Tag Archives: Peter’s House

Exciting restaurant openings and changes in Cape Town and Winelands today!

imageThe rate of new and planned restaurant openings seems slower than at the beginning of previous summer seasons.   Restaurateur Michael Townsend of the Harbour House Group continues unabated in opening new restaurants. Exciting news for Franschhoek is the ownership change today of Le Quartier Français by the Leeu Collection!  Today’s date of 1 September appears a number of times below!  We update information about newly opened and closed restaurants continuously.

Restaurant Openings

*     Vicky Cristina’s tapas bar y restaurante espanol has opened in Camps Bay (photograph).

*   De Warenmarkt has opened in Stellenbosch, a mix of market, deli, bar, and pop-up restaurant 

*   Open Door has opened at Constantia Uitsig, the third restaurant to be opened by Neil Grant and his business Continue reading →

Few restaurant closures and openings in Cape Town and Winelands in Winter 2015!

imageWinter is almost over, and we are delighted to report that few restaurants have closed down in the past few cold months. By the same token, few new restaurants have opened. Heartbreaking was the fire which closed down The Stack one week after it opened last month in Leinster Hall in Gardens.  We update information about newly opened and closed restaurants continuously.

Restaurant Openings

*   De Warenmarkt has opened in Stellenbosch, a mix of market, deli, bar, and pop-up restaurant (photograph) Continue reading →

Few new Restaurant openings lying ahead in Cape Town and Winelands!!

Open Door Kitchen and Bar Whale CottageWinter has set in, and the rate of new restaurant openings has almost ground to a halt, as has the move of chefs between restaurants.  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*   Open Door has opened at Constantia Uitsig, the third restaurant to be opened by Neil Grant and his business partner Barry Engelbrecht (of Burrata and Bocca), previously the River Café. (photograph)

*   Michael Townsend of the Harbour House Group is planning to open two new restaurants on the Muizenberg beachfront: a 160-seater Live Bait, and Howlin’ Wolf, a burger and beer quick service restaurant. Continue reading →

Rate of restaurant openings and chef changes slows down in Cape Town and Winelands, as winter approaches!

Bertus Basson at SR Interior doilies Whale CottageWinter is on the way, and the rate of new restaurant openings has slowed down dramatically, as has the move of chefs between restaurants, which was dramatic in 2014.  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*   Bertus Basson at Spice Route has opened as a ‘modern South African restaurant‘ at Spice Route, the kitchen run by Chef Alistair Lawrence, previously from Roots and Overture (photograph).

*   Bacon on Bree has opened at 217 Bree Street, a bacon-inspired restaurant by charcuterier Richard Bosman and Continue reading →

Chefs still on the move between Cape Town and Winelands restaurants!

Palma Interior candles Whale CottageEven though we are almost at the end of the summer season, chefs are still moving between restaurants, a number of chef changes having taken place at the end of February.  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*     Italian restaurant Palma has opened on Bree Street (photograph)

*   Bacon on Bree has opened at 217 Bree Street, a bacon-inspired restaurant by charcuterier Richard Bosman and his wife Justine Seymour.

*   Culture Club cheese and wine shop has opened at 215 Bree Street, its owner previously having been the GM of La Fromagerie on Marylebone High Street in London!

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Baked in the Wood is to open on Bree Street, offering craft beer and tapas, owned by Zahir Mohamed of Baked Bistro.

*   Honest Chocolate Café has opened next door to its original shop on Wale Street.

*   Tasha’s has opened in Canal Walk

*   Localé Cocktail & Pincho Bar has opened in Mowbray, as a joint venture between Baked Bistro Continue reading →

FEDHASA Cape understates severity of Cape Restaurant closures!

Rey Franco, FEDHASA Cape chairman of the Restaurant and Catering Industry segment, seems to be out of touch with the segment which he represents, in claiming in Cape Business News that 27 new restaurants opened and only three closed down in the Cape in the past year!  The situation is much worse in terms of restaurant closures, despite far more new restaurant openings.

Our ongoing tracking of restaurant openings shows that new restaurant openings were greater in number than the FEDHASA Cape figure, at 80 openings in the past twelve months, and included Cousins, Thai Café in Stellenbosch and Sea Point, De Oude Meul Bakkerij, Frères Bistro, The Urban Garden, Goloso Deli & Restaurant, Goloso Pizzaria, Bar1, Tamboerswinkel, I ♥ my Laundry, Millhouse KItchen at Lourensford, Reserve Brasserie, The Rotisserie at Leopard’s Leap, Café Blanc de Noir at Brenaissance,  Moyo at the V&A Waterfront, Mischu, Cattle Baron in Paarl, Latitude33, Baked Bistro, Richard’s Supper Stage & Bistro, Deluxe Urban Café, The Eatery at Diemersdal, De Grendel Restaurant, Camphor’s at Vergelegen, Antipasto Bar at Antonij Rupert Wines, Kloof Street House, Orphanage, Peter’s House, Le Venue at JC le Roux, Mitico, Slug & Lettuce on Kloof Street and in Stellenbosch, Ali Baba Kebab in Camps Bay, 5Rooms, La Belle Café & Deli, Big Route Top Gourmet Pizza, Stables at Vergelegen, Vovo Telo, Glashuis at Babylonstoren, Hussar Grill at Steenberg, Dorpstraat Deli, The Boat House, Orinoco, Cassis Paris Salon de Thé, Dog’s Bollocks, Jackal & Hide, Saints on 84 Kloof Street, Sushibox, Mama Cucina in Riebeek Kasteel, Salzburger Grill, The Stall, Shimmy’s Beach Club, The Red Table Restaurant at Nederburg, EuroHaus, Merchant’s Café, Truth on Buitenkant Street, Deluxe Coffeeworks, No 6 Restaurant at Welbedacht, Simply Asia in Paarl, La Pentola in Hermanus, Lizette’s Kitchen in Hermanus, Vino’s in Wellington, Sacred Ground Bakery & Deli in Franschhoek, Col’Cacchio In Hermanus and Westlake, Christina’s at Van Loveren, four Vida e Caffè, Gourmetboerie, Kushi Indian Restaurant, Moksh Authentic Indian Cuisine, Alfama, Paulina’s Restaurant at Rickety Bridge, Wakaberry in Rondebosch and Kloof Street, Okamai at Glenwood, Café Dijon in Green Point, and Deli @ The Square in Paarl.

Restaurant closures were more severe in the past year than reflected (maybe Franco wanted to project a perfect picture of the Cape restaurant industry, or he is that out of touch?), with at least 29 closures as per our count, which included Vanilla, two Café Dijon in Stellenbosch, Sabarosa in Bakoven, Toro Aperitif Bar, Caveau on Bree Street, Gourmet Burger, Limoncello, Casa Nostra, Wicked Treats in Franschhoek, Bistro on Rose, Paparazzi,  Rhapsody’s, Cape Town Fish Market in Somerset West, Josephine’s Cookhouse, Wale Rose Lifestyle, Mason, Café Sofia in Camps Bay (all outlets may have closed down), Gesellig, Beads in Stellenbosch, French Toast Wine Bar & Tapas, ACT Restaurant, The Kove, Planet Green Salad Bar, Freedom Hill, Sapphire, Grilleri in Hermanus, Franschhoek Deli, and Illyria in Stellenbosch.

The article emphasises how tough the restaurant industry is, with rising cost of food, electricity and gas, rental, and staff a major challenge, as is the tightening budgets of restaurant patrons.  The restaurant industry is highly overtraded and fragmented, and Franco says that ‘keeping a restaurant above water (sic) has always been a tough challenge’.  He adds that only a few have a winning ‘recipe of setting, food, social placement and value proposition’.

He noted a trend of restaurants opening at the start of summer, with restaurant closures visible at the start of winter. His statistic of two restaurants opening for every restaurant closure knocks his own restaurant opening and closure statistics mentioned above.  He also has seen an increased demand of catering for children, and a focus on healthy and organic food.  Loyalty programmes work, and refurbishments keep a restaurant interior fresh, he advises.

The larger franchised restaurants have done well in the past year, the Spur Corporation’s sales having increased by 17,5% in the last six months of 2012, whilst the Famous Brands franchises of Steers, Debonairs, Wimpy, Mugg & Bean, and Fishaways jointly increased turnover by 13% last year.  It is the smaller independents that may face another bleak winter to come, starting early this year due to the early Easter, which is synonymous with the end of the summer season.

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

Restaurant Review: Peter’s House home to Peter Rabbit’s tales and tails!

On Saturday I visited new restaurant Peter’s House just off Kloof Nek Road, and was surprised that there was no ‘Peter’ at the restaurant.  The waiter explained that Peter Rabbit is the hero of the restaurant, being the favourite character of its owner Ziggy Francisco.  My first impressions were not positive, but speaking to Ziggy later that morning and again early evening, improved my experience of the restaurant.

Peter’s House is a tiny restaurant, with an eclectic mix of furniture which Ziggy said were family hand-me-downs, and which she re-upholstered, mainly using a lilac fabric.  She also wore a lilac top, and the walls are painted a lilac colour, Ziggy admitting that it is her favourite colour.  The crocheted chair and cushion covers were done by Ziggy, and they give the restaurant a less professional feel, looking untidy.  Ziggy admitted that she loves to crochet.  At the counter the bar chair seats are covered with leopard print.  A long church pew runs along one wall, and few of the chairs and tables match, giving a homely student digs feel.   On the tables are old fashioned tea cups, in which cacti have been planted. On the shelving behind the counter is a collection of Ziggy’s personal Peter Rabbit items, including a complete set of the Beatrix Potter books, rabbit figurines, and interesting tea pots, which she bought on eBay. An interesting looking teaspoon chandelier, which Ziggy found in Scarborough, attracts attention near the counter.  A collection of portraits covers a section of the wall close to the counter. Two very large artworks by graphic artist Luis Tolosana are for sale, one of them being a reflection of the view from his kitchen (photograph).  The interior is hot, the fan over the door not coping when the sun bakes onto the restaurant windows in the late afternoon.  One restaurant window has a collection of beaded carrots, while the other has the restaurant name sandblasted on the window.  The restaurant is difficult to find, officially being on Kloof Nek Road, but it is wedged between the pharmacy and Miller’s Thumb, across the road from Power & Glory, from which came shrieks of cheering from a sports broadcast.  Two wire bunny shapes are a trellis for creepers outside the door.

Ziggy shared that she knew what look and feel she wanted to create for the restaurant, but struggled to find the right name.  The Peter Rabbit theme leant itself to her establishment, as she loves drinking tea and eating healthy food.  She grew up in Cape Town, worked in Financial PR before leaving for London, where she worked in the same field for five years. A two year sabbatical, travelling around the world, led her back to Cape Town, with the idea of opening her own restaurant.

I had arranged to meet Johan Bamberger and William Baldie (a breeder of rabbits), themselves restaurateurs, and we had a lot of catching up to do.  The music was blaring, and as we were the only customers, we asked the waiter to turn down the volume.  I enjoyed the iced coffee, which simply was an espresso with ice blocks, and cold milk on the side, as well as the Red Velvet cupcake, which Ziggy told me her mother bakes.  William and Johan had the carrot cake (R25), and more and more I picked up the Peter Rabbit connections on the menu, but there wasn’t much more than that, other than ‘Rabbit Food’ (breadsticks, crudités, olives, feta stuffed peppadews, and a selection of homemade dips, costing R35), and ‘Mr Mcgregor’s (sic) Garden Salad’ (mixed lettuce, feta, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and carrots, costing R40, to which can be added smoked salmon and avocado, or roast chicken, at an extra charge). The bill reminds one to ‘don’t forget to eat your Carrots!’ Cute is that the menu says that ‘No bunnies were harmed in the making of this menu‘!

‘Breakfasty Things’ are listed on the Lunch Menu, and oddly follow a listing of starter type dishes (soup of the day, smoked angel fish paté, roast vegetable enchilada, and potato skins, costing R30 – R45).   For breakfast there are only two options: ‘Shakshuka’ (free range egg baked in a Napolitana sauce topped with shaved Parmesan, costing R30), and Breakfast Burrito (scrambled eggs, bacon, fried peppers and onions, with tomato salsa, costing R45).  Wraps cost around R50, and one can choose between ostrich, vegetarian, and smoked salmon and herbed cream cheese. Sandwiches made with homemade bread are affordable at around R30.  The dinner menu has most of the starter dishes and salads from the Lunch menu, a number of sides (I loved the glazed carrots at R15), and a choice of six ‘main meals’, including a surprisingly good wild mushroom risotto, oven roasted chicken, spaghetti meatballs, a pasta dish, and ‘Jou Ma se Fishcakes, costing around R65.

In addition to paper lunch and dinner menus, a board on the wall advertises specials, which was Alfredo pasta (R45), and Quiche and salad (R35) on Saturday.  The weekly special is the Meatless Monday Macaroni Cheese for R25.  On Thursday and Fridays from 16h00 – 19h00 they offer the ‘High Tea for Hooligans’, consisting of a Rooibos Tea Sangria, savoury treats and cookies, for a mere R25.  On Wednesday it is ‘Hump Day’ at Peter’s House, offering two pasta dishes and two glasses of wine at a total of R120.  A board lists the wine prices, a small collection of affordable wines, some offered by the glass and bottle: the house white wine costs R20/R80, the red wine costs R25/R100,  Anura Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (R25/R100), Quando Rosé 2012 (R28/R110), Robert Alexander Merlot 2011 (R130), and Miss Molly Cap Classique from Môreson (R180).

Peter’s House is quirky, with its decor focus on Peter Rabbit, but the menu does not carry the theme through well enough.  One wonders if the theme is attractive to adults, the first ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ by Beatrix Potter having been published in 1902.  The energy and efficiency definitely is improved when Ziggy is there, coming over to chat and checking that everything is to one’s satisfaction. Prices are extremely reasonable. Parking could be difficult to find during the day.  Dinner seems a better option, judging by the menus.

Peter’s House, 14 Kloofnek Road, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town.  Tel (021) 424-3451. www.petershouse.co.za Twitter: @Peters_House Monday – Saturday 11h00 – 22h00.

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

The Rotisserie at Leopard’s Leap, Antipasto Bar, Café Blanc de Noir, Kloof Street House, and more restaurants have opened in Cape Town and the Winelands!

There have been a number of restaurant openings, four in Franschhoek in December alone, and restaurant closures are minimal at present, a good sign of recovery. This list of restaurant news is updated continuously, as we receive information:

Restaurant Openings

*   The Rotisserie at Leopard’s Leap has opened in Franschhoek, with Chef Pieter de Jager (left), moving across from Pierneef à La Motte

*   Antipasto Bar has opened at the new Anthonij Rupert Wines tasting room, where Graham Beck used to be, outside Franschhoek

*    Sacred Ground has opened as a Deli and Bakery in The Square in Franschhoek

*   Kloof Street House has opened where Opal Lounge used to be.

*   Col’Cacchio has opened a new outlet in Westlake, and new ones are coming in Claremont and Hermanus.

*   New Vida é Caffe new branches are to open on Maindean Place in Claremont, at the new Wembley Square 2 development, at The Paddocks, Groote Schuur, and Roeland Street.  Two more branches are planned for Mauritius.

*    Honest Chocolate is opening a second outlet, a ‘production kitchen’ in the Woodstock Industrial Centre

*   Moyo has opened, where the Paulaner Braühaus was, in the V & A Waterfront.

*   FEAST is to open where Franschhoek Food Emporium was, in Place Vendome

*   Cavalli restaurant is said to open on the stud farm on R44, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, this year or next

*   Camphors at Vergelegen has opened, with Chef PJ Vadas.

*   David Higgs (ex Rust en Vrede) has opened Five Hundred,  a new 30 seater restaurant in The Saxon in Johannesburg.

*   Cousins has opened in the Parliament Hotel, where Il Cappero used to be.

*   Gourmetboerie has opened at the bottom end of Kloof Street

*   Kushi Indian Restaurant has opened a branch on Main Road in Sea Point

*   Thai Café is opening on Plein Street, Stellenbosch

*   Bellini’s is said to be opening on Greenmarket Square

*   Moksh Authentic Indian Cuisine restaurant has opened in Paarl

*   Alfama’s has opened on Waterkant Street

*   It’s a House is to open on Jarvis Street, as a bar, coffee shop, and design art space.

*   Lion’s Head Bar is to open on Bree Street, selling craft beer and food

*   Shake your Honey Mumbai is to open in the original Madame Zingara building on Loop Street, in August.

*   A new bar and Café is to open underneath the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, where Bamboo used to be

*   Café Blanc de Noir has opened on Brenaissance wine estate in Stellenbosch

*   Chef Nic van Wyk, previously with Terroir, has opened The Eatery at Diemersdal in Durbanville.

*   Lizette’s Kitchen has opened in Vöelklip, Hermanus.

*   Paulina’s Restaurant has opened at Rickety Bridge in Franschhoek

*   Buitenverwachting has opened Coffee Bloc Coffee Shop and Roastery

*   Wakaberry has opened on Kloof Street

*   Rock Sushi Thai has opened in Meadowridge

*   Jimmy Jimanos sports bar is opening on Long Street

*   The Salzburger Grill has opened in Sea Point

*   The Stall has opened as a Bar and Family Café in the old Pippin Farm Stall, at the entrance to Franschhoek

*   Burger King will open its first South African branch in Cape Town later this year!

*  A coffee shop, chocolaterie, bar, and fashion boutique will open in a 3-storey building on Long Street in February, as yet unnamed.

*   The Beer Bar is to open on Long Street

* Eataria is to open on Long Street

*   Portuguese restaurant Alfama has opened on Bree Street

*   Shimmy Beach Club has opened in the V&A Waterfront in December, involving Chef Seelan Sundoo.

*   McDonald’s is opening new branches in Wynberg, Lansdowne, and Claremont in Cape Town

*   The Red Table Restaurant at Nederburg has opened for lunches Wednesday – Sunday

*   Wilderer Distillery and La Grapperie at Spice Route restaurant are opening in Spice Route wine estate, in addition to their existing location

*   Tridici has opened on the N2 near Swellendam.

*   TriBakery is to open near Moyo in the V&A Waterfront

*   Latitude33 has opened on Bree Street

*   Luke Dale Roberts appears to be continuing his expansion trail, and is said to be opening on Long Street.  He has been seen with plans together with Giorgio Nava of 95 Keerom Street and Carne, as well as with Bertus Basson of Overture.

*   Mischu: The Coffee Showroom has opened on Regent Road in in Sea Point.

*   Deluxe Urban Café has opened in the old Cape Quarter.

*   Gourmet Cakes has opened on Kloof Street

*   Peter’s House has opened on Kloofnek Road

*   A new restaurant and micro brewery is to open next door to The Bromwell in Woodstock (name not yet known).

*   Le Venue has opened at The House of JC le Roux

*   The Harbour House group is opening a new restaurant at 107 Loop Street.

Restaurant Closures

*   French Toast Wine and Tapas Bar has closed down, following the death of co-owner John Harrison.

*   The Kove in Camps Bay has closed down, its space has become part of sister restaurant Zenzero

*   Sinnfull has closed down in Camps Bay

* Planet Green Salad has closed down

*   Freedom Hill Restaurant has closed down (and subsequently burnt down).

*   Wale Rose Lifestyle has closed down in Bo-Kaap.

Restaurant staff/venue changes

*   The V&A Waterfront Food Court has re-opened, with Primi Express, Anat, Carnival, Nür Halaal, Royal Bavarian Bakery, KFC, Boost Juice, Simply Asia, Steers, Debonairs, Subway, Marcel’s, Haagan Dazs, and Nando’s.

*   Fyndraai Restaurant will move to another building on the wine estate, and will offer fine dining.  The current restaurant will serve light lunches and picnics.

*   Giulia’s Food Café Restaurant has opened where Miss K was on Main Road, Green Point. Serve Italian-style lunch and dinner, but have retained some Miss K breakfast and pastry items.

*   Orphanage Cocktail Emporium has expanded into a property at its back, opening on Orphan Street, creating The Dining Room downstairs.  It is opening Orphanage Club upstairs, with 1920’s style music by live performers, in about 6 months.

*   Marcellino’s Bakery has changed its name to EuroHaus, with a restaurant added to the bakery.

*   Maryna Frederiksen is the new Executive Chef at The Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz.

*   The ex-Caveau owners have taken 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.

*   Lasse Presting is the new Manager of the Haute Cabriere restaurant

*   Chef Alistair Lawrence has taken over from Fernando Romano at 5 Rooms at The Alphen Hotel

*   De Oude Bank Bakkerij is expanding, and will open a retail section selling charcuterie, fresh meats, home-made ice cream, and wines, collectively called De Companje, from February

*   Taste Restaurant has moved to Bilton Wines

*   Bar1 has opened where Sunbird Bistro was in Camps Bay.

*   Oppie Dorp has opened where Cognito was on Dorp Street in Stellenbosch.

*   Chef Reuben Riffel and his colleague Maritz Jacobs have been contracted to design the menus and prepare the food for weddings and events at Allée Bleue.

*   Thai Café is to open where the coffee shop was at the entrance to Piazza St John in Sea Point

*   Sensei Deon de Jongh has left Okamai at Glenwood wine estate in Franschhoek.

*   Baked Bistro has open in Bakoven, where Marika’s and Saboroso used to be

*   The Urban Garden Restaurant is to open where Bistro on Rose was.

*   Sadly Isabella Immenkamp, the excellent service-orientated hostess at Burrata, is leaving for Jordan Restaurant at the end of February.

*    The Pot Luck Club has re-opened in its new venue at the top of the Old Biscuit Mill in February.

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