In my quest for finding the near-perfect restaurant in KwaZulu-Natal, Harvey’s Restaurant close to the Oyster Box in Umhlanga was recommended. It was a massive disappointment in all respects, with an absent owner Chef Andrew Draper, and very expensive.
On Monday evening I was dropped off at the restaurant by the hotel’s limo service, not having made a reservation. The driver went in with me to check if there would be space, and it was no problem, only four tables in total being occupied in the time that I 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 →
It was ironic that episode 11 of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘ last night focused on the Natal Midlands, and that a large part of the half-hour episode focused on farmer Kevin Lang’s Fairfield Dairy Ayrshire farm, given our Blogpost yesterday about the new defensive Woolworths ‘Good Food News’ supplement in the Sunday Times.
The episode started off with Hayden having a cooling swim near the Howick Falls, which have a 105 meter drop. Once refreshed, he met Chef Jackie Cameron, then Executive Chef of Eat Out Top 10 restaurant at Hartford House, but who has left to establish her Jackie Cameron School of Food and Wine, which opens in Hilton in January. Chef Jackie was identified as a WWF-SASSI Trailblazer Chef. They met at the Karkloof Market, which is just outside Howick, and here Jackie introduced Hayden to farmer Rob Symons of Broadleaze Organics, offering unusual herbs such as Vietnamese coriander. Dutch cheesemaker MJ Mook of Just Cheese introduced Hayden to and allowed him to taste her special cheeses. The market seemed a jolly space, with fresh vegetables, herbs, meat, flowers, cheeses, and more. Continue reading →
Last 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 pizza 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 →