Despite a hugely challenging year for the wine industry due to the drought, CapeWine 2018 is an impressive showcase of optimism, friendliness, and proudly South Africaness, running at the Cape Town International Convention Centre until tomorrow. I attended yesterday, with my Parisian friend Aurelié Jullien, and we were both impressed with the magnitude and professionalism of the exhibition, held every three years, and attended by the local and international wine trade. Continue reading →
How does Chef Jenny Morris do it? In one week she has launched her new series of ‘Jenny and Reza’s Fabulous Food Academy on Food Network, launched her new ‘World Atlas of Food: 100 countries, a world of flavours’, and has launched her new Jenny Morris Giggling Gourmet range of wines made Continue reading →
Even though we are halfway through the summer season, new restaurants continue to open, and more are planned before summer ends. This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* Michael Townsend (who owns the Harbour House emporium, with La Parada, Lucky Fish, and Harbour House restaurants) has opened Tiger’s Milk in Muizenberg (photograph). The Lucky Fish on Long Street will be transformed into Tiger’s Milk.
* Kokkedoor judge and Chef Nic van Wyk and Roxy Laker have opened bistro 13 at Stellenbosch Vineyards (Welmoed)
* Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.
* The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point. Continue reading →
From having been low key for eight years since opening, 2014 has been kind to Kyoto Garden Sushi, in it winning a 5* Smart Casual accolade in the 2015 Diners Club Rossouw’s Restaurant Guide, as well as Best Asian Restaurant in the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Eat Out Awards last month. As a result friend Whitney Wentzel and I had extremely high expectations when we had dinner there last Wednesday evening, which sadly were not met at all!
I was surprised that I could book a table for the following day when I called, being the week after the Eat Out Awards, the Japanese chef taking the booking. I had seen a parking sign with an arrow to the left outside the entrance, and had thought that parking was available behind the building, but was told that it was for upstairs tenants and that we should park at the school down the road, not great on a rainy night. The waiter I asked had no clue about the parking sign outside. Luckily a parking bay became available across the road. At the entrance to the restaurant a candle is lit, and two Noren cloth dividers hang in the doorway. We were shown to a table, sitting next to another couple, so close to each other that we could hear each other’s conversations. There seemed to be some uncertainty about our booking, Continue reading →
* China is set to become the largest wine producer in the world in the next five years it is suggested.
* The majority of tourists doing Township Tours in Cape Town felt safe, a study conducted by UCT students in winter has found.
* Tourists travelling in Mpumalanga are being intimidated and fined excessively for alleged driving transgressions, and have to pay in cash for these, reported Getaway editor Cameron Ewart-Smith, based on feedback he received from tourists. He described the practice as ‘shocking’, and damaging to tourism in South Africa.
Notorious Neil Pendock is launching his Pendock Wine Gallery at the Taj Cape Town hotel at 18h00, to many a most unusual move, in a minute space which would not allow more than a handful of persons to move inside the gallery at any time. The Gallery concept and its link to the hotel’s Mint Restaurant is as quirky as Pendock is.
The roughly 2 by 4 meter space is half of the Edit[ed] hotel shop, and once inside Pendock’s Wine Gallery one can see inside the shop through a glass door, a design weakness, as it does not match the less-is-more sparse design of the Gallery. Six ornate shelves will hold a bottle of wine each, according to a monthly theme, September being dedicated to Pinotage, but the choice of six is not explained, other than space constraints. However, Pendock does pride himself on his selection, in that the six (Black Elephant Vintners, Diemersdal, Manley Continue reading →
No significant events have been planned to attract visitors to Cape Town and the Winelands this winter, and it appears to be the worst winter ever experienced by the hospitality industry in the Cape. A surprise is the number of restaurant changes, as well as the the movement of staff between restaurants. Given the poor winter business, many restaurants have taken/are taking generous winter breaks. This list of restaurant openings and closings is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* Four & Twenty Café and Pantry has opened in Wynberg
* The Crypt Jazz Restaurant has opened below St George’s Cathedral.
* Orphanage Cocktail Emporium is opening Orphanage Club upstairs, with 1920’s style music by live performers, later this year.
* Cavalli restaurant on the stud farm on the R44 must be opening shortly, as Carl Habel has left the Mount Nelson Hotel as Restaurant Manager and Sommelier to join the restaurant.
* Shake your Honey is to open in the original Madame Zingara building on Loop Street next year, after renovations commence later this year, according to an iolTravel report. The ‘vibrant spirit of India’ is to be reflected in the 5-storey building, with a theatre, markets, restaurants, and shops.
* Burger King has opened its (second) Tygervalley branch. Branches at Cavendish and at Grandwest are to open soon. Continue reading →
* It’s Bastille Festival in Franschhoek this weekend, one of the largest and oldest wine shows, celebrating its 20th anniversary. A full programme of wine and food tastings has been planned.
* Van Ryn’s Brandy Distillery near Stellenbosch is saluting women with a special tour and tasting offer presented by a woman for women, on Thursdays in August, in honour of Women’s Day on 9 August. Distillery Manager and wine biotechnologist, Marlene Bester, will accompany guests on the 11h30 tour, showing them the antique copper potstills still used today, the maturation cellar, a demonstration of a cooper assembling a French oak barrel, and do tastings of Van Ryn’s Collection Reserve range of brandies paired either with handcrafted chocolates (made by Richard von Gesau) or with Florentine biscuits. The 12 Year Old brandy is partnered with a Cappuccino chocolate, the 15 Year Old with Cinnamon & Orange chocolate, and the 20 Year Old with a French 70% cocoa chocolate. Continue reading →
* Tsogo Sun has announced that it is introducing free Wifi with a limit of 250 – 750 MB per day, depending on the room type.
* Mr Delivery, now named Mr D, will be delivering Pick ‘n Pay’s online shopping to customers via its 48 franchises countrywide. It currently does in excess of 85000 deliveries a month, reports Cape Business News.
* ‘The Beautiful South’ wine show for South African, Chilean, and Argentinian wines, to be held in London on 11 and 12 September, has already signed up 280 exhibitors.