Tag Archives: The Table Bay Hotel

Collection of chefs gives Capetonians a ‘Taste of Cape Town’ (and the Winelands)!

Taste CT 2014 Banners Whale Cottage PortfolioFor the seventh year ‘Taste of Cape Town’ is delighting Capetonians with a feast of delectable food, excellent wines, talks and demonstrations about food and beverages, as well as entertainment, held at the Green Point Cricket Club near the Cape Town Stadium until today.

‘Taste of Cape Town’ has had incredible luck with the weather over the years, and temperatures have been climbing since opening day on Thursday, touching on 30ºC yesterday afternoon, and forecast to exceed  this temperature today.  Other than the Lindt stand, the ‘Taste of Cape Town’ stands do not have airconditioning, but attendees sought shade on the cricket ground to eat and drink their purchases. Outside each food stand a stand-up table allows one to eat, and to meet other ‘Taste of Cape Town’ attendees and obtain tips from them as to what to try at other stands on the route.  The chefs have a challenging time preparing hundreds of portions of three dishes each, with limited space and cooking facilities. There was barely any waiting time at any of the stands,  once one had ordered.  Payment is in terms of ‘scoins’, vouchers valued at R5 each, available to buy in booklets of 20 at R100. The cost of each dish is priced in scoins, none costing more than 8 scoins (R40).  The prices have not been increased in the past six Continue reading →

Many Mediterranean-style restaurants open in Cape Town!

La Parada Kitchen with Bull head Whale Cottage PortfolioDespite one of  the worst winters ever experienced by the Cape hospitality industry, most restaurants appear to have survived it. A surprise trend is the number of Mediterranean style restaurants opening, with true Spanish and Italian owners and/or staff. This list of restaurant openings and closings is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*   The Harbour House group has opened La Parada Spanish Tapas restaurant on Bree Street, with a subterranean bar/nightclub (above).

*      Café Puerto Cabo has opened on Loop Street, a Spanish eatery and men’s clothing shop.

*    The House of Machines has opened on Shortmarket Street, building motorcycles, offering good Evil Twin coffee, and serving very healthy food.

*   Orphanage Cocktail Emporium is opening Orphanage Club upstairs, with 1920’s style music by live performers, later this year.

*   Equus restaurant on the Cavalli stud and wine farm on the R44 has opened. Continue reading →

2012 Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in Cape Town and Winelands!

Christmas Eve

*   Il Cappero, Camps Bay: 6-course dinner and glass of Prosecco R350. Tel (021) 438-7074

*   Planet Restaurant, Mount Nelson Hotel : 5-course menu R910.  Tel (021) 483-1000

*   Oasis Bistro, Mount Nelson Hotel: Buffet R650.  Tel (021) 483-1000

*   Tobago’s, Raddison Blu:  3-course R450.  Tel (021) 441-3000

*   The Franschhoek Kitchen, Holden Manz, Franschhoek: 3 courses R375.  Tel (021) 876-2729

Christmas Day lunch

*   The Square Restaurant, Vineyard Hotel: 3-course lunch R 415. Tel (021) 657-4500

*   Azure Restaurant, Twelve Apostles Hotel: Buffet lunch, party hats, gift, crackers R945.  Tel (021) 437-9052 (sold out)

*   The Pavilion at The Marine, Marine Hotel, Hermanus: welcome drink, canapés, Christmas lunch, petit fours R 595.  Tel (028) 313-1000

* Il Cappero, Camps Bay: 6-course lunch with glass of Prosecco R350  Tel (021) 438-7074

*   Planet Restaurant, Mount Nelson hotel: 5-course lunch R 950. Tel (021) 483-1000

*   Ballroom, Mount Nelson hotel: Buffet R700.  Tel (021) 483-1000

*   1800° Restaurant, Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, Green Point: Christmas Lunch Buffet R320. Tel (021) 430-0506.

*   Tobago’s, Radisson Blu: Buffet R595.  Tel (021) 441-3000

*   Le Franschhoek hotel, Franschhoek:  Buffet R 395.  Tel (021) 876-8900

*   Le Coq Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Franschhoek: 3 courses R240. Tel (021) 876-4404

*  The Franschhoek Kitchen, Holden Manz, Franschhoek:   3 courses R375.  Tel ()21) 876-2729

New Year’s Eve

* Café Chic: 6-course dinner R485.  Tel (021) 465-7218

*   Il Cappero, Camps Bay: 8-course dinner and glass of Prosecco R 450.  Tel (021) 438-7074

*   Blues, Camps Bay: 4-course dinner, DJ, and unlimited bubbly R1700   Tel (021) 438-2040

*   Zenzero, Camps Bay:  3-course dinner and welcome drink R 1000.  Tel (021) 438-0007

*   Hussar Grill, Camps Bay: 4-courses R475.  Tel (021) 438-0151

*   Azure at Twelve Apostles Hotel, Camps Bay: Buffet and live music R 1895.  Tel ()21) 437-9000

*   The Conservatory at The Cellars-Hohenhort, R750.  Tel (021) 794-2137

*   Constantia Uitsig: 5-course dinner R 850.  Tel (021) 794-4480

*   Five Flies: 4-course menu, masked ball, and sparkling wine R600.  Tel (021) 424-4442

*   The Greenhouse, Cellars-Hohenhort, Constantia: 9-course dinner R950, or R1250 with wine.  Tel (021) 794-2137

*   La Colombe, Constantia: 5-course dinner, DJ, sparkling wine at midnight R1600.  Tel (021) 794-2390

*   La Mouette, Sea Point: 5-course meal and glass of sparkling wine R795. Tel (021) 433-0856

* 1800° Restaurant, Green Point: 6-course dinner, and entrance to the VIP Sky Bar R1200.  Tel (021) 430-0506

*   Myoga, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 7-course meal at R850.  Tel (021) 657-4545

*   Nobu, One&Only Cape Town, V&A Waterfront: 8-course dinner and band R2250. Tel (021) 431-5222

*   Orinoco: 3-course dinner, ‘Sixties’ theme, DJ, welcome cocktail, canapés, glass of sparkling wine R600.  Tel (021) 418-4544

*   Reuben’s at One&Only Cape Town: 5-course dinner and band R1750.  Tel (021) 431-5222

*   The Roundhouse, Camps Bay: 3-course dinner, live music and DJ, sparkling wine R1650.  Tel (021) 438-4347

*   Salt Restaurant, Ambassador Hotel: 8-course tasting menu, glass of sparkling wine, band R995.  Tel (021) 439-7258

*   Savoy Cabbage: Canapés, Christmas cocktail, gala dinner R995.  Tel (021) 424-2626

*   Signal, Cape Grace hotel, V&A Waterfront:  4-course dinnerR1950.  Tel (021) 410-7100

*   The Table Bay Hotel, V&A Waterfront: cocktail reception, Buffet dinner, sparkling wine R2100.  Tel (021) 406-5000

*   Tjing Tjing Bar, Dear Me: entrance fee, food, and party R300.  Tel (021) 422-4920

*   The Boat House, Scarborough: 5-course dinner and sparkling wine R980.  Transfer R500 pp.  Tel 083 305 8533

*   Massimo’s, Hout Bay: Welcome drink, 4 course dinner R425.  Tel (021) 790-5645

*   GOLD: Cocktail on arrival, drumming, live music, ‘African Feast’, bubbly R1100.  Tel (021) 421-4653

*   Makaron, Majeka House, Stellenbosch: 4-course dinner R625.  Tel (021) 880-1549

*   Moyo, Spier, Stellenbosch: Welcome drink, 3-course meal, R495.  Tel (021) 809-1133

*   Restaurant at Clos Malverne, Stellenbosch: 8-course food and wine pairing R468.  Tel (021) 865-2022

*   Tokara, Stellenbosch: 8-course dinner R950.  Tel (021) 885-2550

*   Eat @ Simonsig, Paarl:   Live band, 3-courses, bubbly at midnight R275.  Tel (021) 863-3845.

*   The Restaurant at Grande Provence, Franschhoek: Welcome drink and midnight glass of sparkling wine as well as dancing, 7-course dinner R790.  Tel (021) 876-8600

*   The Kitchen, Maison, Franschhoek: 8 courses, each paired with a Maison Estate wine, R950.  Tel (021) 876-2116.

*   Reuben’s, Franschhoek: 6-course dinner R1200. Tel (021) 876-3772

*   Le Coq Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Franschhoek: 3 courses and a glass of sparkling wine R280. Tel (021) 876-4404

*   The Restaurant at Waterkloof, Somerset West: 6-course meal R650, or R825 with wine.  Tel (021) 858-1292

*   The Pavilion at The Marine, Marine Hotel, Hermanus:  Canapés, welcome drink, 6-course menu, R1150.  Tel (028) 313-1000

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

‘I ♥ my Laundry’ exciting new Cape Town laundry restaurant!

Twice in one day I chatted to bubbly Betsie van der Merwe, new owner of Manna Epicure, meeting her for the first time on Thursday, and I loved her energy, homeliness, and friendliness.  We had connected via Twitter previously, but it was the first time we met at her restaurant on Kloof Street. She highly recommended I  my Laundry, and told me that she would be doing a function with them that evening, where I saw her again, after receiving an invitation via Twitter to attend.  The function at I my Laundry was a wine tasting by Arnold Vorster of Graham Beck Wines, and a tasting of Manna Epicure breads.

I my Laundry opened a week ago, after a month-long transformation from what was previously the Sundance coffee shop, which had belonged to notorious Conrad Gallagher. The back section of the space is on two floors, and contains the laundry, with washing, dry cleaning with a four-hour turnaround time, ironing, and collection/delivery (within the City Bowl initially) services offered, not visible from the coffee shop/restaurant on the ground floor.  It has been beautifully transformed, with a 14-seater silver grey concrete table top resting on steel legs, most comfortable white and black high-back chairs, a wooden counter on which Betsie had displayed her breads, and some wooden shelving.  On the mainly rough brickwork walls are displayed artworks, which will be rotated over time. There were orange serviettes, and beautiful brand new cutlery.  I loved the stylish Maxwell Williams water jug.

The inspiration for the name and concept for I my Laundry, which is co-owned by Clayton Howard and Mico Botha, comes from The French Laundry in New York, which was first started by a husband and wife team, running a restaurant and a laundry first as two outlets next door to each other, and then opened up to become one entity.  The Buitengracht branch is the third to open in the past four months, with branches in Durbanville and Kenridge too.  Clayton has extensive experience in the hospitality industry, having worked at Ellerman House, the Twelve Apostles Hotel, The Table Bay Hotel, The Pepper Club Hotel & Spa, Arabella Sheraton, The Mount Grace Hotel, and The Cellars Hohenhort Hotel.  Mico also has a hospitality background, having last worked for Bidvest’s Cleaning Division, but also worked for Outsourced Labour, and is developing the Visual Training TV company.

Free wifi is offered, and a coffee machine makes perfect cappucinos from Brazilian-imported beans by Joga Joga Café, exclusively stocked in South Africa by I my Laundry.  Cupcakes from Manna Epicure will be for sale.  An exciting subsidiary business is I my Wine, for which Clayton and Mico will host interesting corporate events in which they bring together an alcoholic beverage supplier and a chef or restaurant to create a magical evening, as we experienced on Thursday evening. Last night a corporate client held a Dim Sum evening, with Chef Steven from Beluga doing the food for the group.  At the Thursday evening function not everyone knew everyone attending, and so the introductions around the table were a taste of the personalities of the guests.  The I corporate name has many legs, and exciting new projects are certain to develop.  One of these is I my Linen, which is the sale of an organic bleach. Another brand is I my Art,  and currently Irish photographer Niall Molloy is displaying his work, while Von Deen’s wooden hearts can also be bought.

Betsie and her baker Josh introduced their wonderful breads to us – Country rye bread, Rosemary and date sourdough, Ciabatta, and Cranberry and hazelnut rye.  The breads are available from Manna Epicure, and freshly baked by Josh from 5h00 onwards. Manna Epicure opened in 2005, driven by Maranda Engelbrecht (now driving Babel at Babylonstoren) and Jacques Erasmus of Hemelhuijs.  The restaurant is homely, flavourful, aromatic, natural, and no-fuss, Betsie said of her eatery. The breads can be bought in half sizes too, for ‘bachelors and bachelorettes’.  Betsie had brought along a lovely selection of Fairview cheeses, including Chevin goat’s cheese, blue cheese, cranberry and white rock, and apricot and white rock.  Parma ham from the Wild Peacock Emporium; chorizo, fig and rosemary mixed in a sauce; cashew nuts; apricot chips; and dried cranberries, eaten with the Manna Epicure bread without butter, was a feast.

I have previously attended a tasting of Graham Beck Wines conducted by Arnold Vorster, and he has a relaxed way of introducing the excellent wines in the company’s portfolio.  We were spoilt by tasting a  Graham Beck Brut Non Vintage on arrival, a classic 50%/50% Pinot Noir/Chardonnay blend.  The Game Reserve is an unwooded Chenin Blanc.  This was followed by a 2009 Chardonnay, with grapes coming from Robertson, giving lemon and lime notes.  The Graham Beck Shiraz 2008 is made in older barrels, from grapes which come from the Stellenbosch Graham Beck Wines farm.  The William 2007 is a Cape blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and a little drop of Shiraz, the wine being named after the grandson of the late Graham Beck.  Our special tasting was concluded with the Bliss Demi-Sec sparkling wine.  Graham Beck MCCs can now be tasted at its dedicated Gorgeous bubbly bar at the Steenberg Hotel, next door to its Catharina’s restaurant.

We were sent home with a gift bag of a 375 ml bottle of Graham Beck MCC and a packet of Manna Epicure’s melba toast, beautifully gift-wrapped, having enjoyed a wonderful evening.  I was lucky to sit opposite Cliff Jacobs, owner of Villa Belmonte in Oranjezicht, who himself has been the host of magnificent gourmet evenings, and we were able to share common experiences about the highs and lows of the hospitality industry of the past few years.  We both enjoyed the cappuccino.  Most guests present knew Clayton, the hospitality industry featuring strongly in the guest list, and all enjoyed a wonderful evening, meeting ‘colleagues’ from the industry.

I went back for another great cappuccino yesterday afternoon, and while the city centre was extremely busy, parking was available outside the shop.  Clayton and Mico were both there, and felt like old friends already, 24 hours later!

POSTSCRIPT 7/4: I attended a Wildekrans grappa and GaBoLi grappa chocolate tasting at I my Laundry today.  I am super impressed with all the ideas bubbling out of co-owners Clayton and Mico, for example, they are thinking of starting Fondues.  On Fridays, from 5 – 7 pm, they will host free Laundry Parties, at which one can taste wines.

I my Laundry, 59 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town.  Tel 084 660 0777 (Clayton)/083 6020291 (Mico) www.Ilovemylaundry.co.za Twitter:@ILovemyLaundry, Monday – Sunday, 7h00 – 19h00.

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