Entries tagged with “La Mouette”.


imageThe Doolhof lunch held at La Mouette last Friday introduced us to three new aspects: the new Doolhof winemaker Gielie Beukes, the new Doolhof vintages, and the new interior decor of La Mouette.

New winemaker Gielie Beukes met the media for the first time at the function, having started at Doolhof last September. He comes across as a little shy in speaking, but his confidence will grow. I was lucky in sitting next to him, so could obtain more information from him after he introduced us to his range of wines, just after General Manager Johan Fourie welcomed us. Gielie handled all aspects of the 2015 harvest for the first time, which meant imagethat some of the wines we tasted (2014 and older) had been overseen by Rianie Strydom, who consults to the wine estate. Gielie moved across from Schalkenbosch, in Tulbagh, having previously worked harvests in Bordeaux and Napa, and having worked at Glen Carlou and La Motte. Gielie announced that they are discontinuing their Shiraz, and will sell off their grapes of this variety. They have also discontinued their Wooded Chardonnay, in a move to consolidate their range. Gielie shared with me that doing harvests in different countries was an immense learning experience, the French looking for optimum ripeness when picking grapes, while the Americans look for premium ripeness, picking grapes at an almost over-ripe state. Gielie is not only the winemaker, but has also been appointed as the Estate Manager. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Comair is taking SAA to court for its bailouts received from the government, challenging the constitutionality of such payments, and calling for an equal playing field with ‘equal competition rules’ for all airlines.

*   South Africa ‘generally made really bad wine for a long time, writes Warren Johnston from (more…)

Bungalow fireplaceIf it depends on the Cape weather, it is hardly winter yet. However, the first restaurants are sending out their Winter Specials information, summarised below.  The list is updated continuously. We welcome information about new specials:

Cape Town

*   Umi in Camps Bay: 2 course set menu R155, 3 courses R195.  Beef shortrib R105, beef sirloin R95, fish & fries R85, Tataki Beef R55, Beef sliders R55, Baby squid R45. Half price sushi. Cocktails R40  Tel (021) 437-1802 (added 1/5/15)

*   Pepenero in Mouille Point : 2 courses R150, 3 courses R190. Sirloin R90, Rump R90, Lamb cutlets R120, Seafood platter R160, Sushi platter R130, Veal schnitzel R110, Oxtail R110, prawn platter R130, chicken liver pasta R80, and chicken curry R90 .  Half price sushi (selected items) all day. Cocktails R35. Daily. Tel (021) 439-9027 (added 1/5/15)

*    5 Rooms, Alphen Boutique Hotel: 2 courses R160; 3 courses R 200; Sirloin R95, slow braised lamb shank (more…)

Festive Season 12 ApostlesChristmas Eve

*   La Mouette, Cape Town: 6-course dinner R445.  Tel (021) 433-0856

*   Savour, African Pride 15 on Orange, Cape Town: 5-courses R450. Tel (021) 469-8000

*   The Conservatory at Cellars Hohenhort, Cape Town:  6-course dinner R 750 p.p.  Tel (021) 794-5535

*   Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, Cape Town:  4-course R955 plus eggnog. Tel (021) 437-9000

*   Makaron at Majeka House, Stellenbosch: 4-course dinner R 55o p.p.  Tel (021) 880-1550

*   Bosman’s at Grande Roche, Paarl:   5-course dinner with pianist R1395 p.p. Tel (021) 863-5100 (more…)

Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards logo 2It’s the highlight of the restaurant industry tonight, and 1000 restaurant staff, food lovers, suppliers, and media will be at Thunder City to salute and celebrate the Mercedes-Benz Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants.

It must be one of the most oddball years for the Mercedes-Benz Eat Out Restaurant Awards 2014, the goalposts changing in August and September, as more and more Top 20 calibre chefs left their restaurants of employ, to join other restaurants, or to open their own establishments. Some Eat Out judges had already been sent to evaluate potential Top 20 candidate restaurant before the chef departures were announced, wasting time and money for New Media Publishing and its judges Abigail Donnelly (Editor of Eat Out), Andy Fenner (Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants, supplier to a number of Top 20 restaurants, a (more…)

Rossouw's by Diner's Club South African Restaurant GuideAfter a one year absence, the Rossouw’s Restaurant Guide is back, with a new name, new sponsor, new editor, and a new methodology of recognising top restaurants.  Restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands still dominate the 5-star restaurant list by far, with 13 out of 20 restaurants in the Western Cape, out of 300 restaurants evaluated in total!

Yesterday ‘Rossouw’s by Diners Club International 2015 South African Restaurant Guide’ was launched in Johannesburg, now sponsored by Diners Club, the same company also sponsoring the Platter’s by Diners Club 2015 South African Wine Guide.  Anna Trapido has been the editor for just more than half a year, writing individual reviews about restaurants on their website, and has compiled the new Guide, awarding twenty restaurants with 5 star ratings nationally, another change, as the Rossouw’s restaurants only achieved a maximum of 3 stars in the past, when it was run by previous owner JP Rossouw.  The publication format now matches that of the Platter’s Guide.  A 5-star rated restaurant is defined as a ‘consistently superlative restaurant in its category – with no/almost no issues’!  To obtain a 5-star rating the restaurant had to achieve a score in excess of 90%, errors in food being unbalanced, or wines and foods not matching, counting against a restaurant, for example.  Every element of the restaurant visit, from making the telephonic booking to the departure, was scored.  All meals were paid for by Anna’s reviewers, all largely unknown (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Bad news for the Cruise Tourism industry in Cape Town is that the planned announcement this month of the winning tender for the new cruise liner terminal has been cancelled, with a new tender being called due to none of the tenders meeting the basic requirements of the Request of Proposal.  Western Cape Tourism Minister Alan Winde said: ‘I was not happy with how long the process was taking anyway, and then when they phoned me and said they’ve decided to pull the plug on the tender process and readvertise, I was a bit grumpy‘.  New tenders are expected within the next six months.

*   Eskom appears to have made a plan to get more coal to the Majuba power station, where its silo cracked over the weekend, thereby allegedly preventing further power outages.

*   Crown Princess Mary from Denmark is visiting Cape Town, to open a Danish design exhibition as part of World (more…)

Diners Club Winelist banner Whale CottageThe Diners Club Winelist Awards for the Western Cape were held at Shimmy Beach Club yesterday, saluting the restaurants in the province, and the standard of their winelist content and presentation. Bushman’s Kloof won best Winelist in the Western Cape.  During the course of this week the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal awards will also be presented.

A judging panel, led by wine judge Dave Hughes, and consisting of Winnie Bowman, Nikki Dumas, Fiona McDonald, and Christine Rudman, evaluated 208 winelists nationally, and 100 from the ‘Cape‘, a province which has not existed for years!  Diners Club threw the Western Cape and Eastern Cape into one ‘Cape’ pot in reporting on the results and in handing out the awards yesterday!  A substantial number of Western Cape restaurants did not enter the competition this year, down from 96 entries last year to 80 this year.

Odd was the choice of venue, being the Bar section of Shimmy Beach Club, which did not have Diners Club Pongracz Whale Cottageenough parking for the attendees, some walking for more than 1 km to get to the venue.  We were welcomed with a glass of Pongracz, and the food was very meagre, being macaroni cheese croquettes and sushi!  There was not enough seating for everyone, in a room which had some round tables, a few chairs and couches, but had no presence in making this function special for the award winners, compared to the venue used at the Vineyard Hotel last year.  It also was not a finalist for the Winelist Awards! Very odd was using Anna Trapido as the MC, not generally known to the local restaurant wine stewards and sommeliers, in being the editor of the 2015 ‘Diners Club Rossouws (more…)

Waterkloof Beef and Langoustine TartarEat Out has just announced its Top 20 list, communicated very oddly (and inconveniently) by individual Tweet to each of the Top 20 restaurants.  As can be expected, there are some surprise additions and omissions on the list.  Stellenbosch and Cape Town are in direct competition, with six Top 20 Finalist Restaurants each.  The 2014 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Top 10 Restaurant Awards will be presented on Sunday 16 November.

New entrants to the list are La Mouette, The Restaurant at Newton Johnson, The Pot Luck Club, and The White House at Dear Me.  The latter restaurant’s addition to the list is a surprise, given that it is only open twice a week, on Thursday and Friday evenings.  Eat Out judge Andy Fenner supplying the restaurant from his down-in-the-dungeon Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants ‘butchery‘ on Church Street makes this nomination a conflict of interest!

Returnees to the list, after being eliminated last year, are Mosaic at The Orient and Terroir.

Omissions from the list, surprisingly, are Burrata (Best Italian restaurant last year), Indochine (very good score in Top 20 last year), Azure at The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, Equus at Cavalli, The Restaurant at Grande Provence, Springfontein Eats,  and for many, The Foodbarn.

*   Ineligibilty due to chef changes are Delaire Graff Restaurant, Camphors at Vergelegen, Mondiall, Pierneef à La Motte, Hartford House, and Babylonstoren, as well as La Colombe, due to its venue change and long closure as a result.

Last month we asked if Eat Out had enough Top 20 Chefs to fill its list, given that six previous Top 20 restaurants have had chef changes in the past few months.

The Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant list is as follows: (more…)

Chenin Blanc Top 10 Huguenot Cheese Brulee Whale CottageIn the past week three further Top 20 Restaurant candidate chefs have announced their resignation, making the restaurants at which they work ineligible to be nominated for the 2014 Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant shortlist.  This year is the most volatile we have ever seen as far as top restaurant chef departures go, opening up the opportunity for a fresh 2014 Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards list.

The latest chef resignations are the following:

*   Chef Oliver Cattermole left Mondiall Kitchen & Bar two weeks ago, today joining the Leeu Collection as its Executive Chef for its five star Dassenberg Estate hotel and Leeu Restraurants Oliver CattermoleRusthof Country House in Franschhoek, both opening next year.  Chef Oliver has worked locally at Dash at the Queen Victoria Hotel, the Le Franschhoek hotel, and Mondiall, as well as internationally at Ivy Restaurant, La Gavroche, Novelli, and at Cannizaro House hotel.

*   Chef Brad Ball, who helped open Bistro Sixteen82 at Steenberg, leaves in two weeks to start up what sounds like a collective of three restaurants at Pedlars on the Bend in Constantia

*   Chef Christiaan Campbell leaves Delaire Graff Estate, after opening up the main restaurant more than (more…)