Tag Archives: restaurants

My eating experiences in Havana, Cuba! As little as possible!

I had not done much homework about the eating habits of the Habeneros, somehow thinking that there would be ‘Westernised’ restaurants should the Cuban food culture differ radically from that which we are used to. I was in for a big surprise!
 
 
 
I was in quite a shock about conditions in Havana, in general, and then when I walked past restaurants and bars, first in my suburb of Centro, an area that is very run down, and then when I discovered Old Havana. There was not one restaurant that has attracted me,  not in walking past it, nor from its descriptions in the Guide Book ‘300 Reasons to love Havana’, which I bought on the recommendation of a regular visitor to the city from Canada. 
 
The restaurants in Havana that were recommended with an international link were the following, the link itself appearing to give the restaurant kudos, if I have read the author of it correctly. 
 
#. Café Bohemia – this Italian style restaurant in an alleyway with Greek-blue trimming was recommended to meat lovers as well as vegetarians in my Guidebook. I ate a delicious gelato here. Emphasis here is on salads, which are named after literary works, including a seafood salad named ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, after Hemingway’s best known novel.  
 
#. Café Del Oriente – this is said to be where diplomats dine, serving rabbit, ostrich, Chateaubriand, steak tartare, and more, an international menu, and a classy old-world dining room.
 
#. Paladar San Cristóbal – it is owned by Chef Carlos Cristóbal Márquez, who ‘worked as a chef all over the world’, the Guidebook proclaims. The restaurant opened nine years ago, and President Obama as well as five other presidents, Bon Jovi, Sigourney Weaver, and other VIPs have eaten here. The chef claims to make the best mash in the city. South African wines are said to be in his winelist, worth checking out before I leave.
 
#. La Guarida – this majestic sounding restaurant, in the home of Enrique Núñez, opening in 1996, was the location for the movie ‘Freso y Chocolate’ (Strawberry and Chocolate), the only Cuban movie to have been nominated for an Oscar. It serves top level and innovative dishes. VIP diners include Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg, Beyoncé, and the former Queen Sofia of Spain. 
 
#. Casa Abel – this restaurant belongs to the father of my BnB owner Abel, and has a cigar salon too, not far from my BnB.   It serves lobster, and the speciality is ‘beer-can chicken’
 
#. Otramanera – this restaurant bandies the holy restaurant name El Bulli, the king of all king restaurants in the world once upon a time, its owner Chef Alvaro Dieu having worked in its molecular gastronomy kitchen.
 
#. El Ajibe – this was recommended to me by two sets of persons, but its description of it as a take-away chicken outlet with an excellent wine cellar seems too bizarre for me to try it. 
 
#. TocaMadera – this is billed as the first Gastropub in Havana, and its owner Chef Enrique Suárez, is described as a leader in Cuba’s ‘New Food Movement’. His international cooking experience includes Barcelona and Marseilles. He serves ‘poor people cuisine’ with ‘strong flavours’
 
Havana has no fast food restaurants, no known brand name restaurants. There may be advantages (it is too expensive for many Cubans, given their extremely low incomes, and it will prevent an Americanised fast food culture from developing in the country, given the love-hate relationship between Cuba and America); and disadvantages (tourists may feel less comfortable with the local traditional food and therefore may find it hard to find good restaurants serving their type of and taste in foods). 
 
Pizza restaurants seem to be extremely popular, especially amongst locals, and I have seen queues of locals standing outside a ‘hole in the wall’ pizzeria on Obispo, a very touristy street. 
 
Observing the food scene for a few days after my arrival, I realised that most of the Havana food offering is not to my taste: it consisting of rice and black beans, both starches I do not care for; tapas style restaurants are not my thing, with bread as its base; and the hassle of explaining in English how I would like a dish prepared was too risky if there was miscommunication between myself and the waiter. 
 
I therefore decided to partake in the Breakfast offered in the San Lazaro 115 BnB every day, costing 5 CUC per day, and consisting of a platter of fresh fruit (guava, pineapple, mango, paw paw, and banana); a generous glass of freshly squeezed juice, the juice of one of the fruit types, varying daily; tea ( I must have pulled up my nose at the offering of green tea, the only tea they had at the BnB initially, and the next day a magic Earl Grey tea bag was presented, bought especially for me, savouring this daily gift; an egg choice, choices having been medium (my choice) boiled eggs, scrambled, fried, and omelet. I became so comfortable at the BnB that I started making my own cheese omelet, and boiled my own eggs, as I could not get them to get it to 6 minutes. Toast was supplied from rolls which were sliced and toasted. One portion of butter is provided, and a choice of jam or honey. This breakfast sustains me throughout the day, not being hungry, and not eating much else. One drinks a lot of water, and of course the Mojitos and Daquiris are the national drink, amongst tourists at least, and the locals drink local Cuban beer or Havana Club rum (Alain the BnB Manager mixes a local version of Red Bull with it, and adds ice). The locals certainly do not drink cocktails. 
 
Supermarkets in Havana are something else, unattractive, and not selling anything fresh, with some exceptions. In the main they sell a limited selection of tinned or dry foods, pasta, juices, water, and Cuban alcohol. There is no fresh bread (that is sold by the Pan Man, riding through the suburbs on a bicycle trolley, calling his customers with his offer), no fresh fruit or vegetables (these are sold at corner fruit and vegetable shops in the most unhygienic conditions, covered in flies, and largely past their sell-by date, and limited to bananas, mango, paw paw, pineapples, guavas, cucumber, small tomatoes, and onions in the main. Alternatively one sees mobile fruit and vegetable street vendors, pushing a wooden trailer, with the most delicious looking large avocados, and one or two other fruits. One supermarket close by, on the scenic Malecón promenade, was the most modern and organised I experienced, and also selling a sipping yoghurt (but only in strawberry flavour) with frozen meat (chicken, sausages) as well as blocks of cheese (a light cheddar, called Maasdam, sold at 13 CUCs per kg) unusually offered too. So my dinner, when I was hungry, was some cheese and avo, the latter lasting me four or five days, they being so big. They cost 1 CUC for two, an absolute bargain at R7,50 each. With that was the luxury of my left-over Woolworths trail food, which I had bought for the Camino. 
 
I soon became aware that I was starting to lose weight, walking a good 10 – 15 km a day, in temperatures of around 32 C with humidity, therefore drinking a lot of water. I call this my ‘Cuban Diet’, working wonders! 
 
Helad’Oro was an ice cream shop which was highly recommended in my Havana Guidebook, and I went there five times in a week, when exploring Old Havana. It was First World, in offering wafer cones or cups, with a host of flavours, including a delicious dark or white chocolate, salted caramel, peanut, coffee, Spekulaas (a Dutch Christmas ginger-spiced biscuit), Nutella, lemon pie, Mojito, and tropical fruit flavours. They charge 2,50 CUC for two scoops and the wafer cup. I also indulged in a small cup of Churros without chocolate sauce, at 0,50 CUC, at a mobile vendor near the chocolate shop in Old Havana. In this suburb too I ate delicious home-made gelato at Café Bohemia, with a scoop each of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, more expensive at 5CUC.
 
I visited the Pool Bar at the five star Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski once, and while their menu is very Westernised, the salads had ingredients I did not care for. So I settled on a Tiramisu, not too badly made, although I missed the liqueur in it, at 6 CUC.  An ice cream dessert at the five star Packard Hotel was very disappointing, a hotel which charges astronomically, a single tot Jameson costing 8CUC plus an automatic 10% service fee, even if the service is highly deficient, and one is not always told about this charge on the menu.
 
I am interviewing locals about their eating habits at home, and will report on that in a separate Blogpost.
 
 

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein

 
 
 
 

TimeOut Market Lisboa presents the best cuisine of Lisbon, Portugal, under one roof!

I had seen in a magazine prior to my arrival in Lisbon that the Time Out Market Lisboa is a must-visit venue. What an impression it made on me, when I visited it at the beginning of June, with about 30 restaurants, bars, and florists in this massive food market very close to where I stayed in Lisbon. How does one choose what to eat, with such a selection?! Continue reading →

SA largest circulation publication Huisgenoot sensationally shares my transformation and romance journey!

My journey of transformation, in losing 45kg in weight over a period of a year in 2017, as well as spiritually in walking the Camino last year, with related changes, has been sensationally documented by Huisgenoot writer Pieter Van Zyl.  He wrote the story on the basis of my SwitchBitch Book 1, in which I documented my physical transformation, as well as a telephone interview. I met Van Zyl at the Franschhoek Literary Festival, of which he was an author panelist, last week. Continue reading →

Three Potters and a Painter serves top restaurants, leaves its legacy in clay!

Last week I visited the home and studio of Three Potters and a Painter outside Stellenbosch, on my way to Franschhoek. I had first come across their ceramic work at Gåte restaurant, especially loving a black and white plate used in one of their dishes. They create works that bridge the gap between traditional design and contemporary innovation, with the aim of leaving their legacy in clay! Continue reading →

Is a winter Restaurant bloodbath lying ahead for Cape Town and Winelands, after very tough summer? Restaurant Update March 2019

I am hearing about the current tough summer season in the local restaurant industry, with a depressed local as well as international economy, and one can therefore only be concerned about restaurant closures lying ahead in winter.  There are no new restaurant openings that I am aware of. The closing down of Primal Eatery is a surprise, and of Open Kitchen in McGregor too. 

Restaurant openings

#  Bones Kitchen & Bar has opened in the Palms Design Centre in Woodstock. It is owned and owner-managed by well-seasoned restaurateur Rudi Minnaar.

Continue reading →

Few restaurant openings and closures in Cape Town and the Winelands: February 2019

The tough conditions for the restaurant industry in Cape Town and the Winelands continue, with few restaurants opening or closing. A surprise is that Bertus Basson @ Spice Route is no longer operating, a killer negative review late last year possibly being the nail in the coffin. Now Basson only has five Stellenbosch restaurants plus all his catering assignments and TV appearances to juggle! Interesting is that Chef Liam Tomlin has opened a ‘contemporary ecological tapas’ restaurant in Barcelona, well-suited to his tapas restaurant offerings!

Restaurant openings

#   Ellen Jay has opened inside Constantia Fabrics. Continue reading →

Tough Festive Season for the Cape Hospitality industry, few new restaurants set to open: January 2019

Talk of Cape Town is how quiet the Festive Season has been for the hospitality industry, affecting restaurants as well as accommodation establishments, as a result of the water shortage and load-shedding, it is speculated. One casualty of this is the shock news that The Restaurant at The Nek closed down at Constantia Nek six weeks after opening. 

Restaurant openings

#  Stargarden Boutique Café has opened in Fish Hoek. 

Restaurant Review: Stargarden Boutique Café in Fish Hoek is a star!

 

#   Gåte restaurant has opened at Quion Rock Winery, with Rikku O’Donaghue as the Executive Chef, who worked at two Michelin star restaurant Merchants Manor before moving to our country. He also worked at The Fat Duck and French Laundry. Head Chef is Warwick King, previously with Delaire Graff, The Stack, and The Ritz Revolving Restaurant. Other team members include Pastry Chef Izelle de Villiers, Nicole Loubser, Tyrone Truter, Josh Crewdson, and Rufus Scholtz. 

Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock takes SA restauranting to a new level, experiential and interactive dining and wining at its finest!

#. Michael Townsend, founder of the Harbour House Group but no longer with the Group, has opened Cowboys & Cooks Steakhouse & Bar in Sunset Beach. He has also bought Sevruga in the Waterfront. A third restaurant, in Sea Point will open in September 2019. All three restaurants are/will be operated by Cowboys & Cooks CEO Stuart Bailey.

New Cowboys and Cooks restaurant operations and consultancy group starting to cook up a storm!

#  The new Cowboys & Cooks restaurant group is to open a Cowboys and Cooks restaurant in Stellenbosch; The Backyard BBQ in various locations; Cabron Tex Mex restaurants in Durbanville and Stellenbosch, alongside the Bree Street Branch; and Viva Tex Mex in Kenilworth. It has taken over Slug & Lettuce, a Gastropub franchise with six branches, for which a new look and menu will be developed, starting off in Durbanville. 

#   Between Us has opened on Bree Street, as a restaurant and bar, belonging to the twin sisters who originally opened Skinny Legs & All. 

#  Chef Jenny Morris has opened Yumcious Durbanville.

#  The Skotnes Restaurant has opened at the Norval Foundation, with Executive Chef Phil de Villiers, previously of Primal Eatery. 

#  Paris Café has opened in Green Point.

#  The La Colombe Group has taken over the bar and restaurant at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek, called Protégé. Stephen Raaff is the Head Chef.

#  Back’s Bar has opened on Main Road in Paarl, where Juno used to be. 

#   Chef Reuben Riffel has opened Reuben’s at The Capital Moloko in Johannesburg, his first Gauteng restaurant. 

#   A new breakfast and lunch Eatery is being developed at Val de Vie, in conjunction with Chef Reuben Riffel. 

#  Chef Jarryd has opened So Cal (for South California), a Bar above Charango on Bree Street. 

#  An upmarket celebrity bar, music, and event venue will open on the corner of Wale and Bree Street. 

#   Chef Bertus Basson has expanded his restaurant empire, opening Eike by bertusbasson as his sixth restaurant, and fifth in Stellenbosch. 

#  Bao Down Restaurant has opened in Oranjezicht. 

#   Upper Bloem has opened on Main Road in Green Point, where Maggie’s Café used to be, a joint venture between Chefs Henry Vigar and Andre Hill of La Mouette. 

#    TOSSD Salad Bar has opened on Sloane Square in Gardens, Cape Town. 

#   Chef George Jardine has opened Restaurant Seven with George Jardine in Somerset West.

#   Safari #7 Somali take-away restaurant has opened on Long Street. 

#  Chef David Higgs’ newest restaurant Saint ‘Pazzo Italiano’ has opened in Sandton. 

#   No 89 has opened on Bree Street.

#   Sans Ethical Green Grocer Deli has opened in the Artem Centre in Sea Point. 

#   Pauline’s Stand Up Coffee Bar has opened in the Artem Centre in Sea Point. 

#   Victoire Boulangerie, Pâtisserie, and Bistro has opened in Speakers Corner on Church Square, a joint venture between Chef William Galzin of Montpellier and Drikus Hancke of Cape Town, a former Melissa’s franchisee. 

#   Chefs Luke Dale-Roberts and Ryan Cole have opened Salsify @ The Roundhouse in Camps Bay.

Restaurant Review: Salsify at The Roundhouse brings Fine-Dining to Camps Bay, a crazy contrast of colonial and contemporary experiences!

#   Crayfish Wharf has opened in Paternoster.

#  Beleef has opened in the space in which Ryan’s Kitchen operated in Franschhoek. 

#  Grande Provence in Franschhoek has opened The Bistro as an extension to their Tasting Room.

#   Ellen Jay has opened as a coffee shop inside Constantia Fabrics. 

#   Garden’s Club has opened where Chalk & Cork used to operate on Kloof Street. 

#   The Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa restaurant has opened in Klapmuts, with Executive Chef Terrence Ford. 

#  Osetra has opened in Kalk Bay, with co-owner Oscar Kotze.

#   The Commissary has opened next door to The Shortmarket Club, with Chef Wesley Randles and Simon Widdison, under the mentorship of Chef Luke Dale-Roberts. It is a no-reservation, back to basics offering. 

#  Seattle Coffee Company has taken over the coffee shop at Exclusive Books in the V&A Waterfront. 

#  Chef Seelan Sundoo has opened Chicha in Sea Point. 

#   The Harbour House Group has bought Mondiall in the V&A Waterfront, and has turned it into a La Parada. 

#  Chef Peter Tempelhoff has opened FYN Restaurant and bar in Speaker’s Corner on Church Square. Jennifer Hugé is the new GM, and Ashley Moss is the Chef, moving across from the Greenhouse. 

FYN Restaurant legal settlement win-win for Chef Peter Tempelhoff and WhaleTales Blog!

#   Bobo’s Brasserie has opened in Mouille Point, where Pepenero used to be. 

#  Roca Café has opened where Melissa’s used to be in Franschhoek, open from midday to 21h00, and serving Tapas. 

#   Chef Chris Erasmus is said to be opening a restaurant at Haut Espoir, with Chef Nick Oosthuizen in the kitchen.

#  Riverine Rabbit has opened where ASH used to operate, by Chef Ash Heeger. 

#  Chef Ciska Rossouw has opened Loaves in Salt River, no longer operating Loaves on Long. 

#   BOCCA has re-opened on Bree Street, with new owners Guido Brambilla and Adnana Blaj

#   Haus & Laib Deli has opened in the former Eurohaus space on Loop Street. 

#  Chef Matt Manning has opened Grub & Vine Restaurant on Bree Street.

#   Bones Kitchen & Bar has opened at Palms Lifestyle Centre. 

#   Anni’s Gourmet  Pancakes & Belgian Waffles has opened in Franschhoek.

#   Vadas Smokehouse and Bakery has opened at Spier, taking the place of Hoghouse, which Chef PJ Vadas no longer appears to be associated with. 

#   Syrup Breakfast is opening on Bree Street.

#  The Creamery is to open a branch in Durbanville Village Square. 

#  Macau has opened in the former Savoy Cabbage space. 

#  Tiger’s Milk has opened in Camps Bay. 

#   The Hungry Monk has closed in Greyton and moved to Paternoster. In its place, a Portuguese/Mozambiquen restaurant will open in Greyton. 

#  Bush Café has opened as a safari-style restaurant in Gardens 

#  Charlie Bistro & Bar has opened in Gardens. 

Restaurant closures

#.  Dalliance restaurant and White Rabbit coffee shop, part of the Kove Collection, have closed their doors in the V&A Waterfront. 

#.  IYO Burgers has closed on Bree Street

#.  Iconic Kitima has closed down in Hout Bay, following a rumour of its demise circulating last year but denied at the time. 

#. Odyssey (with French Toast before it) has closed down on Bree Street

#. The Ritz is closed, and with it its Top of The Ritz and CASA restaurants. 

#  Shego has closed down at the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel. 

#  The Crazy Horse gastropub has closed down on Bree Street. 

#  Mitico has closed down on Kloof Street. Yours Truly has expanded into the space. 

#   So sad to hear that Chef Warrick Taylor of SOURCE restaurant in Hermanus has sold the restaurant and is leaving the country with his family. 

#   Cargills in Rondebosch has closed down. 

#   Savoy Cabbage in Heritage Square in the city centre has closed down, after 20 years. 

#  Eurohaus on Loop Street has closed down

#  Karoux has closed down in McGregor. 

#   Olami on Bree Street has closed down. 

#  BlackandCo has closed down in Constantia. 

#   Chalk & Cork has closed down. 

#   Bukhara has closed down in Stellenbosch. 

#  Loaves on Long has closed. 

#  ASH restaurant has closed. 

#  The Restaurant at The Nek, with Chef Duncan Laity, has closed, six weeks after opening. No ‘Manley Magic’ could make this restaurant work. 

Chef changes 

#. Chef Sidwell Yarrow has left La Petite Ferme, to return to the cruise ships. The restaurant on the wine estate is now headed up by Chef Kyle Norris.

#. Chef Gerard van Staden is the new chef at Pearl Valley. 

#  Chef Gary Welgemoed is the Head Chef at the Carrol Boyes Chocolate division. 

#   Lee-Andra Govender is the new Pastry Chef at The Table Bay Hotel. 

#   Chef Evan Coosner has left Open Door/Bocca/Burrata, and is now a consultant chef.

#   Chef Archie MacLean has left Catharina’s and moved to Coco Safar. He has since left Coco Safar, and is said to have joined Café Bon Bon in Franschhoek. 

#   Chef Guy Clark has left Tintswalo, now consulting. He is running a pop-up restaurant Baransu, with Nadia Minnaar.

#   Carmen Rueda is the new Pastry Chef of Coco Safar, formerly from El Bulli and The Fat Duck.

#   Chef Richard Carstens has left Tokara Restaurant, and is starting a restaurant consultancy with Chef Reuben Riffel, called Riffel Carstens.

#   Carolize Coetzee has been appointed as Executive Chef at Tokara, moving from Dornier wine estate.

#  Christian Hellinger is the new Chef at Holden Manz

#  Chef Sebastian Smith from Nom Nom/Benguela on Main has moved to Pierneef à La Motte. 

#  Chef Matthew Ambruster is the new Head Chef at Hartford House. Former Head Chef Chris Papyannis is to open his own restaurant in Mooi River, 

Restaurant changes

#. Culture Club Cheese has changed into Vredehoek Slow Food Club.

Please share news about restaurant openings and closures with me at chrisvonulmenstein@gmail.com

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein

Exciting top-end restaurants open in Cape Town and Winelands this month, restaurant openings slow down: November 2018!

November is an exciting month, with new restaurant openings by Chef Luke Dale-Roberts (The Commissary), by Chef Peter Tempelhoff (FYN), and the very eagerly awaited restaurant Gåte by Chef Rikku O’Donnchü at Quoin Rock in Stellenbosch. There is a marked slow down in new restaurant openings, other than by new restaurant group Cowboys & Cooks. 

Restaurant openings

#   Le Petit Manoir has opened as a Deli and Restaurant in Franschhoek, with Chef Kevin Grobler heading up the kitchen. (Photograph)

Restaurant Review: Le Petit Manoir Restaurant just does not gel, despite Chefs’ experience In a Michelin star restaurant!

#. Michael Townsend, founder of the Harbour House Group but no longer with the Group, is to open The Grill Room in Sunset Beach. He has also bought Sevruga in the Waterfront. A third restaurant, in Sea Point, will open in September 2019.

New Cowboys and Cooks restaurant operations and consultancy group starting to cook up a storm!

#  The new Cowboys & Cooks restaurant group is to open a Cowboys and Cooks restaurant in Stellenbosch; The Backyard BBQ in various locations; Cabron Tex Mex restaurants in Durbanville and Stellenbosch, alongside the Bree Street Branch; and Viva Tex Mex in Kenilworth. It has taken over Slug & Lettuce, a Gastropub franchise with six branches, for which a new look and menu will be developed, starting off in Durbanville. The group has also just bought a 50% share in Primi Piatti, with 18 outlets.

#   Maison J Café et Croissant, a joint venture between renowned Jason Bakery baker Jason Lillie and his sister Brigitte, as well as Vida e Caffé founders David Chait and Rui Esteves, has opened alongside the Pick ‘n Pay in Camps Bay, in a joint venture with the retailer. If this branch works well, it is set to roll out in other Pick ‘n Pay stores, the Waterfront likely to be the next branch to open. 

#   Between Us has opened on Bree Street, as a restaurant and bar, belonging to the twin sisters who originally opened Skinny Legs & All. 

#. The Deli Coffee Co is the new rebranded name of four Melissa’s branches: V&A Waterfront, Kloof Street, Somerset West, and Hermanus, owned by Surine van Niekerk. Prices are set to drop, she says. The Waterfront branch has opened in the former Dalliance and White Rabbit space. 

#  Restaurateur Ian Halfon has opened a smallish intimate new restaurant Walther’s Steakhouse next door to Belthazar in the V&A Waterfront. 

#  Chef Jenny Morris has opened Yumcious Durbanville.

#  The Skotnes Restaurant has opened at the Norval Foundation, with Executive Chef Phil de Villiers, previously of Primal Eatery. 

#  Paris Café has opened in Green Point.

#   42 on Canterbury has opened as a bar and an event venue in District Six/Zonnebloem

#  The La Colombe Group is taking over the bar and restaurant at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek, after refurbishments. It will be called Protégé. Stephen Raaff is the Head Chef.

New Protégé Restaurant to open at Le Quartier Français, second Le Colombe Group restaurant!

#  Back’s Bar has opened on Main Road in Paarl, where Juno used to be. 

#   Chef Reuben Riffel has opened Reuben’s at The Capital Moloko in Johannesburg, his first Gauteng restaurant. 

#   A new breakfast and lunch Eatery is being developed at Val de Vie, in conjunction with Chef Reuben Riffel. 

#  Chef Jarryd has opened So Cal (for South California), a Bar above Charango on Bree Street. 

#  Manga has opened on Church Street

#  Sotana Bree Street has opened where Odyssey used to be.

#  1 Oak is set to open on Strand Street, an upmarket celebrity bar, music, and event venue modeled on a New York counterpart. The restaurant Butter will open inside this venue. 

#   Chef Bertus Basson has expanded his restaurant empire, opening Eike by bertusbasson as his sixth restaurant, and fifth in Stellenbosch. 

#  Bao Down Restaurant has opened in Oranjezicht. 

#   Upper Bloem has opened on Main Road in Green Point, where Maggie’s Café used to be, a joint venture between Chefs Henry Vigar and Andre Hill of La Mouette. 

Restaurant Review: Upper Bloem brings Bo-Kaap and Cape Malay cuisine to Green Point!

#    TOSSD Salad Bar has opened on Sloane Square in Gardens, Cape Town. 

#   Chef George Jardine has opened Restaurant Seven with George Jardine in Somerset West.

#   Safari #7 Somali take-away restaurant has opened on Long Street. 

#  Chef David Higgs’ newest restaurant Saint ‘Pazzo Italiano’ has opened in Sandton. 

#   No 89 has opened on Bree Street.

#   Sans Ethical Green Grocer Deli has opened in the Artem Centre in Sea Point. 

#   Pauline’s Stand Up Coffee Bar has opened in the Artem Centre in Sea Point. 

#   Victoire Boulangerie, Pâtisserie, and Bistro has opened in Speakers Corner on Church Square, a joint venture between Chef William Galzin of Montpellier and Drikus Hancke of Cape Town, a former Melissa’s franchisee. 

#   Chefs Luke Dale-Roberts and Ryan Cole have opened Salsify @ The Roundhouse in Camps Bay.

Restaurant Review: Salsify at The Roundhouse brings Fine-Dining to Camps Bay, a crazy contrast of colonial and contemporary experiences!

#   Crayfish Wharf is to open in Paternoster.

#  Beleef has opened in the space in which Ryan’s Kitchen operated in Franschhoek. 

#  Grande Provence in Franschhoek has opened The Bistro as an extension to their Tasting Room.

#   Ellen Jay has opened as a coffee shop inside Constantia Fabrics. 

#   Garden’s Club has opened where Chalk & Cork used to operate on Kloof Street. 

#   The Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa restaurant has opened in Klapmuts, with Executive Chef Terrence Ford. 

#  Osetra has opened in Kalk Bay, with co-owner Oscar Kotze.

#   The Commissary will open next door to The Shortmarket Club, with Chef Wesley Randles and Simon Widdison, under the mentorship of Chef Luke Dale-Roberts. It is planned to be a no-reservation, back to basics offering. 

#   Gåte restaurant is to open at Quion Rock Winery on 1 December, with Rikku O’Donaghue as the Executive Chef, who worked at a two Michelin star restaurant Merchants Manor before moving to our country. He has been a restaurant consultant locally, including at Sevruga. Head Chef is Warwick King, previously with Delaire Graff, The Stack, and The Ritz Revolving Restaurant. Other team members include Pastry Chef Izelle de Villiers, Nicole Loubser, Tyrone Truter, Josh Crewdson,  and Rufus Scholtz. 

Preview: New Gåte restaurant to become a rock star at Quoin Rock Winery, Fine Dining at its finest!

Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock takes SA restauranting to a new level, experiential and interactive dining and wining at its finest!

#  Seattle Coffee Company has taken over the coffee shop at Exclusive Books in the V&A Waterfront. 

#  Chef Seelan Sundoo has opened Chicha in Sea Point. 

#   The Harbour House Group has bought Mondiall in the V&A Waterfront, and is to turn it into a La Parada, to open in November. 

#  Chef Peter Tempelhoff has announced that his FYN Restaurant and bar will open in Speaker’s Corner on Church Square in November. Jennifer Hugé is the new GM! And Ashley Moss is the Chef, moving across from the Greenhouse. 

Chef Peter Tempelhoff opens first own restaurant FYN in Speakers’ Corner in Cape Town city centre!

#. The Harbour House at Constantia Nek has been remodelled into the fine dining The Restaurant at the Nek, with Chef Dylan Laity in the kitchen. 

#   Stargarden Boutique Café has opened in Fish Hoek 

Restaurant Review: Stargarden Boutique Café in Fish Hoek is a star!

#   Bobo’s Brasserie is opening in Mouille Point in November, where Pepenero used to be. 

#  Roca Café has opened where Melissa’s used to be in Franschhoek, open from midday to 21h00, and serving Tapas. 

#   Chef Chris Erasmus is said to be opening a restaurant at Haut Espoir in November, with Chef Nick Oosthuizen in the kitchen.

#  Riverine Rabbit has opened where ASH used to operate, by Chef Ash Heeger. 

#  Chef Ciska Rossouw has opened Loaves in Salt River, no longer operating Loaves on Long. 

#   BOCCA has re-opened on Bree Street, with new owners Guido Brambilla and Adnana Blaj

#   Haus & Laib Deli is opening in the former Eurohaus space on Loop Street. 

#  Chef Matt Manning is opening Grub & Vine Restaurant on Bree Street.

#   Bones Kitchen & Bar has opened at Palms Lifestyle Centre. 

#   Anni’s Gourmet  Pancakes & Belgian Waffles has opened in a Franschhoek 

#   Vadas Smokehouse and Bakery has opened at Spier, taking the place of Hoghouse, which Chef PJ Vadas no longer appears to be associated with. 

#   Syrup Breakfast is opening on Bree Street.

#  The Creamery is to open a branch in Durbanville Village Square. 

Restaurant closures

#. The iconic Melissa’s, with 19 stores, has been declared insolvent. Some stores will be rebranded (four as The Deli Coffee Co), while others have closed down, including the Table View Branch. The Waterfront branch is currently closed, but will reopen in a new location in mid-September. 

#.  Dalliance restaurant and White Rabbit coffee shop, part of the Kove Collection, have closed their doors in the V&A Waterfront. 

#.  IYO Burgers has closed on Bree Street

#.  Iconic Kitima has closed down in Hout Bay, following a rumour of its demise circulating last year but denied at the time. 

#. Odyssey (with French Toast before it) has closed down on Bree Street

#. The Ritz is temporarily closed, and with it its Top of The Ritz and CASA restaurants. 

#  Shego has closed down at the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel. 

#  The Crazy Horse gastropub has closed down on Bree Street. 

#  Mitico has closed down on Kloof Street. Yours Truly has expanded into the space. 

#   So sad to hear that Chef Warrick Taylor of SOURCE restaurant in Hermanus has sold the restaurant and is leaving the country with his family. 

#   Cargills in Rondebosch has closed down. 

#   Savoy Cabbage in Heritage Square in the city centre has closed down, after 20 years. 

#  Eurohaus on Loop Street has closed down

#  Karoux has closed down in McGregor. 

#   Olami on Bree Street has closed down. 

#  BlackandCo has closed down in Constantia. 

#   Chalk & Cork has closed down. 

#   Bukhara has closed down in Stellenbosch. 

#  Loaves on Long has closed. 

#  ASH restaurant has closed.

Chef changes 

#. Chef Sidwell Yarrow has left La Petite Ferme, to return to the cruise ships. The restaurant on the wine estate is now headed up by Chef Kyle Norris.

#. Chef Gerard van Staden is the new chef at Pearl Valley. 

#  Chef Gary Welgemoed is the Head Chef at the Carrol Boyes Chocolate division. 

#   Lee-Andra Govender is the new Pastry Chef at The Table Bay Hotel. 

#   Chef Evan Coosner has left Open Door/Bocca/Burrata.

#   Chef Archie MacLean has left Catharina’s and moved to Coco Safar. He has since left Coco Safar, and is said to have joined La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek. 

#   Chef Guy Clark has left Tintswalo, now consulting. 

#   Carmen Rueda is the new Pastry Chef of Coco Safar, formerly from El Bulli and The Fat Duck.

#   Chef Richard Carstens has left Tokara Restaurant, and is said to be starting a restaurant consultancy with Chef Reuben Riffel. 

#   Carolize Coetzee has been appointed as Executive Chef at Tokara, moving from Dornier wine estate.

#  Chef Archie MacLean has left Coco Safar, and is running Café Bon Bon in Franschhoek with his wife 

#  Christian Hellinger is the new Chef at Holden Manz

Restaurant changes

#  La Parada Camps Bay is undergoing renovations, and is transforming into a Tiger’s Milk.

 

Please share news about restaurant openings and closures with me at chrisvonulmenstein@gmail.com

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein

Will the arrival of Summer and Tourists lift the Restaurant industry in Cape Town and the Winelands? October 2018

Every winter is a tough time for the restaurant industry. With the dip in Tourism due to the water shortage, and the early and continued winter rains, the restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands have felt the pinch, and many have closed down. We have experienced our first Summer weekend in the Cape, and more tourists can be seen and heard in our city. Will this mean a welcome boost for the restaurant trade? The new Cowboys & Cooks restaurant group is super optimistic, and plans to open more than twenty restaurants in the Cape Town area. 

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