for sardines to R 68 for parma ham and melon, with mussel and prawn starters costing R 58. Salads average R 48, and the fish main courses range between R 78 for the calamari and sole to R 98 for baby kingklip. Meat dishes range from R 78 for a spatchcock chicken to R 138 for rack of lamb. Pasta dishes are available at R 48 – 58, and desserts cost R 48 each. Live music will be offered on Friday and Saturday evenings. The restaurant is also offering a new service to guest houses, with complimentary transfers to the restaurant. Genot is also offering picnic baskets, to be enjoyed at 20 picnic spots along the riverbank of the wine estate.
Overture restaurant on the Hidden Valley wine estate outside Stellenbosch is going from strength to strength, and chef Bertus Basson says a younger more affluent clientele is booking at the restaurant. A sommelier starts at Overture at the beginning of October. The sister catering company has been awarded the catering for all events at Lourensford, and will be moving its operation to the Somerset West wine estate.
Chef Bruce Robertson has revealed that two of his current restaurant consulting projects are for two hotels managed by Queensgate Holdings. The Upper East Side Hotel is opening as a 4-star conference hotel in Woodstock in May 2010, and Robertson is setting up a 260-seater restaurant and kitchen. He is also setting up the 160-seater restaurant and kitchen for the hotel Queensgate is opening in Pearl House on Adderley Street, Furthermore, Robertson is setting up a gourmet picnic service at Warwick Estate in November, according to a recent tweet from Mike Ratcliffe (“Gourmet picnic project with Chef Bruce Robertson taking shape”). About the Franschhoek restaurant that he is helping to set up, Robertson is staying mum, only revealing that it is on a wine estate. Robertson has also become a gourmet tour guide, and has teamed up with Bon Appetit magazine and Ryan Hilton from AdmiralityTravel to bring tour groups from the USA to South Africa, with Robertson taking them to unusual gourmet highlights, including slowfood, outstanding herb gardens, wine biodiversity, and cooking for his guests.
More than seventy restaurants received 2010 American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards this month, 13 of these going to new restaurants winners, reports TravelWires. The new restaurant winners in the Western Cape include Bizerca, Gold, Salt, The Pavilion in Hermanus, Grande Provence, and Rust en Vrede. Those from other parts of the country, receiving the Awards for the first time, include Mastrantonio, Osteria Tre Nonni, Sel et Poivre, Harvey’s, Roma Revolving Restaurant, and Orange. The Award winners are judged on the basis of cuisine, service, wine list, decor, ambiance and overall excellence and consistency. Standards are checked regularly, says American Express.
The Caviar Group of restaurants, which already includes Beluga and Sevruga, as well as the Caviar deli in the V & A Waterfront, is opening its first non-caviar named restaurant, to be called Blonde. Its newsletter is keeping the location of the new restaurant a secret, but hints at the decor and style as follows: it will be a 120-seater restaurant offering ‘fine-dining cuisine’, and will only be open in the evenings. It is in a Victorian building, it has a ‘seductive interior of bar and lounge’, it has ‘couches covered in rich fabrics, the gorgeous wooden floors and high ceilings, to the crisp white linen, designer chairs, beautiful staircase, and romantic balcony” They gush on : “One thing’s for sure. Blonde will be in a class of its own. We love Blonde!” It refers one to the website www.blondedining.co.za for more information, but there is none! Caviar’s design agency Malossol has tweeted on Twitter that they are currently designing a Caviar “group menu”, which means that Blonde could be opening soon.
Ginja restaurant, currently located off Buitengracht Street, in a building which has not benefited the image of the restaurant, and once a national top 10 restaurant, is said to move to the building in which Nova restaurant was, on New Union Street in the City Bowl.
George Jardine of Jardines is said to be opening the new restaurant on Jordan Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, and to be moving to the Winelands, for a lifestyle change.
Allee Bleue’s plans to open a fine dining restaurant lower down on the Franschhoek estate appear to be on ice, due to the economic climate. However, construction work on its second informal restaurant linked to its wine tasting venue, adjacent to the security entrance, is almost complete.
Few details are available about the restaurant which is opening at La Motte wine estate. About ten days ago Hein Koegelenberg, the owner, posted the following blog post: “Construction of La Motte’s restaurant and art gallery is coming along nicely on the grounds of the estate in Franschhoek….A bridge will connect the restaurant and the tasting room. Whilst the team …is working hard to build the structure, other teams are equally busy to make sure that the restaurant and gallery are going to be world class and offer unforgettable experiences”.
Reuben and Maryke Riffel’s baby daughter Latika was born last Monday. Congratulations go to them from all at Whale Cottage.
DoppioZero in Main Road, Green Point, has an impressive decor, with the luxury of space. It has opened a bakery in the restaurant, with breads, rolls, croissants, cakes and other sweet treats for sale. The franchisor was hands-on in the restaurant last weekend, serving customers, and checking customer satisfaction, to ensure the success of this newest restaurant in the franchise chain, having opened less than 2 weeks ago. An interesting and clever service offered by the restaurant is a “mess-bib”, Doppio branded, which is put around patrons eating pasta or any dishes with a sauce.
New restaurant Le Tique opens in the Sugar Hotel on Main Road in Green Point tomorrow. Restaurant-lovers can pay R 250 each to attend the opening. “Entice yourself with the finest gourmet from the earliest renaissance, contemporary twisted, French with a hint of European Influences. Featuring South Africa’s Finest Venison. Platinum wines of this worlds, proudly South African viticulture. Bellini’s & cocktails to lure your fantasies” is the copy contained in the invitation.
Basil O’Hagan, whose O’Hagan’s pub chain was liquidated 8 years ago, is reinventing himself and has launched a new pub and restaurant chain called Brazen Head, with 23 pubs planned for the greater Cape Town area in the next ten years, including the city center, Hermanus, Paarl, Somerset West, George, Knysna, and Tygervalley. An outlet is already trading in Stellenbosch, reports Cape Business News, and other Brazen Head pubs are already operating in Gauteng.
Bukhara was to have re-opened its restaurant in Burg Street, but the person answering the call yesterday said that there is no opening date in sight yet, it probably being another 2 – 3 weeks. Bukhara is doing renovations and repairwork after a fire caused damage in the restaurant some time ago. A restricted Bukhara menu is available at Haiku, the sister restaurant downstairs from Bukhara.
Late casualties of the credit crunch are Aqua D’or and the Franschhoek Water Company, both of which have closed down. The Franschhoek Water Company was the supplier of the L’Aubade and Franschhoek mineral water brands. Earlier this year the Franschhoek Water Company had handed over the distribution of its water brands to Aqua D’or, but took the distribution back when customers complained about the poor service from Aqua D’or. NOTE: SINCE THIS POST WAS WRITTEN, AQUAD’OR HAVE CONTACTED WHALETALES TO DENY THEIR CLOSURE. THE INFORMATION OF THE CLOSURE WAS INDUSTRY TALK, AND WHEN THE COMPANY WAS CALLED FOR CONFIRMATION, THE SALES AND ADMIN DEPARTMENT LINES JUST RANG, WHICH WAS TAKEN AS A CONFIRMATION OF THE CLOSURE OF THE COMPANY. EARLIER THIS YEAR AQUA D’OR FACED PROVISIONAL LIQUIDATION. WE APOLOGISE TO AQUA D’OR FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE WHICH THIS POST MAY HAVE CREATED.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com