One of the better restaurants in Plettenberg Bay (there aren’t many, and two favorites The Grand and Nguni are currently closed for winter breaks) has been Sand at The Plettenberg. Two years ago the restaurant changed its name to SeaFood at The Plettenberg, in line with a similar restaurant at sister hotel The Marine in Hermanus, and last year new Executive Chef Grant Parker took over the kitchen when the hotel re-opened after a long winter break. The setting and selection of mainly seafood dishes was perfect on a beautiful day.
I had been assisted in the foyer of the hotel by Guest Relations Manager Laula, who did everything, including serving me in the restaurant. She is a very new staff member, but was willing to find information for the questions which she could not answer. She sent Annemie Parker, the General Manager and wife of the chef, wearing her Relais & Chateaux pin, to explain the changes in the branding of the restaurant. Little about the restaurant interior has changed since she took over in running the hotel a year ago, coming from Cybele Lodge, except for two panels of photographs with Southern Right whales, but hard to identify as such, with the way the light falls on the glass panels over them. Annemie said that McGrath Hotels Group Executive Chef Peter Tempelhoff comes to visit every two months or so. She said that Chef Grant devised most of the dishes on the new restaurant menu, with guidance from Chef Peter, but with a section of The Collection signature dishes, which are served in all three the McGrath hotel restaurants, including The Conservatory at the Cellars-Hohenhort in Constantia. With the change in restaurant name, the style of the restaurant to that of a Bistro was also changed, away from fine-dining. Continue reading →
Described as cool and aloof by viewers, Kamini Pather showed some emotion and her first tears in the 25th episode of MasterChef SA last night, frustrated in her efforts to bake a Lemon Meringue Gâteau, the focus of much of the episode. Being the darling of viewers and tipped to win Season 2 of MasterChef SA, it was a surprise that viewers reacted with such vitriol against her performance at the end of the episode last night.
While Ozzy Osman was on his way to Gansbaai as a guest of Dyer Island Conservation Trust for having created the best month-end dish, the three Finalists who had to go into the Pressure Test as a result of their poor month-end ‘cuisine’ in episode 24were only supported by Leandri van der Wat, watching her sister Seline, Kamini, and Jason Steel bake up a sweat in what was billed as the ‘most daunting Pressure Test‘ in the series. Chef Benny Masekwameng warned. It would test their limits, in replicating the ‘work of art and masterpiece‘ of invited guest Chef Kelvin Continue reading →
* The Mutual & Federal Agri Wellington Wine Route’s ‘Quest for the Best’ is coming to Cape Town tomorrow at the Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel, at the cost of R60. Wellington wines will be offered for tasting, with the recently selected ‘Quest for the Best’ Top Ten Wines and Top Spirits. (received via Wellington Wine Route newsletter)
* There are more than 40000 hotel rooms being built in Africa in the next four years, 10% of these in Lagos in Nigeria alone. No South African city appears on the top hotel room construction list.
* Retail sales only grew by 1,5% in the past year, and it is the low income shoppers who are shopping less and closer to home. This has affected retailers at the bottom end Continue reading →
On Saturday I was introduced to De Brasserie in Strand by Annette Beller-Sogor, whom I had met at an art exhibition recently and who lives in Gordon’s Bay. She raved about the excellence of the restaurant, and mentioned that it is owned by the Belgian wine family Van Almenkerk from Elgin. We found an unexpected European haven in a most unlikely town!
It was the most beautiful clear day, with the snow capped mountains of Somerset West visible from Beach Road. False Bay looked flat and one could even see Cape Point, the raised former Kaapzicht restaurant offering an excellent view. The restaurant exterior looks very modern from outside, but the restaurant name could be difficult to read, being partially blocked by beams. In smaller type size it states ‘Est 2012 by Almenkerk’, which one cannot read from the road. Having booked last minute, we were seated at the bar counter first, but were promised a table as soon as one became available.
De Brasserie is Joep van Almenkerk, who is a most amazing host, friendly, attractive, charming, attentive, and he makes one feel that he knew what was happening at each table, and that he made every Continue reading →