Entries tagged with “Simon Widdison”.


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!

#   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 Bistro has opened in Fish Hoek 

#   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. 

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

This afternoon Eat Out announced its list of the Top 30 restaurants in our country for this year. The Top 20 restaurants will be revealed at the Awards ceremony on 18 November at GrandWest, and the Top 10 list within that ranking. There are some surprise inclusions and exclusions in this list.  (more…)

imageOn Tuesday, its second day of operating, my friend Graham Goble and I dined at Chef Luke Dale-Roberts’ new The Shortmarket Club, just off Bree Street. It exceeded our expectations, in differing from The Test Kitchen (tasting menu) and Pot Luck Club (tapas) in its offering, and stood out in its strong use of colour for its starters and mains. However, some aspects disappointed. (more…)

My previous visit to Jardine, soon after George Jardine had left to start his new Stellenbosch restaurant Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine, was not as excellent as I had expected, feeling that George Jardine had left a gap that new chef Eric Bulpitt still needed to grow into.   Our return visit last week shows that Chef Eric has got there, and that George Jardine is no longer expected nor ‘present’ at Jardine.   The advertised three course Spring Special meal is in fact a 7-course one, thereby offering excellent value.  

I was interested in the four week period that Chef Eric had recently spent at Noma in Copenhagen, the number one of the San Pellogrino Top 50 Restaurants in the World and a 2-star Michelin restaurant.   It was Chef Eric’s choice as restaurant ‘mecca’, for its focus on ‘natural’ gastronomy, and he worked there without pay, and in the company of many other chefs from around the world, to undergo a ‘learnership’ in this renowned restaurant.   The first influence that Noma has had on Chef Eric is sourcing ingredients from nature, by foraging with his team in The Glen as well as in Newlands Forest, to find herbs and plants for his dishes, including wood sorrell, chickweed, Cape Chamomile, and nasturtiums.  He also learnt about flavour combinations.  The goal orientation of a restaurant such as Noma, which is based on focus and excellent organisation, was a further impactful influence, which Chef Eric wants to strengthen across the board at Jardine Restaurant.  He described it as being almost “militaristic”, with strict rules and regulations to work by.  He noted how the labour legislation differs in Denmark, in that one can fire staff if they do not deliver, and this is accepted by the staff, unlike South Africa and its restrictive labour law.

Other than the hostess Christina, who seemed to know who I was without welcoming me by name and therefore coming across as unfriendly, the service from new Manager Simon Widdison (Johan Terblanche has moved across to be the Manager at Tokara, which opens today) was friendly, as was that of Hannes the waiter (although he must please learn to not stretch across customers to place the fork on the left, and was not quite au fait about wine and food details).   The biggest surprise of all was how friendly and relaxed Jaap-Henk Koelewijn (what an apt surname!), the sommelier, has become.  The waiter had incorrectly indicated that the Jardine Shiraz was from Le Riche, to which I said yes immediately, when it was actually from Cederberg.   Jaap-Henk immediately offered to replace it with Hartenberg at the Jardine price, and had no problem in pouring the wine at the table and allowing me to taste it first.

In coming to try the 3-course Spring Special running until the end of October, at a most reasonable R180, one does not expect any extras.  We were therefore most surprised that we were served three pre-starters, and an amuse bouche, prior to the three course meal, making it a 7-course meal.   The first dish to arrive was interesting-looking deep-fried tapioca over which frozen goat’s cheese had been grated.  I associate tapioca with ‘pudding’, and not favourably from my childhood, so I was a bit nervous about trying it.  I felt it to be a little dry, and so only had a taste of it.   The second dish was vetkoek with a gorgonzola centre, which my son loved and I did not at all, finding it rather bland.  What I loved was the third treat, being a most unusual Kingklip crisp made by dusting the thinnest slice of the fish in tapioca flour, and serving it with a ponzu dressing, made from citrus and soya.  My ‘Larousse Gastronomique’ defines tapioca as follows: A starchy food extracted from the roots of the manioc plant, which is hydrated, cooked, then ground.  It is used mainly for thickening soups and broths and making milk puddings and other desserts”.  Clearly this is an ingredient that Chef Eric loves. The amuse bouche was a cauliflower spuma, with a very delicate and light taste on top, and a spicy taste underneath.

The three course Spring Special only has one choice per course, and last Friday it was a Confit duck leg terrine served with spicy orange and naartjie chutney as starter; the main course was sirloin steak served with smoked mash, spinach and carrot puree; and the dessert was a selection of three sorbets and ice creams.  The duck terrine was served in a circular slice, quite coarse and crumbly, and bound by a leaf. I had it with the lovely Cape seedloaf.   My son preferred to not eat the terrine, and Chef Eric made him a Vegetable Patch starter from their a la carte menu, a most beautifully presented Spring-looking collection of baby beetroot, butternut, cherry tomatoes, parsnip, buffalo mozzarella, and a watercress emulsion, on ‘mushroom soil’, resembling that in texture, and made by drying mushrooms, grinding them, and then adding butter and herbs.

I had asked the kitchen to take the photographs for me, due to the softer lighting at our table, and this may have been the reason why both our steaks had lost their temperature when brought to the table.  They were immediately replaced, and were excellent, two small pieces, with wonderful carrot puree and spinach, decorated with tiny nasturtium leaves, foraged by Chef Eric and his team earlier that day.  The smoked mash was good, but I would have preferred it plain, as the smoked taste was too dominant.  The dessert sorbet and ice cream choices were lemon and thyme, espresso coffee and chocolate, coconut milk yoghurt and chilli, and pear and glühwein.  I felt that of all the dishes served, the desserts allowed Chef Eric’s creativity to come to the fore the most, with the unsual combination of flavours, and beautiful presentation with a ‘birdseed’ crisp on a patterned square plate.

The winelist has a black leather cover too, reminding me of that at Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine, and its first page contains the names of the artists whose work is on display in the restaurant and for sale.   Its introduction states that the winelist is a personal selection of wines to complement the ‘gastronomic feast’.  Wines by the glass include Colmant Brut (R65); Sterhuis Blanc de Blanc (R55); Jardine Unwooded Chardonnay, which comes from Vriesenhof (R30); Lammershoek Roulette Blanc (R45), Trizanne Sauvignon Blanc (R45); Jardine Shiraz (which comes from Cederberg, and costs R 40); La Motte Millennium (R45); Sterhuis Merlot (R45); and Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc (R45).    The Shiraz selection ranges from MAN Vintners at R95, to Luddite at R450, the Jardine costing R160, Hartenberg R330, and Miglarina R250.

If one does not enjoy the Spring Special before the end of October, a steal at R180 for seven courses, one can order  a 2-course meal at R240, or a 5-course one at R480. 

Jardine is one of twenty finalists for the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards, and chef Eric is one of four chefs (with David Higgs, PJ Vadis and Chantel Dartnall) that will be cooking for the guests attending the Top 10 Awards ceremony.  It is said that cooking at the Awards dinner is a sure-fire guarantee of making the Top 10 list, although Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly specifically denied this when she met with these chefs recently.  With Chef Eric’s dedication to his craft, and his recent unpaid ‘learnership’ at Noma allowing him to re-invent himself after four years at Jardine Restaurant, he stands a good chance of making it onto the Top 10 list.  

POSTSCRIPT 14/1: It has been announced that Jardine’s will close down at the end of February – its lease comes up for renewal then.  The focus will be on Tokara in Stellenbosch.   Part of the motivation is the departure of George Jardine to start his own restaurant, Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine. Chef Eric Bulpitt will move to The Roundhouse.

POSTSCRIPT 28/2: Jardine has closed, without a whimper or a thank you for the client support from the management.

Jardine Restaurant, 185 Bree Street, Cape Town.   Tel (021) 424-5640 www.jardineonbree.co.za  (It is odd to see George Jardine’s photograph on the website, and to see him listed as an owner, when he is not involved in any apparant way.  The website needs to be updated, reflecting the staff promotions and movements, including the Noma visit.  The website could also do with an Image gallery, to show off Chef Eric’s cuisine creativity).  Twitter @JardineCape Town.  Tuesdays – Saturdays.

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