Tag Archives: Whitney Wentzel

Cape Town’s first Banting Restaurant to close, reflecting decline in Banting trend?

imageA year after opening 65 on Main owner Whitney Wentzel changed the name of her restaurant to 65 on Main Lifestyle Food & Banting Café, to reflect her focus in providing low Carb and high Fat meals to her customers who had taken on the Banting craze. Over a year later, 65 on Main Banting Café Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: The doors of Open Door at Constantia Uitsig (almost) always open!

Open Door Kitchen and Bar Whale CottageYesterday was only the second day of Open Door being open on Constantia Uitsig, but it felt as if it had always been there, with everything running smoothly.  Open Door is the third restaurant of co-owners Neil Grant and Barry Engelbrecht, alongside Burrata and Bocca, and serves country fare.

Previously the home to The River Café on the wine estate, with a tasting room on the side which has moved across the driveway, the space of Open Door is large, being able to seat 250 patrons at full capacity, in different sections. One enters around the corner, and no longer at the former tasting room entrance. The main restaurant room is spacious, with a gas fireplace to come at the one end, and an open kitchen on the other end, with the bar close to the kitchen section, opposite of which is Neil’s precious wine collection, looking smaller than that of Burrata, but is not, Continue reading →

Tiger’s Milk Restaurant & Bar serves ‘dude food’!

Tiger's Milk Main Table and lights Whale CottageMuizenberg is a surfers’ paradise in Cape Town, and local surfers have found a new home once out of the ocean at Tiger’s Milk on the beachfront.  Tiger’s Milk Restaurant & Bar is a new addition to the restaurant collection of Michael Townsend, who already own Harbour House in Kalk Bay and in the V&A Waterfront, La Parada in Kalk Bay and on Bree Street, and a growing number of Lucky Fish take-away and sit-down restaurants in Cape Town.

The Tiger’s Milk brand name came from an idea Michael had to launch a craft beer for his restaurant collection, and he thought it a perfect name for his new homely bar and restaurant too. It serves ‘dude food‘, Michael told me, perfect for the hunger built up once the surfers return to land.

I was invited to the opening, and I was impressed with the industrial retro interior Continue reading →

Taste of Cape Town 2015 offers a taste of the World’s 3rd Best Food City!

Taste of Cape Town logoCape Town has just been ranked third Best Food City in the World by Condé Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards 2014.  Taste of Cape Town 2015, running at the Green Point Cricket Club until the end of today, gives locals and visitors a taste of what makes our city so special as a food destination.

Hosted for the eighth year in Cape Town, and run by food editor and stylist Justin Drake, Taste of Cape Town hasTaste of Cape Town Jutine Drake Whale Cottage settled in at the cricket club venue after venue changes in early years. Taste of Cape Town is a festive and fun way to eat and drink one’s way around one venue, showcasing not only restaurants and wine estates in Cape Town, but also those in the Winelands.

I was invited by Errieda du Toit PR to attend the Taste of Cape Town, and was joined by Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: Kyoto Garden Sushi over-priced, over-salted, over-slow service!

Kyoto interior 1 Whale CottageFrom having been low key for eight years since opening, 2014 has been kind to Kyoto Garden Sushi, in it winning a 5* Smart Casual accolade in the 2015 Diners Club Rossouw’s Restaurant Guide, as well as Best Asian Restaurant in the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Eat Out Awards last month.  As a result friend Whitney Wentzel and I had extremely high expectations when we had dinner there last Wednesday evening, which sadly were not met at all!

I was surprised that I could book a table for the following day when I called, being the week after the Eat Out Awards, the Japanese chef taking the booking.  I had seen a parking sign with an arrow to the left outside the entrance, and had thought that parking was available behind the building, but was told thatKyoto Interior 2 Whale Cottage it was for upstairs tenants and that we should park at the school down the road, not great on a rainy night.  The waiter I asked had no clue about the parking sign outside.  Luckily a parking bay became available across the road.  At the entrance to the restaurant a candle is lit, and two Noren cloth dividers hang in the doorway.  We were shown to a table, sitting next to another couple, so close to each other that we could hear each other’s conversations.   There seemed to be some uncertainty about our booking, Continue reading →

Bocca restaurant to open shortly, first to offer pizza on Bree Street!

Bocca coming soon Whale CottageLast night my friend Whitney Wentzel and I enjoyed a very generous dinner at Burrata, losing track of the number of courses we enjoyed.  I had been invited to hear from co-owner Neil Grant what exciting developments are planned at Bocca, which will open on the corner of Bree and Wale Streets in mid-September, as well as longer term at Constantia Uitsig, when they take over the former River Café, with a name change.

Bocca (means ‘mouth’ in Italian) will seat 70 diners on two levels inside, as well as a further 23 on a deck extending out of the restaurant on Bree Street, which has an extra-large pavement.  Neil and Chef Annemarie Steenkamp will open Bocca, with the assistance of Matteo, a sommelier who has worked on the cruise ship The Residence at Sea.  He in turn will have a sommelier supporting him.  The Bocca kitchen is smaller, Chef Annemarie said, but she is excited in having designed most of it herself.  A sister pizzaBurrata Chef Anemarie Steenkamp Whale Cottage oven to the one at Burrata, also sourced from Naples, has been installed, in orange.  Space has been allowed for a bar counter.  Seating is at counters, as well as at custom-designed tables and chairs.  There will be more colour in the interior, and less industrial design, than at Burrata. The interior design was done by INHOUSE designers, who also designed the interiors of Burrata, The Test Kitchen, The Butcher Shop & Grill, and Carné. A number of locations were considered for the new restaurant, including the former Rhapsody’s space on Main Road in Green Point.

Neil and his business partner Barry Engelbrecht are delighted that they found the Bree Street Continue reading →

Banting new Cape Town food craze on everyone’s lips, thanks to Professor Tim Noakes!

Banting Tim Noakes Whale CottageLast week I attended a presentation by Professor Tim Noakes on ‘The Science behind Banting Diets’, which was organised by PR-Net and held on the top floor of the Naspers building.   I went as a sceptic, but it appeared that almost all attendees were already committed Banters.

I have not followed the initial controversy about Professor Tim Noakes, co-founder of the Sport Science Institute, who published ‘The Real Meal Revolution‘ in which he advocates a ‘LCHF‘ (Low ‘Carb‘ High Fat) balanced diet eating focus to help one lose weight.  While ‘LCHF’ was not a very catchy a name for the diet, the ‘Banting‘ word spread like wildfire, being the name of a diet tried with success by William Banting more than 200 years ago. Professor Noakes was not believed initially, given that he had advocated a low fat, high carbohydrate eating plan in the past, and now was turned his thinking around 360°!  The medical fraternity is not sure whether to support his recommendations.

Continue reading →

Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa High Tea goes pink for Women’s Month!

12 Apostles Pink High Tea No bubbly Whale Cottage (2)I am a fan of High Teas, and was delighted to receive an invitation from the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa communications agency FIVESTAR PR to try out their new Pink High Tea, which celebrates Women’s Month in August, and Breast Cancer Awareness month in September.

I invited my friend Whitney to join me, having recently joined me for the Alphen Hotel’s 5Rooms’ new Afternoon Tea, which we experienced as being very disappointing.  The first thing that impresses at the Twelve Apostles is the friendliness of the staff, from the time one enters the front door.  The High Tea was served in the Leopard Bar, and we were lucky that the sun had come out at the time we were there, giving us a lovely view of Lion’s Head. Phumlela looked after us perfectly, bringing more tea and cappuccino, and topping up our water.  The second impressive aspect is the time which management and the staff12 Apostles  Pink High Tea Lions Head Whale Cottage make to chat and to obtain feedback.  First to greet us was Assistant Food & Beverage Manager Dominic Berenato, who has moved across from The Westin, and who was very friendly and helpful in finding us the perfect table.  Next to pop by was Jill Wagner, who is in charge of Sales & Marketing for the Red Carnation hotels in our country, including The Oyster Box and Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve.  Then GM Michael Nel came to greet us, clearly enjoying his new role at the hotel.

Phumlela talked us through the Pink High Tea.  She told us that it costs R160 per person, and it includes Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 12/13 July

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Sales of alcoholic beverages in the UK have decreased by 6% in the last week of the five-week World Cup period compared to the same period a year ago, as interest in the soccer event has decreased in the last week of the tournament, despite reaching close to £ 1 billion in sales.  Sales in the first three weeks of the tournament showed an increase, however.  Champagne and sparkling wine showed the strongest growth in the past month.  Cider sales decreased by 11% compared to a year ago. England’s early World Cup exit and better weather in July 2013 have been the cause of the beverage sales decrease.

*   A Wine Intelligence study finds that UK wine drinkers almost equally accept cork and screw cap closures, at 40% each;  Australians prefer screw cap wines (55%) to cork (38%); and in the USA cork is strongly preferred (64%) compared to screw caps (21%).  The choice of closure is dictated by image and practicality, more than ‘scientific’ reasons of helping the wine to breathe, stifling ageing, or preventing spoilage.

*   A new MasterCard Multi-currency Cash Passport has been launched, and is available at ABSA and American Express Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: 65 on Main fresh find in Green Point!

65 on Main Interior 2 Whale Cottage PortfolioThe restaurant at 65 Main Road used to be one of Green Point’s most popular when it was called Miss K, but nose-dived when it was taken over by an Italian owner and he renamed it after his daughter Giulia a year ago.  He lasted a few months before returning to his homeland, as his wife did not like Cape Town. This left the space for Whitney Wentzel to take it over and to open 65 on Main within two weeks, at the beginning of August.  It was a surprise discovery, following a most mediocre Camps Bay experience earlier that day!

I underestimated Whitney on first appearance, and thought her to be the manager, as a waiter came out to greet me even though she was outside as well.  I was left in the care of a second waiter Sheldon, who informed me that Whitney is in fact the owner.  Whitney studied at the Hotel School in Granger Bay, having graduated just before the World Cup, and worked as F&B Manager at The Taj, The Cullinan, Zimbali, and the Arabella Kleinmond hotels since then.  She had a dream to run her own restaurant, 65 on Main Whitney Wentzel Whale Cottage Portfolioand told me that she dutifully saved as much as she could, having been taught by her portfolio asset manager mother.  Although only 25 years old, I sensed that Whitney pays attention to detail, and knows exactly what she is doing, and that her establishment Continue reading →