Entries tagged with “Bree Street”.


Bocca Interior Whale CottageThe opening of Bocca (meaning ‘mouth’ in Italian) Restaurant on Bree Street was eagerly awaited, having been held up by a last piece of paper to be approved by the City of Cape Town.  Three weeks after opening the Italian-style restaurant, seating about 90, is packed to the rafters, doing more than 200 covers per day most days.  Following a lunch last week, waiting for a car repair a block away, I enjoyed a special lunch with tastes of a number of the dishes on the Bocca menu on Tuesday.  The restaurant had been introduced to me in August already.

I was invited by Five Star PR owner Janie van der Spuy, with freelancer writers Jenny Handley and Bianca Coleman, Mail and Guardian‘s Amit Raz and Brent Meersman, and Katharine Jacobs of Eat Out.   We were joined by co-owners Neil Grant and Barry Engelbrecht, who opened Burrata at the Old Biscuit Mill in 2012.   Having bought two pizza ovens from Naples when they opened Burrata,  it was a long-term plan to open a second pizza restaurant in CapeBocca Neil Grant Whale Cottage Town. Pizzas bake at  a temperature of up to 485°C.  The two owners looked at a number of properties in the city centre, but the unusual venue on the corner of Bree and Wale Streets grew on them, allowing them space to add a mezzanine level, as well as an outside deck, which is already a hit, and attracts attention from passers-by. More space is available if they need more in future. Bocca is the only pizza restaurant on Bree Street. Natural oak wooden slats have been used throughout, from the exterior cladding, to steps into the restaurant, on the deck, and inside the restaurant, on its walls, and serving as banisters on the metal staircase, giving an (more…)

Bistro 13 Interior plus serving hatch Whale CottageAn unusually high number of new restaurants has opened or will do so in the next month or two.  There have never been so many chefs leaving their employers to start their own restaurants, or to join other employers!  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Kokkedoor judge and Chef Nic van Wyk and Roxy Laker have opened bistro 13 at Stellenbosch Vineyards (Welmoed) (photograph)

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Michael Townsend (who own the La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) has opened Tiger’s Milk in Muizenberg, the venue having previously been earmarked for a steakhouse.

*   Neil Grant and his business partner Barry Engelbrecht (of Burrata) have opened new restaurant Bocca on the corner of Bree (more…)

Borage Bistro Interior 2 Whale CottageAn unusually high number of new restaurants has opened or will do so in the next month or two.  There have never been so many chefs leaving their employers to start their own restaurants, or to join other employers!  This list of restaurant openings and closings and restaurant staff movements is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Borage Bistro has opened in Portside, with Chef Frank Marks, previously of The Fat Duck, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, La Colombe, The Test Kitchen, and The Pot Luck Club

*   Chef Chris Erasmus has opened his own restaurant Foliage in Franschhoek, having previously been at Pierneef à La Motte.

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill has opened next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Michael Townsend (La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) is opening a steak restaurant in Muizenberg in November.

*   Neil Grant and his business partner Barry Engelbrecht (of Burrata) are opening a new restaurant Bocca on the corner of Bree (more…)

Bocca coming soon Whale CottageLast night my friend Whitney Wentzel and I enjoyed a very generous dinner at Burrata, losing track of the number of courses we enjoyed.  I had been invited to hear from co-owner Neil Grant what exciting developments are planned at Bocca, which will open on the corner of Bree and Wale Streets in mid-September, as well as longer term at Constantia Uitsig, when they take over the former River Café, with a name change.

Bocca (means ‘mouth’ in Italian) will seat 70 diners on two levels inside, as well as a further 23 on a deck extending out of the restaurant on Bree Street, which has an extra-large pavement.  Neil and Chef Annemarie Steenkamp will open Bocca, with the assistance of Matteo, a sommelier who has worked on the cruise ship The Residence at Sea.  He in turn will have a sommelier supporting him.  The Bocca kitchen is smaller, Chef Annemarie said, but she is excited in having designed most of it herself.  A sister pizzaBurrata Chef Anemarie Steenkamp Whale Cottage oven to the one at Burrata, also sourced from Naples, has been installed, in orange.  Space has been allowed for a bar counter.  Seating is at counters, as well as at custom-designed tables and chairs.  There will be more colour in the interior, and less industrial design, than at Burrata. The interior design was done by INHOUSE designers, who also designed the interiors of Burrata, The Test Kitchen, The Butcher Shop & Grill, and Carné. A number of locations were considered for the new restaurant, including the former Rhapsody’s space on Main Road in Green Point.

Neil and his business partner Barry Engelbrecht are delighted that they found the Bree Street (more…)

Borage Bistro Interior 2 Whale CottageBorage Bistro has been on my list to try since it opened in May, and on Friday last week my friend Judy and I chose it for our lunch destination.  After a hesitant welcome by the waitress, we were well-attended to by front of house manager and co-owner Dennis Molewa, and found a sophisticated haven of German fusion cuisine and service standard.

Dennis told us that three co-owners opened the restaurant in the new Portside Building at the bottom of Bree Street, none of them having any experience in running a restaurant. Major shareholder is Christian Vaatz, a Cape Town based investment manager who loves outdoor eating.  He connected with Dennis, who has lived in Cape Town for four years, having worked for Amazon locally, and originally is from Frankfurt.  Chef Frank Marks is a German Namibian who studied at Silwood Kitchen, and joined Chef Luke Dale-Roberts when he was still at La Colombe, and then followed him when he set up The Test Kitchen. As if that wasn’t enough rubbing of shoulders with our country’s official best restaurant chef, Frank left his local job, and was accepted to do a stageBorage Bistro Dennis and Chef Frank Whale Cottage at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in Bray in the UK, before becoming full-time employed by him at Dinner by Heston in London, spending two years there. working with Chef Heston’s head chef Ashley Palmer-Watts, before returning to Chef Luke at The Pot Luck Club.  He likes to study the scientific aspects of food, experimenting with foams and gels, and to (more…)

Restaurnt Complaints CRO_Page11_GripeOMeter_08-14An American survey conducted amongst 1000 diners has revealed that dirty cutlery and table tops (76%) is the most off-putting aspect of eating out in a restaurant.

Complaints relating to food are too much nutritional information provided (16%) or too little (14%), water not being brought to the table spontaneously (27%), the food not look or taste as described in the menu (54%), the food or beverages served at the wrong temperature (66%), and not being served what one ordered (62%).

Gripes abound about waiters: the wrong dish being given to the wrong person at the table (17%), service being slow (51%), feeling rushed to eat (61%), errors on the bill (48%), a tip of 18%+ added automatically (50%), called ‘dear’ or ‘honey‘ (24%), sloppy dress and poor hygiene (67%), impolite or condescending waiters (72%), and removing the plate or glass before one has finished eating or drinking (59%).

The restaurant design and facilities can also annoy diners: tables too close together (39%), being too close to the door or kitchen (38%), and poor cloakrooms (73%).

Two further annoying aspects about restaurants is other customers sending text messages or talking on their phones (38%), and tables not being available within 15 minutes of the reservation time (50%).

While the survey was conducted in America, it is likely that similar results would be generated were the survey to have been conducted in South Africa.   (more…)

Cape Town Bicycle Lane City of Cape TownA R20 million project by the City of Cape Town will expand cycle and walking lanes in the Cape Town city centre to new lanes to be developed in suburbs outside the city centre, reports the Cape Times.

Cycle lanes will be developed in Athlone, Rondebosch, Mowbray, and Salt River, and will lead to the green cycling lanes already seen on city centre roads, such as Bree Street and Somerset Road.  In addition, walking paths and cycling lanes will be developed in Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Nyanga, Philippi, Steenberg, Atlantis, Delft, Kuils River, and Bonteheuwel.  The linkage between the city centre lanes and the Liesbeek Parkway cycle route, as well as from Observatory and Woodstock, will commence next week.

The Pedal Power Association has welcomed the planned additional cycle routes, stating that the Argus (more…)

Chef's Warehouse Street Food logo Whale Cottage PortfolioCape Town is seeing an amazing number of restaurant openings in mid-winter, a time during which one expects the opposite, it being usual to see restaurant closures.  Although a concern to some, we are seeing a rise in restaurant entrepreneurs, opening more than one restaurant in Cape Town, including Neil Grant with business partner Barry Engelbrecht (opening on Bree Street, as well as at the former River Café; Michael Townsend of the Harbour House Group, who must be the fastest restaurant-opener at the moment, also bringing star Chef Andres Conde from Michelin star restaurants in Spain to Cape Town; and grumpy Giorgio Nava, who is opening two Carne restaurants shortly! This list of restaurant openings and closings is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen has opened Street Food below the neighbouring hotel, offering Deluxe coffee, pastries, and Asian-inspired lunch take-outs. Operates from 7h00 – 15h00.

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   Lucky Fish & Chips has opened on Bree Street, on Regent Road in Sea Point, on Long Street, in Kalk Bay, and in Muizenberg, belonging to Harbour House group.  

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill is opening next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Ragafellows has opened on Main Road in Hout Bay.

*   The Dogfather has opened in Sea Point.

*   The Restaurant at Cape Point Vineyards has opened, with Chef Clayton Bell of the former Constantia Uitsig (more…)

Andres Kitchen Vixen Screen-shot-2012-09-15-at-3.03.13-PM-300x209Amazing news for the restaurant scene in Cape Town is that Chef Andres Condé , who worked at the former elBulli, the former number one restaurant on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, is moving to Cape Town in June, and joining the Harbour House Group of restaurants belonging to Michael Townsend, as Group Executive Chef.

As his first priority Chef Andres will focus on La Parada, the two tapas restaurants based in Kalk Bay and on Bree Street, and will revamp their menus.  If La Parada weren’t already the most Spanish tapas restaurants in Cape Town, they will now become super-Spanish and genuine tapas restaurants.  He will also work with the Harbour House restaurant teams in Kalk Bay and in the V&A Waterfront.  He will not be involved with the Lucky Fish restaurants in the Harbour House Group.

Chef Andres won an award as best young chef in Navarra, a Spanish wine region.  His prize was an internship at the former elBulli near Roses in Catalonia, a Michelin 3-star restaurant run by Chef Ferran Adrià, who many would say is the world’s most creative chef, being associated with Molecular Gastronomy, and having written cookbooks.   The internship was for two months, but Chef Andres stayed for more than six years!  He worked in (more…)

Chefs Warehouse Chef Liam and chefs Whale Cottage PortfolioLiam Tomlin is the most internationally experienced and respected but one of the least known chefs working in Cape Town, despite having worked in our country for ten years.  The recent move of his Chef’s Warehouse & Cookery School on New Church Street to Bree Street, now named Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen, seems to have transformed him and he seems happier than he has been for a long time, being back in the kitchen and hands-on in his restaurant.

Located in a heritage building on food fashionable Bree Street, where Caveau used to be before it went under, Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen has been painted a soft grey, which brings out the best of its simple red Chef’s Warehouse branding.  When I arrived to meet Judy for lunch, I spotted former Portofino restaurateur Cormac Keane Chefs Warehouse Exterior Whale Cottage Portfolioihaving lunch as I was taking a photograph of the exterior of the building. Cormac was a maverick whilst he lived in Cape Town, and it is a shame that he left Cape Town to return to London, having shaken things up in the restaurant industry when he operated here until the World Cup 2010, it not living up to his expectations. The Irish roots of Chef Liam and Cormac created a friendship in the early days in Cape Town for both men, which still holds.  Chef Liam started his career in Australia, and opened his restaurant BANC in Sydney, which earned him a 3 Hats award, as well as two Restaurant of the Year awards.  He moved to our country ten years ago, and has written cookbooks (‘BANC’,Season to Taste’, and ‘Lessons with Liam‘), which are available at Chef’s Warehouse, still serves on the British Airways Taste Team, and has assisted wine estates such as La Motte in setting up Pierneef à La Motte and its kitchen.  For a year he operated at Leopard’s Leap in Franschhoek, selling cooking and baking utensils and vessels, and offering cooking courses, whilst also (more…)