Entries tagged with “Secateurs”.


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. (more…)

KOI Entrance Whale Cottage PortfolioThe opening of KOI Bantry Bay at The Ambassador Hotel has been eagerly awaited, after it was announced that Salt Restaurant would be replaced with a Gauteng-based group restaurant, KOI restaurants already operating in Sandton, Rosebank, and in Pretoria. The KOI restaurants are sister restaurants to the Wakame (with Wafu) restaurant group in Cape Town, which was founded 15 years ago, and is headed up by co-directors Stewart Bond and Rory Jossel.  There are no koi at KOI, and other than a logo on a business card, there is no representation of the decorative carp in the restaurant.  The website defines the KOI name as being Japanese for ‘Come, Love, Fish‘.

Always on the lookout for a good restaurant on the Atlantic Seaboard, a rarity, I was looking forward to seeing how the restaurant group would give the hotel restaurant space new life. Despite having the most magnificent location, ideal to see sunsets as it faces west over the Atlantic Ocean, the restaurants at The Ambassador just do not seem to have staying power, and neither do their chefs and staff for that matter!   Some decor changes have been made, wooden grids guiding one to the end of the passage, with only one entrance now, the previous entrance to the lounge KOI Interior Whale Cottage Portfolioand bar area having been closed. The lounge area now is restaurant seating too, with space for a total of about 100 patrons the Manager Chris Somhohlo said. Wood dominates the decor style (Chris couldn’t remember the name of the decorator), with wooden table tops, wooden chairs with woven seats, and the woven grid theme picked up in the visual display covering an entire wall, in the new ceiling lighting, and in the lampshades too.  The (more…)

A visit to The Woodstock Exchange last week reflected how Woodstock is growing in stature as Cape Town’s design hub, not only in terms of digital design, communications design, but also in terms of food. The Woodstock Exchange opened in December, and has an interesting mix of design-related tenants, restaurants, and food suppliers.

Superette is the most visible tenant from the striking grey and yellow building exterior, taking one of the largest spaces of the building, and its branding is visible from the street on the windows and its canopies.  A number of trendy Vespas are parked outside, and they add to the design attractiveness of the building.  A central passageway has a listing of all the tenants in the building, the upstairs floors occupied by the design agencies with trendy and interesting designer names, such as We are Awesome. Social Plus One, Nice One Steve, Wetink, Wolf & Maiden, Sons & Daughters, and Smellsgood.

My first stop was at Honest Chocolate, where I found Michael de Klerk, in an almost replica of their Wale Street shop, but with a massive back end space, in which they now have a team making the chocolate. They have expanded their repertoire to include three very unusual ice cream flavours, each having a super food added to them, for example Lucuma (a Peruvian fruit) Coconut, Chia (a seed) Chocolate, and Spirulina (seawood) Mint Chip, and costing R34. Michael explained that raw cocoa in itself is a superfood, and the added flavours complement their chocolates. We spoke about their first Design Indaba attendance, where they ran a competition for chocolate bar wrappers, which they extended on to their Facebook page.  He said that The Woodstock Exchange tenants support each other and that they network.  They had considered the V&A Market on the Wharf, but had been worried about the winter trade, Michael said.  Tel 082 736 3889.

Michael referred me to his next door neighbour Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour, a quirky interior giving a parlour feel, with a chest of drawers, and very clever use of old suitcases serving as shelving to display antique tea cups and picture frames. Jessica Bonin started her business in 2010 in an old Jurgens caravan, which she moves to events, or is at Oudekraal with other food trucks.  She wanted to start a ‘tea-volution’, and sells special looseleaf teas, which are classified as being black, white, green, yellow, Oolong, and Puerh.  She describes her business as a ‘Purveyor of magical infusions and tasty curiosities’. Tel 0836282504

Dark Horse and Kingdom are a mix of two design elements forming a whole inside the shop. Dark Horse is a local design studio offering apparel, homeware, and furniture.  Kingdom is a ‘curated exhibit’, I was told, of art, vintage pieces from antique shops sourced from India, Berlin and Denmark.  I was attracted by the hats, some having a vintage feel about them but are brand new. They also sell designer sunglasses, crockery, and jewellery.

Simply Wholesome was a huge disappointment, the shop assistant Gloria being extremely suspicious, withholding information, and not customer-friendly. She emphasised their free-range pasture-reared and grass-fed products of chicken, eggs, bacon and beef.  A big sign in the shop spells out their dedication to sourcing quality products ‘fresh from the farm’, which they monitor at source regularly, they claim. They sell some ready-made pies (R28), quiches (R28), sandwiches (the egg mayonnaise sandwich was on a nice seeded roll but had barely any filling), biscuits, muffins, milk, cheeses, butter, seasonal vegetables and fruit, home made marinades, gluten-free biscuits, raw honey, olives, peach slices, apple cider vinegar, satin tea bags, chutney, pickled onions, Madecasse chocolate, and yoghurt. They also sell teas under the Organic label from The Tea Merchants, the business of the co-owner.  I did like the glass tea pots, with matching glass cups.  They only sell take-out products, and do not have any seating outside their shop to even allow one to eat their sandwiches!  This was the only unfriendly experience in the whole centre.  Tel 021 447-6426.

I just missed the kitchen being open at Ocean Jewels, and bought a packet of calamari (R45) to make at home.  They still have their stand at the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill, and are widely regarded as selling the best quality fish to consumers.  Her sit-down prices are very reasonable, with tuna and salmon burgers and salads costing around R50. Fishcakes, potato wedges and salad costs R30, and hake and chips costs a little more.  They sell prawns, clams, mussels, crabsticks, scallops and smoked salmon too. Tel 083 582 0829.

The friendliest of all the outlets was Pedersen & Lennard and {Field Office}, a furniture design and coffee shop all in one, a sister branch to the one in Barrack Street.  The space in the Woodstock Exchange is larger and has more light, opening on to a sunny deck.  The manageress Roberta Grantham is ex-Botswana, and the friendliest I have experienced in a long time.  She made the visit there an absolute pleasure.  Other than making Deluxe coffees, they do not prepare any food, selling Willy’s Foods’ sandwiches (R35), pies with interesting ingredients such as beef red wine, lemon and chicken, curried vegetable, and beef chocolate chilli (R30), and salads; and lovely lemon polenta cakes (R15), chocolate brownies, milk tart slices (R20), and cup cakes (R15) made by The Little Bakery.   Tel (021) 447-2020. Monday – Friday 8h00 – 17h00.

I arrived at Superette just after the kitchen had closed at 16h00 (an hour before the restaurant closed!), and I was unable to order anything other than liquids from the waiter. When the manager Vuyo returned, he was charming, and I asked him for a simple rye toast with cheese and avocado, which tasted like heaven after an afternoon in the centre and not being able to eat (other than the milk tart) elsewhere in the centre because of the kitchens having closed!   The interior is large, with lots of yellow, a stand selling deli items (including olives, olive oil, Secateurs wines by AA Badenhorst,  honey, nougat, Rosetta coffee – also in the centre but which I did not see, Fruit crisps, Dunk biscuits, rusks, Prince Albert olive oil, tomato chili), and plants hanging from the ceiling, much like Dear Me has.  They serve an all-day breakfast, in a price range of R35 for kippers to R70 for a smoked salmon egg basket.  They also offer toasted banana bread, mushrooms  and beans on toast, and an interesting sounding Nutella-stuffed French Toast! Sandwiches cost R55 – R65, including one with Bratwurst! Bangers and mash costs R65.  A nice touch is that a glass of water is brought to the table automatically.  Tel (021) 802-5525.

The Woodstock Exchange, 66 Albert Road, Woodstock.  Tel (021) 486-5999.  www.woodstockexchange.co.za Twitter @WdstockExchange

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

It was sad to eat a farewell dinner at Restaurant Christophe in Stellenbosch on Friday evening, one week before the closure of this restaurant gem.  Chef and owner Christophe Dehosse was philosophical about the closure, having made the decision himself, but he does love his restaurant and I am sure he will be sad too when he serves his last dinner there next Friday evening.

Chef Christophe is taking an overseas holiday break, and then returns to the family Joostenberg Deli and restaurant, which is their ‘bread and butter’, he said.   They attract an interest mix of clients, ranging from nearby Kraaifontein to Constantia.  Chef Christophe was a Top 20 finalist for the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards last year, but probably was not ‘sexy’ enough in schmoozing any of the four judges at that time.  He is a hard-working hands-on chef, who makes an extra-ordinary amount of time in going to all his client tables, and to chat to them.   He is a mine of information about other chefs, being good friends with many of them, having worked at Chamonix in Franschhoek, Au Jardin in the Vineyard Hotel, and Joostenberg.  He believes in building business one-by-one, and does not want a PR agency or bloggers’ lunches to spread the word for him.

Restaurant Christophe has an amazing four-course Winter Special at R150, and Chef Christophe was very generous in allowing one to swop from the a la carte menu.  Each course was paired with a wine recommendation, ranging in cost from R35 – R45.  We chose to drink AA Badenhort’s Secateurs Red Blend 2010, at a most reasonably priced R35 per glass.  The starter was an interesting foie gras salad, which contained celery strips, edamame beans, and snow peas, over which was drizzled a sunflower seed and walnut oil dressing.  This was served with toasted brioche.  Then came a baked goat’s cheese with cream, tomato and garlic, and everyone in the restaurant going oooo and aaaa!  

 

 

One of Chef Christophe’s signature dishes is roast pork belly, and this main course came with honey and fennel seeds, mashed potato and braised cabbage.  The crackling was delicious.  Joostenberg specialises in pork, and 150 – 200 pigs are slaughtered every week, Chef Christophe told us.  Joostenberg sells home-made stock, bread, croissants, patés, pies, cream, butter, and terrines, as well as home-made meals.   The meal ended with a classic Apple Tart Tatin, served with a thin vanilla sauce.

We say Au Revoir to Restaurant Christophe and its team, and wish Chef Christophe all the best in his original home at Joostenberg.

Restaurant Christophe, Van Reyneveld Street, Stellenbosch.  Tel (021) 886-8763

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