This section aims to be an update of new restaurants that I have tried or want to try in Cape Town and the surrounding wine regions. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list – merely a list of what looks really exciting for this season. We are blessed to live in Cape Town, a creative hub where new restaurants open all the time. As such our aim is to keep working our way through the exciting offerings in our city! Note that this section is divided into two sections – the first section covers new restaurants in Cape Town and the second covers new restaurants in the Cape Winelands – simply scroll down to see this part.
New Cape Town Restaurants:
- Chefs Warehouse and Canteen - This is my current absolute favourite thing in Cape Town!! It must be included on your visit if you are a foodie! The Canteen does not take bookings and has a really simple offering of tapas to share for 2 people. You get 8 fantastic taster portions of creativity to share. The great thing for the kitchen is that they can play and come up with delicious dishes and flavour combinations that quite simply rock the rhubarb! This spot is home to a great Irish Chef called Liam Tomlin. For many years Liam had a Michelin starred restaurant in Australia before deciding to change his life by opening a cooking school in Cape Town. In the last few months – they moved venues and have moved away from the cooking school concept and started the Canteen business, a deli and fabulous cooking utensils shop plus a funky concept called Street Food. Street Food is located below the Chefs Warehouse in a small little space with low ceilings and aims to cater for the lunch market who want funky street style dishes that are ready to either go with them – or you can sit and munch at the counter there. Love the street food concept too! Location: Corner Bree Street & Shortmarket Street. The Chefs Warehouse Canteen is open Mon – Sat for lunch & Monday to Friday for dinner until 10pm. No bookings taken and fab for people watching from the outside terrace
- Chalk & Cork - It is fantastic to have a new wine bar in Cape Town! The plan here is to have an interesting combo of local boutique wines on the menu (which will change regularly) and a yummy range of Spanish style tapas, as well as pizza’s as they inherited a pizza oven when they took the spot. We loved our visit to Chalk & Cork – great wine knowledge, passion, delicious tapas, great thin based pizza and a fabulous courtyard for summer. We plan on being regulars there this summer! Location: 51 Kloof Street (just above the city). Open Mon – Wed 9am – 6pm, Wed – Sat 9am – 10pm. Closed Sundays. Tel+27 (0)21 422 5822
- The Local Grill and The Woodstock Brewery – This is a great combo of a craft brewery and a great steak house in a fabulously renovated building in Woodstock (fringe area near the city). Tip: you can pre-book for a brewery tour and a kitchen tour to see where the meat comes from and hear about how they age the meat. Contact Andre who owns the Brewery and has a share in the Local Grill to organize your tours! 252 Albert Rd, Woodstock. Tel no 021-447 0934
- The Taproom at Devils Peak Brewery – is there “in brewery” restaurant. I loved our visit. This is a chilled out pub atmosphere. Some of the dishes on offer are chef David Walker’s unique bite-sized Cheese Burger, his legendary Pulled Pork Sandwich, Prawn Pasta, Reubens Sandwich, Vegetarian Pizza and Beer-battered Fish and Chips. They are also doing a 5 beer food pairing for a R100 that looks like great fun plus a beer tasting line up where you can taste small amounts of all of the beers. My feeling is that the food is more suited to a lunch then to a dinner. The Tap Room restaurant is inside the working brewery. When you book for a meal, you can also book for a tour of the brewery. Hours: Tue-Sat, 12 til 10 (kitchen), Sat 11-6 Address: 95 Durham Ave, Salt River Phone:+27 21 200 5818
- Carne Bistro – I am in love with the new baby sister restaurant of Giorgio Nava’s Carne Restaurant in town. This one is located in the Kloof Street “hood” above town. it has taken the premises of Cafe Milano. For those of you who have not eaten at Carne – it is all about the meat! Great great meat! Well actually it is all about the steak. All sorts of cuts of steak. They bring them out to explain the cuts to you on a platter (leave the vegetarian friends at home!). The staff are infectiously passionate about the meat they are telling you about and will have you really excited about your upcoming meal. Carne Bistro is stylish and relaxed. I loved the fact that the terrace is big and you are sitting on vibey Kloof Street. I loved the decor, the insane cut of steak I had on the bone (something close to rib eye), the vibe, the passionate waiter we had and the people watching! I think this is the perfect summer steak house!! TIP – they are open on a Monday night (yes – it is hard to find great places to eat in Cape Town on a Monday night!). Open for lunch & dinner. Closed on Sundays. It is recommended to put a booking in for this spot as the locals are already in love with it. Tel 021 – 426 5566
- Weinhuis & Biergarten – Formerly known as & Union is now under new ownership by Jason from Jason’s & renamed as Weinhuis & Biergarten………truly exciting as the man is an amazing chef and his bakery has a cult following)- This is a great little quirky spot where you can try lesser known boutique wines plus the craft beer produced by And Union Brewers. In addition they have quirky delicious light meals and snacks (the dishes may be simple – the flavours are however insanely good and there is a strong foodie following! Jason has already added some new additions to the menu). Simply arrive and ask to join one of the tables outside. Note you cannot book – you simply arrive! This is a great spot to come and relax and to meet locals as you end up sharing tables. Most of the seating space is outdoors – so to me this is an ideal summer spot! 110 Bree Street – City bowl -021 422 2770 Closed Sun & Mon. Open: Tues, Wed, Thur, Sat: 15:00 to 24:00. Fri: 12:00 to 24:00
- Hallelujah – Funky quirky hole in the wall with Asian inspired dishes – which do include noodley delights and awe inspiring steamed buns! But not exclusively so! You need to book as the place is so small. Every morsel is a taste sensation and to experience the menu properly it is fun to share all the dishes here. Kloof Nek Rd (just above the city) 079 839 2505 firstname.lastname@example.org Note: You can only book a table for 4 or 6 people – if you are 2 people – simply rock up and try for space at the counter! Open Wed – Sat for dinner only!
- The Dining Room – This is Karen Dudley of The Kitchen’s new restaurant. Here there are no options – simply arrive for breakfast or lunch (Mon – Fri) or Dinner (Thursday night) and allow her to feed you in a grand old dining room space. Karen Dudley is the culinary goddess to everything that is fresh and delicious – I loved our visit here! The decor is quirky, it feels like you are using Granny’s crockery and are dining in a large home! Verdict: Fabulous and intimate! Well worth booking! 117 Sir Lowry Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0) 82 710 5824
- Black Sheep - This is a great addition to Cape Town – finally a proper gourmet gastropub with a great vibe! This spot is buzzy and well worth booking for with a group of mates for a really fun evening out. 104 Kloof Street Tel no+27 (021) 426 2661 / 426 2753
- True Italic - lower Bree Street – Italian – getting rave reviews – it is on my hit list! 15 Bree Street.
- Bocca - sister restaurant of Burrata in Woodstock – this brand new spot aims to be more chilled then the sister restaurant – as such it offers a more chilled menu ……..Italian style thin pizza’s baked in an oven brought in from Naples and placed on the pavement. Comboed with craft beer. Sounds fab! Location – corner Bree and Wale Street. Tel no 021 422-0188 Open Mon – Sat lunch and dinner.
- La Parada, Bree Street – This spot opened in September 2013 and rapidly became a favourite spot for Capetonians to meet up for Spanish Tapas and after work drinks. This is the newest venture of Michael Townsend who is the entrepreneur who developed the Harbour House restaurant, then Live Bait, Polana, Lucky fish and La Parada Kalk Bay which opened last summer. The city La Parada is a lot bigger then the intimate Kalk bay spot – but is also wonderfully vibey and is decorated in a warm, relaxing, fun way with Spanish tidbits. They have recently appointed a new chef to head up the group who comes with experience of working at El Bulli in Spain…….as such it is time to return to see if the food offering has changed! (Sept 2014!) The wine list is quite limited – they seem to have stuck with reasonably priced wines that are great value for money. We loved our last evening here, we enjoyed a great selection of tapas and a bottle of wine………..and it is was one of the most reasonably priced dinners we had had in a long time! This spot offers serious value for money. There is no website yet – and it is likely there won’t be one ever! These guys are not good at updating their websites! Address: 107 Bree Street, Cape Town. Tel no: 021 426 0330. Monday – Saturday 12h00 until late. Sunday 12h00 – 16h30.
- Cheyne’s in Hout Bay opened May 2013 in Hout Bay – this is a wonderful bistro style restaurant that has been opened by a very talented local Cape Town chef Cheyne Morrisby, who had a loyal following with his last intimate restaurant in Cape Town city bowl. The decor is simple & gorgeous. It appears to seat about 25 people per sitting. The focus of the food is Pacific rim ………lots of Asian flavours when we visited. I loved the fact that he popped out of the kitchen to come and chat to the guests. This is a foodie treat and is well worth a trip to Hout Bay! Location: next to Caltex garage in Hout Bay Main Road. To book call 021 790 3462. Website still under construction. Open Tuesday – Sunday Lunch, Tuesday – Saturday dinner.
- The Butcher Man – not really a restaurant – more of a great butchery shop with a couple of tables where you can go and have a simple meaty lunch! No bookings you just arrive. They claim they do the best burger in Cape Town. I popped in to try it and had the special of the day – which was the Wagyu meat burger – it was outstanding!! (Definition of Wagyu – refers to several breeds of cattle, the most desired of which is genetically predisposed to intense marbling and to producing a high percentage of oleaginous unsaturated fat)
- Koi Restaurant opened in the space where Salt was at the Ambassador Hotel. We have always loved this space as it offers awesome views over Clifton with glass from floor to ceiling. To me this is one of the most romantic spaces in Cape Town. Decor is glam and contemporary. The concept is contemporary Asian dishes with a creative twist. The food was excellent (it is owned by the same guys as Wakame!) I loved the space, loved the food, the only problem was the acoustics made it hard to have a conversation with a group of friends. As such – perhaps this is best enjoyed with a small group of friends or for couples. The owners are aware of the problem and are working on it. Open daily as it is part of a hotel! Tel 021 -439 7258
- Publik & Franky Fenner Meat Market: Two businesses – one location – 81 Church Street, City Bowl (across from & Union) – one open during the day (FFMM) and the other open at night (Publik)! Oh and it gets odder! Franky Fenner is all about ethical sourcing of meat from producers. His journey of discovery into the source of our food started when he was a food blogger. It made him aware that we had a complete disconnect with knowing how our food made it to the table. He decided to start a journey to discover which estates actually offered ethical farming practices and got on the road to meet and inspect a large variety of producers. His journey lead him to start a company where he would have an online company selling only from the sources he had approved of. He initially opened a small hole in the wall shop which was supposed to be for collections – but people wanted to lurk and they wanted to buy. The Cape Town chefs also got on board certifying that they had meat sourced from FFMM! Great to see a small business with a great concept take off. As such they have moved to a bigger premises in town. Here you actually see your meat – literally it is hanging up in front of you. You can watch the block men breaking it down……..and you can stay for coffee and watch! Or you can have a meaty dish like carpaccio and watch! At night Publik takes over and it is a little artisan wine & craft beer bar – here you can sit next to the meat and enjoy quirky wines and charcuterie and cheese platters! #madlyquirky! Ps don’t take any vegetarian friends!
- The Butcher Shop and Grill has just opened in Greenpoint – next to Sotano on the seafront. This is the Joburg steak house guys from Sandton Square. They are on my list to try out – so I will report back!
New in the Cape Winelands
- Overgaauw Restaurant – This is currently my favourite winelands restaurant – we have become groupies! Their signature is relaxed food served like you are in someones home – big bowls of veg and salads to help yourself and only enough food prepared according to the bookings for the day- so that there is no waste. Fresh and artisan produce rule – and they spend lots of time sourcing locally grown produce and artisan locally made products. Russel is your charming host – he comes and tells you the menu and where everything was sourced from in the region. It is a mystery menu every weekend – as such it may be best to leave fussy friends at home – however with platters of dishes at each course – usually everyone finds something they love! They are open Thursday to Sunday for lunch. Camilla has teamed up with her brother for this venture and her foodie hubby Russel acts as the host. Russel does some of the best food photography in the country. Check out one of the first blogs that seems to have come out on the restaurant. To book call 021 881 3910 or 079 904 2995 or email email@example.com
- Foliage – This is the most exciting new restaurant opening this season! Chef Chris Erasmus has left La Motte and opened his own spot on the main road of Franschhoek. The theme is to forage in the mountains for ingredients and to play with local ingredients. As such the menu is short and will change regularly! I cannot wait to go and play there – Chef Chris is full of passionate and great fun to chat to!! Location- on the main road in Franschhoek opposite Le Quartier Franscais – 11 Hugeuenot Rd. Tel – 021 876 2328 Closed Tuesdays – open for lunch on all other days! Closed for dinner Tues/Sunday night!
- Bistro 13 - a wonderful bistro that has opened just opened (Sept 2014) on Welmoed Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. It has a lovely relaxed country style setting. The dishes are beautifully plated and combine wonderful flavours. We loved our long long lunch there with family and friends! Open for lunch Tues – Sunday and dinner Wed – Sat. They offer a dinner tasting menu of 10 courses for only R280! This looks like a fun option to try! Welmoed Estate, R310 Baden Powell, Stellenbosch | tel: 021 881 3044 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Schoon de Companje – this spot started life as a small artisanal bakery called De Oude Bank Bakkerij in 2010 with a coffee machine. It has recently become a little artisanal hub with the bakery, lots of tables for lunches and coffees, an artisan coffee bean roasting section, a fabulous meat counter where you can shop to take things home, a small fresh produce section and lots of yummy condiments on the shelves to buy to take home……..but make sure you do NOT leave without buying Fritz’s olive sticks – they rock. This is a fab relaxed foodie setting where all the dishes revolve around the artisan bread being made in the shop. This is a buzzy fun relaxed spot which is fab to simply sit and people watch while having funky sandwiches. I love it – do not miss it if you are anywhere near Stellenbosch town for lunch! Address: Corner of Bird and Church Street Stellenbosch. Open Tues – Sat 07.30am – 7pm, Sun 8am to 3pm. Tel 021 883 21 87
- The Restaurant at Newton Johnson (Hermanus Wine Region) is replacing Heaven Restaurant at Newton Johnson Wine Estate. This is an awesome venue with glass windows boasting gorgeous views of the vines below. This is a new venture for Chef Eric Bulpitt who has left the Round House Restaurant in Cape Town. His business partner is George Jardine of Jordan Restaurant. George is regarded as one of South Africa’s top chefs and this restaurant looks like a great addition to the Hermanus wine region which is know as The Hemel en Aarde Valley (The Heaven on Earth Valley). The restaurant is set to open on 1 October 2013. To book – tel: 028-3123862 / cell: 072-9053947 / email: email@example.com
- De Grendel Restaurant (Durbanville Winelands – about 20 minutes from Cape Town central) – I cannot recommend this highly enough – gob smacking views of Table Mountain and the city makes this one to make sure you get to for an early booking to see the sun set. Combine this with a fine dining experience that is great value for money – R255 for 2 courses or R300 for 3 courses. Some background on those behind the food: Diners sensing Michelin-star excellence on the palate will be spot-on as De Grendel Restaurant is a culinary collaboration between De Grendel and Crown Hotels and Restaurants who owns the Michelin starred The Crown at Whitebrook (voted 2011 Best Restaurants in Wales) and Celtic Manor. My verdict: Book immediately – this is a really special treat!! I am in love with this spot. The dinner blew me away, as did the view, the dishes, the presenation and one of the nicest sauvignon blancs on the planet! Info: Tel +27 21 558 7035. Directions: Head out of Cape Town on the N1 Paarl direction, Leave the N1 at exit 18; continue left down the Plattekloof Road for another 5 km, De Grendel is on the right (it has its own traffic light and is signposted)
- The Rotisserie at Leopard’s Leap Wine Estate- Chef Pieter de Jager has moved across from Pierneef à La Motte to run The Rotisserie kitchen. The concept is simple – they have imported Rotisserie equipment from France and will be doing chicken and pork in it. This will be accompanied by a delicious array of funky seasonal salads which are prepared from their own gardens (Hanneli Rupert owns La Motte and Leopard’s leap). The salads and the meats will be sold by weight. This sounds fabulous to me as for a long time I have not been able to understand why everyone seems to want to serve only hot food in a valley that gets to over 40 degrees celcius in summer. This promises to be a wonderful fresh feast! Leopard’s Leap is on the left hand side on the R45 as you head into Franschhoek. It will be open from 10am from Wednesday to Sunday Tel 021 876-8002. firstname.lastname@example.org Open Wed – Sunday for lunch.
- Camphor’s at Vergelegen Wine Estate – From their website: The ‘Camphors at Vergelegen’ opened on O1 November 2012, with lunch service Wed to Sun and dinner service Fri & Sat. This ‘Signature’ restaurant which overlooks expansive lawns and gardens, takes its name from the magnificent 312 year old camphor trees guarding the historic Homestead. The Vergelegen Team including Chef Garth Stroebel have brought acclaimed Chef PJ Vadas on board for this next chapter of Vergelegen’s hospitality rejuvenation. Reservations are essential and can be made by telephoning 021 847 1346 or via email: email@example.com. We look forward to welcoming guests to this stunning new dining option at Vergelegen. (Pam: Can’t wait to try it out!) NOTE IT WAS JUST AWARDED ON OF THE TOP 10 RESTAURANTS AWARDS IN SA BY EAT OUT MAGAZINE! Definitely worth a try! (Update Oct 2014 – PJ Vadis is moving on – we await an update on the replacement chef!)