Tag Archives: The Blue Danube

New Restaurant openings in Cape Town and Winelands continue!

Tiger's Milk Main Table and lights Whale CottageEven though we are halfway through the summer season,  new restaurants continue to open, and more are planned before summer ends.  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Michael Townsend (who owns the Harbour House emporium, with La Parada, Lucky Fish, and Harbour House restaurants) has opened Tiger’s Milk in Muizenberg (photograph).  The Lucky Fish on Long Street will be transformed into Tiger’s Milk.

*    Kokkedoor judge and Chef Nic van Wyk and Roxy Laker have opened bistro 13 at Stellenbosch Vineyards (Welmoed)

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point. Continue reading →

New restaurant openings awaited in Cape Town & Winelands!

Bistro 13 Interior plus serving hatch Whale CottageAn unusually high number of new restaurants has opened or will do so in the next month or two.  There have never been so many chefs leaving their employers to start their own restaurants, or to join other employers!  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Kokkedoor judge and Chef Nic van Wyk and Roxy Laker have opened bistro 13 at Stellenbosch Vineyards (Welmoed) (photograph)

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Michael Townsend (who own the La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) has opened Tiger’s Milk in Muizenberg, the venue having previously been earmarked for a steakhouse.

*   Neil Grant and his business partner Barry Engelbrecht (of Burrata) have opened new restaurant Bocca on the corner of BreeContinue reading →

Restaurant Review: Rivendell Restaurant a new start for Chef Thomas Sinn, whale of a good value!

Rivendell Exterior Whale CottageJardine at Jordan Manager and former Sinn employee Riaan Moll told me recently that Chef Thomas Sinn, once an Eat Out Top Restaurant Chef, has closed down all his restaurant interests in Cape Town, and has opened Rivendell Restaurant on the road to Hermanus, near the turn-off to Kleinmond and Arabella.  On our way back from a trip to Hermanus my colleague and I found an oasis of Rivendell Chef Thomas Sinn Whale Cottagefood, in the middle of nowhere, offering a whale of a good value.

Rivendell is referred to in J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, ‘Lord of the Rings’ amongst others, and means ‘deeply cloven valley‘, referring to the Bot River valley lying between two mountains.  The wine estate Rivendell is owned by Austrian couple Heimo and Maria Talhammer, and they invited Chef Thomas to open the restaurant on their farm three months ago.  The restaurant building is set back on the estate, and is not visible from the road to Hermanus.  It was previously the tasting and functions venue, but the Continue reading →

Confectionery designer Martin Senekal opens classy take-away Cafeteria!

I know the name of Martin Senekal, from having been impressed with his beautifully designed quiches, cake slices, and other foods, at his stand at the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill.  I was told earlier this week that he has opened a ‘hole in the wall’, as a resident of De Waterkant called it, in Jarvis Street, called Cafeteria, and selling a small selection of home-made take-away sandwiches, wraps, soup, and confectionery. They also offer a delivery service in the area.

Martin studied at the Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch, and then worked as a classic chef in a hot kitchen, as well as pastry chef at a range of hotels and restaurants, including the Cape Grace Hotel, Manolo, The Showroom, The Blue Danube, and 96 Winery Road.   Five years ago he went on his own, and created the brand ‘Martin Senekal Confectionery Design’, using the Neighbourgoods Market as his retail outlet on Saturdays, and taking orders for his amazing works of cake art (like the sweet potato and peanut cake above).  Martin assured me that he is not into doing theme cakes.  He does classic cakes, in full size as well as miniatures. 

The Cafeteria opened three weeks ago, and is difficult to see in Jarvis Street.  It is a surprise to see a very small white space, with only three wood and glass counters, made by Senekal himself, to display his sandwiches, wraps, macaroons, tarts, cake slices, and biscuits.   A blackboard lists the styles of häzz coffees, and another the sandwich and wrap options and prices.  There is couch-like seating, with some magazines on a table, but I got the feeling that it was more for design than use.  The space is cordoned off with a white muslin curtain, and the wrap that I ordered was made in the space behind the curtain.  In about six weeks Senekal will open the next door space, for a sit-down service.  Given Senekal’s reputation for confectionery creativity, and the intrigue of this almost hidden space, one can predict that Cafeteria will become a trendy spot.

I ordered a wrap containing a Waldorf salad, with apples, walnuts, raisins in yoghurt dressing and Camembert, a unique combination, and fresher than fresh.   There are three other wrap options: roast vegetables and goat’s cheese; coriander pesto chicken with Brie and watercress; Cape Malay spiced yoghurt with green beans and cashews; and Chermoula chicken, slow roasted plum tomato, and wild rocket, all costing an unbelievably low R20.  I didn’t see the soup of the day, at R25.  Sandwiches cost R30, and options offered on rye or sourdough are Chermoula chicken, mature white cheddar, gammon, and rare roast beef.  Baked phyllo vegetable roulade costs R20.  Parmesan-crusted quiches costs R20, and come as two options:  butternut and goat’s cheese, and oven-dried rosa tomato and olive.  Special dietary requirements and flavour combinations can be catered for, the menu says.

It is the sweet treats that make an impact, being in the central display cabinet, with their colour and beautiful design, clearly reflecting Senekal’s passion.  Petit Tartes, being Belgian chocolate and lemon meringues, cost R10; milk tarts R15; cake slices R20, with a choice of carrot cake and gluten-free chocolate cake; Belgian chocolate brownies cost R15; Macaroons are offered in twelve flavours (the more unusual ones are peanut butter, gooseberry, passion fruit, and raspberry) and cost R5, and miniature cakes cost R40.  The emphasis is on freshness, and flavours and choices change regularly.   The häzz cappuccino did not taste good because it was served in a paper cup, but understandable, given the take-away concept.

Cafeteria, 20 Jarvis Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town.  Tel (021) 418-2830.  www.martinsenekal.com. (The website has mainly photographs of Senekal’s cakes, beautifully shot, reflecting the range of creative ingredient combinations and beautiful ‘packaging’.  There is no information about Cafeteria on the website). Monday – Friday 9h00 – 15h00.

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