Yesterday my friend Jenny and I enjoyed a spoiling lunch at Mondiall Kitchen & Bar in the V&A Waterfront, to experience their new Winter Menu, an invitation extended by Five Star PR. It was a glorious summer day in what is meant to be winter already, and one wishes the restaurant a hasty arrival of winter, to match the new Winter Menu of new Chef Stephen Mandes! Continue reading →
Yesterday it was confirmed that Chef Luke is opening Short Market Club on Shortmarket Street, in a pedestrian section of the street next door Continue reading →
* The Garden Route is one of nine Best Coastal Drives in the world, selected by CNN Traveler, and described as follows: ‘Drive along the #GardenRoute @GoToSouthAfrica absolutely stunning!” —@SuryaSadisivan’ . Other coastal drives on the list includes the Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway, the Amalfi Drive in Italy, the Road to Key West in Florida, and Sea-to-Sky Highway in Vancouver.
* Horst Frehse, Executive Director of the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the recent Red Carnation Hotel Collection Staff Appreciation Awards held in London. Continue reading →
I received a personal invitation from Chef Bertus Basson to join him for lunch at his new Bertus Basson at Spice Route restaurant, which opened on the Paarl wine farm 6 weeks ago. He and his charming wife Mareli managed to re-invent the restaurant within five days from taking over the space, modernising it to reflect their promise of ‘A Modern South African Restaurant’, both in terms of its decor and its food offering.
A lot has changed at Spice Route, my last visit having been when Charles Back had taken over the wine estate, previously called Seidelberg, next door to his Fairview. I didn’t have time to see all the artisan businesses which have opened at Spice Route since Back took over, but they include a Richard Bosman charcuterie outlet, with tastings at R30 (a bit cheeky I thought), a wine tasting centre, and Cape Brewing Co, about which I Continue reading →
Even though we are almost at the end of the summer season, chefs are still moving between restaurants, a number of chef changes having taken place at the end of February. This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* Italian restaurant Palma has opened on Bree Street (photograph)
* Bacon on Bree has opened at 217 Bree Street, a bacon-inspired restaurant by charcuterier Richard Bosman and his wife Justine Seymour.
* Culture Club cheese and wine shop has opened at 215 Bree Street, its owner previously having been the GM of La Fromagerie on Marylebone High Street in London!
* The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point.
* Baked in the Wood is to open on Bree Street, offering craft beer and tapas, owned by Zahir Mohamed of Baked Bistro.
* Honest Chocolate Café has opened next door to its original shop on Wale Street.
* Tasha’s has opened in Canal Walk
* Localé Cocktail & Pincho Bar has opened in Mowbray, as a joint venture between Baked Bistro Continue reading →
* More than 7000 film permits were issued in 2013, demonstrating Cape Town’s popularity as a film destination. New City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing Garreth Bloor says that the film industry contributes R 5 billion to our economy, and created 35000 jobs in the past three years. The fourth season of the American TV series ‘Homeland‘ is being filmed in Cape Town at the moment, while Sean Penn’s ‘The Last Face’ will be filmed in the next few months, starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem. In the past year 11500 locations and 12000 shooting sites were booked. Some of the most popular locations for filming are the City’s Darling Street bank building, Artscape Theatre, and the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
* Brent Perremore from Orphanage Cocktail Emporium has won the Diageo Reserve 2014 World Class National Final as best mixologist in South Africa, held at The Marly in Camps Bay yesterday. He will represent South Africa in the International Championships in Scotland. Haroon Haffajee of Harry’s Bar in Durban came second and Marson Strydom of Buena Vista Social Café came third.
* Wines of South Africa (WOSA) has announced that CapeWine 2015 will be held from 15 – 17 September 2015. (via Twitter)
* Franschhoek resident Nolan Hoffman has won the 2014 Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour. (Via Twitter)
* While online accommodation evaluations are much more responsibly handled, about half of travellers feel that a substantial part of accommodation reviews have been ‘manipulated‘, a Tourism professor told the travel industry at ITB, the international travel expo which ended in Berlin this weekend.
* The most child-friendly airports in the world, according to Travel News Weekly, are Heathrow (number one on the list, and offers children play areas, a quiet room, and a game zone), Zürich (with child minders), Frankfurt (with boarding passes for teddies too!), Munich (with touch screen terminals to explain how an airport works, and German TV series shown), Singapore (with a Butterfly Garden, arcade games, a four storey slide, and internet terminals), and Chicago (with an interactive educational play area).
* The flagship MCC Villiera Monro Brut 2008 won one of 20 Bacchus Trophies at the 16th Annual Taj Classic Wine Trophy Continue reading →
I spent a wonderful afternoon in the middle of nowhere yesterday at Oneiric Wines, 5 km off one of the Elgin roads, spoilt by Chef Bertus Basson of Overture, who set up a pop-up restaurant for 30 guests at the homestead of the owners overlooking the beautiful valley.
Shan Pascall did not tell me about the road I would be travelling to get to the homestead, which is beyond their tasting room, with steep inclines and declines, but she had ‘incentivised’ me by saying that not only would Chef Bertus be cooking, but that her friend David Bullard of former ‘Out to Lunch’ Sunday Times column fame would be there too. I was shaking a little on arrival, after the drive, so had to refuse the Sauvignon Blanc which was offered as a welcome drink.
David and I were introduced to each other where Chef Bertus was cooking, and we did a quick run through of our favourite restaurants in the Cape. David writes for Prestige magazine, and moved to Somerset West six months ago. I was surprised about the choice of the town, but he raved about the Croydon estate in which he lives, which is a producing vineyard with its own wine label, the wines being made by Beyers Truter of Beyerskloof. The 200 houses on the estate are separated by vineyards, so that one is hardly aware of one’s neighbours. The residents are very social, finding any opportunity to meet for some wine, lovely resident Claudine Wheeler told me, sitting next to her and her husband Francis. David’s restaurant favourites so far are The Long Table, Equus at Cavalli, Guardian Peak, Overture, Indochine, Avontuur, and Tokara. It was hard to photograph David in serious mode, as he isn’t, so we settled on a ‘silver spoon in mouth’ portrait! Continue reading →
* The City of Cape Town and the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association have failed to reach agreement on the Tweede Nuwejaar parade,according to a report in the Cape Argus, the City having appointed an event organiser for the event. The minstrel association is planning to take the City to court!
* Team GoodBetterBraai, consisting of Braai Master Jacques Bester and Braai Buddy Nadia Botha, has won Ultimate Braai Master Season 2, beating 14 other teams. (received via media release from the Cooked in Africa production company)
* The Baltimore Sun recommends Fairview’s Goats do Roam 2012 red blend as a wine to honour the legacy of the late Nelson Mandela, costing $9.
* British holiday-makers are not choosing international destinations for the festive season this year – they are staying closer to home, travelling mainly within Europe, and using lower cost airlines.
* Ryanair was named as the UK’s worst short-haul airline, while Guernsey’s Aurigny Airline was voted best. The best long- Continue reading →
Last night’s episode 9 was interesting, in that it was shot away from the MasterChef SA kitchen, and that ten ‘Food Bloggers’ were invited to judge the pizzas made by two teams of Finalists, the first team challenge of Season 2. The South Easter created havoc for the Finalists as well as for the bloggers. The ‘Blogger’ participation was a huge let down, and serving the guests pizza to judge was an insult.
The episode began with the Finalists descending on the kitchen of their house, to be confronted with a box of aprons and the instruction to divide themselves into two groups of seven. The names were written on pieces of paper, and a Le Creuset pot served as the vessel from which the names for the two teams were drawn. They were then driven to Maiden’s Cove, between Camps Bay and Clifton, a parking space with a beautiful view of Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles, Chef Pete Goffe-Wood saying that Camps Bay ‘is one of the iconic locations in Cape Town‘. The challenge sounded simple – Limoncello and The Good Life Food Trucks arrived, and the two teams were randomly allocated a truck each as their home base to prepare 12 savoury and 12 dessert pizzas each within 90 minutes. Pizza ovens had been erected, one per team, and a small pantry was set up, the two team representatives having 3 minutes in which to grab their ingredients. Chef Andrew Atkinson reminded the Finalists that team work is the hallmark of a quality kitchen. They were also told (misleadingly) that the guests were ’10 of South Africa’s top food bloggers‘, and ‘are discerning customers‘! Chef Pete won the dessert pizza section of an international pizza competition in Australia last year, the Finalists were told. Continue reading →