Tag Archives: The Country Kitchen

High Chef turnover in Cape and Winelands restaurants, new restaurant openings continue!

Foliage Chef Chris Erasmus at table Whale CottageFor the first time in many years Cape Town has seen barely any restaurant closures this winter. There have never been so many chefs leaving their employers to start their own restaurants, or to join other employers! An unusually high number of new restaurants have opened or will do so in the next month or two.

This list of restaurant openings and closings, restaurant staff movements, and winter holiday closures, is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*     Chef Chris Erasmus has opened his own restaurant Foliage in Franschhoek, having previously been at Pierneef à La Motte.

*    Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen has opened Street Food below the neighbouring hotel, offering Deluxe coffee, pastries, and Asian-inspired lunch take-outs. Operates from 7h00 – 15h00 Monday – Friday.

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill is opening next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Michael Townsend (La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) is Continue reading →

Many restaurant openings in Cape Town and Winelands contrary to past winter trend!

Chef's Warehouse Street Food logo Whale Cottage PortfolioCape Town is seeing an amazing number of restaurant openings in mid-winter, a time during which one expects the opposite, it being usual to see restaurant closures.  Although a concern to some, we are seeing a rise in restaurant entrepreneurs, opening more than one restaurant in Cape Town, including Neil Grant with business partner Barry Engelbrecht (opening on Bree Street, as well as at the former River Café; Michael Townsend of the Harbour House Group, who must be the fastest restaurant-opener at the moment, also bringing star Chef Andres Conde from Michelin star restaurants in Spain to Cape Town; and grumpy Giorgio Nava, who is opening two Carne restaurants shortly! This list of restaurant openings and closings is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen has opened Street Food below the neighbouring hotel, offering Deluxe coffee, pastries, and Asian-inspired lunch take-outs. Operates from 7h00 – 15h00.

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   Lucky Fish & Chips has opened on Bree Street, on Regent Road in Sea Point, on Long Street, in Kalk Bay, and in Muizenberg, belonging to Harbour House group.  

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill is opening next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Ragafellows has opened on Main Road in Hout Bay.

*   The Dogfather has opened in Sea Point.

*   The Restaurant at Cape Point Vineyards has opened, with Chef Clayton Bell of the former Constantia Uitsig Continue reading →

Festive Cape Town and Winelands Festive Season Restaurant offers!

The Festive Season offers for Christmas and New Year follow below, and will be updated continuously as we receive new information:

Christmas Eve

*   Five Flies, Cape Town: 4-course dinner with ‘champagne and crackers’ R395. Tel (021) 424-4442

*   Rick’s Café, Cape Town: 3-course dinner R195.  Tel (021) 424-1100

*   Azure Restaurant, Twelve Apostles Hotel, Camps Bay: 4-course dinner R720. Tel (021) 437-9000

*   Franschhoek Kitchen, Holden Manz, Franschhoek: Dinner R300. Tel (021) 876-2738

*   Catharina’s, Steenberg: 4-course dinner R695.  Tel (021) 713-2222

*   The Kitchen, Woodstock: 3-courses R300, main course plus dessert R245, starter plus main course R268. Tel (021) 462-2201

*   Planet Restaurant, Mount Nelson Hotel: 5-course dinner R890. Tel (021) 483-1000

*   96 Winery Road, Stellenbosch: 3-course dinner R420.  Tel (021) 842-2020

*   Makaron Restaurant, Majeka House: 4-course dinner plus drink R 495 . Tel (021) 880-1549

Christmas Day

*   Haiku:  Set menu from R195.  Tel (021) 424-7000

*   Bukhara: Set menu from R195 per person.  Tel (021/ 4240000/(021) 882-9133/(021) 535-4444

*   1800, Cape Royale Luxury Hotel:  Lunch Buffet with welcome drink, R280 per adult and R120 for children under 12 years.  Tel (021) 430-0506

*   Delaire Graff, Stellenbosch:  4-course lunch R755.  Tel (021) 885-8160

*  Haute Cabriere Cellar Restaurant, Franschhoek: 3-course lunch  R400.  Tel (021) 876-3961

*   Monneaux, Franschhoek: 5-course lunch R 395.  Tel (021) 876-3380

*   Backsberg, Klapmuts: Buffet lunch and glass of John Martin Sauvignon Blanc R415. Tel (021) 875-5141

*   La Mouette, Sea Point: 5-course lunch R350. Tel (021) 433-0856

*   Allée Bleue, Franschhoek:  3-course lunch in Bistro and Wine Tasting Courtyard R250. Christmas Lunch Buffet in Main House Courtyard R250.  Tel (021) 874-1021. FULLY BOOKED

*   Chapman’s Peak Hotel, Hout Bay:  3-course lunch R395 + 10 % service charge.  Tel (021) 790-1036

*   Azure Restaurant, Twelve Apostles Hotel, Camps Bay: Lunch buffet, eggnog, a gift, party hats, and crackers. R945.  Tel (021) 437-9000

*   Asara, Stellenbosch: Buffet Lunch R275; Christmas Lunch R450.  Tel (021) 888-8000

*   L’ermitage, Franschhoek: Lunch R350.  Tel (021) 876-9200

*   Rivendell Estate & Bistro, near Kleinmond: Sangria welcome drink plus Buffet, R300. Tel (028) 284-9185

*   Rickety Bridge, Franschhoek: 4-course dinner R325. Tel (021) 876-2120.

*   Charl’s, Blue Gum Country Estate, Stanford: 5-course lunch R395.  Tel (028) 341 0107

*   Rhapsody’s, Green Point: 4-course lunch R 245.  Tel (021) 434-3004

*   Bistro Sixteen82, Steenberg: 4-course lunch, R 425.  Tel (021) 713-2222

*   The Kitchen, Maison, Franschhoek: 6-course lunch R 650.  Tel (021) 876-2116

*   La Belle Café & Bakery, The Alphen Hotel, Constantia: 4-course lunch R 350.  Tel (021) 795-6300

*   Ben’s on the Beach, Strand: 3-course lunch R 195,  11h00 and 13h30 sittings. Tel (021) 855-7977

*   La Colombe, Constantia: 4-course lunch R1100 + 12% tip.  Tel (021) 794-2390

*   Sofia’s @ Morgenster, Somerset West:  3-course lunch R400.  Tel (021) 847-1993

*   Two Oceans Restaurant, Cape Point: 3-courses R185.  Tel (021) 780-9200

*   96 Winery Road, Stellenbosch: 3-course lunch R420.  Tel (021) 842-2020

*   The Country Kitchen, Mont Rochelle, Franschhoek: 3-course lunch R320.  Tel (021) 876-2770

*   Mange Tout, Mont Rochelle Hotel, Franschhoek: 5-course lunch R 470. Tel (021) 876-876-2770

*   Cape Town Fish Market, V&A Waterfront, Tokai, GrandWest, Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Tyger Valley, Canal Walk:  4-course Christmas lunch R125. Tel (21) 418-5977

*   Dash, Queen Victoria Hotel, V&A Waterfront: 5-course Christmas lunch R495. Tel (021) 418-1466

*   Ryan’s Kitchen in Franschhoek will be closed on 25 and 26 December.

New Year’s Eve

*   The Restaurant @ Clos Malverne, Stellenbosch:  Food & Wine Experience – eight latest vintages, each paired with a course.  R395.  Tel (021) 865-2022

*   Chic Café, Gardens: 5 course dinner R450.  Tel (021) 465-7218

*   Delaire Graff, Stellenbosch: 6-course dinner. R1200. Tel (021) 885-8160

*   Pepper Club on the Beach: 3-course dinner R850. Tel (021) 438-3174

*   Cocos, Hermanus: 3-course dinner R500.  Tel (028) 313-1178

*   Five Flies, Cape Town: 4-course dinner plus glass of Pierre Jourdan and music R795.  Tel (021) 424-4442

*   Rick’s Café, Cape Town:  Jazz, appetizer plate and glass of Pongracz R125.  Tel (021) 424-1100

*   La Mouette, Sea Point: 4-course dinner with welcome drink and L’Avenir Brut Rosé 2009.  Tel (021) 433-0856.

*   Chapman’s Peak Hotel, Hout Bay: 3-course dinner R395 + 10 % service charge.  Tel (021) 790-1036

*   Azure Restaurant, Twelve Apostles Hotel, Camps Bay: 5-course dinner plus glass of champagne R1650.  Tel (021) 437-9000

*   Asara, Stellenbosch:   Dinner Buffet R345; Dinner at Raphael’s R950.  Tel (021) 888-8000

*   Franschhoek Kitchen, Holden Manz, Franschhoek: Dinner R300.  Tel (021) 876-2738

*   Bertha’s, Simonstown: 3-course dinner, welcome glass of bubbly and jazz band R 350.  Tel (021) 786-2138

*   Black Marlin, Simonstown: 4-course crayfish platter, dinner and dance R 500.  Tel (021) 786-1621

*   Café Chic, Gardens, 5-course dinner R450.  Tel (021) 465-7218

*   The Conservatory, Cellars-Hohenhort Hotel, Constantia: 3-course dinner R1200.  Tel (021) 794-2137

*   Hildebrand, V&A Waterfront: 5-course meal, champagne on arrival, band R 1300.  Tel (021) 425-3385

*   Moyo, Bloubergstrand: African feats and music by CODA R595.  Tel (021) 554-9671

*   Oasis Restaurant, Mount Nelson Hotel: Buffet R650.  Tel (021) 483-1948

*   The Pepper Club on the Beach, Camps Bay:  3-course dinner and music R850.  Tel (021) 438-9551

*   Taste Restaurant, Somerset West: Dinner R385.  Tel (021) 855-3686

*   Ben’s on the Beach, Strand: 3-course dinner R245.  Tel (021) 853-7977

*   Bodega Restaurant, Dornier, Stellenbosch: 3-course meal, glass of Sterhuis Blanc de Blanc 2008 R380. Tel (021) 880-0557

*   Makaron Restaurant, Majeka House, Stellenbosch: 4-course dinner, pre-dinner drink, live music, glass of champagne R625.  Tel (021) 880-1549

*   Moyo, Spier, Stellenbosch: cocktail, snack, face paint, African feast, entertainment R495. Tel (021) 809-1138

*   Restaurant Mangiare, Capelands, Somerset West: 2-courses R190, 3-courses R240, 4-courses R 290.  Tel (021) 858-1477

*   Proviant Kaapse Tafel, Paarl: Spit braai, live music and bubbly R 195.  Tel (021) 863-0949

*   Pure, Hout Bay Manor: 6-course dinner R850. Tel (021) 791-9393

*   Lookout Deck, Hout Bay:  4-course dinner and live band R300.  Tel (021) 790-0900

*   Freedom Hill Restaurant, R301, Franschhoek:  Spit braai and music R 350. Tel (021) 867-0963

*   Rocca, Cape Quarter: 3-course dinner R 400.  Tel (021) 418-8000

*   Pepenero, Mouille Point: 3-course dinner, glass of ‘champagne’ on arrival R 700.  Tel 082 800 8542

*   Zenzero, Camps Bay: 3-course dinner R 950.  Tel 082 800 8542

*   The Kove, Camps Bay: 3-course dinner R 950 with glass of ‘champagne’ on arrival.  Tel 082 800 8542

*   Paranga, Camps Bay: 3-course dinner with glass of ‘champagne’ R 1200. Tel 082 800 8542

*   Rhapsody’s, Green Point: 4-course dinner with complimentary glass of MCC R 435.  Tel (021) 434-3004

*   French Toast, Bree Street: 3-course tapas dinner R 250.  Tel (021) 422-3839

*   5 Rooms, Alphen Hotel: 4-courses R850.  Tel (021) 795-6300

*    Dash, Queen Victoria Hotel, V&A Waterfront: 5-course dinner R750. Tel (021) 418-1466

*    Myoga, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 7-course dinner R750.  Tel (021) 657-4545.

*   Le Franschhoek Hotel: 7-course dinner R1150.  Tel (021) 876-8900

*   6 Spin Street, Spin Street, Cape Town: 5-course dinner buffet and dance with welcome drink R450;  cheese and dessert buffet R250.  Tel (021) 461-0666

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

New Franschhoek Wine Valley Food and Wine Route puts Franschhoek restaurants and wine estates on the map

The Franschhoek Wine Valley (the new tourism body name, the “Tourism Association” part of the name recently having been dropped) Food & Wine Route has been launched to the media, and soon will be presented in a new map, that will reflect the wealth of 42 restaurants, 48 wine estates and 3 delis and shops that sell foodstuffs in and around Franschhoek. The new Food & Wine Route is a good marketing reaction to the increasing dominance of Stellenbosch as the new gourmet center of South Africa, and its large number of wine estates, even though the tourism association’s website still refers to Franschhoek as the “Gourmet Capital of South Africa”!

Last year we wrote about the Food & Wine Route when it was first announced, and from the initial information it appeared to have a broader focus initially.  Now the Route is more focused, and will incorporate mainly the restaurants and wine estates that are members of Franschhoek Wine Valley.   Interestingly, the geographic delineation of Franschhoek has been broadened to incorporate the wine estates and restaurants on the R45 between Klapmuts and Simondium, including Noble Hill, Backsberg, and Babel at Babylonstoren, on the basis that they have become members of the Franschhoek Wine Valley association, even if they fall under the Paarl wine district.   Strangely, Glen Carlou has not chosen to be part of the Franschhoek Food & Wine Route, it being one of the first properties one passes when driving to Franschhoek on the R45.

Tania Steyn, the Marketing Manager of Franschhoek Wine Valley, explained that this new project consists of two parts.  The first is the Food & Wine Route map, in A3 size, which will list all the restaurants and wine estates, the one side featuring those in the village, and the other side those that are outside Franschhoek.   The Food & Wine Route map will replace the most handy Franschhoek Wine map, which guest houses and their guests have found to be useful in highlighting all the Vigneron members in Franschhoek.  The second part of the project is an e-commerce platform for specific Food and Wine Route Experiences, that one cannot visit spontaneously without a booking.  The bookings will be made on the website, and it is hoped that visitors to Franschhoek will book a number of such experiences, and will therefore stay in the area for longer.

The wine estates on the new Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route are Akkerdal, Allèe Bleue, Anthonij Rupert Wines (L’Ormarins and Protea brands, and home of the outstanding Motor Museum), Backsberg, Boekenhoutskloof, Boschendal Wines, Chamonix, Colmant Cap Classique & Champagne, Dieu Donnè Vineyards, Franschhoek Cellar, Glenwood, Graham Beck Franschhoek, Grande Provence Estate, Haute Cabriere (with Pierre Jourdan sparkling wines), Holden Manz (previously Klein Genot), La Bri, La Chataigne, La Motte (with Pierneef art gallery), La Petite Dauphine, La Petite Ferme, La Manoir de Brendel, Leopard’s Leap, Lynx Wines, Maison, Mont Rochelle, Moreson, My Wyn, Noble Hill, Plaisir de Merle, Rickety Bridge, Solms-Delta (with interesting slave museum), Stony Brook, Topiary Wines (newest Platter 5-star sparkling wine in Franschhoek), Val de Vie, and Vrede & Lust.   These wine estates can be visited without appointment.

Those estates for which one must book a winetasting are Eikehof, Franschhoek Pass Winery (Morena sparkling wine), Haut Espoir, La Bourgogne, La Roche estate, La Vigne, Landau du Val, Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons and Von Ortloff.  Bellingham Wines, Klein Dauphine, La Chaumière and Veraison Vineyards are not open to the public at all, but their wines can be bought at the highly regarded Franschhoek wine shop La Cotte Inn on the main road in the village.

The Franschhoek restaurants and food outlets on the Food & Wine Route are Allora, Babel at Babylonstoren, Backsberg, Boschendal Restaurant, Boschendal Le Café and Boschendal Le Pique-Nique, Bread & Wine, Café Allèe Bleue, Cafè BonBon, Col’Cacchio Pizzeria, Cosecha Restaurant at Noble Hill, Dalewood Fromage (but not open to the public), Dieu Donnè Restaurant, Dutch East, Elephant & Barrel, Essence, Fizz Affair Champagne Lounge, Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz, Freedom Hill Restaurant, Fyndraai Restaurant at Solms-Delta, The Restaurant at Grande Provence, Haute Cabrière, Huguenot Fine Chocolates, Kalfi’s, Fromages de France (La Cotte Inn),  Le Bon Vivant, Dish @ Le Franschhoek, Le Verger The Orchard Restaurant (Le Franschhoek Hotel), The Common Room, The Tasting Room,  L’Ermitage Restaurant, Mon Plaisir at Chamonix, Mange Tout, Monneaux, Reuben’s, Rickety Bridge, Ryan’s Kitchen, Salmon Bar, The Country Kitchen, The French Connection, The Grill Room, The Jam Jar, The Olive Shack, and The Polo Club Restaurant (at La Vie). Oddly, Pierneef à La Motte is not listed, and one hopes this is just an oversight.   Other missing restaurants are Café Benedict, BICCCS, Chez D’Or, Cotage Fromage at Vrede & Lust, Crepe & Cidre, Café Le Chocolatier, Café des Arts, and the Franschhoek Food Emporium.

The Franschhoek Food & Wine Route Experiences which one can book include the following:

*   Solms-Delta Cape Music Tour, teaching participants about “Cape rural and vernacular music”. R 50 (minimum of 6 persons).  Monday – Sunday.

*   Plaisir de Merle “Award-winning wines wine tasting”. R 20, and R40 if cellar tour added. Monday – Saturday

Plaisir de Merle Flavour Sensation Tasting, food and wine pairing. R 50.  Monday – Saturday

*   Plaisir de Merle Wine & Chocolate Tasting. R 50. Monday – Saturday

*   Charcuterie Tasting with Neil Jewell. R 25 – R105. Daily before 11h00 and after 15h30

*   Franschhoek Cellar Cheese and Wine pairing. R 35.  Daily

*   Huguenot Fine Chocolates Chocolate Tour and Tasting. R 25.  Daily 11h00 and 15h00

*   Chamonix Grappa & Schnapps Tasting. R15.  Daily

*   Dieu Donné Micro-brewery and beer tasting. R15 beer tasting and R 35 for full bewery talk and tasters.  Daily

*   Babylonstoren Guided Garden Visit. R 20, Wednesday – Sunday 10h00 and 15h00.

*   Le Bon Vivant Surprise Menu. R 485 for 5-course meal and wine, R360 without wine. Daily except Wednesdays.

*   Food and wine pairing at Pierneef à La Motte. R 195 for 5 pairings, extra R 50 for glass of La Motte MCC. Tuesday – Sunday 12h00 – 14h00.

*   Cape Gourmet Delights Tour, with stops at Grande Provence, Moreson and Vrede & Lust. R1995 per day includes “light lunch”. 10 persons maximum.  Monday – Friday.

A walking tour as well as a talk on ceramics are part of this programme, but seem out of place in not having anything to do with Wine or Food.

One hopes that the Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route map will indicate which wine estates, food shops and restaurants sell foods, such as the vegetables, breads and chocolates at the Farm Shop at Pierneef à La Motte; salmon products and breads at the Salmon Bar; the Mediterranean delicacies at The Olive Shack; wonderful freshly baked wholewheat bread at Grande Provence; breads and sweet treats at Café BonBon and Café Benedict; olive oils and balsamic vinegar at Allèe Bleue; heavenly chocolates as well as breads at Café Le Chocolatier; Truckles cheeses at Franschhoek Cellar; and a selection of home-made pies, preserves, dips, cold meats and breads at the new Franschhoek Food Emporium.   It would be good if the fortnightly Farmers’ Market at Holden Manz also be listed.

We salute the Franschhoek Wine Valley for putting together this initiative, and trust that the Food & Wine Route map will be finalised and printed as soon as possible, given that the summer season ends in two months’ time.   We encourage Franschhoek Wine Valley to add the names of the omitted Franschhoek restaurants, by encouraging them to sign up as members, so that the map can be as representative of the food and wine delights in Franschhoek as possible.

POSTSCRIPT 22/4: The new Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route maps have been made available, and can be collected from the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau, or from Whale Cottage Franschhoek.  Oddly, it lists the two Pick ‘n Pays too, under the ‘Franschhoek Restaurants & Food section”.  Following our recommendation above, the Franschhoek Food Emporium was added, but Café Le Chocolatier, Café Benedict, BICCCS, Chez d’Or, Cotage Fromage, Crepe et Cidre, Café des Arts, and the new Le Coq are not on the map.  Other sources of food to buy, as listed two paragraphs above, are not indicated on the map.

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