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:
- La Parada, Bree Street – This spot opened in September 2013 and is already set to become 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. The chefs are both from Seville – so the tapas are wonderfully authentic. The wine list is quite limited – they seem to have stuck with reasonably priced wines that are great value for money – but I do think it is an opportunity lost in terms of not allowing for those who wish to spoil themselves with a great wine! Also there are no Spanish wines on the menu……..perhaps something to consider in the future. We loved our evening there, 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. Note there will be a nightclub opening in their basement next month. This should turn into a party spot!
- 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.
- Freres Bistro is the new home to talented chef Jason Whitehead. This little authentic French Bistro is a great new addition to Cape Town. It is intimate, warm, welcoming, has quirky staff (ask Victoria to show you her tattoos!), has an open plan kitchen where you can watch Jason plating the dishes under fabulous warm lights and offers wonderfully authentic French cuisine that offers honest delicious taste sensations. I cannot rave enough about this little spot, the passion he puts into his food and the passion shown by his staff and manager/wine guru. This is great for a fun night out with a group of friends. Make sure you book in advance – they have a loyal following already and it is a small intimate venue. Location: lower part of town near the waterfront. Address: Redefine/Spearhead Building (next to Colcaccio’s),42 Hans Strijdom Avenue, Foreshore. Tel no:021 418 1609 Opening hours Tuesday – Friday: midday to 23h00, Saturday: 18h00 to 23h00. firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 has 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. Apparently the space has been spruced up a little and Koi (which is part of the same group as Wakame) has opened here. The concept seems to be contemporary Asian dishes. Note that Koi is a franchise concept which was launched in Joburg – as such it makes me a little sceptical! The proof will be on trying it out – which we have booked to do next month! Open daily as it is part of a hotel! Tel 021 -439 7258
- Bukara and Haiku have opened up branches at the Waterfront – they share a premises – are slightly separated – but one is welcome to order from either menu regardless of which side you are sitting. Unlike Haiku in town – there is no minimum number of dishes that need to be ordered. Also they do not take bookings here – it is first come first served – which makes sense to maximize the venue. With Haiku in town I was always frustrated by the two seating times – either 7pm or 9am – sometimes 7pm feels too early in summer and to me 9pm is quite simply too late for dinner. For those who do not know these restaurants – Bukara is renowned as one of Cape Town’s best Indian Restaurants and is located close to Green Market Square in the city – delicious dishes – which are a special treat as they are very expensive. Haiku is owned by the Bukara and offers excellent Asian tapas – they have different Asian stations offering a variety of cuisine from different regions that range from Peking Duck to Sushi and Dim Sum.
- 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!
New in the Cape Winelands
- Overgaauw Restaurant – this is the eagerly awaited restaurant of the guys who started Table at De Meye. Their signature is relaxed food served like you are in someones home – big bowls of veg and salads to help yourself and food prepared only to order – so that there is no waste. Fresh and artisan produce ruled at the last spot. As such I am hoping the signature is the same at Overgaauw. The good news is that this spot is not limited to only weekends like it was at De Meye. They are open Thursday to Sunday for lunch & for dinner on Friday night only. It has literally just launched – Nov 2014. Camilla has teamed up with her brother for this venture and her foodie hubby Russel will also be around to assist. Russel does some of the best food photography in the country. Bookings go through Overgaauw wine estate – even though the restaurant does not seem to be on their website yet! Check out one of the first blogs that seems to have come out on the restaurant. To book call 021 881 3185 or email email@example.com
- Cavalli Restaurant – on the R44 – is due to open soon and from all accounts this is another billionaire who has done a wonderful large investment into our winelands region and will be offering a mind blowing fine dining experience in a beautiful setting on their stud farm. I have heard that it is looking mind-blowingly awesome – so this is definitely the new and hot happening we are waiting for for Xmas 2013!
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Morgenster Wine & Olive Estate in Somerset West is opening a new restaurant which will boast an international Michelin starred chef and will also be opening a deli. No more details are currently available. The update from them is that this restaurant is unlikely to open before Sept 2014!
- 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. email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
- The Table at De Meye - has changed to new owners. We tried it out recently (Aug 2013) and it was still fabulous! It is like heading into someones home for a weekend lunch! They have kept it very simple – they offer one starter, one main and one dessert for R225 (no choices – but do let them know if you are a vegetarian). The menu changes weekly and reflects all the shopping they have done from local artisan producers. I do however think it would be best not to take a fussy friend along!! The blog reflects their love of fresh ingredients – click here to check it out. Kids under 12 dine at half of the main meals price. To book contact Russel 083 252 9588 or e-mail email@example.com (Note open only on weekends – so check out the menu for the upcoming weekend and book well in advance. Tip – mention any dietary requirements when booking and they will do their best to accomodate you). Note you have to book! They only prepare enough food for those who have booked – there is no wastage!