Tag Archives: Sunset Beach

Cowboys & Cooks Steakhouse & Bar Sunset Beach serves excellent quality Chalmar Beef, very reasonably priced!

Yesterday a group of ten writers was invited by Jack & Jill Communications to attend a Media Lunch at the recently opened Cowboys & Cooks, the new steak restaurant and bar in Sunset Beach, owned by Michael Townsend and operated by Stuart Bailey of the C & C Group. We tasted various starters, main courses, and desserts, and were told what good quality Chalmar Beef the restaurant serves, and were shown the cuts, and explained the taste profile of each. Writers were astounded by the reasonable prices of the dishes, when they perused the menu. Continue reading →

Exciting top-end restaurants open in Cape Town and Winelands this month, restaurant openings slow down: November 2018!

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!

Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock takes SA restauranting to a new level, experiential and interactive dining and wining 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 Boutique Café has opened in Fish Hoek 

Restaurant Review: Stargarden Boutique Café in Fish Hoek is a star!

#   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. 

#   Syrup Breakfast is opening on Bree Street.

#  The Creamery is to open a branch in Durbanville Village Square. 

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

Hospitality and Tourism student internships more pain than gain!

Over the fifteen years of operating the Whale Cottage Portfolio, we have regularly offered hospitality and tourism students the opportunity to do their training at one or more of our Whale Cottages.   Our most recent experience was with students of the  Tourism and Business Institute of Southern Africa, and we wish to share our experience with this unprofessional Institute, as a warning.

In March we received an e-mail from Zakiyya Murtuza-Peerun, who signs her e-mails as Operations Director of the Tourism and Business Institute of Southern Africa, based in Mowbray in Cape Town.  I had never heard of this Institute.  She requested that some of her students be placed with us for training in “housekeeping/accommodation”, and we agreed to take two students for Whale Cottage Camps Bay, as well as a third for Whale Cottage Hermanus, in the optimistic hope that April would be a busy month, given the public holidays and long weekends.  I received a reply from Ms Murtuza-Peerun, stating that she would get back to me with the names of the students allocated to us.  I did not hear from her again.

Two aspects were different to our experience with other training institutions – we were able to interview potential students in the past, so that we could accept or reject the students prior to them starting with Whale Cottage.  To this end, we would receive CV’s of the student candidates. This did not happen. The internship period was odd, in that it started on 11 April, and was to end on 8 May, a very short four week period, not long enough at all for any significant training.  From May onwards the hospitality industry goes into winter mode, with barely any guests, and therefore there would be little practical training possible from this time onward – it was surprising that a Tourism training intsitute did not know this!

I was surprised to receive calls from two students on 10 April, the day before their start date, informing me of their arrival on the following day.  We had no CV’s, nor did we have any guidelines from the Institute as to what its training expectations were of us. The students started at Whale Cottage Camps Bay the next day, and arrived professionally dressed, student T looked smart in a waistcoat and tie, but blew this when he chewed gum at work.  We had a meeting with them, read through an overview of what the students were to learn in respect of Housekeeping, and the practical conditions of work were discussed.  Student T was requested to be moved to Hermanus, as there would not be enough work for two students in Camps Bay.  I called Ms Murtuza-Peerun, to express my dissatisfaction with the unprofessional start of the relationship with her Institute, and she said that she had been ill, and blamed her staff for not having informed us about the students’ arrival.  

Student R impressed immediately, and although she was only 17 years old, she initially appeared mature.  Student T chewed a new piece of gum, and had to be reprimanded for doing so again.  I stayed in e-mail contact with Ms Murtuza-Peerun, and documented all the problems that we experienced with the students.  Student T agreed to go to Hermanus, but delayed his departure by one day, as his parents did not have money to give him for his meals, so we took care of this for him.  On arrival in Hermanus, he expressed his dissatisfaction to his mother that he had been accommodated in a staff room, and that he was not accommodated in the private home of our manager, which had not been promised to him.  Student T became hard work and took valuable time of my managers in Camps Bay and in Hermanus, as he was unable to make a bed, not even understanding the concept of a fitted sheet.  He did not know how to wash dishes!  Both students were first years, having had about 10 weeks of academic training at the Institute, which had included a few days of practical training in bed-making under severe time constraints at the Institute’s “private 5 star guesthouse in Sunset Beach”, we were told by the students, but there was no evidence of this training having had any beneficial effect on the students, on Student T in particular.  

Four days after the start of the students we were called by a staff member of the Institute, saying that they were placing the students elsewhere, as the parents had complained to the Institute about the work that had to be done by the students.  We were not consulted, nor asked for input before the decision was made by the Institute.  Student R begged us to keep her on, but the Institute decided otherwise.  Being a guest house and not a hotel, our interns are expected to be proficient in all aspects of guest house operation.  I called Ms Murtuza-Peerun, and she sounded surprised about the call that we had received.  She was in Durban, and said that she had not been consulted by her colleagues about the decision.  She also told me that she would fire her Housekeeping lecturer, who already was on a final warning, for the poor bedmaking training of the students. Our managers spent valuable time in sorting out the students’ problems. Student T was called on numerous occasions while he was helping our Hermanus manager to prepare breakfast, and he had to be asked to switch off his cellphone. The Institute appeared to have no understanding of the time pressure on accommodation establishments between 8h00 – 11h00!  The five days that the students had spent at Whale Cottage were a complete waste of our time, and disrupted our operation.  It was our evaluation that the students were immature, that student T had no social skills and was a complete introvert, one barely being able to understand him when he spoke (yet he had good matric results, we were told!), and that he would never make it in the hospitality industry.  Both students had been moddle-coddled by their parents, and had never helped at home in making beds and working in the kitchen.  The Institute had not taught them about dealing with the public, or about working for a business.  Ms Murtuza-Peerun did indicate that both students’ mothers were the interfering and protective kind, Student R’s mother having called the Institute at the beginning of the academic year, for example, to enquire about the most suitable colour and type of paper she should buy to cover her daughter’s books!

Our experience with the Tourism and Business Institute of Southern Africa has made us decide to not take on any interns again, despite wanting to give back to the industry.  In general, we have found many students to not be serious about their studies and practical training (our best student ever completed her hospitality qualification, to move into teaching, as she could not accept the working hours of the hospitality industry!).  We blame the tourism training institutes for not screening students on the basis of their suitability for the demands of the hospitality and tourism industry, accepting any student whose parents are willing to pay the often exorbitant study fees.

I wrote to Ms Murtuza-Peerun to express my disappointment with her poor organisation of the student placements, and the unprofessional removal of the students by her Institute, and stated that I would warn our colleagues in the industry.  In checking out the Institute’s website, unfortunately only after the placements, I noted with interest that almost all the members of the Board of Governors of the Institute have a law qualification, and only one in tourism/hospitality.  The Institute has three directors, and its CEO is Rahman Murtuza, the father of the Operations Director!  Mr Murtuza’s previous background is stated as having been with Sun International.  It did not surprise me that Ms Murtuza-Peerun threatened “whatever action necessary” if I wrote about our experience with her Institute.   What was surprising was to learn that only seventeen first years had enrolled for the hotel management course, meaning that less than half would finish at the end of the course, hardly an important supply of future trained staff for an hospitality industry desperately requiring trained manpower!   It was also shocking to read on the Institute’s website that the students can in future be placed in jobs in Australia, Mauritius and Dubai – the Department of Tourism, Western Cape Department of Education, FEDHASA, Theta (now renamed CATHSSETA, the T and H standing for Tourism and Hospitality), and UCT’s Graduate School of Business all endorse the Institute, and would be aghast if they knew that their training efforts and association would be wasted on students ultimately leaving the country, when our own industry needs them so desperately!

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