Entries tagged with “The Foundry”.
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Saturday 9th November 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
It was a boisterous Diners Club Platter’s South African Wines 2014 ‘prize-giving’ last night, with a record 80 wines receiving the much-desired 5 star accolade, selected blind-tasted from double the number of 5-star finalists. It was an evening that honoured publisher Andrew McDowall, and saw new publisher JP Rossouw in action for the first time.
A number of records were set last night, with the largest number of wines evaluated ever, at 7434, there being 49 new entries, and close to 900 producers of wine in the Guide. After an absence, brandy and sherry-style wines were awarded again.
On arrival, sipping Klein Constantia MCC, a number of well-known winemakers and estate owners were visible, giving one a taste of some of the 5 star winners, including last year’s Winery of the Year winner Gottfried Mocke of Cape Chamonix, Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick, Razvan Macici of Nederburg, Anthony Hamilton Russell, Johann Laubser of Delaire Graff, and Ginny Povall of Botanica. We commented that it was wonderful to see so many women winemakers amongst the top 5 star recipients! Once we were allowed to enter the venue at the Vineyard Hotel, the wines were displayed in groups, for one to taste and to see the 5 star winners by their presence.
David Hughes sang the praises of Andrew, and his direct involvement with 29 of the 34 Platter’s Wine Guides. He described Andrew as a man ‘massive in character’, who has a nickname ‘Grunter‘, who got himself smuggled into a Nederburg Wine Auction via the boot of a car when he did not receive an invitation, who fell onto a cannon at the bottom of the steps of the Mount Nelson when he slid down the bannister at his 40th birthday party, a man one can trust when he gives you his word, ‘and a hell of a good guy‘, warning JP that he has big boots to fill in taking over from Andrew. There was roaring applause for Andrew.
Andrew looked well, and his dry humour was on full form, saying that the romance with Diners Club last year had led to marriage during the year. He was full of praise for his ‘young, strong and virile’ successor JP. He was proud that the edition was printed locally and not in Singapore. He revealed the ‘Walker Bay blue’ cover, saying that they had considered calling it ‘Pendock sea sick’, which brought the house down! He praised editor Philip van Zyl as the ‘most ethical man’, which led to applause from the floor. The 80 5 star winners include 7 brandies, up from 62 last year. I asked Andrew what he would be doing with his time, and he said he wasn’t sure, but getting better at bridge is one of his goals. (more…)
Sunday 11th September 2011 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
We are delighted that many restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands have seen the benefit of offering specials, and are continuing to do so. The Spring/Summer 2011/2012 specials for Cape Town and Winelands restaurants follow below, and will be updated continuously:
* Pure at Hout Bay Manor: 3-course dinner for R 220. Summer. Tel (021) 790-0116.
* Pepenero in Mouille Point : sirloin and chips R79, seafood platter R 129, 1 kg prawn platter R99, oysters R9 each, sushi platter R109. Half price sushi all day. Indefinite. Tel (021) 439-9027
* Sinn’s Restaurant at Wembley Square: Lunch (6 options) at R50. 3-course dinner with glass of wine R150. Summer. Tel (021) 465-0967
* Theo’s on Beach Road, Mouille Point: Oysters R 8 each, 15 prawns R99, line fish R99, 250 gm Sirloin steak. Kingklip and 6 prawns R125. 250g Sirloin steak and 6 prawns R125. 250g Lobster and 6 prawns R159. Summer. Tel (021) 439-3494.
* Sevruga in the V&A Waterfront: half price sushi Monday – Saturday 12 - 6 pm; 25 % off sushi Sunday 12 – 2pm, 50 % off Sunday 2 – 6 pm, 3-course menu R160, daily, lunch and dinner; 2-course lunch R120. Summer. Tel (021) 421-5134
* Beluga, The Foundry, Green Point: 1 kg Prawns R130, 50 % off sushi and cocktails all day Sunday, and from 12h00 – 19h00 weekdays. 2-course lunch R120; 3-course lunch and dinner R160. Summer. Tel (021) 418-2948.
* La Mouette, Regent Road, Sea Point : 6-course Tasting Menu R 165, with wines paired R 330. Monday – Sunday dinner, Friday and Saturday lunch. April. Tel (021) 433-0856
* Bertha’s in Simonstown: 1 kg Queen prawns cost R99 each, 1kg mussels R99, 1 kg chicken wings R99, full rack of ribs plus chips R99. Half rack of ribs R59. Summer. Tel (021) 786-2138
* Aubergine: 2-course lunch R198, 3-course lunch R254, Wednesdays – Fridays. Monday – Saturdays except public holidays. Daily dinner specials. 3-course R375, 4-course R455, 5-course R565 degustation menu. Summer. Tel (021) 465-4909
* Ferryman’s Tavern, V&A Waterfront: Buffet plus Castle draught weekday lunch, R65. Sunday roast R 55 Indefinite. Tel (021) 419-7748
* Hildebrand: 2 courses R99, 3 courses R130 if eat before 19h00; Summer. Tel (021) 425-3385
* Leaf Restaurant and Bar: 50 % off sushi all day, Dimsum 30 % off, Burgers R50 – R65. Summer. Tel (021) 418-4500
* Blowfish in Blouberg: half-price sushi Wednesday 5 – 8 pm; Eat all you can sushi Sunday 5-10 pm R149. Summer. Tel (021) 556-5464
* Vanilla, Cape Quarter: Half price sushi 12h00 – 17h00 Daily. Summer. Tel (021) 421-1391
* Knife restaurant, Century City: Bagel R35; Salad R45; Rib, meatball, chicken wing and chip platter R60, all specials include a beer/glass of wine/colddrink and coffee. Lunch special, 12h00 – 15h00, Mondays – Fridays. Indefinite. Tel (021) 551-5000
* Saul’s Sushi @ Vegas, Sea Point: Eat as much sushi as you like for R115 Mondays and Tuesdays, 30 piece sushi platter R50 – Wednesdays and Thursdays; two for the price of one – Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Indefinite. Tel 087 151 4595
* Trees Restaurant, Townhouse Hotel, Cape Town: 2 courses R 95, 3 courses R 130. Indefinite. Tel (021) 465-7050
* Down South Food Bar, 267 Long Street: Platter of ribs, chicken wings, prawns, chips, corn, sauce for R190 for two persons. Indefinite. Tel (021) 422-1155.
* Cape Town Fish Market, V&A: ”All you can eat Breakfast Buffet” R 60, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays; Seafood lunch buffet R125, Sundays and public holidays. Indefinite. Tel (021) 418-5977
* Trinity, Bennett Street: All you can eat rib R99 Mondays ; 2 Pizzas and 2 glasses of wine R99 Monday – Thursday from 12 pm; I/2 price sushi, cocktails and tapas Monday – Thursday 16h00 – 22h00. Summer. Tel (021) 418-0624
* French Toast, Bree Street: Bruschetta tapas free Monday – Saturdays, 5 – 7 pm. All wines costing R 400 or less half price on Mondays. 2-course lunch consisting of soup and choice of two tapas plus glass of wine or cup of coffee R89, Monday – Friday 12h00 – 16h00. Summer. Tel (021) 422-3839.
* The Square, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 5 courses paired menu R 195. Dinner only, Monday – Sunday. Summer. Tel ()21) 657-4500
* Dunes, Hout Bay : Sunday buffet with smoked salmon, oysters and cooked breakfast R100. Summer. Tel (021) 790-1876
* Arnold’s on Kloof, 60 Kloof Street, Gardens: Early bird breakfast half-price special if order before 7h00. Gemsbok Wellington R115, Vegetable stack Napoleon R68, Summer salad R55, Chicken schnitzel R69, Seafood platter R150, Crocodile loin R159. Tel (021) 424-4344. Summer.
* Five Flies, 2-course meal plus glass of wine R100, book on website www.fiveflies.co.za. Current. Tel (021) 424-4442
* Balducci’s, V&A Waterfront: Alfresco Lunch specials – soup and salad R89, fish R89, calamari R89, seafood platter for two R245, Steak Roll and chips R85, Steak and chips R99, Burgers R55 – R75, Glass of wine R27, bottle of wine R99, open sandwiches R64 – R86. Daily 12h00 – 16h00. Summer. Tel (021) 421-6002
* Codfather, Camps Bay: half-price sushi 12h00 – 18h00, daily. Indefinite. Tel (021) 438-0782
* Black Marlin, Simonstown: 2-course meal R115, 3-course R140 includes glass of wine. Indefinite. Tel (021) 786-1621
* Cape Town Fish Market, Big Bay, V&A Waterfront, Canal Walk, Tyger Valley, Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Tokai, Grand West Casino: “All you can eat Breakfast Buffet” R60, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays; 4-course Seafood buffet lunch R125, Sundays and public holidays. Buy one, get one free – hake on Mondays, sushi on Tuesdays, calamari on Wednesdays. Indefinite. Tel (021) 554-5962.
* La Bruixa, Sea Point: Seafood paella for two for R260, includes a salad. Summer. Tel (021) 434-8797
* La Boheme, Sea Point: 2-courses R95, 3-courses R 120. Summer. Tel (021) 434-8797.
* The Round House, Camps Bay: 4-course a la carte menu R450, 7-course set tasting menu R595. Summer. Tel (021) 438-4347
* Planet Restaurant, Mount Nelson Hotel: 6-course Vegan Journey menu R300 (R380 from 15/9), 4-course The Journey menu R220 (R255 from 15/9 – 15/11), 6-course The Journey menu R380. Summer. Tel (021) 483-1000.
* Café Manhattan, 74 Waterkant Street: Burger and a glass of wine R45. Indefinite. Tel (021) 421-6666
* Pepper Club on the Beach, Camps Bay: 6 oysters plus bubbly R 110, Shrimp cocktail and Avo Ritz R55, Prawn platter R 125, Grilled Portuguese sardines R45, Smoked salmon trout and asparagus R85, East Coast sole R110, Lamb rib R95, Rib-eye steak R115. Summer. Tel (021) 438-3174
* Savour Restaurant, Sunday Lunch Buffet plus ’never-ending supply of Methodé Cap Classique’ R265. Summer. Tel (021) 469-8037
* La Colombe, Constantia: 6-courses R 600, or with wine R800, Monday – Saturday, Summer. Tel (021) 794-2390
* Catharina’s, Steenberg Hotel: 2-course lunch R185, 3-course lunch R215, 3-course dinner R250. Summer. Tel (021) 713-2222
* Constantia Uitsig: 3-course lunch and dinner R390, Monday – Saturday. Summer. Tel (021) 794-4480
* Rick’s Café Américain, Park Road: 1/2 litre Paulaner, Erdinger and Valentins beer R 32, 5 – 7 pm; Lunch specials from R45; and more specials on drinks. Indefinite. Tel (021) 424-1100
* Barocca, Camps Bay Club: 2 for the price of one burgers Tuesday evenings; Pasta and a glass of wine R50 Thursday evenings. From 5 pm. Indefinite. Tel (021) 438-1992
* Seaforth Restaurant, Simonstown: Deep fried prawns R90 Tuesdays; hake and chips R38 Wednesdays; Eat as much calamari as you like R49 Thursdays; Steak and calamari R78 Fridays; Eat as much as you like pork spare ribs R88 Saturdays. From 6 pm. Indefinite. Tel (021) 786-4810
* Pizzeria Villagio, Howard Centre, Pinelands: Free glass of Teddy Hall wine with home-made pasta on Tuesdays. Indefinite. Tel (021) 531-4473.
* Adega, Sea Point: 1kg King Prawns R119. Indefinite. Tel (021) 434-3029
* Addis in Cape Ethiopian Restaurant, 41 Church Street: 2-course set menu R130. Tel (021) 424-5722. Indefinite.
* Azure Restaurant, Twelve Apostles Hotel, Camps Bay (photograph above): 5-courses R315 includes movie and popcorn, Summer. Tel (021) 437-9000
* Diva Pizza, Buitenkant Street: 2 large margherita pizzas with choice of two toppings R85. Indefinite. Tel (021) 461-0013
* Tokyo Restaurant & Sushi Bar: Buy one get one free daily until 5pm; Sushi Buffet Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday evenings R110. Indefinite. Tel (021) 424-5108.
* OYO, V&A Hotel, Waterfront: Crayfish Special, 500 g R195. Summer. Tel (021) 419-6677.
** BlueFin Seafood & Sushi, Plattekloof: 50 % off sushi 10h00 – 15h00; ‘Eat as much a you like’ Sushi R129; Monday – Sunday. Tel (021) 558-4281
* Rhapsody’s, Green Point: 50 % off sushi daily from 12h00 – 18h00. Summer. Tel (021) 434-3004
* Reuben’s, One&Only Cape Town, V&A Waterfront: One&Only Seafood Platter for Two R 995. Summer. Tel (021) 431-5888
* Bayside Café, Camps Bay: Order two main courses, and second person gets lower priced dish free, senior citizens only. Until 30 April. Tel (021) 438-2560.
* Café Chameleon, Plattekloof: Beer-battered hake and calamari with a glass of wine/beer/juice R69. Until 31 March. Monday – Friday lunch special of small pizza R 45. Monday and Saturday dinner large pizza special R55. Ongoing. Tel (021) 911-1025
* Taiwan City Chinese Cuisine, Century City: 3 courses for 2 persons for R175. Until 30 June. Tel (021) 555-3081
* Myoga, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 7-course dinner R 225. Until April. Tel (021) 657-4545.
* Zorba’s, Lagoon Beach: Seafood and meat platter for 2 R220. Lunch and dinner daily (not valid Saturday lunch). Tel (021) 528-2093
* Saints on 84 Kloof Street: Bottomless sodas with every meal; 2 flatbreads for price of one on Mondays; 2 burgers for the price of one on Thursday evenings; Craft beer on tap R20 for a pint. Current. Tel (021) 424-0030
* Den Anker, V&A Waterfront: Vol au vent with Vedett white beer R 85. Until October. Tel (021) 419-0249
* F.east, Loop Street: chicken or vegetable curry lunch special R59. Current. Tel (021) 424-5903.
* Sinatra’s at The Pepper Club Hotel has a business lunch special of R50 for a meal ordered, served and eaten in 50 minutes, or you get your money back. Monday – Friday. Current. Tel (021) 812-8888.
* Allee Bleue, outside Franschhoek: choice of three 250g steaks at R115, including a glass of estate wine, current. Lunch, Wednesday – Sunday. Chicnic picnics daily (weather depending), R145 per person. Summer Tel (021) 874-1021
* Allora in Franschhoek: 3-course Sunday lunch R99 all year. Daily lunch specials Monday – Saturday under R100. Until end April. Tel (021) 876-4375.
* L’ermitage, Franschhoek: 3-courses R185 and a glass of wine. Lunch. Summer. Tel (021) 876-9200
* Grande Provence Jonkershuis, Franschhoek: 4-course lunch and dinner chef’s table, minimum 8 guests, R 320. Monday – Saturday dinner, Monday – Sunday lunch. Summer. Tel (021) 876-8600
* Monneaux Restaurant, Franschhoek Country House: 3-course tasting menu Lunch with wine R 200, Monday – Sunday. Summer. Tel (021) 876-3386
* Mange Tout, Mont Rochelle Hotel, Franschhoek: 2-courses R230, 3-courses R280. Summer. Tel (021) 876-3000.
* La Residence, Franschhoek: 2 courses R 380, 3 courses R 490, 4 courses R 600 per person, all inclusive of ‘house wines’ and local beverages. Dinner. Daily. Summer. Tel (021) 876-4100
* Grande Provence, Franschhoek: Chef’s Table, 3-course meal for a minimum of eight guests, R 250 per person. 1 May – 30 September. Tel (021) 876-8600.
* Bosman’s, Grande Roche, Paarl: 2-courses R120, 3-courses R155. Monday – Sunday lunch. Until April . Tel (021) 863-5100.
* Towerbosch Restaurant, Knorhoek Wine Estate, Stellenbosch: Asado Argentian-style braai on Sundays R165. Indefinite. Tel (021) 865-2958
* Tokara Restaurant, Stellenbosch: Chef’s Menu – 8 courses, inclusive of amuse bouche and palate cleanser R 450. Summer. Tuesday – Sunday lunch, Tuesday – Saturday dinner. Tel (021) 885-2550
* Wild Peacock Food Emporium, 32 Piet Retief Str, Stellenbosch: Specials as per menu, dinner Wednesday and Friday evenings. Indefinite. Tel (021) 887-7585
* Johan’s at Longridge, Stellenbosch: 6-course lunch and dinner plus 6 glasses of wine R 400. Friday – Tuesday (closed Wednesdays and Thursdays). Summer. Tel (021) 855-2004.
* Clos Malverne, Stellenbosch: 60 Minute Business Lunch, R58 – R108. Tuesday – Friday. Tel (021) 865-2022
* Lord Neethling Restaurant, Neethlingshof, Stellenbosch: choice of 6 main courses R115, Sunday buffet lunch R150. Tel (021) 883-8966.
* Season in Hermanus: Pork roast R66, 3-courses R 125 Sunday lunch; Hake and calamari platter R55, Thursday lunch and dinner. Summer. Tel (028) 316-2854
* The Class Room, Hermanus: 3-course Sunday lunch R130. 6-course dinner R150 Wednesday – Saturday evenings. April. Tel (028) 316-3582
* Rossi’s Italian Restaurant, Hermanus: Small Pizza R38/R45, Lunch Mondays – Thursdays; Indefinite. Tel (028) 312-2848
* Grilleri, Hermanus : Decreased prices, Tuesday – Sunday evenings, Sunday lunch. Summer. Tel (028) 313-1685
* Nguni: Friday night special R50. Tel (044) 533-6710
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Copyright: Whale Cottage Portfolio
Monday 11th April 2011 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Many would say that Cape Town already is regarded as a world class city. However, the Western Cape province and the City of Cape Town, in association with the Cape Town Partnership, believe that there is more work to be done to turn Cape Town into one of the top cities in the world, and to rezone the city into “mixed-use-zones that are lively, inviting, open and operate 24 hours a day” by 2014/2015, reports the Weekend Argus.
Driven by the MEC for Public Works and Transport, Robin Carlisle, Cape Town is to be divided into six ‘precincts’:
* the Artscape precinct will connect Artscape with the new to-be-extended Cape Town International Convention Centre, to be doubled in size, to operate 24 hours a day, and to be completed by 2014, via the Artscape Gardens, to be developed as part of the extension. The Gardens are to be raised to the height of the freeway, and parking developed beneath it. Two buildings, one an hotel and another an office block with 30000 square meters of retail space, will be designed to act as ‘wind buffers’ against the south-easter, which affects the area close to the harbour badly. The Artscape Gardens is planned to contain an amphitheatre seating 25000 visitors. The Convention Centre expansion will include the proposed move of the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital to the precinct too.
* the Somerset precinct plans have not been finalised, but include the Somerset Hospital, a part of the building having historical value. A new casino is planned for this area, an attractive location for it, being adjacent to the V&A Waterfront. One of the options is that the Gold Reef’s Mykonos Langebaan casino may move to this precinct. This area is also planned for mixed-use zoning.
* the Prestwich precinct will see high-rise buildings and another pedestrian bridge and Fan Mile, to ‘allow the city and the Waterfront to better complement each other’, and connecting these two popular areas. Prestwich Street runs parallel to Somerset Road, and is the street in which The Foundry/Beluga can be found.
* the provincial government precinct around Dorp, Wale and Keerom Streets will see glass walls erected to block the wind from blowing through the arches of the provincial building. A new high-rise building is to be built on the corner of Loop and Leeuwen Streets, to accommodate the office requirements of government departments.
* the Government Garage precinct in the Roeland/Hope/Mill Streets area is to get a facelift, with retail, residential and urban spaces to be developed. Entry-level housing is to be developed, to allow residents to work and live in the city without having to use cars to get to work. “This precinct will focus on turning Roeland Street into a ‘boulevard’ leading down to the gates of Parliament, with shops and cafés at street level, and accommodation on the first floor, built around squares. The Government Garage and ambulance depot are to be moved to the ex-abattoir in Maitland.
* the Two Rivers Urban Park, including Oude Molen, Alexandra, Valkenberg and other government property, will focus on medical facilities, including the expansion of psychiatric hospital Valkenberg, an office park for ‘bio-medical engineering companies’, ‘compact hospitals at Alexandra’, and will expand the residential arm of Oude Molen. A ‘water taxi’ is to connect Oude Molen and Athlone via the Black River.
Linked to the province’s bold city regeneration plans is the planned development of a second international airport near Saldanha Bay. It is also planned to introduce ’130 new, quieter and graffiti-repellent trains, which could comfortably transport 550000 people a day…’.
The plans for the regeneration of the Cape Town city center sound exciting, and will lead other businesses to invest in the city centre. For example, the section of Bree Street near Buitensingel Street is seeing a revival, with interesting restaurants and decor shops opening. One hopes that the DA will win the municipal election in May, so that these grand plans can be realised.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Tuesday 1st March 2011 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
My first encounter with Caffe Milano Pasticceria & Bar on Kloof Street, next door to ex hot-spot Manna, for lunch last week made me undecided as to how I felt about it, something that doesn’t happen very often. A return visit for breakfast on Saturday morning made me a firm supporter, enjoying the good food, the good service, and extreme friendliness.
I could not help but compare the new restaurant, the fifth that restaurant mogul Giogio Nava has opened in Cape Town (his other restaurants are 95 Keerom Street, Carne, Down South Food Bar, and Mozzarella Bar, and he is soon to open an events and entertainment venue in the old Art Deco Land Bank building in Queen Victoria Street) with Cassis Paris’ Salon de Thé in Newlands. Both restaurants focus on the patisserie side of their outlets, and both produce beautiful pastries. While they are freshly baked on the Caffe Milano premises from about 2h00 every morning, the Cassis Paris delicacies are baked at a central factory in Montague Gardens. The product display at Cassis Paris is more attractive, in that it has a larger pastry range, and they are neatly displayed in rows in the display cabinets, while those at Caffe Milano are placed on platters inside the display cabinet. As I went to eat after lunchtime, a number of the Caffe Milano pastries on the platters had been sold, and were not replenished, probably waiting for the fresh load to be baked the following day. Caffe Milano’s pastry display is inside the restaurant, whereas it is in a neighbouring shop at Cassis Paris, with no direct client connection. The service is definitely far better at Caffe Milano, and the food, based only on two items at each, definitely was better at Caffe Milano. Brand focus is far better at Cassis Paris. Cassis Paris has a marketing edge on Caffe Milano, in that it started brand building three years ago.
While I was well looked after by the waitress Zoe, I felt something was missing in the restaurant, especially given the rave reviews I had read by blogging colleagues. There is no music. There is perhaps too much open space inside the two restaurant sections, which does not create cohesion. The tables have wooden tops and with the wooden chairs they did not give me the feeling of the latest elegant Milanese design (Nava’s partner in the Mozzarella Bar, Matteo Amatruda, owns a+1 in The Foundry, an interior design shop specialising in Italian furniture and lighting, and I did not see his decor hand at Caffe Milano). The walls are painted a boring beige, and the staff tops are beige and branded, matched with brown aprons, a not very modern colour combination. Downlighters and ordinary looking round lamp shades light up the bar section and display cabinet area. I loved the large LavAzza wall poster (on the right), and would have liked to see more of this theme inside the restaurant – unfortunately the poster is hidden from the view of most clients sitting in the entrance section of the restaurant. I loved the cake displays in the windows. The menu (with winelist) looks boring and old-fashioned with little brown illustrations of food items subtly printed on it, which initially made me think that it had coffee stains on it. It also looks cheap, just being an A3 page which looks heavily used, given that the restaurant has only been open for a month. A white paper serviette is on the side plate and the knife and fork are pedestrian. The teaspoon is Italian designed, and looks far better quality. Zoe brought Morgenster olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the table, the latter bottle having only a last drop in it. A Robertson’s pepper grinder is on the table, as is an ordinary salt cellar.
Nava arrived and was active behind the counter for a while, but never appears to connect with his customers. Vanessa Quellec is the co-owner of Caffe Milano, and the pastry chef, having previously worked at The Roundhouse. She has worked in top restaurants in New York, and went to Germany and Italy before opening the restaurant, to learn more about bread baking. She had left for the day, I was told, as she works with the baking staff in the early hours of the morning. The chef in the kitchen is Brendon Stein, previously having worked at the River Café at Constantia Uitsig. The manager is Charlene van Heerden, and she was very helpful in proactively opening the pastry display cabinet, so that its glass door would not reflect in my photograph.
Breakfast is served until midday, and offers five options: Kloof Street Breakfast (bacon and eggs) at R45; Eggs Benedict R52, scrambled eggs cost R45, and R55 with bacon, and R 65 if served with salmon; French Toast made from cinnamon and pecan brioche costs R58, and a Muesli Mix with fruit and yoghurt R 55. Breakfast pastries such as croissants filled with almonds, chocolate, apricot jam, or cream, or served plain, cannoncino, bombolone as well as sticky buns, range in price between R10 – R18. “Filled” croissants can also be ordered, with mozzarella, parma ham or smoked Norwegian trout on them, costing R30 – R42. The LavAzza cappuccino is excellent, and costs R15 (Nava discounts it to R10 at his Mozzarella Bar down the road). I loved the neat LavAzza sugar sachet holder, which I have not seen elsewhere.
Lunch is served between midday and 16h00, a decent time range, and a bowl of toasted thin slices of some of the Caffe Milano breads is brought to the table. Only eleven lunch items are available, of which five are salads (avocado, smoked mozzarella, roasted chicken, calamari, and caprese), quite expensive at R 60 – R75. I ordered the La Tartare di Mazo (R70), being ‘hand chopped raw prime fillet dressed with Morgenster olive oil, onion, egg, capers and parsley’, and served with three slices of toast, a perfect accompaniment to the tartare, one of the best I have tasted, less fine than that which one can buy at Raith Gourmet. The presentation was rounded off by three half slices of lemon, each of these having a tiny amount of chopped onions, washed and chopped capers, and chopped parsley. When I did not recognise the dried and chopped capers, Zoe brought before and after capers to the table, to explain how they get to look so brown when washed, dried and chopped up. Parma ham and melon costs R95, smoked yellow fin tuna carpaccio R80, Norwegian salmon R85, beef carpaccio R70 and lasagne pasta, spinach and ricotta costs R65. There is only one ‘Dolci’ item on the menu, which is the Il Fondente “95″, from Nava’s 95 Keerom Street restaurant, which he also serves at the Mozzarella Bar. I suspect that most patrons will make their way to the display cabinet, and will chose a dessert from it, the selection including cannoncino (R10); mini apple tarts, lemon tarts, Sacher Torte, Coconut Daquoise, and Portuguese custard tarts costing R15, and lots more. I had a berry pannacotta, which was served in a beautiful glass, and I savoured its creaminess, whilst chatting to an American visitor sitting at a table across from me.
Cap Classiques on offer are Villiera (R40/R160), Graham Beck Brut (R45/R210), Graham Beck Brut Rosé (R50/R230), Steenberg Brut 1682 (R280) and Krone Borealis Brut Rosé (R270). Taittinger Brut costs R720, and Billecart Salmon Brut Rosé R950. No Shiraz is on the winelist, and generally the winelist is weighted to white wines. Wines by the glass include Graham Beck Rail Road Red (R28/R110), Villiera Cabernet Sauvignon (R35/R110), Dombeya Merlot (R48/R190), Felicite Pinot Noir (R41/R165), Kleine Zalze Sauvignon Blanc (R30/R120), Graham Beck Chardonnay (R45/R180), and Kloof Street Chenin Blanc (R28/R110).
One can go home with pastries and artisanal breads under one’s arm, as well as with a beautiful LavAzza cappuccino machine, ranging in price between R2800 – R 3300, depending on the colour scheme of the machine. LavAzza coffee pods can also be bought.
I had mixed feelings about my first visit to Caffe Milano, relative to the hype I had read, and saw no bar counter, as promised in the name of the restaurant. Perhaps the marriage between the restaurant and the pasticceria is not there yet. There is nothing on the menu to encourage one to peek at the pastry display cabinet, especially when one does not see it in the side room, and it would be nice to have the names of these items listed on the menu too, to see them as dessert options, and also to get to know their Italian names with English descriptions. Given Nava’s restaurant experience, I think the restaurant can stretch itself with a greater variety of Italian dishes over time, only two dishes on the lunch menu being cooked, and I have read that it may open for dinner in future. The pastries are good value, especially given their quality, but I felt that the lunch portion of steak tartare was expensive relative to the amount that was served. The food quality is excellent. The main attraction is the pastry section, and perhaps it could do with being fuller for most of the day, with pastry plates refilled, and more neatly presented, as per Cassis Paris. I will be back, and my next visit will be for breakfast. Parking is a challenge however, the popularity of Caffe Milano making it hard to find somewhere close by to park.
I had written the above (with the exception of the first paragraph) after my first visit for lunch, and my return visit clarified some things, and changed my mind about Caffe Milano completely. First, it was buzzing on Saturday morning, and I was lucky enough to get the last table, as well as to find a (creative) parking spot close by, so great is their popularity. Charlene, the Manager, welcomed me back like an old friend, and the waitress Zoe took over some of the service at my table too. The pastry display cabinet was fully packed, and all the trays were filled. The service was fast and efficient, despite the restaurant being so full. The scrambled egg (R48) I ordered was the most delicious and the most yellow I have ever eaten, served with lovely toasted rye bread. When I commented on the colour of the eggs, Charlene brought me an information booklet from Spier BD (for Biodiversity) Farm, whch is their supplier of eggs, chicken and beef. I was fascinated to read their claims that ‘pasture-fed’ animals are “freer than the free ranging” animals and birds, and therefore implies healthier to eat. The chickens, for example, spend 21 days on the pasture in ‘predator-proof houses’. They lay their eggs in ‘eggmobiles”. The pastures have 19 varieties of grasses and legumes, the brochure explains, and the farming is biodynamic. “The chickens are treated as animals, and not as production widgets”, it continues. Slaughtering is done by hand, it says, as ‘humanely as possible’. The chickens are not injected with brine, up to 25 % being allowed in South Africa.
The co-owner Giorgio Nava looked very cheffy in his white chef top, and was behind the counter the whole time that I was there. The biggest delight of all was Vanessa Quellec coming to say hello. She is very friendly and welcoming, and I loved her two pigtails, making her very down to earth. She kept checking that everything was in order, and showed me her new bread ‘baby’, a baguette epi (right), which she had baked for the first time that morning. She also compiled a list of her bread styles for me, which is not in the menu. On weekends she has a greater variety of breads available, and it includes the epi, milk bread rolls and sugar milk bread, in addition to the weekday range of ciabatta, baguettes, 60 % as well 100% rye sourdough, focaccia with sea salt and rosemary, and bialy. Vanessa comes from Minnesota originally, and worked in some hotshot New York restaurants, where she met PJ Vadis, the chef at The Roundhouse. He suggested that she work for Markus Farbinger at Il de Pain in Knysna, who is internationally known as one of the best bread bakers and pastry makers in the world, having worked in New York too, including at Le Cirque. Vanessa spent a year in Knysna, and says that Farbinger has changed breadmaking in South Africa (one of his other proteges is Fritz Schoon at De Oude Bank Bakkerij in Stellenbosch). Through her friendship with Vadis, she worked at The Roundhouse as pastry chef, until the opportunity arose to start Caffe Milano with Nava. While she waited for the restaurant to be ready for opening, she spent time at a sourdough bread and at a roll factory in Germany, and also at a bread factory in Italy, such is the love for her craft. She told me that she only uses the best ingredients, and recently introduced Valrhona chocolate from France to South Africa, using it for all her chocolate requirements, and also selling it in slabs.
Vanessa also told me that the menu will evolve, and this week the first additions to the menu will be introduced. They will focus on creating greater synergy between the pastry and bread side of the business, and the restaurant side, through the menu. Vanessa confirmed that opening in the evenings is on the cards, but not in the immediate future, as she wants her staff to be perfectly trained first. I thought they were doing very well for having only been open for a month.
I have found a delightfully friendly new breakfast, lunch and coffee break venue in Cape Town, with relatively easy parking (except on Saturday mornings). I will certainly be back.
POSTSCRIPT 13/3: I went back to Caffe Milano today, and enjoyed the most beautiful Eggs Benedict. I asked to have the bacon excluded, and Charlene spontaneously offered me avocado and mushrooms to replace it. The restaurant was so full, that I had to wait for a table. It had a wonderful buzz.
POSTSCRIPT 27/4: Vanessa Quellec leaves Caffe Milano in July, and is heading for Valrhona in France, where she will undergo training in the use of their chocolates. She plans to return to Cape Town as a representative of the company. Giorgio Nava will bring in an Italian pastry chef.
POSTSCRIPT 26/9: The Weekend Argus reports that Caffe Milano will open for dinner from November.
Caffe Milano Pasticceria & Bar, 153 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town. Tel (021) 426-5566. www.caffemilano.co.za (The website is still under construction). Tuesday – Sunday 7h00 – 17h00.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Monday 24th January 2011 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
I have had my moments with Giorgio Nava, but must salute his bravery in zealously opening restaurants in Cape Town, in addition to the two established restaurants 95 Keerom Street and Carne. Last month he opened Down South on Long Street and the Mozzarella Bar on Kloof Street, and on Saturday Café Milano opened, higher up on Kloof Street. The Mozzarella Bar is run by charming Italians, and all its dishes, except the bakery items and desserts, contain a soft creamy mozzarella, offering good value for money.
Co-owner and interior designer, and friend of Nava, Matteo Amatruda, explained that Nava is trying to educate Capetonians about true Italian cuisine, and each of his restaurants, with the exception of Down South, focuses on a specific Italian aspect. Café Milano, for example, will focus on baking, and bakes the bread and makes the croissants for the Mozzarella Bar. Nava runs between all his properties, we were told, and we saw this, as he popped in as we were about to leave, having been there earlier in the morning already.
The manager Simone explained that special equipment was brought out from Italy for the manufacture of mozzarella cheese in Cape Town, and it is made from cow’s milk. This was a surprise, as my perception was that Buffalo mozzarella is the benchmark for this cheese. Matteo explained that Italy is divided in its preference for the type of milk used in mozzarella production, and the western and southern parts of Italy prefer mozzarella made from buffalo milk. It is the eastern side of Italy, and the town Puglia especially, that is known for the use of cow’s milk. The Italian mozzarella maker in Cape Town comes from Puglia, hence the name of the supplier is Puglia Cheese, which I subsequently discovered supplies most Italian-style restaurants in Cape Town. Nava’s restaurants are her main client base, Matteo said.
I had been to the previous restaurant in this location, A la Posta, also Italian style, once only, and it never quite took off. Little has changed, with a counter seating area around the food preparation area, and with interesting white bar stools probably coming from Matteo’s interior design store a+1 in The Foundry. What was formerly part of the previous restaurant, is now an art gallery upstairs, branded a+1, and private functions can be hosted here, with seating provided. The restaurant space is small, and probably can seat no more than 20 guests, if that many. But there is a constant flow of clients, and they all seemed to have an Italian connection when we were there. The kitchen staff wear I ♥ Mozarella T-shirts. Interesting looking wooden buttermilk ‘vessels’ have been put to decorative use on the walls behind the counter. Matteo told me that Giorgio had found these in a factory he had bought, and apparently some of them have been hung at Carne too. On one side is refrigerated shelving, selling imported buffalo mozzarella, and the locally made cow mozzarella. Pecorini is also for sale, as are olive oils and olives from Morgenster. One can also buy the proscuitto, but it is not pre-cut nor visible in the refrigerator.
Simone and Matteo are both charming, with Italian accents. Both are hands-on, and do almost all the work themselves, although there are more staff behind the counter and in the small kitchen preparation area. It felt as if there were more staff than customers. Most of the menu consists of cold dishes, which must make the food preparation much easier. The counter tops have holders with Morgenster olive oil and balsamic vinegar in them, and very cheap salt and fine pepper pots. The cheap ‘kitchen’ fork and quality serrated knife are rolled in a paper serviette. A pepper grinder is offered once the food is served.
Simone explained the menu to us as soon as we arrived, and it was a bit overwhelming, given that there are a number of different mozzarella styles to comprehend, and lots of Italian menu item names to contend with. Mozzarella is served as a trio of styles (Nodino – knotted, Affumicata – smoked, and Burrata- the cream-filled standard) for R80. Burrata mozzarella is served with parma ham, cooked ham, mortadella, air-dried beef, or air-dried tuna, at R65 – R80. I had the mozzarella served with the prosciutto, imported from Italy, and beautifully presented with rocket and the mozzarella, and drizzled with olive oil, and accompanied by crispy slices of toasted bread. The hot dishes are a deep-fried Mozzarella sandwich, and two styles of panzerotto, being tomato filled pastries, one with and the other without ham, all costing no more than R50. One can also order Rotolo, a “mozzarella sheet” or roll, with a vegetable, salmon or parma ham center, again none costing more than R50. A sandwich with mozzarella and parma ham costs R50. Salads naturally all contain mozzarella, and none cost more than R60. Only three desserts are offered: vanilla gelato made at 95 Keerom (R40), and a new addition to the menu, Chocolat ‘Foundant’ ’95′ (R50), which took some time to prepare. Sadly, the restaurant had run out of tiramisu (R40) by the time we ordered.
Only five wine choices are offered, by Chamonix and Dalla Cia, Chamonix Rouge being the only red wine. Vintages are noted, and the wine character described. All are available by the glass (R23 – R 40) or by the bottle (R 80 – R170). Peroni is the only beer available (R16).
The LavAzza cappuccino, and other coffees, must be the cheapest in Cape Town, at only R10. This week the Mozzarella Bar will get its iced coffee maker from LavAzza, and Matteo says it will be the best in Cape Town – they will make it with espresso, cream and milk. Free wireless internet is offered, as it is at Down South, a clever service to offer. Overall, the Mozzarella Bar offers good value, and has the benefit that one can pop in to eat something and drink a good coffee throughout the day. For Breakfast only four styles of croissant are available – plain, with chocolate, with jam and with custard, a la Italian style. Don’t expect any cooked breakfasts!
POSTSCRIPT 2/5: As most restaurants in the city center were closed, I was grateful to find the Mozzarella Bar open. I had a beautifully presented Rotolo, a sheet of mozzarella into which is rolled rocket and parma ham (R50).
Mozzarella Bar, 51 Kloof Street, Cape Town. Tel (021) 422-5822. No website. Monday – Saturday 7h00 – 19h00. A food delivery and catering service is offered.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Wednesday 17th November 2010 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Not only is the 2011 edition of Platter’s South African Wines grass green in colour, but it also focuses on sustainability in the guide by highlighting the work by organisations and individuals in protecting and restoring the environment, and in promoting biodiversity. Each of the invited guests at the launch function received their guide in a lively new multi-coloured carry-bag which Woolworths is selling, to educate wine drinkers about responsible wine production and drinking.
Launching the 31st edition of Platter’s at Capelands in Somerset West yesterday afternoon, publisher Andrew McDowell said that 6500 wines had been evaluated sighted from 800 producers, and the highest number of 5-stars ever was awarded to 58 wines. The short-list of wines was tasted unsighted, and resulted in the final list of 5-star wines. The Red Wine of the Year was voted as De Trafford Shiraz 2008, described by the judges as “pure hedonism and promising outstanding development over the next decade”. White Wine of the Year was Fleur du Cap’s Bergkelder Selection Noble Late Harvest 2009, made from chenin blanc in the main, and was described as “arresting, with astounding balance of ripe fruit and crisp acidity”. Superquaffer of the Year, offering outstanding value, was Nederburg Lyric 2010, a blend of chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, described as “a celebration of fruit and a delightful demonstration of how well the three varieties can work together”.
The Platter’s Winery of the Year went to Nederburg, in recognition of a ‘winery (which) stood head and shoulders above the rest’. The winery won eighteen 5-star ratings in eleven editions, and five 5-star wines in the new edition. Cellarmaster Razvan Macici was delighted to receive this prestigious honour, particularly as he is celebrating his 10th anniversary at Nederburg.
The 5-star rated wines are the following, by variety (* denotes first-ever 5-star rating):
Cabernet Sauvignon: Boekenhoutskloof 2009, Delaire Graff Reserve 2008*, Kanonkop 2007, Klein Constantia 2008, Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2007, Le Riche CWG Auction Reserve 2007
Grenache: Neil Ellis Vineyard Selections 2008
Pinot Noir: Meerlust 2008, Newton Johnson Domaine 2009
Pinotage: Beyerskloof Diesel 2008
Shiraz: Boschendal Cecil John Reserve 2008, Eagles’ Nest 2008, Haskell Pillars 2008, Rijk’s Private Cellar 2005, Saxenburg Select Unlimited Release 2006
Merlot: Shannon Mount Bullet 2008*
Red Blends: Ernie Els Signature 2007, Graham Beck Ad Honorem 2007, Hartenberg The Mackenzie Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2007, Nederburg Ingenuity Red 2007, Reyneke Reserve Red 2007*, Spier Frans K. Smit 2006, Vergelegen Red 2005
Chardonnay: Groot Constantia Gouverneurs 2009, Julien Schaal 2009*, Mulderbosch 2008, Rustenberg Five Soldiers 2008
Chenin Blanc: Botanica 2009*, StellenRust ’45′ Barrel Fermented 2009*
Grenache Blanc: The Foundry 2009
Sauvignon Blanc: Graham Beck Pheasants’ Run 2010, Klein Constantia Perdeblokke 2009, Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2009, The Berrio 2009, Zevenwacht 360º 2009*
White Blends: Cape Point Isliedh 2009, Hermanuspietersfontein Die Bartho 2009*, Lammershoek Roulette Blanc 2009*, Nederburg Ingenuity White 2009, Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay Private Bin D253 2009, Rall White 2009, Sadie Family Palladius 2009, Steenberg Magna Carta 2009, Steenberg CWG Auction Reserve The Magus 2009, Strandveld Adamastor 2009*, Tokara Director’s Reserve White 2009
MÃ©thode Cap Classique: Topiary Blanc de Blancs Brut 2008*, Villiera Monro Brut 2005
Dessert Wine, Unfortified: Fairview Le Beryl Blanc 2009, Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2006, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2009, Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur 2009
Port: Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2008, De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2008, De Krans Cape Tawny NV, JP Bredell Cape Vintage Reserve 2007
The Woolworths Biodiversity & Wine Initiative bags depict colourful images of wine glasses, bottles and proteas, and the logo of the World Wildlife Fund’s Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI). Wording on the bags encourages sustainability: “Support conservation in the Winelands; look out for our wines displaying this label…Get the latest project information by writing www.bwi.co.za”; “Woolworths supports the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative. The Cape Winelands is home to more plant species than are found in the entire northern hemisphere, with 70 % of these plants found nowhere else in the world. The Cape Floral Kingdom is recognised as a World Heritage Site”. Attached to the bag is a BWI brochure, which explains the importance of ‘production integrity and environmental sustainability”, lists the members of the BWI, and salutes the BWI “Champions”: Backsberg, Bartinney, Burgherspost, Cederberg, Cloof, Delheim, Eikenhof, Graham Beck, Hermanuspietersfontein, Klein Constantia, La Motte, Lourensford, Oak Valley, Paul Cluver, Schalkenbosch, Vergelegen, Waterkloof, Waverley Hills, and Wedderwill. Woolworths encourages wine drinkers to look for wines carrying the BWI logo on the back labels of its wines.
Platter’s South African Wines 2011 is available at R 159,99 from book stores, and can be bought online via www.kalahari.net and www.sawinesonline.co.uk.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Wednesday 27th October 2010 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
I had the pleasure of rediscovering Buitenverwachting about three weeks ago, having been invited to try their Sunday buffet lunch. Whilst there, I had experienced chef Edgar Osojnik’s excellent cuisine, and therefore decided to return to try the Asparagus Menu, which runs until the end of November.
It was a lovely summer’s day and we sat on the terrace outside the restaurant, facing the Courtyard. It was much quieter than on my previous visit, yet noisy from a field close by, where a sport’s day was being held.
The Courtyard menu cover is made from black leather, is branded, and contains only a few pages, with four pages dedicated to the Asparagus special menu, costing R 260 for a 3-course meal plus a glass of Buitenverwaching Sauvignon Blanc or the Meifort. It also contains a one-page Courtyard menu, being a mix of starters, mains and desserts, thus giving only a few options per course for non-asparagus eaters.
The Asparagus menu offers two standard asparagus dishes that one can order on an a la carte basis, either as a starter (R82) or as a main (R104) course. Two choices are offered : with vinaigrette, offering olive oil, balsamico or truffle oil, and a baguette; and with a selection of sauces, being hollandaise, butter, Mornay, or BÃ©arnaise, with parsley potato. Other asparagus starter options range from R75 – R110, and are asparagus served with potato and an onion salad; asparagus served with quail; asparagus with parma ham; and asparagus with baby chicken. Main courses are expensive, ranging between R145 – R165, and choices are asparagus served with salmon trout gnocchi, hanger steak, veal involtini, ravioli espuma, or with grilled line fish. One of the desserts is served with asparagus, also containing rhubarb and strawberry gratin, and is served with saffron honey ice cream, at R69.
I could not get the waitress to explain to me exactly how the asparagus and linefish dish is served, and the French restaurant hostess came to assist, being very professional with her care of our table. The waitress, by contrast, sulked the minute we said that we did not understand her reply about how the asparagus is served. The hostess was able to offer a compromise, and Chef Edgar made a special dish with a most wonderful firm piece of kingklip, a parsley potato, and crunchy steamed white and green asparagus topped with the most outstanding deep yellow Hollandaise Sauce, at R156. I savoured it slowly, to enjoy every bit of the wonderful taste.
My son is not an asparagus fan, and ordered the Entrecote steak with porcini dauphinoise at R152, and proclaimed it to be excellent, tender, and with a wonderful taste due to the shallot sauce on the steak. Asparagus is one of the vegetables that comes with the dish, and a large thin fried potato slice added a lovely design touch to the presentation.
Other Courtyard menu options are a caeser salad served with anchovies and salmon (R95), a vegetable tian served with sorbet, smoked onion puree and crostini (R73), and Sissy’s open sandwich (R44). We were served an amuse bouche, which looked very attractive in its presentation, but was not really special in terms of its content, being two minute slices of Buffalo Mozzarella (looking like a quail egg slice at first, being so tiny) and a grapeseed Peperonata terrine with a minute panfried crostini, on top of which was a tiny drop of chippollini puree – a mouthful of a description for something that wasn’t! Dessert options are rhubarb and ice cream, and Kardinalschnitte, a mousse cake slice.
If one chooses to sit inside, or comes for dinner, one is offered the Nuptials Menu, a very clever name for the menu which pairs food and wine, but is even more expensive. The menu is a very restricted one in terms of number of choices, but is beautifully presented, in a black leather cover too, with cards that can be changed as the menu changes. So, for example, a starter Buffalo Mozarella and peperonata terrine is paired with Buitenverwachting’s Buiten Blanc at R20 per 125 ml glassful. A Curry Leaf pan-fried langoustine-scallop starter at R 195 was paired with a Jordan Riesling at R25. A veal main course costs R215, and is paired with Whalehaven Pinot Noir at R35. A Raspberry soufflÃ© costs R55 and a chocolate variation R85, both paired with Buitenverwachting 1769 at R35 for 75ml.
I was shocked at the wine prices, not having seen them on my last visit. While the Buitenverwachting Buiten Blanc costs R45 in the wine shop a few meters away, it costs R120 on the winelist, and R40 per 250ml glassful; the Chardonnay costs R85/260; the Sauvignon Blanc R60/R180; the Meifort R60/R175; the Merlot R65/R195; the Cabernet Sauvignon R80/R245, and the Christine R160/R485. The Buitenverwachting Buiten Brut costs R272, and other MCC brands appear very expensive, with Pierre Jourdan Belle RosÃ© costing R383, Graham Beck Brut R474 and High Constantia Clos AndrÃ© Cuvee Brut R479. MoÃ«t & Chandon costs from R990, Veuve Cliquot R1020 and Krug Grand Cuvee R2335. Imported wines are from France (R761 and up), Italy (including a Barolo at R1218), and Australia, the USA and New Zealand (more reasonably priced between R342 – R583). Shiraz wines on the winelist are Boland at R279, Glen Carlou (each vintage costing a different price, most expensive being 2004 at R410), Kevin Arnold at R320, Anatu at R280 and The Foundry at R301.
When I saw the bill, and the cost of the cappuccino in particular, at R26, it really hit home to me how expensive Buitenverwachting is. I have not drunk such an expensive coffee elsewhere in Cape Town. Buitenverwachting cannot be faulted in terms of its gourmet cuisine, but one pays a high price for it, positioning it at the well-heeled Constantia set as well as international tourists. The Sunday Buffet lunch is however excellent value at R240 for the four course meal.
We popped into the wine shop/wine tasting room after the lunch, and in fact did not see that its entrance was in the Courtyard. It was quite disappointing – it is quite a large room with comfortable seating, looking much like someone’s lounge but not with much class, and display cases for the wines, as well as jewellery made by the wife of the Buitenverwachting GM Lars Maack. Given the quality of the wines and the restaurant, I was shocked to see the chap behind the counter wear a Billabong T-shirt and what looked like a swimming costume. I left with a bottle of Buitenverwachting Meifort wine, having tasted it at the Sunday Buffet lunch, at a cost of R60.
Buitenverwachting, Klein Constantia Road, Constantia, www.buitenverwachting.com. Tel (021) 794-3522. Monday – Saturday lunch and dinner, Sunday Buffet lunch. Corkage R55.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Tuesday 5th October 2010 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
For the past six months we have run a Restaurant winter specials list, many of which were extended until the end of September.
We are delighted that many restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands have seen the benefit of offering specials, and have decided to continue to do so for summer. The list follows below, and will be updated continuously:
* Pure at Hout Bay Manor: 3 course dinner for R200, and R280 with a glass of wine added, summer. Tel (021) 790-0116.
* Pepenero in Mouille Point : sirloin and chips R 79, seafood platter R 129, 1 kg prawn platter R 99, oysters R 9 each, sushi platter R109. Half price sushi all day. Summer. Tel (021) 439-9027
* Sinn’s Restaurant at Wembley Square: lunch (6 options) at R 50. 3-course dinner at R 150, Autumn. Tel (021) 465-0967
* Theo’s on Beach Road, Mouille Point: oysters R 6 each, 1 kg prawns R 99, line fish R79, for lunch and dinner. 300 gram sirloin steak, spatchcock chicken peri peri, 500 gram spare ribs all R 79 for lunch only. Full sushi platter R99, half platter R50. Summer. Tel (021) 439-3494.
* Sevruga in the V&A Waterfront: half price sushi Monday – Saturday 12 - 6 pm; 25 % off sushi Sunday 12 – 2pm, 50 % off 2 – 6 pm. Summer. Tel (021) 421-5134
* 1800 Degrees in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, Main Road, Green Point: 100g sirloin + 100g rump + 100g rib eye, and sauce = R99. Until end March. Tel (021) 430-0506
* Myoga at Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 6 course dinner, with 5 choices per course, for R 195, Mondays – Saturdays, continues throughout summer Tel (021) 657-4545
* Beluga, The Foundry, Green Point: 1 kg Prawns R 99; 50 % off sushi and cocktails all day Sunday, and from 12h00 – 19h00 weekdays. Mondays – Saturdays. Summer Tel (021) 418-2948.
* 221 Waterfront: 3-course meal and live music R135 on Wednesdays. Dine & Cruise package: 1,5 hour cruise, 2 glasses sparkling wine, 3-course meal R 370; Lunch & Cruise package: 1 hour cruise and meal R210. Until 30 April. Tel (021) 418-3633
* Jakes in the Village/on Summerley, in Tokai and Kenilworth, respectively: 25 % off all dishes but must have a main course as a minimum, 5 – 7 pm only, 25 % off flatbreads on Mondays; Free Peroni, glass of wine or coffee for lunch; every 6th lunch free on Loyalty Card. Mondays – Saturdays, Summer. Tel (021) 701 3272
* The Lookout Deck, Hout Bay: 1 kg for prawns R 99, pay for 12 oysters and get 18, until end March. Tel (021) 790-0900
* La Mouette, Regent Road, Sea Point: Autumn Tasting Menu dinner 6 courses R 240 for 2 persons, Tuesday – Sunday lunch and dinner. Tel (021) 433-0856
* Bertha’s in Simonstown: 1 kg mussels, 1 kg Queen prawns or 1 kg mini seafood platter cost R 99 each, R11 for Peroni linked to seafood platter. Calamari, mussel, chips, BBQ chicken and wing platter R99. Summer. Tel (021) 786-2138
* Pepperclub Luxury Hotel & Spa: 6 oysters and a glass of bubbly R60, Fridays from 16h00, with jazz. Current.
* Aubergine: 2-course lunch R184, 3-course lunch R235, Wednesdays – Fridays, Summer. Tel (021) 465-4909
* Balducci’s: All pizzas (except Flaming Prawns) R49, 26-piece Platinum Sushi Plate for R99, Burgers from R55. Monday – Sunday, 12h00 – 18h00, indefinite. Tel (021) 421-6002
* Ferryman’s Tavern, V&A Waterfront: Combo-specials R100 (linefish + calamari), R85 (sirloin + calamari), R99 (pork rib + chicken wings), Mussel hotpot R75, chocolate mudpie R26. Summer. Tel (021) 419-7748
* Hildebrand: 2 courses R 99, 3 courses R 130; Summer. Tel (021) 425-3385
* Chenin Restaurant and Bar: 200g Sirloin steak R65, Cape Malay prawn curry R70, Moussaka R60 + glass of wine. From 5 May, for Autumn. Tel 021 425-2200
* Leaf Restaurant and Bar: 51 % off sushi from 11h00 – 19h00, and all day on Sunday; 12 prawn platter R89, Dimsum 30 % off. 50 % off cocktails all day Sunday. Summer. Tel (021) 418-4500
* Blowfish in Blouberg: R49 lunch specials, e.g. chicken schnitzel, 12-piece sushi, 6 oysters, hake and chips. Current Tel (021) 556-5464
* Cafe Chic: Six Moroccan tapas for R 70. 2 course meal R 100, 3 course meal R 120. Until 15 April. Tel (021) 465-7218
* OYO at V&A Hotel : 500g crayfish special R185. Summer. Tel (021) 419-6677
* Vanilla, Cape Quarter: 1/2 price sushi 12h00 – 18h00, half-price cocktails. Summer. Tel (021) 421-1391
* Adega, Sea Point: 1 kg King Prawns R119. Summer. Tel (021) 434-3029
* Knife restaurant, Century City: Bagel R35; Salad R45; Rib, meatball, chicken wing and chip platter R60, all specials include a beer/glass of wine/colddrink and coffee. Lunch special, 12h00 – 15h00, Mondays – Fridays. Summer. Tel (021) 551-5000
* St Elmo’s, Kloof Str, Gardens: Cheese-filled crust slices R17,90, until 17h00 daily; 2 large regular pizzas R99,90 daily all hours; 2 pizzas R79,90 Tuesdays all hours. Dipping strips – two for R99,90. Individual small pizza + Coke R29,90 Monday – Friday, until 16h00 daily. Summer. Tel (021) 422-2261
* Saul’s Sushi @ Vegas, Sea Point: Eat as much sushi as you like = R120 - Mondays and Tuesdays; 30 piece sushi platter R99 – Wednesdays and Thursdays; Oriental Buffet = R79 – Fridays and Saturdays; two for the price of one – Sundays. Current. Tel 087 151 4595
* Bhandaris Indian Restaurant: Buffet R99 Wednesday dinner and Sunday lunch and dinner. Two main meals for R99 on Mondays. 30 % off for pensioners on Tuesdays. Until 30 April. Tel (021) 702-2975/Tel (021) 782-1525.
* Zorba’s, Lagoon Beach Hotel, Milnerton: Starter and main course R100 on Monday nights. Summer. Tel (021) 528-2093
* San Marco, V&A Waterfront: 3 course meal plus Peroni or glass of wine and tea/coffee R99. Until 15 December, 15 January – 31 March. Tel (021) 418-5434
* Trees Restaurant, Townhouse Hotel, Cape Town: 2 course dinner R95, 3 courses R130. Summer. Tel (021) 465-7050
* Down South Food Bar, 267 Long Street: Rib & Prawn Platter including a side and sauces R75, until end February. Tel (021) 422-1155.
* Mainland China Restaurant, 111 Main Road, Claremont: Seafood Buffet R89, Saturdays 18h30 – 21h00; Buffet R 49; 50 % sushi discount Tuesday – Sunday. Tel (021) 674-2654
* Il Cappero, Barrack Street: “Eat as much as you can” lunch buffet R75, Monday – Friday. Summer. Tel 461-3168
* Cape Town Fish Market: Sirloin and Calamari Surf and Turf R64,65; Surf and Turf Supreme, with 8 prawns, R99,95. Until 2 May. Calamari duo and 300ml soda R68,95, only at V&A Waterfront, until 15 April. Tel (021) 418-5977
* Trinity, Bennett Street: “All you can eat” Dim Sum R135. Two-for-one burgers Wednesdays. Pizza R50 until 7 pm daily. “All you can eat” ribs Mondays R99. Tel (021) 418-0624
* French Toast, Bree Street: Bruschetta tapas free; Sauvignon.com R 20 per glass. Monday – Saturdays 5 – 7 pm. Tel (021) 422-3839.
* Cru Café Restaurant & Wine Bar, Cape Quarter: Scrambled egg and salmon breakfast for 2 plus bottomless cup of coffee R 78, Weekdays; 2 gourmet burgers with onion rings, French fries and Stella Artois beer R120 weekday lunch; Two pastas and two glasses of wine R99. Sunday – Tuesday evenings. Comfort food (Bobotie or Bredie) for two for R 119, including 2 glasses of wine, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. T-bone steak (350g) for two at R150, Friday and Saturday evenings. Until September. Tel (021) 418-6334
* Krugmann’s Grill, V&A Waterfront: Beef ribs 500 gram BBQ-basted beef ribs and starch R75, Wednesdays only Tel (021) 418-9393
* The Square, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: ‘Tastes of 2011′ focuses on different theme every month, from April – September. April theme is ‘Best of British’, with British menu change weekly, 2 courses R 140 or 3 courses R 170. Dinner only, Monday – Sunday. Tel ()21) 657-4500
* Dunes, Hout Bay : Sunday brunch with smoked salmon, oysters and cooked breakfast R 100. Tel (021) 790-1876
* Sinn’s Restaurant, Wembley Square: Lunch R 50 (choice of six options); 3-course dinner plus glass of wine R 150. Autumn Tel (021) 465-0967
* Café Nood, Claremont: Pizza and glass of wine or a Peroni at R45 via Dealio. Current. Tel (021) 671-4475
* Arnold’s on Kloof, 60 Kloof Street, Gardens: Jack Black stew (type of stew changes throughout winter)for two plus bottle of Altydgedacht R99. Tel (021) 424-4344. Throughout winter.
* Five Flies, Keerom Street: 350g steak plus glass of wine R110. 15 April – 15 May. Tel (021) 424-4442
* Balducci’s, V&A Waterfront: Alfresco Lunch specials – soup and salad R89, fish R89, calamari R89, seafood platter for two R245, Steak Roll and chips R85, Steak and chips R99, Burgers from R55 – R75, Glass of wine R27, bottle R99. daily 12h00 – 16h00. Tel (021) 421-6002
* Harbour House, Kalk Bay: 2-courses R140, 3-courses R160. May. Tel (021) 788-4133
* Live Bait, Kalk Bay: Prawns and stir fry Asian noodle salad R 60. Sunday – Thursday evenings in May. Tel (021) 788-5755
* Polana, Kalk Bay: Steak, chips and mushroom sauce, R50, Sunday – Wednesday dinner April; Half free-range flame-grilled chicken R50, Sunday – Thursday dinner and Saturday lunch, May. Tel (021) 788-7162
* Massimo’s Pizza Club, Hout Bay: “Order any 2 adult take away (pizza, pasta salad)” to a minimum value of R100, and get an &Union beer, Darling Brew beer or a 500ml bottle of Bob’s Your Uncle wine for free, all day Wednesdays and Thursdays, Fridays until 17h00. Current Tel 073 390 1373.
* Allee Bleue, outside Franschhoek: choice of three 250g steaks at R 115, including a glass of estate wine, current. Lunch until 7 pm, Sunday – Thursday. Sunday Spit Braai with live music R175. Summer Tel (021) 874-1021
* Olivello, Klapmuts, outside Stellenbosch: 2-course meal R 115, 3-course meal R 135 plus glass of wine. Summer. Tel (021) 875-5443
* Ryan’s Kitchen at Rusthof, Franschhoek : 3-course dinner R 195; 6 course Taste of Africa dinner R295. Autumn. Tel (021) 876-4598.
* Restaurant Christophe, Stellenbosch: business lunch – 2 courses R130, 3 courses R 150, Tuesday – Friday, served within one hour, all year. Tel (021) 886-8763
* Allora in Franschhoek: mini-seafood platter R100, gorgonzola rump steak R95, marinated venison R95; 3-course Sunday lunch R99. Summer. Tel (021) 876-4375.
* L’ermitage, Franschhoek: 3 course lunch and glass of wine R 140. Current. Tel (021) 876-9200
* Laborie Restaurant in Paarl: 3 courses plus a glass of wine R145, until April.
* The Restaurant @ Clos Malverne: 4 course Food and Wine pairing menu R148, includes four courses and four wines. Tuesday – Sundays.
* 96 Winery Road, Stellenbosch: Free main course for May birthday boys and girls, to celebrate the restaurant’s 15th birthday. Tel (021 842-2020
* Dornier Bodega, Stellenbosch: Meat-free Mondays, Comfort Tuesdays, Pasta Wednesdays, Soup Thursdays, Fish Fridays, R79, lunch, May – September, Tel (021) 880-0557
* Towerbosch Restaurant, Knorhoek Wine Estate, Stellenbosch: Soup & Bredie Menu with soup and bredie R90, Wednesdays – Saturdays; Asado Argentian-style braai on Sundays R165. May – August. Tel (021) 865-2958
* Season in Hermanus: Sunday roast R 65 – R75, 3-course Sunday lunch R 110. Summer. Tel (028) 316-2854
* Mediterrea in Hermanus: 3 course meal R 195, Monday – Thursday dinners and Sunday lunches, current Tel (028) 313-1685
* The Class Room Restaurant, Hermanus: 3 course meal plus amuse bouche, palate cleanser, coffee and friandises R 165. 6 – 30 April. Tel (028) 316-3582
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
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