Entries tagged with “picnics”.


12 Apostles Shell plate Whale Cottage PortfolioYesterday was a picture perfect day to try out the new Summer menu of new Executive Chef Christo Pretorius at Azure restaurant at the 12 Apostles Hotel, at the invitation of its GM Horst Frehse.   The amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean is brought into the restaurant and reflects in the menu too.

Chef Christo was promoted when Chef Henrico Grobbelaar left the hotel to head up the kitchen at Equus restaurant at Cavalli Estate in Stellenbosch a few months ago.   He had previously worked at De Huguenot (no longer operating) with Chef Tanja Kruger, and at the Cape Royale before joining the 12 Apostles.  He travels overseas every year, to experience international cuisine. He acknowledged that he is nothing without his team, and that he delegates to his staff, mentors and trains them. 12 Apostles Chef Christo Whale Cottage PortfolioChef Christo focuses on ingredients that are seasonal, and sources them as locally as he can, the game coming from Uitenhage and Oudtshoorn.  Only green-listed SASSI fish is served.  He has a good relationship with his suppliers, and knows that they will assist him when he has urgent requests.  His focus at Azure is on ‘flavourful food‘.  Horst shared that they have had very good feedback about Chef Christo’s menu, and that the chef comes out of the kitchen as much as he can, to meet the guests and to obtain their feedback. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Du Toitskloof Wines is the official wine sponsor of Seasons 2 – 4 of Kokkedoor, the Afrikaans cooking program filmed in Prince Albert and broadcast on kykNET.  Teams of amateur and experienced chefs are ‘paired’ in teams of two, and are eliminated over the duration of the series. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)

*   At the Aviation Association of Southern Africa Conference held last week, the question was raised about SAA being a Government-funded airline.  It was suggested that it be sold off to a commercial operator, and that the government should make the operation of all airlines financially viable.

*   The First Lady of Equatorial Guinea, Mrs Constancia Mangue de Obiang, (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Skywise and FlySafair are both low cost airlines due to take off soon in flying between Cape Town and Johannesburg, with FlySafair having an advantage in taking off on 17 October, despite criticism that it is not meeting the ownership criterion of no more than 25% foreign ownership.

*   BA will cut its number of flights per week between London and Johannesburg from 17 to 14 in February, when it introduces the A380 aircraft on this route.

*   Ending its themed ‘Taking Tapas to…’ dinners, Bistro Sixteen82 is going Asian for the month of October. Ten dishes from the Orient include StickyBistro Sixteen 82 Tapas Asian image001 Chinese Ribs and Teriyaki Chicken.  From November the restaurant returns to its classic tapas menu. (via media release from Communication Services Africa)

*   Parliament has a wine cellar with 3000 wines, writes Emile Joubert. Called the Speaker’s Parliamentary Wine Cellar,  Speaker of the National Assembly Max Sisulu said that Parliament is situated ‘around the (more…)

The opening function, one of two, at Leopard’s Leap last night, was a welcome indication of how the gourmet bar in Franschhoek is about to be raised, with the addition of the Liam Tomlin Food Culinary Studio.  Not one of the 300 guests could have left not being impressed with the architecture and decor of the building, dominated by its beautiful new chandelier, with the generosity of the hosts, and with the excellent food, served with Leopard’s Leap wines.

I have been to Leopards Leap a number of times since it opened in November, and noticed the new chandelier immediately on arrival, after entering the building on a green carpet, being offered a choice of six welcome cocktails.  Flowers in massive vases lining the entrance were by creative florists Okasie in Stellenbosch.  The chandelier was designed by interior decorator Christo Barnard, and he is very chuffed with how well it was executed by Pierre Cronje.  The tasting room staff collected vineyard leaves, which Christo had dye cut out of stainless steel, replicating different leaf shapes, and then spray painted them in yellow, green, and red leaf colours, making a magnificent statement over the tasting counter, and bringing the vineyards into the tasting room, the vine design looking absolutely realistic.

Guests of honour were ex-President FW de Klerk, who had addressed a lunch of 40 members of the Beijing University alumni club yesterday afternoon (a lunch that made CEO Hein Koegelenberg beam, in that he signed up R1,5 million in business during the lunch, he shared with us), and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, who looks younger and more stylish than ever before, all due to her stylist Janine Schouw, she said.  Premier Zille came to say hello, and remembered us meeting at Artscape about five years ago, which makes her such a remarkable person, and such a respected and well-loved politician.  It was touching to see the Premier connect with Mr de Klerk, holding hands. The mutual respect was clear to see.

Leopard’s Leap CEO Hein Koegelenberg made a short speech to welcome the guests to the new Leopard’s Leap Vineyards, housing Leopards Leap Wines and Liam Tomlin Food.  He recounted that he had created the Leopard’s Leap brand twelve years ago, and he acknowledged the work of label designer Anthony Lane in developing it into an international brand, now sold in 41 countries. It had not had a consumer interface in the past, and the neighbouring farm to La Motte was ideal for a tasting room, not only due to its location on the R45 and its proximity to La Motte, but also because the grapes on it had been planted by Hein’s father, and he still looks after the garden team on the estate.  Hein said that Leopard’s Leap is the most diverse wine company in the world, focusing on diversity in sourcing grapes and producing the wines in different regions.

It was the ancient marriage between wine and food that led Hein to seek the ‘perfect pairing of wine and cuisine’ with chef Liam Tomlin, who moved from Sydney to Cape Town some years ago, consulting to La Motte when its restaurant opened, and opening his own Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School in Cape Town. Now Liam Tomlin Food offers cooking demonstration classes, upping the standard of Franschhoek’s gourmet cuisine offering.  The venue was designed to blend Franschhoek’s ‘proud heritage of wine and cuisine’ with modernity and innovation, to create a world class experience for its visitors.  The building was designed by architects Mokena Design Lab, Christo Barnard did the interior design (having done that of Pierneef à La Motte too), with furnishing by Pierre Cronje.  The building houses offices for Leopard’s Leap Wines and Liam Tomlin Food, a state-of-the-art cooking school and demonstration area, a shop selling cooking equipment, ingredients, and utensils, a garden in which to enjoy picnics in future, and a reading lounge.  Reflected in the building too is the passion the family has for the conservation of the Cape mountain leopard, which is reflected in the magnificent 9 meter high steel sculpture by Marco Cianfanelli, outside the building.  Hein believes that the ‘statue will become a landmark in the Franschhoek Wine Valley’.

Chef Liam’s speech was short and sweet, and he won brownie points when he said that it was much better moving from Australia to South Africa, and not vice versa. He also said that South African wines are better than Australian ones.  He told us that initially he would concentrate on establishing the cooking courses, whereafter the Food Shop will be created, eagerly awaited by locals.  An organic vegetable garden has been planted, for use in his kitchen.

Different food stations were created throughout the kitchen to feed the 300 guests, a mix of food and wine writers, wine farm neighbours, and local winemakers, with trays of material serviettes and cutlery at each, and each dish labelled.  Chicken roasted in the brand new rotisserie was served with a sticky soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and ginger, and a cucumber salad, its Thai basil giving it a sharp edge.   There was sea bass served with delicate noodles. The pork belly served on a pancake with Hoisin sauce and spring onion probably was the most popular dish. A most interesting duck sausage was another hit, containing raisins, pistachio nuts, confit leg, and duck liver, served with a potato salad and duck jus. Chef Liam told us that they had ordered 150 ducks to make the duck sausage, and that their supplier had initially let them down badly, it costing them five days in time to get the sausage made as a result.  A sweetcorn and basil veloute was served in an espresso cup.  An interesting dish was a melted Raclette cheese served with steamed potato and bruschetta.  Desserts were a lemon posset, and a Bailey’s Irish cream parfait with cocoa crunch.  In tasting each of the delicacies, one could get a close look at the kitchen equipment, and Grande Provence owner Alex van Heeren spontaneously described the facilities as ‘world class’.

The clearing of plates and serving of drinks was organised by Aleit event company, and Aleit Swanepoel, the owner, and his team made each guest feel like a special VIP, bringing one drink after the other (a delicious berry Shiraz drink).

As if the hosts’ generosity had not been enough already, each guest received a magnificent presentation box with a thank you from Liam and Hein ‘for sharing this special celebration with us’, and containing a bottle of Leopard’s Leap Shiraz Mouvèdre Viognier 2008, as well as a pack of risotto rice, dried mushrooms, and a bottle of Black Truffle oil, with a recipe card for mushroom risotto.

La Motte and Leopard’s Leap are a new gourmet gateway to Franschhoek, and it would appear that further exciting developments are underway at both wine estates, from what was suggested to me last night.

Liam Tomlin Food, Leopard’s Leap Vineyards, R45, Franschhoek. Tel (021) 876-8822. www.liamtomlinfood.com www.leopards-leap.com Twitter: @LiamTomlinFood  @LeopardLeapWine

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

I have the highest regard for the passion and energy of Hein Koegelenberg, who wears a number of hats, including heading up the operation of La Motte, founder of Meridian (a local distribution and sales company for 24 leading wine brands) and Historic Wines of the Cape (a warehousing, labelling and shipping company), and co-owner of Leopard’s Leap with his wife Hannelie Rupert-Koegelenberg.   I was delighted that Hein made time last week to share the planned developments at Leopards’ Leap, which is set to open a Tasting Room as well as a Cookery School in October, next door to La Motte in Franschhoek.

On the 10 hectare farm with its 400 square meter building being built, the Leopard’s Leap brand will have its first home, having been produced at the La Motte cellars in the past.  The brand sells six times as much as La Motte in volume, a total of 600 000 cases of six bottles.   The brand was created eleven years ago, as a second label to the Rupert wine brands La Motte, Rupert & Rothschild, and L’Ormarins.  Originally the brand was made from the left-over grapes from these three properties, but now Hein and his team buy in wine from Perdeberg, Wamakersvallei, Ashton Winery, Darling Winery, Leeuwenkuil and La Motte to create Leopard’s Leap wines.  The wines have been bottled at the KWV to date.  

A recent development is that Leopard’s Leap is bulk shipped to the United Kingdom, where it is bottled under the supervision of the winemaker, to save up to half of his shipping costs, given the Rand risk, Hein said.  Almost a quarter of Leopard’s Leap production has been bottled in the UK.  This is the way in which Leopard’s Leap has reacted to changing market conditions, and Hein’s philosophy is to adapt, saying one must make things work for your business when the external environment changes.   Hein is not optimistic that the strength of the Rand will change in the next 3 – 5 years.  Having withdrawn from the American market for some time, Hein says the time is right to go back into the USA with Leopard’s Leap and La Motte, an agent just having been appointed to sell the brands there.  

The three leopards on the Leopard’s Leap label have energy, and depict the personality which Hein and his wife wish to create at their new Tasting Room.  They have therefore appointed Mokena Makeka, a ‘hot’ young architect from Cape Town, whose Makeka Design Laboratory recently re-designed the Cape Town Station for the World Cup. The interior decor will be handled by Christo Barnard, who did the decor of Pierneef à La Motte.    The design will reflect that the brand’s target market is younger, and enjoy drinking this wine at a lower price point.  The building will have a lot of glass, to bring the outside in, and a large outside sitting area too.   A tasting room, delicatessen offering picnics, and wine sales facility make up the core of the new building.

A cutting-edge demonstration kitchen with 24 state-of-the-art work stations will also be built for the Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School  branch opening at Leopards’ Leap, with owner Liam Tomlin and his wife moving to Franschhoek.  Tomlin has worked in leading restaurants in the UK, Europe and Sydney, including Banc in Sydney, about which he wrote a book with the same name, and another entitled “Season to Taste”. He opened the Chef’s Warehouse and Cookery School in Cape Town a year ago. The Cookery School will offer a wide range of classes, presented by Tomlin as well as by top local and international chefs.  The Chef’s Warehouse will sell a wide range of kitchen products, to offer participants the tools to make at home what they have learnt at the Cookery School.

The food to be served at Leopard’s Leap will be picnics. Tomlin and Barnard are currently working on the picnic concept, to develop a unique offering relative to what is currently being served at other wine farms, to create a unique identity for Leopards’ Leap.   Hein described the Leopard’s Leap brand as ‘pastel, earthy, funky, trendy, with energy”, and this will guide the interior decor and personality of the new Leopard’s Leap building. 

The Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club  will visit Leopards’ Leap on a Saturday on Saturday 12 November.   Further details can be obtained by e-mailing whalecot@iafrica.com

Leopard’s Leap Wines: www.leopards-leap.com

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

We recently created the concept of a Franschhoek Restaurant Route” in a blog post, to highlight the restaurant gems in Franschhoek, a village that has worn the Gourmet Capital crown to date.   Given that Stellenbosch has not actioned the “Stellenbosch Restaurant Route”,  a concept we created in a blog post too, Franschhoek is taking the high ground, and is combining its two major attractions, to form the Franschhoek Wine Valley Food and Wine Route from next year.

Franschhoek is not only incorporating food and wine in the Route, but is also planning to include cultural, art,  shopping, outdoor and scenic experiences into the Franschhoek Food and Wine Route.  An ‘e-commerce’ website is being built, allowing visitors to Franschhoek to book their “experiences” on-line.   Members of the Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourism Association do not pay to be included in the Food and Wine Route, but pay 10 % commission for bookings received via the site.

The following categories will be included in the Franschhoek Wine Valley Food and Wine Route (a mouthful at the moment, hopefully the ‘Wine Valley” will be dropped from the name over time):

*   Food:  signature dishes, award-winning restaurants, traditional cuisine, cooking classes, picnics, private dinners, including restaurants such as The Restaurant at Grand Provence, Pierneef Ã  La Motte, Reuben’s, Solms-Delta’s Fyndraai Restaurant, Allée Bleue, Le Franschhoek’s Verger, and many more.

*   Wine: red wine, white wine and MCC tastings; vertical, varietal and component tastings; barrel tastings; personalised cellar tours, at wine estates such as Graham Beck, Allée Bleue, Boekenhoutskloof, Colmant, Cabriere, La Motte, Grand Provence, Boschendal, Lynx, Solms Delta, Stony Brook, Chamonix and Vrede & Lust.

*   Food and wine pairings: including Vrede & Lust, Plaisir de Merle, Solms-Delta, Maison, Grande Provence, Mont Rochelle, Cabriere, Manz Holden, and Graham Beck

*   Local produce: olives, olive oil, cheese, bread, beer, schnapps, and salmon, sold at the Salmon Bar, Rupert & Rothschild, Vrede & Lust, Allée Bleue, Allora’s The Olive Shack, and Le Bourgogne

*   Deli’s and farm shops:La Cotte Inn, Allée Bleue, Franschhoek Cellars, Boschendal, L’ermitage, The Jam Jar, La Motte

*   Retail shopping: Cooksensuals

*   Art galleries, such as Grande Provence, David Walters’ ceramics’ studio, and the art collection at Ebony

*   Outdoor and scenic experiences

*   Accommodation

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

Franschhoek still officially carries the Gourmet Capital crown, even though it faces strong competition from Stellenbosch, which is seeing the opening of an increasing number of excellent restaurants, so much so that we recently suggested that the town establish the Stellenbosch Restaurant Route.

Franschhoek probably has sat back on its gourmet laurels for a while, but must be delighted about the opening of two new excellent restaurants, Ryan’s Kitchen and Pierneef à La Motte, which add new interest to Franschhoek as a culinary destination.  In fairness to Franschhoek, I have suggested a Franschhoek Restaurant Route:

*   Pierneef à La Motte is culinary art, and has upped the quality of Franschhoek’s restaurant choice.  Its focus is Winelands Boerekos with a contemporary twist.  Chef Chris Erasmus is a breath of fresh air, working with historic recipes and transforming them into works of art,  reflecting Pierneef’s standards.  Tel (021) 876-8000

*   Grande Provence  is quietly delivering quality cuisine, with chef Darren Roberts doing the most beautiful presentation of his food.   The restaurant is not afraid to charge  a price that reflects his standards of cooking.   Outstanding decor, and surrounded by artwork from its Gallery.  Perfection is visible from the time one drives into the wine estate.  Top 10 restaurant for the past two years. Tel (021) 876-8600.

*   The Tasting Room is loved by some, but not by all.  It is expensive.  It seems to have good nights and bad nights.  Joint 10th with Overture on Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant List last year.  Tel (021) 876-2151

*   Ryan’s Kitchen has only been open for three months, set in a guest house,  with a high-tech kitchen, and quality cuisine by chef Ryan Smith.  “Contemporary South African cuisine” is the restaurant positioning, and a stronger African feel will be introduced in October, with a “Taste of Africa” menu.   Tel (021) 876-4598

*   Reuben’s has been the darling of Franschhoek, and a recent Tweet stated that it is the restaurant that tourists visit, while those that know go to Le Bon Vivant.   Opened 6 years ago, the restaurant’s service standards have dropped as Reuben’s has expanded to Robertson, and chef Reuben Riffel has taken on more projects.  Recently lost the sommelier to Bosman’s, but may not be a bad thing for the restaurant, as she was not very customer-friendly.  The biggest compliment to Reuben and his team, but also the largest challenge, in opening Reuben’s at One&Only Cape Town  (A first meal at the new Reuben’s was a-maze-ing).   Tel (021) 876-3772

*   Allee Bleue has been very low key restaurant-wise, and it is uncertain exactly where the management wants to go with its dining options.  The Bistro at the entrance to the wine estate has always been friendly, and serves Bistro-style food at reasonable prices.  The departure of Chef Dane Newton is a shame, but with his replacement currently working at the Michelin-starred Schwarzer Adler, interesting things could be coming out of this kitchen soon. Tel (021) 874-1021

*   Cafe Bon Bon is one of the most relaxed and friendly breakfast and lunch-time stops in Franschhoek, on a most beautifully developed small-holding.  Tel (021) 876-3936

*   Haute Cabriere is owned by Franschhoek restaurant mogul Matthew Gordon.  While many find the ‘cave’-like interior a shame given the beautiful view outside, it remains popular, also as a wedding venue, and has a good relationship with Cabriere wines. Tel (021) 876-3688

*   La Petite Ferme is one of the best known restaurants with consistent quality and does not amend its menu much.  Visitors return, not only for the quality food but also for the wonderful view over Franschhoek, and for the relaxed atmosphere.  Tel (021) 876-3016

*   Dieu Donné also has an excellent view from its glass ‘walls’.   Its food quality was better when it first opened about two years ago. Tel (021) 876-2493

*   Le Bon Vivant is tucked away, off the main road, and is a ‘loner’, doing its own thing.  Beautiful presentation of food by chef Pierre. Tel (021) 876-2717

*   Rickety Bridge has a restaurant right at the vineyards, and offers picnics in summer.  Tel (021) 876-2129

*   French Connection is another Matthew Gordon restaurant, and is a pedestrian favourite of locals and tourists.  Good main road location.  Serving breakfast as well now.  Tel (021) 876-4056

*   Dutch East was struggling when we visited it in June.  It seemed to be trying too hard.   There is no particular style of food served.   Tel (021) 876-3547

*   Chez d’Or was previously Cafe Rouge, and has expanded its size, and brought the restaurant closer to the main road.   Sandwiches and pedestrian Bistro food.   Tel 082 372 7645

*   Allora is a good quality Italian restaurant.  Despite sister-restaurants in Johannesburg, the welcome is personal and one does not get a chain-feel at all. Good value family eating.  Tel (021) 876-4375.

*   Col’Cacchio is one of a chain by the same name, and one can predict what is on offer.  Not the best service, but very popular for outside sitting.   Tel (021) 876-4222

*  Boschendal- other than going there for historical reasons, or to eat their long-standing buffet lunch, there is little to attract one to an estate that does not yet embrace excellence, a shame given its heritage.  Its Le Piqniques are well-known and very popular in summer.   Tel (021) 870-4272

*   Fyndraai at Solms-Delta wine estate is a pleasant surprise, with interesting Kaapse kos.  On good weather days, sitting on the terrace is a treat.  Tel (021) 874-3937

*   Cotage Fromage is a joint venture between Matthew Gordon, Duncan Doherty and Pierre Smith, serving breakfasts and lunches, and doing the catering for wedding and other events at Vrede & Lust.   The menu does not reflect the capabilities of the three chefs.   Tel (021) 874-3991

*   The Grillroom is another Matthew Gordon restaurant, and fills a niche for patrons wanting mainly steak.  Unique restaurant in that one can buy good quality meat to take home too, as well as Franschhoek wines.   Tel (021) 876-2548

*   Cafe des Arts has taken over from Topsi’s, a Franschhoek institution.  Topsi still appears to be there regularly. (Tel (021) 876-2952

*   Salmon Bar is undergoing a renovation in part of the old Bouillabaisse building, which will enhance its visibility when it re-opens in November. Tel (021) 876- 4591

*   Bread & Wine is linked to Le Quartier Français, and only serves lunches.  Previously included in Eat Out Top 10 list, to the surprise of many. Good bread and charcuterie.  Tel (021) 876-3692.

*   Mon Plaisir is on the Chamonix estate, and is owned by a French couple offering French fare.  Little ambiance inside the restaurant.  Tel (021) 876-2393

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

We have been tracking recent restaurant opening, closure, and restaurant and chef change information in Cape Town and in the Winelands on our Winter Restaurant Specials blog post, but have decided to do an update for those not looking for specials necessarily.  

Restaurant openings

*   La Mouette has opened at 78 Regent Road in Sea Point.  

*    Brio is a new jazz restaurant, in half of the ex-Riboville in town (on the Adderley Street side)

*    Van Hunks has opened at 1 Union Street, off Kloof Street in Gardens

*   Cafe Nood has opened in Wilderness Road, Claremont

*    Ryan’s Kitchen has opened at Rusthof guest house in Franschhoek – the chef Ryan Smith is ex-Mont Rochelle. 

*   The House of Meat has opened in the Pepper Club Hotel, corner Long and Bloem Streets, offering a full braai for R 295  

*   Spiros has opened in Hout Bay

*   La Cantina has opened in the Alliance Francaise.

*   The De Leuwen Jagt restaurant on the Seidelberg wine estate outside Paarl has opened The Fabulous Bakery.  

*   Gesellig has opened on the corner of Church and Regent Roads in Sea Point, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

*   Indochine has opened at the Delaire Graff wine estate in Stellenbosch. 

*   The Long Table Restaurant and Cafe has opened at Haskell Vineyards in Stellenbosch. 

*   The Wild Peacock Food Emporium has opened in Stellenbosch.  

*   De Oude Bank Bakkerij has opened in Stellenbosch.  

*   Knife Restaurant has opened in the Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa, a sister restaurant to Fork.

*   Sommelier Restaurant has re-opened, after a two-year closure, at Sante Hotel & Wellness Centre

*   Illyria coffee shop has opened in the Eikestad Mall in Stellenbosch

*   Pierneef à  la Motte has opened at La Motte in Franschhoek.

*   The Artisan Cafe has opened inside Table Thirteen in Green Point, with a barista

*   The Fish Shack has opened in The Paddocks, Milnerton

*   Maison in Franschhoek is to open a restaurant

*   Etienne Bonthuys (ex-Tokara) has opened his long-awaited restaurant on Dorp Street, Stellenbosch, called Casparus, in partnership with artist Strijdom van der Merwe.

*   Luke Dale Roberts, award-winning chef whilst at La Colombe (reaching 12th place on Top 50 Restaurants in the World list), has opened The Test Kitchen at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.

*   Sofia’s at Morgenster has opened.

*   Down South has opened on Long Street 

*   Victoria Eatery has opened in Hermanus.

*   French Toast has opened at 199 Bree Street, a wine and tapas bar

*   DISH has opened at Inn on the Square, Greenmarket Square

*   Babel has opened at Babylonstoren near Klapmuts/Simondium (next to Backsberg)

*   Hemelhuijs has opened at 71 Waterkant Street, for breakfast and lunch

*   Barracudas has opened  with ‘simply sumptious seafood’ served, in Fish Hoek.

*   The Olive Shack at Allora in Franschhoek has opened as a deli, doing olive oil tastings, and serving Breakfast, Greek lunches and picnics

*   Sotano by Caveau has opened in the La Splendida Hotel in Mouille Point

*   Tables restaurant has opened at Nitida wine estate in Durbanville

*   Mozarella Bar has opened on Kloof Street, Gardens

*   Café Benedict has opened on the main road in Franschhoek.

*   Trinity has opened as a ‘super club’ in Bennett Street in Green Point

*   Il Cappero Italian Restaurant has opened in Barrack Street

*   Sugar Hut Club has opened in the old Castle Hotel building on Canterbury Street, next door to Charly’s Bakery

*   Caffé Milano has opened on Kloof Street, Gardens

*   The Stone Kitchen has opened at Dunstone Winery in Wellington

*  The Franschhoek Food Emporium has open in Place Vendome, and is owned by legendary Topsi’s daughter Danielle

*   What’s On Eatery  has opened in Watson Street, between Loop and Bree Street

*   Haas Coffee Collective  has opened on Rose Street in Bo-Kaap

*   Crush coffee shop and bakery has opened in Paarl, owned by Gerard van Staden, previously chef at le Franschhoek Hotel, and later overseer of all restaurants owned by Robert Maingard in Franschhoek.

*   Dear Me Brasserie and Tjing Tjing Bar has opened on Longmarket Street.

*   Quilter & The Workmen is to open in Bree Street in May

*   Act Restaurant and Play Bar  have opened at the Baxter Theatre

*   Le Coq has opened in Franschhoek

*   Dash  has opened in the Queen Victoria Hotel in the Waterfront

*   Café Dijon has opened another branch at Zorgvliet wine estate

*   Harbour House is to open a branch in the V & A Waterfront in September, in the Fisherman’s Choice site, near Sevruga

*   KOS Coffee & Cuisine has opened in The Regency on Regent Road in Sea Point

*   Café Extrablatt opens where shu used to be, next door to Doppio Zero in Green Point, in August

*   Skinny Legs & All That has opened on Loop Street

*   Leopard’s Leap opens its new picnic facility, tasting room and cookery school in October

Restaurant closures

*  Josephine’s Patisserie on Loop Street

*   Ginja on New Church Street

 maze at the One&Only Cape Town 

*   Panarotti’s and Shimmi’s Bar in Hermanus

*   Bouillabaisse in Franschhoek.     

*   Yum in Vredehoek. 

*   Cape Town Fish Market in Camps Bay

*   Vista Mare in Camps Bay

*   La Table de France in Sea Point

*   La Brasserie in Franschhoek

*   shu on Main Road in Green Point

*   Camil’s on Main Road in Green Point

*   Madame Zingara has left Cape Town

*   Fiesta in the Old Cape Quarter

*   Jardine’s Restaurant has closed on Bree Str

*   Liquorice and Lime has closed down on St George’s Mall

*   Cheyne has closed on Bree Street

*   The Kitchen Bar in the Quarters’ Hotel in Hermanus has closed

*   The Bistro in Franschhoek has closed down

*   The Sandbar in Camps Bay has closed down

*   The Blonde building is up for sale, and does not appear to be re-opening in August, as was announced by The Caviar Group, owners of Blonde, two months ago.

*   The Green Dolphin Jazz Club in the V & A Waterfront has closed down

*   Mezzaluna in Loop Street has closed down

*   Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant judge Pete Goffe-Wood’s Wild Woods Restaurant has closed down.

*   Restaurant Christophe closes down in Stellenbosch on 25 June. Chef Christophe Dehosse will be back at Joostenberg from August.

*   Nando’s in Camps Bay has closed down

*   Haute Cabriere under the chef-manship of Matthew Gordon closes on 7 June at the wine tasting venue with the same name in Franschhoek.

Restaurant name-changes/take-overs/chef changes/address changes

*   Leaf Restaurant and Bar has opened where The Showroom/Portofino used to be.  

*   Mason’s Cafe and Grill has opened where Cafe Gainsbourg used to be

*   On Broadway has moved to the New Space Theatre building, and is using the ex-Anytime restaurant space as one of the restaurants its patrons can eat at before the show.

*   Camil Haas, the co-owner of Camil’s in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, has left the restaurant (which has since closed down).  He is working for Reuben Riffel at Reuben’s in Franschhoek and at the One&Only Cape Town.  

*   Tank in the old Cape Quarter has changed its name to Aqua.

*   Luke Dale-Roberts is no longer the Executive Chef at La Colombe, but will consult to the restaurant.  

*   Cafe Rouge in Franschhoek has been renamed Chez d’Or.

  Richard Carstens has left Chez d’Or in Franschhoek, and is the Executive Chef and Wilhelm Kuehn the owner of Tokara Restaurant in Stellenbosch

*   Buena Vista Social Club has moved to the top end of Portswood Road in the Waterfront. 

*  Reuben’s at One&Only Cape Town has opened, where maze used to be.

*   Cafe Le Chocolatier has taken over from Cafe Vendome in Place Vendome in Franschhoek.

*   Dutch East has taken over from Burgundy in Franschhoek

*   Cafe des Arts has taken over Topsi’s in Franschhoek.

*    Amazink, ex-Roots, in Khayamandi in Stellenbosch, has opened, with Bertus Basson from Overture an advisor.

*   Chef School owner Kevin Warwick has taken over Kate’s Village in Hermanus, now called The Class Room

*   Da Luigi has opened where Vista Mare was in The Promenade in Camps Bay

*   Satay Bar has opened where Zucca was in Kloof Street

*   Le Quartier Francais has closed its bistro iCi, and opened The Common Room

*   Franko’s Kitchen in Plettenberg Bay has reopened as a sushi restaurant called Kitchen Café

*  Fu.shi in Plettenberg Bay has closed down, and has a new owner and a new name The Terrace

*  The Old Post House in Plettenberg Bay has closed down, but is set to re-open for three months with a new owner

*   Blakes has opened on Buitengracht/New Church Street, where Relish/Ninja used to be, belonging to Rochelle Bushelle, owner of the Opal Lounge, and offering a lounge, bar and dining services

*   Franschhoek Kitchen is the new name of Genot restaurant on the renamed Holden Manz Wine Estate in Franschhoek (previously Klein Genot)

*   Chef Eric Bulpitt has moved to The Roundhouse, due to the closure of Jardine’s

*   Woodlands Eatery is the new name of ex-Yum in Vredehoek, with chef Larry, previously with Emily Moon in Plettenberg Bay

*   ZAR nightclub has opened in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, where Camil’s used to be 

*   Marika’s Greek Restaurant from Bakoven has moved to a new venue, at 176 Buitenkant Street, above 7Eleven.

*   The Rhubarb Room moves to 227 Bree Street

*   David Higgs is leaving Rust en Vrede  on 18 June and is moving to Johannesburg.  John Shuttleworth will step into his chef’s shoes.

*   Vanessa Quellec is to leave Caffe Milano  in July

*   Restaurant winter break closures

*   The Mount Nelson’s Cape Colony has re-opened, with a new name, Planet Restaurant, and menu. 

*   Vaudeville has reopened. 

*   Massimo’s Pizza Club in Hout Bay will re-open on 20 April, in their original venue in Hout Bay. 

*   The Salmon Bar in Franschhoek has moved into a new main road outlet in The Yard (part ex-Bouillabaisse and Pam Golding) and has re-opened.

*   Miguel’s in Plettenberg Bay has re-opened in the same location.

*   Rust en Vrede will close from 18 June – 18 July

*   Tokara will clsoe between 2 – 9 May

*   The Test Kitchen will clsoe between 7 – 23 May

NOTE: This information will be updated regularly, as we receive new information.

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

Following on from the restaurant opening news posted on the WhaleTales blog less than a week ago, more restaurant opening (and temporary closing) news has reached WhaleTales.

Reuben Riffel, who opened a small 30-seater restaurant in Robertson last month, has two new babies up his sleeve - he and his wife Maryke are expecting the birth of their first child in the next week.  He is also planning his next restaurant opening, in the old Pippin farmstall building at the entrance to Franschhoek, alongside the Franschhoek Cellars, focusing on steaks.    Reuben’s has a new attractively designed menu, in A3 size, listing his starters (expensive in ranging from R 58 – R 75), mains ranging from R 89 - R 145, and desserts expensive in ranging between R 50 – R 70.   Interestingly,  his new menu has a listing of the who’s who cooking in the kitchen, with Reuben listed as the “Concept chef”, and his executive chef as William Carolissen, his commis chefs as Luzette Riffel and Lizel Blanckenberg, and his pastry chef as Corien Hattingh.   Unfortunately this can only mean that Reuben will be less likely to be in the kitchen himself.    The duck liver starter especially, but also the calf’s liver main course, were excellent last night, and the service good.   The only complaint was that a vintage of Lynx wine by the glass stated on the winelist was no longer available, and the waiter did not inform the customers about this.  He was ready to pour a younger vintage without communication.

Adrian Buchanan, who was the chef at Monneaux restaurant at the Franschhoek Country House for many years, has recently opened a restaurant with two partners at Freedom Hill Country Restaurant on the road between Paarl and Franschhoek, near the Wemmershoek Dam.

In Franschhoek Allee Bleue will be a space to watch, with ambitious plans for two further restaurants to open on the estate in the summer, in addition to its Bistro.  The estate has re-opened for weekend dinners and brunches.  It has also just introduced picnics 7 days a week, at R 145 per head, with delicacies such as avocado ritz, snoek pate, roast beef, and chocolate mousse.   

The Bombay Bicycle Club, which has a namesake in London, but is no relation, opened recently where Amigos used to be at the top of Kloof Street in the City Bowl, and Richard Griffin, previous owner of the liquidated Madame Zingara, is one of the partners.  The opening and his involvement have been very low key.   The restaurant is booked out up to 3 weeks ahead over weekends, yet has received less than favourable feedback on restaurant review websites.

Chenin has opened as a restaurant and a wine bar where The Nose Bar used to be in the Cape Quarter, with chef Daniel Heyns, previously with Zevenwacht and ZeroNineThreeTwo, reports EatOut.

In Sea Point, two restaurants have opened: La Boheme on Main Road, and Duchess of Wisbeach, on Wisbeach Road.  Reviews will be posted on the WhaleTales blog shortly.

Not much is known yet about the projects that chef Bruce Robertson is consulting on, but they are said to be a new restaurant each in Woodstock and in Franschhoek. 

Just six days ago, WhaleTales wrote how the financial shenanigans of Conrad Gallagher had affected the business of Bouillabaisse and Crepe Suzette in the Rockwell Center in De Waterkant.   Its unfortunate location, in being hidden from view from Somerset Road, and the demise of the promised epicurean food market in the Centre, severly impacted on the business of the two restaurants, with the Main Ingredient newsletter just 2 weeks ago writing a denial by Bouillabaisse that it was closing down in Cape Town.  Today the restaurant sent an e-mail to its database, to say that both restaurants have closed in Cape Town, and are relocating to an undisclosed address in Cape Town, re-opening in November.  The Bouillabaisse website also carries the news, and the restaurants’ telephone rings through to a Telkom answering service.

Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com