Tag Archives: Franschhoek

Restaurant Winter Specials: Cape Town and Winelands (10 June 2021)

 

The Winter months are always tough on restaurants, as diners are not keen to leave their homes when it is cold and wet. With the reduced trade, added to Loadshedding,  and the earlier Curfew start time, restaurants are keen to attract business by offering Winter specials.

I will compile an ongoing Restaurant Winter Specials list for Cape Town and Winelands Restaurants, updated regularly. I welcome all information about Winter Specials. Continue reading →

Only 16 of the 2019 Top 20 Restaurants in SA are still operating! How has our Gourmet scene changed in the past year?

In preparing for an interview conducted by Süd-Africa Magazin newsletter writer Werner Klein about how the restaurant scene has changed in Cape Town and the Winelands since Lockdown started over a year ago, I looked specifically at the Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant List of November 2019. Eat Out did not Award any restaurant awards in 2020, and appears unlikely to do so in 2021.

Of the latest Eat Out Top 20 Restaurants shortlisted, only 16 of our country’s Top 20 are still operating, I was shocked to discover.  Three of the four the top restaurants closed down in 2021. Two of the restaurants were on the Top 10 list, and two on the List of 11 – 20 ranked local restaurants in 2019.

The four restaurants which have closed down permanently are the following:

#   Restaurant at Waterkloof: The Chef Gregory Czarnecki owned restaurant operating at Waterkloof Winery in Somerset West closed on 22 November 2020. There has been no sight or sound of Chef Gregory, last posting on Instagram on 22 February. The restaurant held the number one slot of the Eat Out Top 10 list in 2018, and was ranked third in 2019.

SA Top 10 Restaurant List loses one of its stars as Restaurant at Waterkloof closes down in two weeks!

#   The Shortmarket Club was the first Fine-Dining restaurant to close down in Lockdown, almost immediately after it began last year.  In December 2020 it reopened with most of its chef team, who left Tintswalo to reopen the restaurant.  It has since ‘closed indefinitely’ but is still on the website of the LDR Group of Restaurants owned by Chef Luke Dale Roberts.  The site currently operates as The Test Kitchen Fledgelings, a Burger joint only operating on Fridays, and a training ground for new chef talent. In 2019 The Shortmarket Club was ranked at number 18 in 2019.

Is Chef Luke Dale Roberts scaling down his Restaurant Group? Salsify at the Roundhouse no longer part of the Group!

#   Mosaic at The Orient is the saddest closing, very unlikely to be due to the Lockdown. An Eat Out Top 10 restaurant for most of its existence, yet never given the number one slot, Chef Chantel Dartnall and her restaurant received better international recognition than local!  She appears to be investing in herself, taking time off at a local coastal retreat, and to spend time in Paris, to learn French and to work at a restaurant there. At the Eat Out Awards in 2019 Chef Chantel announced that she would no longer participate in the Eat Out Awards, wishing to make space on the Awards list for younger chefs and their restaurants. Many saw a different message in this announcement, given that she was not receiving the recognition she deserved locally. She was followed by Chef Luke Dale Roberts a few weeks later, in making the same announcement. Restaurant Mosaic closed down outside Pretoria at the end of March. It was ranked 9th in 2019, an insult to the restaurant  and its chef.

Top 16 women Chefs recognised by Michelin for International Women’s Day, Farewell to only Top SA Woman Chef! !

#.  La Tête also closed down, on Bree Street, on 6 February. It was ranked 17th in 2019.

 

The remaining Top 20 restaurants, in order of their 2019 ranking from number 1, are:  La Colombe, The Test Kitchen, Wolfgat, FYN, La Petite Colombe, Eike, Salsify at The Roundhouse, Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia, Camphors at Vergelegen, Overture, LivingRoom at Summerhill Estate, Chefs Warehouse at Maison, Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenhort, Le Coin Français, Tjing Tjing Momiji, and Rust en Vrede.

 

The interview about the changing restaurant scene in the past 13 months highlighted the following:

#   The restaurant industry has been doing well in the past two months, when the regulation regarding the sale of alcohol in restaurants was normalized, and the Curfew start time moved to midnight. Restaurants are reporting excellent trade, especially on weekends.

#   A total of 100 restaurants have closed down in Cape Town and the Winelands. Chef Luke Dale Roberts has lost two restaurants in his stable, only retaining The Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club.

#   More than 70 restaurants have opened, Chef Liam Tomlin having opened three in this period.

#.  A handful of restaurants announced their permanent closure, but managed to reopen again, including Clarke’s, Nelson’s Eye, and Perseverance Tavern.

#.  Franschhoek has been particularly hard hit by the Lockdown, losing Foliage a week ago, and Entrée and Fork recently. Yet restaurateur and Chef Darren Badenhorst has opened two new restaurants,  and has taken over the running of Tuk Tuk, in addition to his two existing restaurants.

#.  The ultimate fine dining restaurant has opened in our county, Restaurant KLEIN JAN at Tswalu Private Game Reserve, owned by Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen, who also owns one Michelin Star JAN restaurant in Nice. The new restaurant is likely to fly right into the number one spot when Eat Out reintroduces its Awards.

Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen finally opens his Restaurant KLEIN JAN in the Kalahari, most expensive restaurant in SA!

#. Capetonians can more easily access our city’s fine dining restaurants. It still takes three months to book at Wolfgat, and it took six months to get into The Test Kitchen. The latter restaurant now has availability for all dates in May. Most top restaurants now offer Reduced Tasting Menus, fewer courses offered making them more affordable.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity for an amended German version of this story to be published in the Newsletter of the Süd-Africa Magazin.  https://www.sued-afrika.de/artikel/newsletter-11-kapstadt-gastroszene-im-wandel. And for the magazine using a photograph of Utopia Cape Town restaurant.

 

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whaletalesblog.com  www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide

 

New restaurants open, one Restaurant Closure, in Cape Town and Winelands since March! April 2021

 

The Level 1 regulations introduced on 1 March, with a restaurant closing time of 23h00, and the serving of alcohol being permitted since February, have been a boost to the local restaurant industry, one of the hardest hit industries since Lockdown started a year ago.

Despite the Lockdown regulations affecting restaurants so badly in the past 11 months, a total of 70 new restaurants have opened in Cape Town and the Winelands during Lockdown. Top chefs have opened new restaurants, including Chefs Peter Tempelhoff, Cheyne Morrisby, and Liam Tomlin. Chef Cheyne’s HIMITSU at the Camps Bay Retreat is one of the newest restaurants to have opened. Cape Town’s oldest pub, the Perseverance Tavern, has reopened with new owners. Restaurateur Michael Townsend has finally opened his grand Grand Pavilion in Sea Point.  Chef Michael Broughton has opened Cucina in Stellenbosch, and plans to open The Stud Burger, Ember, and a Tapas and wine bar, all in Stellenbosch, and all in conjunction with Brenaissance Wine & Stud owners Tom and Hayley Breytenbach. Chef Jan-Hendrik has finally opened KLEIN JAN at Tswalu Kalahari.  Continue reading →

Corona Virus: Lockdown Journey Journal, Day 23 of Level 1, 23 March 2021

 

Tuesday 23 March 2021, Day 23 of Level 1, Day 362 of Lockdown. 😷

Corona Gratitude 🙏

#Grateful for a beautiful day at 28C and 31C in town, with two summer days to follow before the weather changes; for an organized writing morning; for my apartment being cool this afternoon when I did a little snooze; for an energetic walk through my little alleyways in Bakoven, not thinking that I would have the energy to do so in the heat, and gained 300 Discovery points; for a drive in the breeze at sunset to meet two German tourists at Utopia Cape Town, having a drink with them; and for being happy and healthy. 🙏💙 Continue reading →

Franschhoek: From Gourmet Town to ‘Ghost Town’?: the effect of the Corona Virus pandemic!

 

News 24 published an article this weekend about the plight of businesses in Franschhoek. It paints a horrific picture of the once famous Gourmet Town, known for its top Restaurants and boutique wineries, to what one business owner speculated could become a ‘Ghost Town’ if tourists do not return to it soon.

Franschhoek, like many other towns and cities in our country, has been hard hit by the Corona Virus pandemic, the South African one-year anniversary of its Lockdown to be ‘celebrated’ later this week. The new South African Virus mutation has made our country very unattractive to visit by international tourists, which probably are the type of tourists South African tourism businesses would love to see return. Continue reading →

Thank you 2020 for everything that you have taught me, my Top 20 of 2020!

 

I was very excited about the year 2020, having the 20th as a birthdate, and it being my lucky number. Despite the tragedy of the Corona Virus pandemic and the inconvenience of the Lockdown regulations at times, 2020 turned out to be one of my best ever, learning from it and growing through it.

On Facebook I have posted daily Corona Gratitudes, for the small and big things that have come my way in the past 9 months. There are far too many to mention, so I have turned this post into a Top 20 of 2020, an unforgettable year for all of us. Continue reading →

More Restaurants closing, some temporarily, due to new Adjusted Level 3 Lockdown: January 2021

 

Just when news about restaurants closing down during Lockdown had almost ground to a halt, eight restaurants in Cape Town in the past week have announced their closure, some temporary, due to the new Adjusted Level 3 Lockdown which commenced on 29 December 2020.  The Curfew starting at 21h00, Restaurants having to close at 20h00, and alcohol sales not being allowed, combined with diners’ fear of the greater spreadability of the mutated Corona Virus, is affecting restaurant turnovers harshly.

Despite the Lockdown regulations affecting restaurants so badly in the past nine months, a total of 66 new restaurants have opened in Cape Town and the Winelands during Lockdown. Top chefs are opening new restaurants, including Chefs Peter Tempelhoff and Liam Tomlin. Continue reading →

More than 40 new restaurants have opened in Cape Town and the Winelands during Lockdown: November 2020.

 

News about restaurants closing down during Lockdown has almost ground to a halt, which is good news in itself. Even better news is that a number of new restaurants have opened or are planning to open in Cape Town and the Winelands, the latest count being 44 new restaurants.

The latest Lockdown Restaurant Closure list stands at 77 Restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands, an increase of only two Restaurant Closures in the past month. Clarke’s, The Shortmarket Club, Koffi Terapi,  Ocean Blue, and Dahlia on Regent announced their permanent closure due to Lockdown, but have reopened.

The Test Kitchen and The Food Barn have changed their offerings and their restaurant names in reaction to the Covid Lockdown.

The Test Kitchen and The Foodbarn Restaurants transformed to cope with aftermath of Covid Lockdown!

Franschhoek saw a number of Lockdown Restaurant Closures, but has five new restaurants opening, some restaurants relocating, and some changing their offering.

Franschhoek Restaurants during Lockdown: which are open, closed, and opening soon!

 

Restaurant Closures since Lockdown:

#   The Shortmarket Club (has reopened)

#    La Bottega in Woodstock.

#    Empire Café in Muizenberg.

#    SMAK Delicatessen and Eatery.

#    Buitenverwachting Restaurant in Constantia.

#    The Deli Coffee Co in the V & A Waterfront

#    Under Oaks, Paarl (re-opened for Sit-Down, previously reported as Closed Down)

#    Craft Burger Bar, Sea Point

#.  The Butcher, Camps Bay

#   La Franca, Gardens

#   Go Go, Bree Street

#   The Butcher, Sea Point

#.  Cold Gold Artisanal ice-cream (reopened for Delivery in partnership with For Food’s Sake)

#   StarGarden Café, Fish Hoek

#   Oven Baked, Muizenberg

#   Noordhoek Café & Deli

#.  Kalk Bay Theatre

#   The Kitchen, Woodstock

#   Bay Expresso

#  Mugg & Bean, Constantia

#   Jessy’s Waffles, Camps Bay

#   Chi Cha in Sea Point

#   Ocean Blue in Camps Bay (reopened 18 July)

#   The Trumpet Tree, Stellenbosch

#   Tolhuis Bistro, Ceres

#   Maker’s Mark, Tulbagh

#   Thai Food Sushi, Sea Point

#   Meraki, Stellenbosch

#   All Things Good, Stellenbosch

#   Mama Cucina, Riebeeck-Kasteel

#   Brownies & Downies, City Centre

#   Dahlia on Regent, Sea Point (has reopened)

#   The Larder, Claremont

#  Café Blouberg,  Bloubergstrand

#   Jason’s, Bree Street Branch

#   Koffi Terapi, Willowbridge (reopened)

#  Blasters Family Restaurant, Cape Gate.

#  Fláva, Wilderness

#  The Fat Greek, Table View

#   Myoga, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands

#   Schwarma Express, Sea Point Branch

#  The Stack, Gardens

#   Two and Sixpence Tavern, Simon’s Town, after 21 years

#   Perseverance, Gardens, oldest pub in Cape Town

#   Fire Monkey, Claremont

#   Cattle Baron, Tokai

#   Clarke’s, Bree Street (has reopened)

#   Masala Dosa Restaurant, Long Street

#   Vicious Virgin Bar, Wale Street

#   Exhibit A, Bree Street

Exhibit A in Cape Town the first Fine-Dining Restaurant to close down due to the Corona Lockdown!

#  Frankie Fenner, Durbanville

#   Dale’s Black Angus, The Paddocks, Milnerton

#  TableThirteen, Green Point

#  Ton Khoon, Tyger Waterfront

#   Terroir, Stellenbosch.

#   Daniela’s Deliciously Decadent, Cape Quarter.

#   Batavia Café, Bo-Kaap

#   Addis in Cape Ethopian Restaurant

#   Fork on Long Street

#   Yumcious Café, Durbanville

#   Aces & Spades, City centre.

#  Guilio’s Café, Loop Street

#  De Wijnhuis, Stellenbosch

#  Café Mozart, Church Street

#  Active Sushi, Hudson Street

#  Amore, Kenilworth

#.  Primi Muizenberg

#   Primi Eden on the Bay

#   Primi Willowbridge

#   Mink & Trout, Bree Street

#   Lou Lou’s, Cape Quarter

#   Knead, The Point Centre

#   Pastis, Constantia

#   Viande at Grande Roche, Paarl.

#   95 Keerom Street, Cape Town

#   95 at Morgenster, Somerset West

#   Tintswalo Kitchen at Tintswalo Atlantic

#   Will’s Café and Deli, Oranjezicht

#  Jerry’s Burger Bar, Stellenbosch

#   Maison J in Camps Bay

#   Beluga in Green Point

#   Goloso in Sea Point

#   Restaurant Seven in Somerset West, owned by Chef George Jardine

#   Baker Brothers in Green Point

#   Bodega at Dornier, Stellenbosch

#   Doppio Zero, Stellenbosch

#   Restaurant at Waterkloof closes on 22 November

SA Top 10 Restaurant List loses one of its stars as Restaurant at Waterkloof closes down in two weeks!

 

Restaurant Openings (During Lockdown)

#   Regent Burger Bar has opened where Craft Burger Bar was on Regent Road in Sea Point.

#  Chef Liam Tomlin is opening Local at Heritage Square, a retail collection of local food products, fresh and packaged, in the former HQ space.

#   Chef Liam Tomlin is opening Mazza upstairs in the former HQ, as a Middle Eastern eating bar.

#   Ciao Pizza, Long Street.

#   Firefly Café in Camps Bay

#   Chef Chen Sushi Bar pop-up, The Point Mall, Sea Point.

#   Floozies has opened on Kloof Street.

#  Fork has opened in Franschhoek

#   Entrée in Franschhoek

#   Flower Café opened in Woodstock.

#   Jooma has opened in Sea Point

#   Starbucks is to open in Camps Bay

#   Yama Sushi Emporium opens in Franschhoek in December

#   Oku opened in Franschhoek on 14 October

#   Blue Coriander Indian restaurant has opened in Place Vendome in Franschhoek, the owner being a former chef at Marigold

#   Oxalis Eatery has opened on Wale Street.

#   Fat Harry’s in Wynberg has reopened, with new owners, an interior makeover, and new menu and staff.

Fat Harry’s in Kenilworth transformed from Bar to Restaurant with a Bar, with new owners, new decor, new kitchen and chef, new menu!

#   Chefs Warehouse Tintswalo Atlantic has opened

Tintswalo Kitchen at Tintswalo Atlantic to be transformed into Chefs Warehouse at Tintswalo Atlantic!

#   Barstaurant is opening at Glencairn Hotel in Simonstown, by the Tintswalo Group.

#   Bo-Kaap Deli has opened in Bo-Kaap.

#   Restaurateur Stuart Bailey is opening De Vleispaleis,  a meat restaurant in the Black Horse Centre on Dorp Street in Stellenbosch.

#   Curry Cave has opened on New Church Street

#   Ideas Cartel Bar at Casa Labia, Muizenberg

#   Mexicola Locale opened at the end of October in Hout Bay, another new Chef Cheyne Morrisby Restaurant

#  FreeBird has opened in Kloof Street Village.

#   Sharon’s Cafë has opened at The Palms

#   Clay Café has opened on Bree Street.

#   The Pokémon Co Claremont has opened

#   Rosetta has opened on Bree Street

#    Forneria Italia Beachfront has opened in Table View

#    I Sapori has opened in Table View

#    Seed & Circus has opened in Zonnebloem/District Six

#   The Manor at Nederburg has opened, in Paarl

#   Culture Wine Bar has opened on Bree Street, a joint venture between Chef Matt Manning and wine fundi  Chris Groenewald

#   Royale Eatery has opened on Vineyard Road in Claremont.

#   Salushi Express has opened in Cavendish Street, Claremont

#   Vadas Pasteis de Nata & Café is to open in Stellenbosch in November

#   All Things Edible (ATE) has opened at Silver Forest Boutique Lodge in Somerset West, with  her Michael Broughton

#   The Shortmarket Club is reopening as The Shortmarket Grill.

#.  OK JA has opened in Camps Bay (former Maison J)

#   My Sugar is opening in Claremont in November

#   Bokeh Creative Studio has opened on Regent Road in Sea Point.(Photograph)

#   Chef Peter Tempelhoff is to open a Street Food restaurant on Shortmarket Street.

#   Ernie Els Wines Restaurant has opened in Stellenbosch

#   Kleine Zalze Restaurant, with Chef Nic van Wyk

#   Drum has opened in the Black Horse Centre in Stellenbosch

#   Old Town Italy in the V& A Waterfront

#   Old Town Italy in Durbanville

#  Lime Tree Café has opened a Deli.

#   Chef Peter Tempelhoff is opening Beyond at Buitenverwachting in Constantia, with Nicholas Walker as Manager, and Chef Julia du Toit heading up the kitchen.

#   Chef Kevin Grobler has opened The Restaurant at Grande Roche in Paarl at the beginning of November.

The Restaurant at Grande Roche opens in two weeks, just after Viande Restaurant closes down at the Paarl hotel!

The Restaurant Closure and Opening Lists are updated continuously throughout the month.

For a list of Restaurants currently open for Food Delivery and Collection as well as Sit-Down Service, see the Facebook Group I created at the beginning of May: https://www.facebook.com/groups/261165661682371/?ref=share

 

Restaurant News

  1. Chef Calvyn Metior is the new Executive Chef at Monneaux Restaurant, previously Head Chef at La Motte.
  2. Chef Kayla-Ann Osborn has left The Chef’s Table in Umhlanga, now heading up the kitchen at Delaire Graff.
  3. Chef Scott Armstrong has rejoined JAN Restaurant in Nice as Sous Chef.
  4. Chef Nico Vorster has left La Paris Bistro outside Franschhoek, and has bought The Good Food Co in Franschhoek.
  5. Bossa Stellenbosch and Die Strandloper suffered extensive fire damage during Lockdown.
  6. Chef Bell McCleod has left Bones in Woodstock, now heading up the Hemel & Aarde Brewery.
  7. Chef Henry and Mari Vigar have left La Mouette, now solely owned by Gerrit Bruwer, and have moved to take over their restaurant Upper Bloem in Green Point.
  8.  Chef Neill Anthony Vaughn has been appointed as the Culinary Advisor to La Mouette.
  9. Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg has left his restaurant Janse & Co, his next venture not yet known.
  10. Stellenbosch has introduced an innovative community-supported incentive to restaurant diners to pay by SnapScan, offering them a 50% discount, with a maximum of R400, presented as a voucher.
  11. Epice will be moving to the space of Le Petite Colombe at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek.
  12. Le Petite Colombe will open at Leeu Estates on 6 November.
  13. The Foodbarn in Noordhoek has transformed into Foodbarn Café & Tapas.
  14. The Test Kitchen has changed its offering and its name to The Test Kitchen Origins

Details of new restaurants opening, and of restaurant closures, are highly appreciated. chrisvonulmenstein@gmail.com

 

Photograph:  Bokeh Creative Studio in Sea Point (Own photograph)

 

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein

About Chris von Ulmenstein

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The Restaurant at Grande Roche opens in two weeks, just after Viande Restaurant closes down at the Paarl hotel!

 

In less than a week after the closure of  Viande Restaurant, owned by Chef Pete Goffe-Wood, in a space he leased at the Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl, Chef Kevin Grobler announced on Instagram that he is opening a new restaurant at the Hotel, and has been  posting ads for new staff. The new restaurant will become The Restaurant at Grande Roche, and will open next month. Continue reading →

Corona Virus: Lockdown Journey Journal, Day 24 of Level 1, 14 October 2020.

 

Wednesday 14 October 2020, Day 24 of Level 1, Day 202 of Lockdown 😷

Corona Gratitude 🙏

#Grateful for our warmest day to date, at 24C; for a relaxed entertaining day of socializing, tea drinking, and eating; for being able to work out how to post on Instagram, it having been changed today without any notification to users 😱; for a 90 minute goosebump meeting over tea and Zabaglione at Villa 47 with Chef Matt Schreuder of Homespun, what a creative food magician he is; for meeting school mates Elaine Wegelin and Jenny Stephens at Utopia (yes, I love this place, for its interior decor, its food, the views, and being far from the maddening crowd); for two walks through Camps Bay today, not as littered as usual; for two plays on the Discovery Gameboard; and for being happy and healthy. 🙏💙 Continue reading →