Restaurant Review: Hemelhuijs still as heavenly as when it opened!



I invited my friend Jenny Stephens to a Birthday Breakfast at Hemelhuijs, not having been to the restaurant for a couple of years. Despite it being a wet and cold Saturday, the restaurant was full, and I was grateful that the manager had advised me to book when I popped in a day ahead.

Hemelhuijs opened almost eleven years, and remains a firm favorite, despite being under the radar.




I wrote about Hemelhuijs just after it opened:

Our table was right at the end of the restaurant, furthest away from the hustle and bustle, located near a display unit of the bespoke ceramic and linen ware which the restaurant sells.

The manager immediately offered us a glass of birthday bubbly, a welcome start to our breakfast. Our waiter brought us the most beautiful A4 menus, the floral visual above, which is also hung in the restaurant as a picture. It makes the menu look good enough to eat.

We only focused on the Breakfast section, interestingly not listed at the beginning of the menu. Teas are listed separately, and all sounded tasty, but expensive at R45. The brand is not specified but I saw that one is an Earl Grey, so I ordered it. Jenny wanted a Ceylon tea, so she was offered Five Roses tea (R30), served in a beautiful glass tea pot. From the bill it appeared that we both were served Five Roses. Perhaps it was the beautiful tea cup that I drank it from that made it so tasty, that I requested two more pots of hot water, the tea pot not containing much water.

It took us some time to order, having so much to catch up on. Our waiter was patient, and came to check on us regularly. Finally we ordered. I had seen a photograph of the Home-made Rösti with two poached eggs, and Crème Fraîche, finished off with greenery (R105). A number of extras can be ordered with any of the breakfast dishes, including unusual artichokes, which would make it an expensive breakfast dish.

Jenny kept it more simple and traditional, ordering Soft Scrambled egg with thyme-roasted  tomato and toast.

Other breakfast options include toasted  Mosbolletjiebrood, mieliepap, and slow roasted strawberries and yoghurt.

The cherry on top of our breakfast was the surprise arrival at our table of Hemelhuijs owner Jacques Erasmus, a chef, restaurateur, and interior designer. I had not seen him in a good two years or longer, and he told us that he lives in Montagu, where they run Jonkmanshof, a luxury accommodation establishment, as well as a shop, selling produce, such as jams. They are often sold out of some of their food lines, not being able to  get all of them to Cape Town to sell at the restaurant.

The service is impeccable yet discreet. The prices are on the higher side, but the dining experience deserves it. The atmosphere is warm, cosy, and buzzy.  Hemelhuijs is still as heavenly as I first experienced it eleven years ago.

We were not charged for the birthday bubbly, a generous gesture.


Hemelhuijs, 71 Waterkant Street, Cape Town.  Tel. 021 418-2042. Instagram @hemelhuijs


Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein, My Cape Town Guide/Mein Kapstadt Guide Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide



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