Not to be confused with a private home in which one can drink Brandy, the new ‘Brandy Homes‘ are in fact Brandy producers in the Cape Winelands, the Karoo, and Northern Cape, which have been designed to make its visitors ‘sit back, relax, and learn all there is to know about Brandy‘. The ‘Brandy Homes‘ are an initiative created by the South African Brandy Foundation, allowing Brandy lovers Continue reading →
On Sunday the Sunday Times had a lengthy article, entitled ‘Food Soldiers’, about the blood, sweat, and tears that go into the preparation of ‘fine food’ and the running of good restaurants. The article concluded with a denigration of ‘frikkin’ bloggers‘ by newly renamed Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel Chef Rudi Liebenberg, quite out of character of someone who comes across as gentle and kind.
I Tweeted the last paragraph of the article, and posted it on Facebook, and an interesting discussion arose on the latter forum, threatening to become a ‘Chefs versus Bloggers’ fight. Veteran Chef Billy Gallagher fully supported Chef Rudi, writing ‘I believe you write good stuff Chris and I follow your blog which is always interesting to say the least, having spent 40 years in the hotel business. It was hotel chefs that laid the foundation. The South African chefs Association created the platform for today’s South African chefs and this 40 years ago was a hotel chefs initiative. Many of the top 10 restaurants are on wine estates which adds a wonderful backdrop to these very talented chefs. Let’s give Rudi his opinion right or wrong‘. Twelve Apostles Executive Director Horst Frehse also wrote in support of Chef Rudi. Susanna Tecklenburg of Oude Wellington wrote ‘I eat, sleep, sitting on the loo social media between cooking and running my restaurant. It sure brings in business and you meet new people all the time and guests appreciated when you comment on their posts. Read all the blogs and specially yours Chris Von Ulmenstein and value your opinion. Thanks for all your input and info all the time. With my busy lifestyle you ‘frikkin’ bloggers help us to be in touch what’s going on out there!’. Chef Anton Bekker of Taste Restaurant was critical of the effect of MasterChef SA on diners: ‘Social media keep my restaurant afloat! I do have problem when people watch masterchef and then think they know everything. Lol. Or when a food writer comments that the hollandaise needed some more cream. … haha’. Sarie Kos Food Editor Herman Lensing was the first to react to the Facebook post, stating that all diners have the right to express an opinion, and that chefs should cook for their customers and not for critics. Amanda Brinkmann was very vocal about the subject, saying that due to the politics in food writing, she believes in and supports ‘citizen journalism‘. Deon Schutte clearly wrote from a chef’s perspective: ‘I think that Continue reading →
The first taste of the Cape winter this weekend is likely to be felt by the restaurant industry, which will see hard times in the next two months, if close to zero accommodation bookings in the Cape are anything to go by. Other than Hermanus FynArts and the Wacky Wine Weekend kicking off next week, ‘Cook Franschhoek‘ running over the Youth Day long weekend, and the Bastille Festival weekend on 13 – 14 July, no significant events are planned to attract visitors to Cape Town and the Winelands. A number of restaurants are closing for an annual break in the next two months.
This list of restaurant openings and closings isupdated continuously, as we receive new information:
* The Crypt Jazz Restaurant has opened below St George’s Cathedral.
* Frères Bistro has opened next door to Col’Cacchio on Hans Strydom Continue reading →
A weekend break at Grand Dedale on the Doolhof wine estate introduced me to the wealth of food produce available in Wellington. With the help of Grand Dedale owner Angelo Casu, and feedback from the restaurants visited, we compiled the following list of suppliers:
· Vrugbaar is one of the oldest pork butchers in the Western Cape. Vrugbaar farm, Bovlei. Tel (021) 864-1222.
· Foxenburg Estate supplies goat’s milk cheeses, including Chevre, Chabris, Cream cheese, Crottin, Foxtail, and Caprino Romano. Agter Groenberg. Tel (021) 873-5617. www.foxenburg.co.za
· Bontebok Ridge Reserve has wild boar, which it is breeding in captivity, and supplies biltong, as well as venison (wildebeest, eland, springbok, and wild boar). Tel 082 576 9657. www.bontebokridge.com
· Olive oils come from local farms Kleinfontein (Tel (021) 864-1202), Foxenburg Estate (Tel 021 873-5617), Upland Organic Estate (Tel (021) 873-5724), and Clarins
* Olives come from Foxenburg Estate (Tel (021) 873-5617) and Bloublommetjieskloof Biodynamic Farm (Tel (021) 873-3696)
· Rabbit is supplied on a small scale to Wellington and Paarl restaurants by Stephen Taylor, Tel 083 4511 775
· Wild boar is also supplied by Schalk van Schalkwyk, Tel 082 829 7161
· Buffalo Ridge is the only Buffalo Mozzarella and yoghurt supplier in the country, having imported 30 Water buffalo from Campana in Italy. Tel 082 375 0977.
* Butter, Yoghurt, Peasant cheese, Cottage cheese, and Feta come from Bloublommetjieskloof Biodynamic Farm. Tel (021) 873-3696 www.bloublommetjieskloof.com
* Compote, jams, and marmalade come from Bloublommetjieskloof Biodynamic Farm. Tel (021) 873-3696
* Herbs come from Bloublommetjieskloof Biodynamic Farm. Tel (021 873-3696
· Cured meat comes from Walter Brink, the son of the Potjiekos king. 082 9224848
· Cordial comes from Wilde at Heart, and is available in amazing flavours: Victoria Rose, Lemon, Fresh Ginger, Indigenous Buchu. Wolvenhoek. Tel 084 734 2087
* Organic asparagus in September and October, Wilde at Heart. Wolvenhoek. Tel 084 734 2087
· Honey comes from Ringrose
· Safari dried fruit and vinegar comes from S.A.D.
Wellington also has a number of restaurants, many of them using the Wellington produce. Some have opened recently, and are less well known than their counterparts in Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. I popped in at some last weekend:
· Vino’s is the newest restaurant, only about 2 weeks old, and is owned by Kobus and Yolande Fourie. ‘With Vino’s we have decided to bring back the good old steakhouse’, says their menu, and they explained that they don’t encourage children nor students to eat there, to keep it a romantic and special ‘spoiling’ restaurant for couples. They serve 250g ‘grade A steak’ with chips and a salad, and one can order sides. They have a small Café Prive too for special dinner parties. They describe themselves as ‘salt and pepper chefs’, and guests praise their ‘eerlike kos’. Snails cost R42 as a starter, 250g Rump and Sirloin R89, Fillet R105, and beef schnitzel R65. 600g of pork ribs cost R85. Cordon Bleu costs R89, beef burgers R 45, and hake and chips R45. Can seat up to 60 inside and outside. Monday – Saturday dinner. 111 Main Road, Wellington. Tel (021) 873-5075
· Kristies belongs to the same owners as Vino’s, and is a day-time coffee shop, catering for local pensioners and students, their dish of the day (e.g. bobotie, chicken pie, tomato bredie) priced at R35 being hugely popular, discounted to R30 per day for regulars. Menu changed every week. Cooked Breakfasts from R20 – R45. Hamburgers and chips R40/R45. Lasagne and Curry and rice R25. Platters and free fruit in back garden in summer. It recently relocated to its new location, from Church Street. Monday – Saturday breakfast and lunch, 8h00 – 17h00. 111 Main Road, Wellington. Tel (021) 873-5075
· The Stone Kitchen on Dunstone opened over a year ago, with Johan van Schalkwyk as chef, but he left to open his own restaurant three months ago. Owner and Chef Alli Wallace is now in charge. Supplies from the Estate vegetable garden, and guavas, grapes and lemons too. Winelist only has Dunstone wines, including Shiraz, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. Blackboard menu, with chicken pie (R85), venison casserole (R85), own-made thyme, marjoram and rosemary pork sausage (R65), fresh baked bread (baguette, ciabatta, rye, bagels and croissants) barrel boards at about R55, starters in two sizes/prices, desserts around R40. Special children’s menu. Picnics to be offered in guava orchard, with live music, on weekends from November, with a childminder service. Spit braais once a month on family Sundays, starting on 14 October. Very friendly manager Rosanne. Bovlei Road, Tel (021) 873-6770. Twitter: @StoneKitchen10 @Dunstone Wednesday – Sunday 9h00 – 16h00
· Twist Some More is the interesting name of the new restaurant of charming Chef Johan van Schalkwyk, and he is proudly Wellington in sourcing his supplies of wild boar, rabbit, vegetables, herbs, cheeses, and more locally. He is also slowly building up a Deli section to his restaurant, which will stock a cross-section of Wellington produce. He is already stocking a granola mix, honey, olives and oils, charcuterie, cheeses, cordials, dried porcini mushrooms, nuts, dried fruit, cakes, cupcakes, scones, rusks, and muffins. Extensive innovative blackboard menu, with cooked breakfasts at about R55, starters at about R45, mains range from R65 for a wild boar burger to R115 for aged T-bone steak, desserts R45. Winelist Proudly Wellington. Hexberg Road, Bovlei. Tel (021) 864-1467. Twitter @ChefTwist. Wednesday – Saturday dinner, Wednesday – Sunday open from 10h00.
· No 6 Restaurant at Welbedacht is a restaurant which opened in August in honour of Springbok Schalk Burger, who wears the number 6 rugby jersey, and who grew up on this wine estate. Its table number 6 is for 6 guests, and is the best table in the house, closest to the fireplace. A chef’s table will be set up soon. The restaurant can seat about 80 guests inside and outside, with more guests once they complete a pergola and deck all the way from the restaurant to the tasting room. Tapas will be offered with winetasting. Owned by Susanna and John Tecklenburg, who ran the Oude Wellington for six years. Extensive menu of classics (e.g. Avocado Ritz, ox tongue, Coupe Denmark), Dutch specialities (e.g. Bitterballen), and local dishes such as waterblommetjie soup, presented on black board. Source supplies locally, from Goedehoop butchery in Paarl, and venison comes from Schalk Burger Snr’s farm in the Karoo. Picnics at the dam planned for summer, with an au pair service for the guests’ children. High Tea at about R85 per person from October. Special private function rooms in the cellar. Welbedacht wine estate. Tel 082 836 8924/079 663 4039. Wednesday – Sunday lunch, Wednesday – Saturday dinner.
· One of the best kept secrets of Wellington is the good restaurant at Grand Dedale, which caters for its accommodation guests, and accepts bookings from outsiders subject to demand. Its new chef is Daniel de Villiers, previously with Delaire Graff. I spent a restful weekend there, using it as a base to ‘forage’ the Wellington ‘Restaurant Route’. They serve a 5-course dinner which includes an amuse bouche and cheese selection for a reasonable R350. The highlights I tasted over two dinners were a beef carpaccio with leeks and oyster mushrooms and a horse radish cream salad; Norwegian salmon with braised cabbage, baked crispy potato, mange tout, and a basil sauce, for which a fish knife was served. The most interesting dish was a wild boar lasagne served with a brie sauce, the first time that I had tasted this. I was expecting a wild taste, but it was not prominent. Grand Dedale owner Angelo Casu told me that they use wild boar for carpaccio, mince, and sausage.
Breakfasts are equally generous, with a range of cereals, a fresh fruit salad, two choices of yoghurt, a selection of nuts, honey, freshly squeezed juices, cappuccino, cold meats, cheeses, rolls, freshly baked bread, and a selection of wonderful cooked breakfasts, the Wellington Breakfast consisting of ingredients all sourced in Wellington, being free-range eggs from the Bovlei valley, back bacon from Vrugbaar butchery, sautéed oyster mushrooms from Foxenburg Estate, venison sausage from Bontebok Ridge Reserve, and fresh garden tomatoes. Other options are scrambled free-range eggs, with smoked salmon roses, capers and crème fraiche; omelettes with venison sausage; sautéed spinach, oyster mushrooms, Buffalo Ridge feta cheese; as well as crepes. The salmon on rosti was a beautiful breakfast addition, and tasty too!
Grand Dedale, Doolhof wine estate. Tel (021) 873-4089. www.granddedale.com Twitter: @GrandDedale
If there is anything to fault about all the Wellington restaurants, then it is that their portions are massive. Their customers are not complaining! It will be interesting to see how Wellington’s restaurants develop, with the excellent quality and variety of produce coming from this fertile town.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
* Café Dijon has closed its restaurants on Plein Street and at Zorgvliet in Stellenbosch, and has opened in the Rockwell Centre in Green Point, Cape Town, on Napier Street opposite Anatoli’s.
* Luke Dale-Roberts, Eat Out Top Chef at The Test Kitchen, is to open a real test kitchen, called The Kitchen of Dreams, a private experimental place to develop new recipes, at the Old Biscuit Mill
* Chef Luke Dale-Roberts is opening a pop-up Pot Luck Club in Swiss ski resort Verbier, at the Hotel Farinet, from 8 December – April, to be run by him, his chef Nicolas Wilkinson, and front of house Selena Afnan-Holmes.
* Col’Cacchio has opened a new outlets in Westlake, and a new one is coming in Claremont too.
* A new Vida é Caffe new branches are to open on Maindean Place in Claremont, at the new Wembley Square 2 development, at The Paddocks, and Groote Schuur. Two more branches are planned for Mauritius.
* Honest Chocolate is opening a second outlet, a ‘production kitchen’ in the Woodstock Industrial Centre
* Moyo is to open in November, where the Paulaner Braühaus was in the V & A Waterfront. It has taken over the tearoom at Kirstenbosch already.
* TRUTH Coffee has opened on Buitenkant Street
* FEAST is to open where Franschhoek Food Emporium was, in Place Vendome
* Deluxe Coffeeworks has opened where Reuben’s Deli used to be in Franschhoek.
* Okamai Japanese Restaurant has opened at Glenwood wine estate in Franschhoek
* Cavalli restaurant is said to open on the stud farm on R44, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, this year or next
* The Slug & Lettuce has opened where Beads was on Church Street in Stellenbosch
* Stables at Vergelegen Bistro has opened as a lunch restaurant in Somerset West. Its Lady Phillips Restaurant is being given a make-over by Christo Barnard, and will open on 1 November with a new name called Camphors at Vergelegen. The new chef will be PJ Vadas, previously of The Roundhouse in Camps Bay.
* Coopmanshuijs in Stellenbosch is opening a restaurant.
* Chef Johan van Schalkwyk has left the Stone Kitchen at Dunstone Winery, and has opened his own restaurant Twist Some More in Wellington.
* Chef Bjorn Dingemans has opened The Millhouse Kitchen restaurant on Lourensford wine estate in Somerset West.
* Chef Shane Sauvage (ex-La Vierge) has opened La Pentola restaurant in Hermanus.
* Ali Baba Kebab (renamed from Laila) has opened as a small beef and lamb kebab take-away and sit-down outlet, next door to Codfather in Camps Bay
* Gibson’s Gourmet Burger and Smoked Ribs has opened as a 70-seater restaurant in the V&A Waterfront, taking part of Belthazar. Owned by the Belthazar/Balducci group.
* Down South Food Bar, previously on Long Street, is said to re-open in the Riverside Centre in Rondebosch
* Ou Meul Bakkery from Riviersonderend has opened a bakery and coffee shop in Long Street
* Deluxe Coffeeworks has opened a roastery and coffee bar at 6 Roodehek Street
* The Deli @ The Square has opened at Frater Square in Paarl.
* David Higgs (ex Rust en Vrede) is opening a new 30 seater restaurant in The Saxon in Johannesburg.
* Big Route Top Gourmet Pizzeria has opened on Main Road, Green Point, next door to Woolworths, serving 52 different pizzas, salads and crêpes.
* Cousins has opened in the Parliament Hotel, where Il Cappero used to be.
* Aces ‘n’ Spades Bar has opened in ex-Boo Radley on Hout Street
* No. 6 Restaurant at Welbedacht has opened at Welbedacht/Schalk Burger & Sons wine estate in Wellington, run by the ex-owners of Oude Wellington
* Café Dulce is to open a new branch in Tygervalley Centre
* Gourmetboerie is to open at the bottom end of Kloof Street, where Depasco used to be, in October.
* Kushi Indian Restaurant has opened a branch on Main Road in Sea Point
* Time & Place Restaurant and Bar has opened on the corner of Wale and Buitengracht Street
* Make Sushi Bar has opened in Sea Point
* Thai Café is opening on Plein Street, Stellenbosch
* Simply Asia has opened in Paarl
* Restaurant @ Zomerlust has opened in Paarl
* Christina’s has opened at Van Loveren in Robertson
* Bellini’s is said to be opening on Greenmarket Square in October
* Moksh Authentic Indian Cuisine restaurant has opened in Paarl
* Vino’s has opened in Wellington
* Alfama’s has opened on Waterkant Street
* Taj Mahal has opened in Sea Point
* It’s a House is to open on Jarvis Street in October, as a bar, coffee shop, and design art space.
* Lion’s Head Bar is to open on Bree Street in October, selling craft beer and food
* An Indian restaurant is to open in the original Madame Zingara building on Loop Street, by the Madame Zingara Group
* The Caviar Group is opening three new restaurants in the Gateway Centre in Umhlanga by the end of this year: Beluga, Sevruga, and Osetra
* A new bar and Café is to open underneath the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, where Bamboo used to be
* Cattle Baron has opened in Hermanus.
* Café Blanc de Noir has opened on Brenaissance wine estate in Stellenbosch
* The Reserve is said to be opening a beach restaurant in the V&A Waterfront.
* Chef Nic van Wyk, previously with Terroir, is opening a restaurant at Diemersdal in Durbanville during the course of this month.
* Lizette’s Kitchen has opened in Vöelklip, Hermanus.
* Cattle Baron is to open at Pontac Manor in Paarl
* Col’Cacchio is opening in Hermanus at the end of November
* Merchant Café is opening on Long Street, opposite Merchants on Long, later this month.
* Paulina’s Restaurant is opening at Rickety Bridge in Franschhoek
* Ocean Jewel Deli opens at Woodstock Junction on 22 October.
* Buitenverwachting has opened a Coffee Shop and Roastery
* Wakaberry is opening on Kloof Street at the end of October
* Rock Sushi Thai has opened in Meadowridge
* Jimmy Jimanos sports bar is opening on Long Street
* Dolcé Bakery is opening in St John’s Arcade in Sea Point
* The Coffee Bloc has opened at Buitenverwachting
* The Salzburger Grill has opened in Sea Point
* Sabarosa in Bakoven has closed down.
* Sunbird Bistro in Camps Bay has closed down
* Limoncello in Gardens has closed down, but is continuing with its pop-up restaurant truck
* Paparazzi has closed down on St George’s Mall
* Wicked Treats in Franschhoek has closed down.
* Casa Nostra has closed down in Sea Point, until it finds a new venue.
* Bistro on Rose in Bo-Kaap has closed down as a restaurant
* The Kove in Camps Bay has closed down, its space has become part of sister restaurant Zenzero
* Sinnfull has closed down in Sea Point and Camps Bay
* Liam Tomlin Food is closing down in Franschhoek at the end of October
Restaurant staff/venue changes
* Il Cappero has moved from Barrack Street, to Fairway Street in Camps Bay.
* Table Thirteen has reduced in size in Green Point and will open in Paarden Eiland later this year.
* The V&A Waterfront Food Court is closed for renovations until November. A sign outside the construction area lists the following businesses moving into or returning to the area: Primi Express, Anat, Carnival, Nür Halaal, Royal Bavarian Bakery, KFC, Boost Juice, Simply Asia, Steers, Debonairs, Subway, Marcel’s, and Haagan Dazs. Nando’s is also opening.
* Fyndraai Restaurant will move to another building on the wine estate in November, and will offer fine dining. The current restaurant will serve light lunches and picnics.
* Josephine Gutentoft has moved to Makaron at Majeka House as Restaurant Manager and Sommelier.
* The Reserve has changed its name to Reserve Brasserie. Seelan Sundoo, ex Grand Café Camps Bay and ex La Perla, is the new consultant chef and GM (Seelan Sundoo has since left, now running the Shimmy Beach Club).
* Chef Andrew Mendes from ex-Valora is now at Nelson’s Eye restaurant, where they are setting up a lunch section and cocktail bar upstairs.
* Giulia’s Food Café Restaurant has opened where Miss K was on Main Road, Green Point. Now serve Italian-style lunch and dinner, but have retained some Miss K breakfast and pastry items.
* Having bought the farm about 18 months ago, Antonij Rupert Wines has taken over the Graham Beck Franschhoek property. They will re-open the tasting room in October, initially offering all its Antonij Rupert, Cape of Good Hope, Terra del Capo, and Protea wines to taste. They are renovating the manor house, to which the Antonij Rupert and Cape of Good Hope wines will be moved for tasting at a later stage.
* Orphanage is expanding into a property at its back, opening on Orphan Street, in December, creating a similar second bar downstairs, and opening Orphanage Club upstairs, with 1920’s style music by live performers
* GOLD Restaurant has moved into the Trinity building
* Opal Lounge has closed down on Kloof Street, and has moved into Blake’s Bar building, renaming it Dinner at Blake’s. A wine and tapas bar has also been opened, called Bar Rouge.
* Mano A Mano has opened on Park Street, where Green’s used to be.
* MondeVino Restaurant at Montecasino in Johannesburg, the MasterChef SA prize for the next two years, is to be renamed Aarya, and is to be run by Chef Deena Naidoo from November onwards.
* Bizerca has moved into the ex-Gourmet Burger space in Heritage Square on Shortmarket Street.
* Co-owner Abbi Wallis has taken over the running of The Stone Kitchen at Dunstone Winery in Wellington.
* Marcelino has left Marcelino’s Bakery, leaving the control with Mr Zerban. A Zerban’s style restaurant is being added onto the bakery and will open mid-October. It will change its name to EuroHaus.
* Chef Chris Erasmus from Pierneef à La Motte is doing a stage with Chef Rene Redzepi at Noma, the number one World’s 50 Best Restaurants, in Copenhagen this month
* MasterChef SA runner-up Sue-Ann Allen is joining South Africa’s number one Eat Out Top 10 restaurant The Greenhouse as an intern for a month, from 21 August.
* Vintage India has moved out of the Garden’s Centre to the corner of Hiddingh and Mill Street, around the corner.
* Nook Eatery in Stellenbosch has been sold, with new owners.
* Crêpe et Cidre has closed down in Franschhoek. Gideon’s The Famous Pancake House has opened in its space.
* Brampton winetasting bar on Church Street, Stellenbosch, is undergoing renovations to treble its current size, planning to reopen in the first week of September.
* Noop restaurant in Paarl has new owners
* Buena Vista Social Club has changed its name to Barbosa Social Club
* Chris Marais is the new chef at Blaauwklippen, previously with The Oyster Box
* Daniel de Villiers is the new chef at Grand Dedale in Wellington, previously with Delaire Graff
* Phil Alcock is the new chef at Two Oceans Restaurant at Cape Point, having previously worked at The Cape Grace, The Showroom, maze, and more
* Albert van der Loo, previously with Le Coq and Dieu Donne restaurants in Franschhoek, is the new Head Chef at Oude Werf Hotel in Stellenbosch.
* Chef Emile Fortuin, who was at Reuben’s Robertson for a very short time, has left and moved to Tokara
* Camil and Ingrid Haas (ex Bouillabaisse and Camil’s) have returned to Franschhoek, with the view to get involved in a restaurant
* Chef Cheyne Morrisby has left The Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz, and has joined the Mantella Group (owners of Blake’s and ex-Opal Lounge). Update: Chef Cheyne has left the Mantella Group, after a very short time.
* Tiaan van Greunen is the new Executive Chef at Reuben’s at The Robertson Small Hotel, after the departure of Emile Fortuin
* Alex von Ulmenstein is the new Restaurant Manager at Indochine, at Delaire Graff Estate
* Manager Raymond Brown has left Reuben’s Franschhoek, and has been replaced by Martell Smith.
* Zelda Oelofse is the new Manager of Harvest Restaurant at Laborie, having taken over from Yolanda Prinsloo.
* Maryna Frederiksen is the new Executive Chef at The Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz.
* The ex-Caveau owners are said to be taking over the running of the Twankey Bar of the Taj hotel.
* Sand at The Plettenberg hotel has changed its name to Seafood at The Plettenberg.
* Grande Provence is closing on Sunday evenings until the end of September.
* Tokara is closing for a Spring break from 24 September – 4 October
* Planet Restaurant is closed on Sunday evenings until the end of September
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage