I have experienced the cuisine creativity and presentation of Chefs Rikku O’Donnchü and Warwick King three times at Gåte when they opened at Quoin Rock wine estate outside Stellenbosch a year ago, and three times since they established their own SŸN Group since leaving Gåte, first as a SŸN Pop-up, and then as their brand new Exhibit A, in the past year, In this period I have seen the growth in this creative chef team, challenging itself continuously to do things differently and to break their own boundaries. Continue reading →
It was a Facebook post by Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen of South African/French restaurant JAN in Nice that alerted me to the Hospitality Counsel 2019 ranking of our countries top ten Restaurants as well as Chefs, when he thanked them for being included in the Top 10 Chef List. No other restaurant or chef on the two lists appears to have announced the accolades from the Hospitality Counsel, awarded at an event called the 2019 Luxury Tourism Awards! Continue reading →
The poor economic conditions in our country currently is manifesting in the very few new restaurants opening for the new summer season, most such new openings usually taking place in September. Where many new restaurants are opening, they are changing the name and concept of existing ones, rather than being brand new, or adding other restaurants in a restaurant group’s portfolio.
Two exciting top-end restaurant openings are those of Exhibit A (owned by highly acclaimed Chef Rikku O’Donnchü and Chef Warwick King, who left Gåte restaurant earlier this year), opening in the city centre on 1 November; and of La Chêne at Leeu Estates in Franschhoek. Interesting is that a number of new restaurants have opened on Kloof Street, our former Cape Town Restaurant Street before Bree Street took over, Continue reading →
Since my return from a three month trip to escape our winter, my number one newly-opened restaurant on my list to visit in the Cape was SŸN, the pop-up having opened whilst I was away, and headed by Chefs Rikku Ó’Donnchü and Warwick King, formerly of Gåte restaurant at Quoin Rock. The one-day special Heritage Day Menu (at R690) was the perfect opportunity to taste and see what these two creative chefs and their team have come up with since setting up on their own, initially as a Pop-up before they open their new restaurant on 1 November. Continue reading →
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 →
Winter is on our doorstep, the start of a long difficult trading period for our restaurants, with little news usually of restaurant developments. But not so this year!
The most exciting news of the year is the planned opening in November of the next level restaurant of former Gåte Chefs Rikku O’Donnchü and Warwick King in Cape Town. They are already enticing diners with their SŸN pop-ups. Details below.
Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen has announced the opening of a new KLEINJAN restaurant in the Tswalu Kalahari next year and a JAN Innovation Studio in Cape Town. The Grande Roche is being redone, with new owners, a new restaurant Viande, a new Chef Patron, and a new cocktail bar. Details are below.
Gigi’s Restaurant has opened in The Gorgeous George Hotel in Cape Town, with Chef Guy Bennet at the helm.
# Chefs Rikku O’Donnchü and Warwick King have left Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock wine estate, creating the SŸN Group, and are to open a new restaurant in the Cape Town city centre in November.
# Bones Kitchen & Bar has opened in the Palms Design Centre in Woodstock. It is owned and owner-managed by well-seasoned restaurateur Rudi Minnaar.
# Stargarden Boutique Café has opened in Fish Hoek.
#. 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.
# 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.
# 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 Reuben’s & Co Café has opened at Val de Vie, in conjunction with Chefs Reuben Riffel and Richard Carstens.
# Chef Jarryd has opened So Cal (for South California), a Bar above Charango on Bree Street.
# VIXI Social House has opened on the corner of Strand and Bree Street.
# Chef Bertus Basson has expanded his restaurant empire, opening Eike by bertusbasson as his 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.
# 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.
# Crayfish Wharf has opened in Paternoster.
# Grande Provence in Franschhoek has opened The Bistro as an extension to its Tasting Room.
# 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.
# 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.
# 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.
# 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.
# 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.
# Myog frozen yoghurt has opened as a pop-up in Camps Bay.
# Chef Liam Tomlin has opened Brugarol in Barcelona, with Chef Angelo Duarte Scirocco in the Kitchen.
# The Harbour House Group has bought The Lookout Deck and Equinox in Plettenberg Bay.
# 51 has opened in McGregor.
# GiGi Restaurant under the helm of Chef Guy Bennett has opened in the Gorgeous George Hotel in the Cape Town city centre. .
# Wingerd Vista has opened in the space of Dirtopia Restaurant on Delvera Estate outside Stellenbosch, a joint venture of Janine van Zyl of Cold Gold and Vanessa of Die
# The Dark Horse Rooftop Bar has opened in Kloof Street.
# Bootlegger Café & Grill in Constantia has changed its name to Botanicum Café & Grill, now 50% owned by Bootlegger and 50% by Mark Botes. It opened in March. The website is not yet operational.
# Jewells is opening at Spice Route, with Neil and Tina Jewell.
# Marilyn’s is to open next door to Café Roca Speakeasy in Franschhoek in May, as a champagne and oyster bar, and Sushi restaurant.
# The Fat Man Restaurant has opened in Old Road Wine, in Franschhoek.
# The Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl has new owners, will expand the size of the former Bosman’s restaurant, will rename the restaurant to Viande, with Chef Patron Pete Goffe-Wood at the helm.
# Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen is to open KLEIN JAN in Tswalu Kalahari, as well as a JAN Food Innovation studio in Cape Town.
#. The Ritz is closed, and with it its Top of The Ritz and CASA restaurants.
# Olami on Bree Street has closed down.
# The Restaurant at The Nek, with Chef Duncan Laity, has closed, six weeks after opening. No ‘Manley Magic’ could make this restaurant work.
# Beleef in Franschhoek has closed down.
# Bertus Basson @ Spice Route has closed down outside Paarl.
# Primal Eatery has closed down.
# The Melting Pot has opened as a pop-up where Marrow used to be on Loop Street.
# Thai World has closed down in Harfield Village.
# Open Kitchen has closed in McGregor.
# The Mess has closed down in The Rockwell.
# Delmar has closed down in Camps Bay.
# 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.
# 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 now is part of 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.
# Chef Guy Bennet has left Grande Provence and has moved to Gorgeous George Hotel.
# Nicole Killian is the new Head Chef at Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock.
# Chef Marvin Robyn is now heading up the kitchen at Grande Provence in Franschhoek.
# Chef Peter Tempelhoff is the new Consultant Chef to Ellerman House.
# Chef Peter Tempelhoff has left Greenhouse and the Liz McGrath Collection, to concentrate on his FYN Restaurant.,
#. Culture Club Cheese has changed into Vredehoek Slow Food Club.
Please share news about restaurant openings and closures with me at email@example.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
On Friday I was lucky to bump into Chefs Rikku O’Donnchü and Warwick King in Camps Bay, the two rockstar chefs who masterminded and led Gäte Restaurant at Quoin Rock wine estate outside Stellenbosch until the end of March, and to spend time with them to obtain first details about what they have planned for their new restaurant. Continue reading →
I had the luck to have enjoyed a 16 course Tasting Menu dinner soon after the opening of Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock outside Stellenbosch, in November. I was blown away by the creativity of the dining experience, and its experiential nature, with Molecular Gastronomy, something I had not experienced at this international level in my dining experiences locally and internationally. On Tuesday a week ago I returned to Gåte, to try the new dishes on the Tasting Menu, as well as those that have changed in the past three months, while my friend from Paris ate the Tasting Menu for the first time, at her invitation. Continue reading →
I saw an article by Post & Courier recently, randomly as I do not follow this publication, and was attracted to its topic, being the impact of restaurant reviews and their power to close a restaurant down. Being our country’s harshest restaurant reviewer, this got me thinking about why the top chefs in our country, including Giorgio Nava, Bertus Basson, Peter Tempelhoff, Liam Tomlin, and Scott Kirton & Co are so sensitive to constructive criticism by banning (or attempting to) me from their restaurants, yet new (to our country) chef Wunderkind Rikku O’Donnchü of Gåte Restaurant welcomes it so! Continue reading →
In November I was privileged to experience the 16-course Tasting Menu of the then newly opened Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock wine estate. On Friday my Parisian friend and I returned to Gåte, to experience the lunchtime Food and Wine Experience, pairing the restaurant’s homemade charcuterie and cheese dishes with the excellent wines of Quoin Rock. Continue reading →