Tag Archives: eatery

Restaurant Review: Latitude33 making waves in Cape Town!

I travel along fashionable Bree Street regularly, and noticed the new Latitude33, a mixed venue selling clothing, artwork, some deli items, and is a restaurant.  Its name reflects Cape Town’s geographical location, and its interior is dedicated to the oceans surrounding our city, and surfing in particular.  Its striking ceiling in the coffee preparation area reflects that this new Cape Town eatery is set to make waves!

I found the venue open last week, and was told that they close the kitchen at 15h00, and the venue at 15h30, as they open early in the morning.  I had never driven past Latitude33 before its closing time, and therefore never previously had found it open and operating.  Arriving just at closing time then, I was still made to feel welcome, was served an iced coffee (R25), and co-owner Charles Post came to chat, to share background information.  The venue was previously a nightclub which had burnt down, and the building was extensively renovated.  Charles lived in New Zealand, where he was a rugby player, but not quite at All Black level, he admitted. While he is not a surfer himself, he loves the surfing lifestyle, and that is what they have brought into the venue decor, with big surfing posters from Australia, and surfboards on some of the walls, some painted by Glen Roe, with tributes to Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, and more.  A sports corner with big leather couches and a flatscreen TV will serve rugby lovers.  The interesting wave-like ceiling, seemingly flowing out of the shelving unit behind the coffee machine, was inspired by photographs which Charles saw on a website for Melbourne-based Baker D Chirico.  Wooden chairs and tables fill the venue, and also are on the pavement, interspersed with wine vats.  The chairs have blue and red stripes on them, almost giving them an Indian touch. Cutlery is by Fortis Hotelware, and blue paper serviettes are offered. Cape Herb & Spice Atlantic Sea Salt and Extra Bold Peppercorn grinders are on the table.  The multi-use venue was inspired by a shop which Charles saw in Bali. His girlfriend Olivia Franklin runs the upstairs section, with clothing for sale, as is her artwork.

The Chef is Gerald Walford, a friend of Charles from Johannesburg, and he said he enjoys the ‘change of pace in Cape Town’, although he expected it to be slower than it is!  He is aware of Cape Town’s reputation for less good service, and they want to ‘bring Johannesburg service flair’ to their restaurant, and have chosen staff to achieve this. Value for money is important, and they are striving to offer the best possible quality. The feedback they have received is that their portions are too big, and they have reduced them.  The menu changes regularly, and is ‘client-friendly‘.  Suppliers have been ‘hit and miss’, Gerald said, but he seems satisfied with them now.  They stock an interesting selection of unusual jam ‘blends’, supplied by Die Ou Pastorie in Pretoria, including Rooibos Sweet Chilli, Balsamic Pinotage Jelly, and Vanilla Plum. Chef Gerald worked with MasterChef SA judge Andrew Atkinson at the Michelangelo Hotel in Johannesburg, and calls him his mentor.  He also worked with MasterChef SA Culinary Producer Arnold Tanzer during Season 1 last year. His philosophy is to make his customers as happy as possible, and to offer consistency, and therefore he is hands-on in preparing the food.  I was impressed that he came to check on my feedback about the excellent Salmon Eggs Benedict (R65), which I had ordered from their all-day breakfast menu, a good enough reason to go back again.  The bread range which is offered is rye, bagels, sour dough, white, wholewheat and panini, baked in-house. Eggs Benedict is also available with bacon and spinach. A full cooked breakfast costs R65, and a mini breakfast R50. Omelettes start at R20, and one can select sixteen ingredients to add, the price of each specified.  French Toast sounds delicious, at R45, with a choice of bacon and syrup, Nutella and caramelized banana, berry compote and whipped cream, or chorizo and roasted coconut!  Lunch is served from 12h00, and consists simply of salads (cous cous, grilled chicken, and steak, ranging from R55 – R65), burgers (beef, chicken, or ostrich, at R65), sandwiches (with schnitzel, Asian Pork belly or Club, ranging from R50 – R65) and wraps (mushrooms, grilled chicken, and beef, at R35 – R40).

Andrea Maskew is the Pastry Chef, having owned a catering company previously, and has been a freelance food stylist for Woolworths’ Taste magazine, working with Food editor Abigail Donnelly and assistant Hannah Lewry.  She bakes fresh pastries and confectionery every day, including cupcakes, muffins, triple Lindt chocolate cookies, white chocolate mousse cake, and fudge.  She studied at the SA Chefs’ Academy.

Coffee is by Truth, and they have borrowed a barista from the coffee supplier.  Their iced coffee is good and strong.  Service is friendly, but seemed slow, given that I was the only customer eating at the time.  I returned yesterday, to try one of the dishes, and to photograph the interior, the chairs already having been placed on the tables on my previous visit, not making the eating section of Latitude33 photographable then. The food is excellent, but the paper menu, the paper serviettes, the menu offering, and the service all have potential for improvement.  A liquor licence will be applied for, and therefore clients are encouraged to bring their own wine.  No corkage is charged.

Latitude33, 165 Bree Street, Cape Town. Tel (021) 4249520. www.lat33.co.za Twitter: @Latitude33_Cpt.  Monday – Friday 7h00 – 15h30, Saturday 8h30 – 14h00.  Free WiFi.

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

Restaurant Review: Oskar’s Delikatessen will not win an Oscar!

Oskar’s Delikatessen (their spelling, and comes from the name the co-owner wants to call her son one day, and is a play on words with “Os-kar”, or “ossewa”, as ox wagons were used as there never was a railway line in Hermanus, but it had a railway station) opened in Hermanus about a year ago, on a site that was previously the public library, in the new Quarters Hotel building.  It is a cosy and homely eatery, but has a most unwelcoming co-owner and incompetent service, which will not stand it in good stead to develop a loyal custom.

I arrived whilst the young co-owner was on the phone, chewing gum (an absolute no-no in my book).    She ignored me completely, as did the waitress.   While I waited I took some interior shots, and that made the waitress bring a menu.  I ordered a cappuccino, water and a scrambled egg and bacon, requesting a pumpkin seed roll to be replaced with a rye bread toast, and the exclusion of creme fraiche (R38).   The water was brought in an unusual Oskar’s-branded water bottle, with a straw, a nice touch, except that the bottle’s head is too narrow to take ice, so it was not served cold, as requested.  The cappuccino was very milky and weak.

The preparation area is open to the seating section, which is not very large, with a central wooden table seating about eight, and wooden tables against the window to the street, and the back wall.  My table was against the back wall, with a mirror above it, which had not been cleaned for a while.  Sweet treats are displayed in bell jars on counters separating the seating and food preparation areas, and the cupcakes, rusks, feta and apple tarts, and the other treats, were beautifully presented.  I noticed that each of the seven ceiling lamps was different, a design quirk.  Orchid stems in little glass containers are on the tables.

While waiting for the egg, I asked the co-owner for some take-aways for my staff, specifying what I wanted and the quantity.  She could not remember any of what I asked her, partly due to the loud music in the Deli.  I must have shown my irritation with the poor service, because Illana, the co-owner, came to sit with me, giving me the third degree, as to who I am, why I was there, who I write for and why I was taking photographs – “I am not looking for a headmaster’s report and to be critiqued” she told me.   She felt that I should have asked her permission to write a review and to take photographs.   I know her mother Sanmarie, a fellow guest house owner in Hermanus, and I have been to Oskar’s before.  She then asked me where she would be able to read my “horrible” review.

My first egg dish arrived with the pumpkin seed roll, the second came with the rye bread toast but was served cold, probably not re-made when the bread was changed (I was asked by the co-owner “So how warm did you want the egg to be?!”), and the third attempt was fine in that the bread was correct and the egg was warm, but it was a very disappointing runny egg.  I liked the sprinkling of poppy seed over the scrambled egg, but could not taste it.

One can order nine shakes, with some creative creations available – Lindt Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookie – ranging in price from R 25 – R 30. What I loved about the Oskar’s Deli menu is the ability for one to tailor-make one’s meal, in terms of choices offered, and also saving on costs if one does not like a particular item or ingredient.  For example, one can order a muffin for R15, and pay R5 for butter, R3 for strawberry jam, R5 for cream and R7 for cheese.   Pies (spinach and Danish feta, and Chicken, cost R 15, and Lamb and rosemary R20) can be ordered as is, or with a side salad at R15, gravy (R8) and/or roasted vegetables (R15).   Salads cost R 40 for a basic fruit, feta, pecan nuts, onion, tomato, rocket, baby spinach, seeds and sprouts, and to this can be added extras such as avocado (R6) or black forest ham, salmon or roasted vegetables, each costing R15.  The base pasta is tagliatelle, basil pesto, lemon, Danish feta and pumpkin seeds, to which salmon, black forest ham and/or roasted vegetables can be added, at R15 each. 

But it is the sandwich list that looks most interesting, the base being baguettes, seed rolls, bagels, rye bread etc, on which wonderful fillings are served – e.g. Danish feta, Italian salami, sundried tomato and basil pesto; Haloumi cheese and rocket; smoked salmon, cream cheese, lemon juice and rocket; bacon, Brie and rocket; Emmental cheese, Gypsy ham, basil pesto, mayonnaise, seeds and sprouts – each costing around R35.

I won’t be back at Oskar’s Delikatessen in a great hurry – at least not for a cooked meal.  Perhaps they are best at sandwiches and sweet treats.  The young co-owner needs to learn how to deal with customers, and to bite her tongue.

Oskar’s Delikatessen, 5 Harbour Road, Hermanus.  Tel (028) 313-0629.  No website, Monday – Saturday

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

Restaurant Review: Oep ve Eet a passionate Paternoster treat

On a previous visit to Paternoster in January, we discovered Oep ve Eet, an informal lunch eatery as you come into the fishing village, inside the farm stall Oep ve Koep.   Returning to Paternoster for a winter holiday, it was a pleasure to be spoilt at the eatery again, with interesting home-made lunches prepared with West Coast passion at the most surprisingly low prices.

Kobus van der Merwe is the owner of Oep ve Eet, and until about six months ago he was the webmaster for the Eat Out website in Cape Town.   He loves his new lifestyle, being his own boss.  More importantly, he is the West Coast restaurant reviewer for Eat Out, excluding Paternoster, so he is knowledgeable about food.  Kobus tells me that in their household in Paternoster, his dad did a lot of the cooking, as his mom was a music teacher, and spent a lot of time away from home.  Kobus is following in his dad’s footsteps, and loves baking the bread for Oep ve Koep, and making his specialities, mixed with some of the preserves and jams sold in the shop.   His mom Sanita is the owner of Oep ve Koep, making this a family business.

The eatery is in an outside courtyard, surrounded by blooming bougainvilleas, and with traditional garden tables and chairs, covered with tablecloths.   There are only five tables.  Old ads for Pegasus and Bokomo adorn the doors one steps through into the courtyard    A resident tortoise comes to greet guests on occasion.  Old fishing boats make useful containers in which Kobus grows herbs for the restaurant.  On rainy days, one sits upstairs, in an antique shop section of the shop.

The menu is written up on a blackboard every day, and only contains a handful of items.  The menu items differ almost daily, some added, some retained.    Some dishes have a strong West Coast feel to them.   In the four days of lunching there, the following items were offered: Chicken pie served with a sprig of rosemary and the ‘soet’ quince jelly with Madagascar green peppercorns, and the ‘suur’ pickled cucumber, both of which are sold in the shop and adding the most wonderful contrast to the pie (R25), Cape Malay chicken curry (R 60), Vegetable lasagne (R 36), a tomato salad made especially for me, with the tomatoes marinaded in a delicious home-made dressing (R 18), Butterbean and rosemary soup (R 25), Lentil bobotie (R48), Tagliatelle with bokkoms (R30 ), Beetroot soup a la Luluraai (R25), Springbok ravioli with pan-fried quince (what a wonderful taste) and rocket pesto (R54), and Pasta-fresca with ‘duine-spinasie’ and beurre noisette (R45).  It is simple uncomplicated food, yet with a ‘twist’, and one can taste Kobus’ passion for and creativity in cooking.

There is no winelist, and the eatery does not have a licence.   However, Oep ve Koep has a grocer’s licence, and it sells wine.

Oep ve Eet, inside Oep ve Koep, Corner Vredenburg Road (R45) and St Augustine Roads, at entrance to Paternoster, Tel (022) 572-2105. http://blogs.food24.com/sardinesontoast Twitter @SardineToast.  Open Mondays – Sundays for lunch.

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

‘League of Glory’ TV series scores for Stellenbosch

The new M-Net TV series “League of Glory’, which was written by scriptwriter Bruce Young and directed by respected filmmaker Darrel Roodt, will be a marketing boost for the university and wine town Stellenbosch.   The first of 13 episodes will be flighted today at 19h30.

The series tells the story of three young men Jonathan Grant (Charlie Keegan), Luke Jantjies (Marvin-Lee Beukes) and Kaiser Sigcau (Siv Ngesi), from different walks of life, who all love soccer, and share the goal of “glory through soccer”.   The three soccer fans play for a township soccer club and are assigned an ex-Bafana Bafana player as a coach to train them for a soccer competition.     The coach plays an important role in the lives of the soccer players.  The series tells the story of how the three stars triumph over adversity, and how each of them face their fears.   The series is a familiar drama with a modern twist, according to Roodt, with a strong emphasis on the world’s most popular sport, being soccer.   The series coincides with the World Cup.

Nook Eatery on Van Reyneveld Street in Stellenbosch, a favourite coffee shop and eatery, was lucky to be selected by the series producers as a location for some of the action.  Co-owner Luke Grant said he and his partner Jessie, the delectable chef of the restaurant, were happy to be involved and helped out with the shoot.   Multiple scenes were shot at Nook.   Stellenbosch’s beauty is captured in the series, and a wine farm is the location for the home of the parents of Jonathan Grant in the series.

FIFA’s strict rules, forbidding ambush marketing, meant that some scenes had to be re-shot when it was discovered that a FIFA soccer ball was used in some of the shots for the series.  This affected Nook too.   “Upon reviewing Fifa’s regulations around licensing for the World Cup during this time, M-Net and Waterfront Television realised that showing the scenes with the official Fifa ball would be against the regulations” said M-Net, according to the Cape Times.  About 9 minutes of the drama had to be re-shot, and thus delayed the start date of the series by a week, to today.

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