Secret restaurants have been operating in Cape Town for a year or so, SecretEats having attracted attention to underground restaurants, which pop up in interesting venues such as art galleries, furniture design exhibitions, warehouses in Observatory, and in private homes in Llandudno and Tamboerskloof. Now [spasie] has opened in Cape Town, using the same formula of different chefs preparing the dinners, and guests sitting at one long table, with one difference – the restaurant space of [spasie] is fixed.
It is not clear why Greg Zeleny, the creator of SecretEats, has created a different brand, as he was not present at the [spasie] dinner to which I was invited. JP du Toit was our host, and told us that he looks after the dinners every Thursday and Friday, and that his colleague Zak Averre handles weekday daytime food from the same space. It was like a homecoming, the venue being across the road from the former Haas, in the building where the Haas ad agency had its offices, and where the Haas kitchen prepared the food for the Haas coffee shop. We had hosted a Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club function in the same venue, when it still was an art gallery for Haas. JP studied Biochemistry, and lived in Japan for two years.
The chef of the week was Chef Nick Charalambous, a Silwood Cookery School student (Cordon Bleu Grande Diploma), and former colleague Continue reading →
The invitation I received from new Babylonstoren Food & Beverage Manager Simoné Rossouw did not reveal what a special honour it was to be invited to the third anniversary celebration of the innovative wine estate, with a top restaurant, boutique hotel, wellness spa, wine tasting and shop, and retail outlet.
We met outside the retail area, which has been expanded to add the shop which originally was located opposite Babel restaurant. Owner Karen Roos (with husband Koos Bekker) has created the most amazing transformation of the wine estate, which had commenced behind the scenes three years prior to their opening, with their GM Terry de Waal and his team planning and implementing their future direction. Karen is one of the most stylish South Africans, having won most stylish dress awards when they were still awarded, and having been the editor of Elle Decor.
We were welcomed with three drink options, being home-made ice tea with waterblommetjie, mint and lime; melon and mint cordial with fresh thyme; and strawberry and rose geranium with lavender and lime. Alternatively one could drink the Babylonstoren wines. On the table was the most interesting ‘pick up sticks’ presentation of smoked salmon and Serrano ham bread sticks. The new Spa will be the reason for a future visit, as I never saw it, being distracted with the extensions to the retail building. Continue reading →
The MasterChef SA Season 2 Hot Auditions are done, Bootcamp is lying ahead for 50 contestants, and we are boldly predicting the 16 Finalists who will make it to the kitchen at Nederburg to show South Africa who our hot amateur cooks are: Continue reading →
Ten days ago we wrote about the unethical reviews of wines by Michael Olivier, without acknowledging that most of his ‘Winery Partners’ have paid for the coverage on his blog, on his Twitter account, and in his FMR wine slot. We also wrote about the unethical restaurant reviews done on IntertwEAT/TweetCritique by Lionel Lelyveld, without disclosing that every three course meal for two persons he has written about is received free of charge.
Interesting is how differently the two writers have reacted to our blogpost:
Lelyveld has not responded to the blogpost at all, but we have noticed in the past week that he has started simultaneously Tweeting restaurant reviews from the UK and the Cape. We have also noticed that he has added a hint of criticism to some of his ‘review’ Tweets, which we have not seen before. What is funny, but probably not visible to most of our Followers, is that Lelyveld has been particularly generous with his Retweets of our Restaurant-related Tweets, Continue reading →