Tag Archives: Spice Route

Babylonstoren 2 opens as The Newt in Somerset in the UK, celebrates local produce, history, and beauty!

 

It was by chance that I heard about The Newt in Somerset opening in the UK last year, a property which Babylonstoren owners Koos Bekker and Karen Roos bought in 2013 as Hadspen House, renaming the renovated estate, and turning it into a property similar to Babylonstoren outside Franschhoek. Continue reading →

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Franschhoek attracting most new restaurant openings, despite the state of the economy: December 2019!

 

The only new restaurants opening this month are Epice, in Franschhoek, headed by Chef Charné Sampson, belonging to The La Colombe Group, and to be located in the former Marigold restaurant, as well as The Four Square Club, opened as a lunch restaurant by Chef Chris Erasmus at Môreson. Chef Peter Tempelhoff announced the opening of a new ‘funky’ restaurant in Cape Town on Kfm last week. 

Other recent restaurant openings are Exhibit A of Chefs Rikku O’Donnchü and Warwick King on Bree Street in Cape Town, La Chêne was opened by Chef Darren Badenhorst at Leeu Estates in Franschhoek, and Cowboys & Cooks has opened in De Waterkant. Continue reading →

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New Restaurant openings in Cape Town and Winelands for 2019/2020 season slow down dramatically: October 2019!

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 →

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Can a negative review close a restaurant down?

 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 →

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Battle for the Restaurant collections: what do the Top chefs get out of it, other than ego?

It was a surprise announcement to read that Chef Bertus Basson has been exorcised from Spice Route wine estate outside of Paarl, and that Chef Liam Tomlin with Neil and Tina Jewell are taking over this space. It makes for an interesting discussion as to why the top chefs of our country are so determined to open one restaurant after the other, and to ask if they make any money out of it!  Continue reading →

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Few restaurant openings and closures in Cape Town and the Winelands: February 2019

The tough conditions for the restaurant industry in Cape Town and the Winelands continue, with few restaurants opening or closing. A surprise is that Bertus Basson @ Spice Route is no longer operating, a killer negative review late last year possibly being the nail in the coffin. Now Basson only has five Stellenbosch restaurants plus all his catering assignments and TV appearances to juggle! Interesting is that Chef Liam Tomlin has opened a ‘contemporary ecological tapas’ restaurant in Barcelona, well-suited to his tapas restaurant offerings!

Restaurant openings

#   Ellen Jay has opened inside Constantia Fabrics. Continue reading →

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The Yard opens in Waterfront’s Silo District as multi-cultural cuisine Lifestyle Restaurant, Bar, Deli, and Homeware outlet!

The new The Yard in the Silo District of the V&A Waterfront opened last week, as a multi-cultural cuisine restaurant, but also offering a bar, a homeware shop, and a Deli. It is the most unique restaurant I have experienced, in its diverse food offering. Continue reading →

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Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge 2017 winners announced!

For a number of years I have attended the Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge, sponsored by Standard Bank, but had to decline the awards earlier this week, held at Delaire Graff, due to travel. I received the media release, announcing the Top 10 Chenin Blanc wines.   Continue reading →

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Honesty is my best policy! And it will always be! Even about unprofessional chefs and PR consultancies!

I could not have imagined that my review a week ago of Chef Bertus Basson’s Spek en Bone restaurant in Stellenbosch could have unleashed such vitriol, and become so personal in its attacks, despite my review not having been a personal attack against Chef Bertus. I am grateful for all the messages of support which I have received, reinforcing that I am known as the only honest writer in our country.  Continue reading →

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Restaurant Review: Spek en Bone has no bacon nor beans, little SA cuisine, crap in most respects

I had not been to Spek & Bone yet, Chef Bertus Basson’s fourth restaurant, on Dorp Street in Stellenbosch. Bertus Basson @ The Ritz Revolving Restaurant is still awaiting official opening in Sea Point. I was severely disappointed with my visit to Spek & Bone with my friend Jenny last week. What was Chef Bertus thinking in setting up such a crap restaurant, given that he is on the Eat Out Top 10 list?! The c-word appears a number of times below, so sensitive readers are welcome to opt out of reading the rest of the review!  Continue reading →

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