Tag Archives: Stellenbosch

Food blogger in ‘Death Cup’ murder mystery by Irna van Zyl modelled on WhaleTales Blog!

Last week I found a reference to my name in a review written about author Irna van Zyl’s second book, called ‘Death Cup: Murder is on the menu’, a play on words with a mushroom by the same name, naming me as the model for one of the main characters in the book, as the writer of the ‘infamous food blog’. As I had been told this verbally on another occasion too, I had to go to Exclusive Books to buy a copy of the book. There is no mistaking the blog of the ‘food blogger’ as being my WhaleTales Blog! Continue reading →

American Express announces Top 2020 Dining Award winners, with a Johannesburg bias!

It was a multi-Award day on Monday this week, with both American Express (for the Western and Southern Cape), as well as the Gourmet Guide (National) announcing their 2020 Restaurant Award winners. A week earlier American Express had announced its Gauteng, Free State, and KwaZulu-Natal Awards. There were many similarities in the winners, yet some strange winners in the American Express Dining  awards documented in this post. Continue reading →

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 →

Stellenbosch boasts with its Fine Wine and Food Festival, on 3 August!

It was the title of an article, looking very much like a copy and paste media release, that caught my eye, announcing the Stellenbosch Fine Wine and Food Festival ón 3 August, to be held in the ‘Gourmet Capital of South Africa’.  In my opinion, Stellenbosch has no such claim to this title, with only one restaurant on the 2019 Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant List!

Continue reading →

Three Potters and a Painter serves top restaurants, leaves its legacy in clay!

Last week I visited the home and studio of Three Potters and a Painter outside Stellenbosch, on my way to Franschhoek. I had first come across their ceramic work at Gåte restaurant, especially loving a black and white plate used in one of their dishes. They create works that bridge the gap between traditional design and contemporary innovation, with the aim of leaving their legacy in clay! Continue reading →

Rockstar chef team leaves Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock wine estate, set to open new doors in Cape Town!

Two weeks ago I heard a whisper about Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock Executive Chef Rikku O’Dönnchu and Head Chef Warwick King having left the restaurant that was destined to become South Africa’s number one restaurant in November this year, and was receiving international acclaim in the short time that it has operated since November 2018. Yesterday the news about the departure was confirmed by Quoin Rock as well as by Chef Rikku.

The chef team, operating as the SŸN Group, has announced that it will open a new restaurant in the Cape Town city centre by November.  Continue reading →

Chef Kevin Grobler does full career circle, returns to Delaire Graff!

In 2015 I met Chef Kevin Grobler at JAN Restaurant in Nice, the now one Michelin star restaurant, a week after he had started working in South Afrca’s Best South African cuisine restaurant. He had left Delaire Graff Restaurant to join dynamic and creative Chef Jan-Hendrik at JAN, and last week he went full circle, in starting at Delaire Graff as Head Chef again.  Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: Gåte at Quoin Rock refreshes 16 course Tasting Menu four months after opening!

I had the luck to have enjoyed a 16 course Tasting Menu dinner soon after the opening of Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock outside Stellenbosch, in November. I was blown away by the creativity of the dining experience, and its experiential nature, with Molecular Gastronomy, something I had not experienced at this international level in my dining experiences locally and internationally. On Tuesday a week ago I returned to Gåte, to try the new dishes on the Tasting Menu, as well as those that have changed in the past three months, while my friend from Paris ate the Tasting Menu for the first time, at her invitation.  Continue reading →

Is a winter Restaurant bloodbath lying ahead for Cape Town and Winelands, after very tough summer? Restaurant Update March 2019

I am hearing about the current tough summer season in the local restaurant industry, with a depressed local as well as international economy, and one can therefore only be concerned about restaurant closures lying ahead in winter.  There are no new restaurant openings that I am aware of. The closing down of Primal Eatery is a surprise, and of Open Kitchen in McGregor too. 

Restaurant openings

#  Bones Kitchen & Bar has opened in the Palms Design Centre in Woodstock. It is owned and owner-managed by well-seasoned restaurateur Rudi Minnaar.

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FYN Restaurant legal settlement win-win for Chef Peter Tempelhoff and WhaleTales Blog!

Restaurant history was made in this country yesterday, when a restaurant ban by Chef Peter Tempelhoff of the newly opened FYN Festaurant, instituted against me two days before the opening of the restaurant just over two weeks ago, was uplifted, in a settlement in which I agreed to make two changes to the Blogpost in which I shared the initial restaurant banning with my Blog readers. The restaurant ban contradicted a welcome to eat at the new restaurant, and a policy of patron non-discrimination, expressed to me by Chef Peter at the Eat Out Awards 2018 just ten days earlier.  Continue reading →