Tag Archives: Restaurant Mosiac

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 30 April/1 May

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Table Mountain National Park is offering South African residents free entry to its Silvermine, Oudekraal, Perdekloof, and Newlands Forest picnic spots today, in celebration of its 16th anniversary.

*   SAA has announced that its three weekly flights to Beijing are departing at a more passenger-friendly time of 20h35 from today, four hours earlier than in the past, for the 15 hour flight from Johannesburg to China.

*   Only 40% of British men would order a bottle of wine in a pub, compared to 90% of them enjoying wine in their homes, for fear of being ridiculed by their mates.   Half of male drinkers would order wine in a restaurant. Male hosts to dinner parties at home would be more likely to choose a wine that could be a talking point to serve their guests, while women hosts are very unlikely to choose such a wine.

*   Chef Chantel Dartnall of Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient up north is a magnificent plater and creative Continue reading →

Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards list grows to 11 (or is it 12?)!

The Prudential Eat Out Top 10 restaurant list can make, or break, restaurants, and so the tension in the ballroom of the Westin Grand Hotel in Cape Town was high when the top restaurant awards were announced last night.

Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly indicated that the choice for this year’s Top 10 was very tough, and clarified that a chef owning more than one restaurant (e.g. Reuben Riffel) could be eligible for an award, as could a chef who will spend more time away from his namesake restaurant (George Jardine), at his new Country Restaurant at Jordan winery in Stellenbosch.   In recent years a Top 20 list is announced a few months prior to the November highlight, and this year the new players on this list were The Round House in Camps Bay (who bravely stated at their inception that they want to be the best restaurant in Africa, and who are very Big Brother as far as observing their patrons is concerned), the Green House in the Cellars Hohenhort hotel, and Carne.

The scoring for the restaurants was 70 % for the food, 20 % for the service and 10 % for the ambiance.   Restaurants had to have operated for a minimum of a year to be considered, the owner and the chef had to show a passion for their business, they had to show a dedication to uplift the industry, they had to show that quality sourcing of their supplies is important, and consistency and excellence had to be their foundation.

The winners of the 2010 Prudential Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards are as follows, in order of rank:

1.   La Colombe in Constantia
2.   Restaurant Mosaic in Pretoria
3.   Rust en Vrede Restaurant in Stellenbosch
4.   Terroir in Stellenbosch
5.   The Roundhouse in Camps Bay
6.   The Restaurant at Grande Provence in Franschhoek
7.   The Green House at the Cellars in Constantia
8.   Roots in Johannesburg
9.   9th Avenue Bistro in Durban
10. Overture in Stellenbosch and the Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek.

The tension, excitement and shock was felt by all when the winners were announced. The first surprise of the evening was that Abigail Donnelly, the editor of Eat Out magazine, had created two new Award categories, in which only she had a say in the winners. The Best Country Kitchen Award went to a perennial favourite – Marianna’s in Stanford – while, very surprisingly, the other new category was Best Bistro, which was won by Bizerca Bistro in Cape Town, a top 20 Award finalist. This made it clear that Bizerca would not make the Top 10 Eat Out Awards list for 2010. Many heads were shaking, and it sounded as if Bizerca had won a consolation prize.

The next shock was that the 10th place winner was a jointly placed Overture and the Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais, once again sounding as if the judges could not decide which of the two restaurants to drop into 11th position, making both these restaurants joint 10th winners, and thus creating an Eat Out Top 11 Restaurants Awards this year! The list also created a stir in that Jardine fell out of the top list completely (from number 2 last year), as did Hartford House.  La Colombe, 9th Avenue Bistro, Mosaic, Terroir, The Tasting Room, Roots and Overture were all on the Top 10 restaurant list last year.   Restaurants that were on the Top 20 list, but which did not make the Top 10 list, are Reubens, Carne, Aubergine, Bread and Wine, The Food Barn, Hartford House, Zachary’s, Bizerca Bistro and Jardine.

Chantel Dartnall of Mosaic won the Chef of the Year award.   Rust en Vrede won the Service Excellence award.

Cape Town and the Winelands retain their reputation as the gourmet centre of South Africa, three awards going to Cape Town and Stellenbosch restaurants each, and two to Franschhoek restaurants.  

The 5-star Westin Grand Hotel disappointed hugely as the venue hosting an awards evening recognising the best of gourmet cooking and service in South Africa.   Its standards have dropped significantly compared to the slick function a year ago.   Luke warm waters and white wines were served, the service staff were initially unable to cope, and the airconditioning did not operate at an acceptable level.

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