New Cape Restaurants – Cape Town and The Cape Winelands, South Africa

New Cape Restaurants – Cape Town and The Cape Winelands, South Africa

This section aims to be an update of new Cape Restaurants that I have tried, or want to try in Cape Town and the surrounding Cape 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.

The Hottest New Restaurants in Cape Town & the Cape Winelands for 2018

  1. Fyn – is one of the most exciting openings of the season – they open on 1 December 2018.   Chef Peter Templehof brings over 20 years of experience to the new restaurant – Fyn – a contemporary inner city restaurant located on top of a building in Church Square.  Chef Peter is the owner and talented Chef behind  The Greenhouse, which is one of the Top 10 restaurants in South Africa.     The word Fyn means FINE in English – it could also be a shortened version of Fynbos – our indigenous cuisine.   The two pivotal team members in this venture will be  Executive Chef Ashley Moss (his head chef at The Greenhouse for 4 years) and Jennifer Huge (Former La Colombe Restaurant manager).    They are now open for bookings – so we will just have to head there to try and figure out what they are about!  I am booked for just after Xmas – so will keep you posted!
  2. Riverine Rabbit – Young talented Chef Ash Heeger has closed down  Ash Restaurant  and has reinvented herself  (in the same venue) as Riverine Rabbit.    The new decor is much warmer and the lighting is  now really good!   Her focus is on fresh local ingredients and her signature style is to cook over hot coals in her Josper Oven.   The new restaurant offers a more fine dining feel to the meal – to me it feels like she is now really wanting to showcase her skills and show that she is one of the top chefs in the country.   The focus is on tasting menus – there is no a la carte menu.   Options range from 3 to 7 courses.    I tried out the new restaurant with a friend and we really enjoyed our evening at Ash.   The service was good, we were seated where we could watch Ash cooking – which is always a treat – the ambiance was lovely and the food was good.  
  3. Tjing Tjing – have completely re-invented themselves and gone Asian in a big way!   I love Asian – so this is my idea of heaven.   We popped in a few weeks ago to try out the casual Asian spot downstairs and to have a drink upstairs.   I LOVE the quirky decor downstairs.   It is so much fun.   We had a booth and in my normal style I just ordered a bunch of random goodies for us to share.   I loved every bite!   They initially told us that we were limited to either House White or House Red for the wine – I almost exited!  When I looked closely the House White was by David & Nadia – from the Swartland!   I love their wine!     This venue is called Tjing Tjing Torii – it is open from Tuesday to Saturday and does not take bookings.   On the middle level they have launched Tjing Tjing Momiji.   Everything is smarter on the middle level.  Lovely decor.  They are focusing Japanese tasting menus that can be paired with drinks.    I am so excited about this spot – I cannot wait to try it.   R795 for the tasting menu and an additional R395 to pair with drinks!   It is open for bookings from Thursday to Saturday night.   The third spot here is the rooftop bar – which is a great secret bar to know about in the city for summer.   (Located in the city bowl).  Closed Mondays
    Tjing Tjing – discerning house wine – David & Nadia from the Swartland!
    Tjing Tjing downstairs – Asian Streetfood
    Tjing Tjing downstairs Asian Street Food Restaurant
    Tjing Tjing middle floor – now doing fine dining Asian influenced tasting menus that look amazing! This is the seating for Tjing Tjing Momiji – which had not opened yet when we were there.
  4. Belly of the Beast – this is a new spot in the new emerging Eastside District of Cape Town – it is in Harrington Street – this is literally on the fringe of the city – being parallel to Buitenkant Street.  This hood has now become really cool as it is home to Harringtons, The Raptour Room, Lefty’s…New York Bagels, Naked Foods….and more!  Belly of The Beast is a great addition to the hood.   It is a beautifully decorated small restaurant that seats 20 people.   It is intimate and owned by two chefs who are friends.   They focus on nose to tail dining – so they aim to have a zero wastage kitchen.  They are however happy to accommodate vegetarians – but need to know in advance! This is definitely a tasting menu strategy – they however do not commit to how many courses they will feed you! Just book online and come and experience it for yourself.   I see they are fully booked already on quite a few nights!   I must get my booking in! OPEN SUNDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT – a rare thing to find in Cape Town!    
  5. TRUTH.  After Dark –  Desserts at Night.  Tuesday to Saturdays 6pm to midnight.   Ok – so we as a team admit it – “We are Kamal groupies”.   We literally have stalked and tasted every croissant, every pain au chocolat and every tart made by this talented French man’s hands.   Do you know that they have a hidden French person with ovens above the coffee roastery and cafe?   What do you do when your pastry chef and creator starts getting bored?   You create a platform for him to have the cafe for himself at night.   So Truth Cafe changes into TRUTH. After Dark from 6pm.   Come and explore some of Kamal and his teams wonderful creations, stay for a coffee or a drink and enjoy the vibe of the steam punk cafe at night!    Verdict – once again we as a team enjoyed every bite!
  6. The Art of Duplicity – Shhhhhhhhhhhhh – There is a new secret speakeasy in Cape Town’s emerging Eastside District (ie on Buitenkant Street!)  This is fun!  You have to book online to come for a drink – they are open from 6pm till late.   They have a wonderful assortment of cocktails – I love the creativity behind them and that many of them arrive wrapped in newspaper!  I loved the feeling of subterfuge – announcing ones arrival at the front – heading down coffee alley – sneaking in the back door through the loo and then the secret knock to get in.    I would recommend booking to sit in the lounge part as the chairs were really comfortable and we got to sit right next to the jazz singer.   I loved her performance.    Note that they have kept it simple – drinks, nuts and a charcuterie platter – this is not a dinner spot – plan it before or after dinner.   It would work well with a dinner at Belly of the Beast or Downtown Ramen one street down!   Note that the cocktails are pricey – but worth it!  Click here to book.  And please – do not tell others about it!   It is our secret!
  7. Bocca – has been sold to an Italian couple who are originally from Milan.   They have been working in the Bermuda for 10 years for a 5 star hotel.   They decided that they want to put down roots and open their own restaurant.   They chose Cape Town as they have family here and they love the climate here.   Interesting that they kept the name of the restaurant as Bocca as they have taken the venue – got a wonderful decorator in to spruce it up and have introduced changes to the menu.  Naturally it is still an Italian Restaurant.  I love the decor at the new Bocca – it is a really sexy restaurant – gorgeous!   The stand out dish was the pizza’s – you MUST have the pizza’s if you go.   The pizza’s are now only available in a small size – a pizzette as they call it- 16cm in size.   As such one would need to order a few!    I would encourage them to supersize them!  The pizza oven was brought in by the previous owners from Naples – and it makes a huge difference to the taste!  Note that they are now allowing bookings (in the past it was first come first served).    Note that this restaurant has an outside section for warm evenings.
  8. No Fixed Address – this is a quirky street food concept in a book shop – many of which have an Asian twist of flavours.  Truly quirky – it is located inside a fantastic second hand book store in the suburb of Observatory.   Everything I ate there had me licking my fingers (and the plate if they were not looking) and wanting to return for more!   No Fixed Address is owned by a local South African chef who lived in Vancouver in Canada for many years.   He felt homesick and this is his new venture here in Cape Town………………..track him down and find him – it is a great quirky spot.   The book shop had a passage and a back courtyard that has been changed into seating for his restaurant.Note this is not a late night spot – so if you are heading for dinner – get there early and buy some drinks at the liquor store next door as they don’t have a liquor license yet (or bring your own).   In line with being quirky  –  they  do not have a website or a facebook page and his Instagram just mentions his catering company in Canada – it does however have pics of his yummy food in Cape Town!   76 Lower Main Road Observatory, Cape Town +27 73 070 5386 (across the road from Pancho’s)
  9. The Commissary – This is defined under their “about us” on their facebook as –
    • Commissary – kɒmɪs(ə)ri/ noun –  a restaurant or food store in a military base, prison, or other institution.
    • What is it?   It is a little bit of a secret bar – perhaps sort of a speakeasy (but not a late night one) – it is for drinks and small dishes prepared and created by the top chef team that work and own the Shortmarket Club Next door.   They do not take bookings and are open in the evenings until about 22h30.   They are a night venue.   Find the secret door and light at 88 Shortmarket Street.   Here is a picture of the entrance for you to find it more easily – good luck!    
  10. Restaurant at The Nek – this takes the place of Harbour House at Constantia Nek.   Harbour House was not working so well away from the sea!  The Restaurant at the Nek is also part of the Life Brand Group – it represents their first dip into the fine dining restaurants.      I have been getting good feedback on Chef Dylan Laity’s dishes that he has been serving here. Background – ex-Round House, Aubergine and Michelin restaurant in London.     He looks like a talented chef and I am keen to try out the Restaurant at The Nek one day!   Note as per the theme of many of the restaurants this season – they have gone with tasting menu’s – one has to have a minimum of three courses.  (One can also do 5 or 8 courses).   So note – a visit is a commitment – this is NOT suitable for a quick lunch or dinner.   Below are a few pics from the restaurant from their website to give you an idea of the venue and Chef Dylan’s food.    Note that for summer they have an outside area with views over the vines of Constantia.   Southern Vines did a nice blog on their lunch there – check it out.
  11. The Shop (Seapoint area) –  This looks refreshing – they do real food – real portions and don’t overcomplicate things – what a unique proposition!   We are booked to try it at the end of the month for our foodie guides get together  – so I will update this section soon!   It is owned and run by a husband and wife team.   I love their summary on their website:   “We met at cooking school, 9 years later we got married.   We have both worked abroad, in restaurants and on the yachts- and now we have THE SHOP.
    Our food, is simple, tasty and uncomplicated.    We feel very strongly about where our food comes from choosing free range, green listed and sustainable produce where possible.
    On our menu you will find meat, fish and vegetarian options – a space for everyone.”   
  12. Salsify at The Round House –  The Round House has died – RIP The Round House!   Happily a new spot has opened – so the legendary fine dining meals at the Round House will continue!   The relaxed picnic lunches and early dinners on the lawns at the Round House Rumbullion Lawns have however been terminated (It was one of my favourite places in the city – so I am really sad about the closure).   Luke Dale Roberts, of The Test Kitchen Restaurant fame, has opened another restaurant – Salsify at The Roundhouse –  his 4th restaurant in Cape Town.   This one boasts a 7 course tasting menu – a definite theme for this season – you do however also have the option of doing a la carte.    Bookings will open on the 1st of the month at 08h30 for the upcoming month.    The menu looks fairly pricey for locals – but not too bad if you are spending dollars or euros!  Note a deposit is needed to secure the booking and a gratuity is automatically added to your bill – regardless of the size of the table.
  13. Riva Cape Town – new Italian fish restaurant in De Waterkant – being opened by the owner of True Italic (one of Cape Town’s favourite Italian Restaurants) – I cannot wait to try this one.  Their description: “‘Two Italian chef’s & friends bring to Cape Town the flair of true Italian fish dishes.From classic to modern & innovative plates that will just make you scream…Mamma Mia!!’”   Location – 4 Napier Street, De Waterkant. Chef Fede 078 4434164or Chef Nico 078 6111895
  14. Upper Bloem
  15. Seven – shared table
  16. Grub & Vine Matt Manning
  17. Garden Club – Chalk & Cork
  18. Vadas Smokehouse
  19. Kraal Restaurant at Joostenberg – Drizzle & Dip Blog gives a wonderful taste of the lunch experience – Sunday lunch only – / 0796411320 R360 for a 3 course menu featuring farm produce and recipes from childhood memories
  20. Eike
  21. La Petite Manoir
  22. Bao Down
  23. Upper Bloem
  24. Gate restaurant is to open at Quion Rock Winery on 1 Dec


Cape Town New Openings from early 2018:

  1. Crofter’s Kitchen – shared table concept with a rock star Chef Nicky Gibbs in her gorgeous home in Noordhoek.   This is five course fine dining tasting menu paired with teas.   Her ingredients are croftered and foraged from her garden, the fynbos, the forests and the coast line.   Chef Nicky introduces each course and explains each dish and its ingredients.   We loved our visit to try out Crofter’s Kitchen.   Chef Nicky is a wonderfully warm and welcoming host.   Her home is contemporary and located on the side of the mountain in Noordhoek – as such one enjoys views of the ocean in the distance.    All of her dishes are plated in front of you and you are welcome to chat to her and her chef friend as they create each dish in front of you. The menu will change often to reflect seasonal ingredients.       This is a wonderful seasonal local flavour journey!  As she does not have a liquor license – one is welcome to bring one’s own wine along.    I would advise that one needs about 2.5 hours to work through the five courses!   Lunch is restricted to 16 people maximum.  So book and settle in for the afternoon!   Cost – R765 per person excluding gratuity.   One has to book and pay in advance.   Contact Chef Nicky to book – +27-837315208 or 
  2. Bistrot Pascale – opened – May 2018.   Location 85 Roodeblom Road Woodstock.   The launch menu is simple – a focus on authentic Italian Pizza’s and pastas.   The owner Pascale is absolutely wonderful –  she is a former model, actress, biker, stylist and clothing designer!   This is her first restaurant.  Expect a warm welcome to her “restaurant home”.   The Bistrot is serious about its ingredients – the chef has just landed from Livorno, the flour comes from Italy…….as does the ham and the pasta!    The burrata is locally made and arrives fresh on the day it is has been made.  We absolutely loved the pizza’s here – I think they are the most authentic Italian pizzas in Cape Town – we had the Parma Ham Pizza which had the “innards” of the Burrata on it – awesome!!   We also had the tomato and burrata salad – which was also a taste sensation!    They are open for lunch and dinner – Tuesday to Sunday.   Closed on a Monday.
  3. The Ceviche Bar Cape Town Closed down – sadly the building they were in in Woodstock has been sold – find the guys at Biscuit Mill Market on a Saturday.   They are going to keep their eyes open for a new venue for summer.
  4. Chefs Table Cape Town – Shared social table for dinner in the home of a top Chef.   Chef Santi Louzán has opened his inner city apartment for dinners on a Wednesday & Thursday night.   The concept is a table of 16 that people come and share and have dinner prepared and plated in front of them.   Chef Santi acts as host and explains his inspiration behind each dish.   It is 7 courses paired with 5 wines for R850 per person.   We loved every second of our dinner with the charismatic Chef Santi.   To get a feel for our experience – check out my blog.    I have a feeling that this one is going to become a huge success – my advice would be to book early as they are going to fill up fast!  Note that the table can be booked for exclusive use on other nights – subject to Chef Santi’s availability.
  5. Janse & Co – hottest new opening in Cape Town – Chef Arno Janse (ex-Chef from the award winning The Kitchen @ Maison in Franschhoek) – in partnership with Liezl Odendaal, has opened a restaurant in Kloof Street, just above the city.   Expect the best fresh ingredients that are seasonal and locally sourced prepared with love and passion!  We loved our visit to Janse & Co.   I loved the beautiful design – it is contemporary with an Asian feel.  Everything has been lovingly designed to add to the experience – from the beautiful menus, through to the box with your cutlery.   The menu features a list of dishes based on what is fresh and what has inspired the kitchen – there are no starters or main courses – the dishes are simply a list and you chose as many dishes as you feel like having from the list for your dinner ie 3,4, 5, 6 courses.   Each dish boasts wonderful flavours and beautiful plating.   They aim to use a small number of ingredients in each dish so that these ingredients become the hero’s of the dish. It was a complete culinary journey from start to finish.   We had wonderful service and the wine list had some wonderful local wines from smaller producers – something I love to find on a menu! This is an exceptionally talented chef – I cannot recommend it highly enough.   We loved our visit.  Check out my blog on our visit here. Note you can book online on their website – they have live availability.   75 Kloof Street,   Cape Town.
  6. Publik – The wine bar Publik has split away from Ash and now has its own venue at the top of Kloof Nek Drive.They took the space of Hallelujah (which has sadly closed down). It is a lovely space, it is warm, comfortable and welcoming.   The staff are wonderful and will walk you through a journey of tasting some of the Cape’s most exciting wines.   If you love the wine – you can also buy it to take home!   They also have local gin and other spirits – so don’t leave your non-wine friends at home.   They have a simple food menu of snacks and charcuterie and cheese platters.   There are some wonderful restaurants right next door and across the road – so this is now a buzzy spot to spend the whole evening!  11D Kloof Nek Rd – no bookings taken.
  7. Cause Effect – a great great new cocktail bar! Ok – so we are already addicted to this bar.  I have never come across people who are so passionate about making cocktails.   It is a serious business and watching these alchemists at work is fascinating.   If it is your first visit – sit at the bar and chat to the “drinks alchemists” – they will take you through a journey and match what you enjoy to their cocktails.   The guys are foraging for local plants to add to the drinks, searching for unique flavours and small producers.   Make sure you start with a Caperatif (spell?) made by Adi Badenhorst – it is an excellent light start to enjoy while you are negotiating the rest of the choices.        They serve light eats to go with the drinks and it is possible to book a table.   If possible try and go on a week night as it is magical to be able to chat to the team when it is quieter.   I am in love with Cause Effect. Note that they are focusing on the drinks side first and then will concentrate on the food!   I think they need someone as passionate as they are about drinks to head up the kitchen!
  8. The Granary at the Silo Hotel – The Silo Hotel has opened in the new arts precinct of the V&A Waterfront.   The hotel is literally built in the old grain storage silo on the Clock Tower side of the Waterfront.    The architecture is jaw dropping.  The Hotel shares space with new Zeitz Mocaa Contemporary Art Gallery.   There are a couple of options at the Silo Hotel – you can head up to the bar for a drink, or you can book for a light lunch up on the rooftop (you must book well in advance for this as a limited number of outsiders are allowed up there per day) or you can book for lunch or dinner at The Granary.   The Granary has been getting mixed reviews from people visiting to try it out!   I hope it settles down and find consistency as it is a mind blowing location for a meal!   We have not tried it yet.   We loved our lunch on the roof top – simple – delicious and boasting the best views in Cape Town.   I would highly recommend a reservation at the Silo and to combine it with a visit to the Zeitz.    The architecture of the new gallery is mind blowing – the have literally done a diagonal cut in the old silos from the inside.
  9. Roast & Co – new opening by HQ – HQ does steak and Roast & Co does chicken and sides.   Simple offering – sexy courtyard on Heritage Square.   It will be fun in the festive courtyard in summer.    I enjoyed the chicken – but think possibly I may have more luck getting a group of friends together to go and eat steak then chicken!  Location – 98 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town City Bowl
  10. Spirit Cafe Dunkley Square – SpiritCafe Constantia is opening a branch in Dunkley Square (top of the city) in October.  It will be great to have a new vegetarian/vegan eatery for the city.   For the rest of us – it will be great to have another wonderful spot for salads as summer is starting!!   I am looking forward to trying this one out!
  11. Homage 1862 – wonderful new spot – gorgeous eclectic decor.   Delicious food.  It is all about freshness and I love that the sides of vegetables were as delicious as the main dishes.   For veg lovers – this spot rocks.  The meat and the fish were excellent too.   Price wise it feels more like a dinner spot!  However – it was worth every cent!   Fabulous new addition to the offerings on Loop Street in the city.

Cape Winelands New openings from early 2018:

  1. Chefs Warehouse at Maison  – Chefs Warehouse replaced the Kitchen at Maison on Maison Estate with Chefs Warehouse at Maison.  The head chef from the Kitchen at Maison – Chef Arno Janse –  moved on to open his own spot called Janse & Co in Cape Town.   The extremely talented Chef David Schneider (ex Singita, Chefs Warehouse CT, Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia) has been given creative license within the Chefs Warehouse Formula of 8 dishes per day.    Note that the concept is 8 gourmet tapas style dishes for two people to share – no selection – you get what the kitchen is inspired to prepare.   They can handle vegetarians – but need advance warning!   Note that this Chefs Warehouse DOES take bookings.   I would recommend you book in advance for this one – the Chef is hugely talented and you would not want to miss out on experiencing his cooking!  IMPORTANT TO NOTE – they are kid friendly – kids can have pizza or grilled fish & veg.
  2. Le Coin Francais – by talented Chef Darren Badenhorst – Newest spot to open in Franschhoek – From their website – The newest edition to the Franschhoek scene is a restaurant really and truly for Franschhoek. Both in concept and in name, the aptly named “Le coin Français” , which literally means Franschhoek, will embody the essence of the valley in heritage, cuisine, art and wine. It will feature cutting edge methods meeting time tested French elegance in cuisine, a carefully selected locally themed wine list to showcase the best local wines, a French sommeliers selection, and an ever evolving collaboration of art in the theme of photography.  I popped in to have a look – gorgeous decor – it simply feels grand as you walk in, with wonderful attention to detail and decor.  They are currently open for dinner – choice between a 6 or 8 course tasting menu which can be done with our without wine pairing.   This looks really good!
  3. Marigold in Franschhoek – Great to have Chef Vanie Padayachee back in the Franschhoek Valley to launch Marigold a North Indian Cuisine restaurant owned by Mr Singh of the Leeu Collection.   I cannot wait to try this one out – I have heard great reports!
  4. La Petite Colombe – has opened a fine dining restaurant at Le Quartier Franscais Hotel in Franschhoek.   This is the sister restaurant of La Colombe – as such expect fine dining tasting menus.   Expensive – but talented Chefs – so worth the investment if you are here and holidaying on US dollars or pounds!   For locals – perhaps wait for the winter specials!
  5. Spek & Bone – this is my favourite thing for this summer!   I am in LOVE with Spek & Bone. This is the new chilled offspring from the renowned local Chef Bertus Basson.   It is a simple concept – take a lovely hidden courtyard in the oldest part of Stellenbosch Town and create a chilled wine bar with delicious shared plate dishes.   This is the perfect spot for an afternoon with friends.

New Cape Town Restaurants (and a few that are not so new – but worth not missing!):

This section contains some that you may not have tried – so it is keeping the ones that are fairly new and those that are still new enough to be hot and must try spots!

  1. Bree Street has been the hot spot for restaurant openings in the last year.   This “hood” has transformed rapidly from business district to a haven of quirky artisan restaurants and bars.   It is upmarket and attracting the over the 30’s crowd.   As foodies, this is the “go to” area to explore.   With the continued large number of openings and the hype and buzz on Bree Street – the rentals have been increasing exponentially.   The only cheaper rental space was left at the lower part of Bree, in the business district.   As such you will see that the latest crop of openings has been concentrated on that end.   However as this new “lower Bree hub” is now also exploding,  rentals are steeply increasing down there too!   It seems like the rental agents have become extremely greedy – as such there have not been a steady increase of spots closing down on Bree Street.  We were so sad to see Culture Club Cheese shut its doors and move to the Southern Suburbs.   So the next new area that the restaurant openings will move to is Loop Street, which is still quite undeveloped and is mostly a business district!   Some of the new spots on Bree that have opened:
    • Cal Bar
    • Botanical Bar (just off Bree on Longmarket Street
    • Jarryd’sNEW – Middle Bree – 75 Church Street – just off Bree – these are the Seapoint guys who have opened a second smaller branch – with very sexy decor.   This is a fabulous spot for breakfast or lunch in the city.   Jarryd’s do great simple dishes (awesomely delicious) – like Eggs Benedicts, earth rocking burgers and amazing salads.
    • Cabron NEW –  fab hole in the wall tiny taqueria.   This one is fun.   The food was tasty and the little place is very vibey –  120 Bree Street
    • Gems that remain on Bree:
      • La Tête – Nose to tail restaurant by Chef Giles Edwards.  La Tete opened on lower Lower Bree Street in the city about a year ago and rapidly became a wonderful new part of the regenerating city’s food scene.  Lovely clean modern interior.  Talented Chef/owner.  We have had some wonderful dinners here!  It is advisable to pre-book by phone – +27 21 4181299 or email – Closed on Sundays and Mondays NB Snout to tail dining including Pigs Tails and Sweetbreads (menu changes daily!) – note that the Chef will make a plan for any vegetarian friends/partners that you bring along – simply brief him when you are there (or when you book) and he will come up with options for you if there are limited options on the menu on the night that you go
      • Mulberry & Prince – Sexy spot with sexy decor.   Intimate.  Small plate concept of sharing dishes of interesting flavors.   They say it is “new American cuisine”  – I am not too sure what that means!  This spot is gorgeous and the dishes were all delicious.   I loved our visit there and would highly recommend it.  (Note it is slightly off Bree Street – so take a small detour into Pepper Street)
      • Love thy Neighbour – great little Beer Garden in the middle of the city.  Open for lunch and Dinner – serving  Greek inspired food – sourcing locally and organically where possible.   It has always been one of my favorite spots.  110 Bree Street.  Tip – this is still a beer garden – so have a drink here and then head to the Whisky Bar next door called Hanks.
  2. Loop Street is the next new hub in Cape Town – if offers cheaper rentals than Bree Street as this street was pretty undeveloped in the past.   It is such fun watching the city transform from a  business district to a space where we eat, live and play!   Openings on Loop Street include:
    • The Poke Co – a new healthy poke spot on Loop Street – the vision of Andrew Flanagan is to do good – be good to your body, source locally and from NGO’s.   Find your bowl of health at 90 Loop Street!  Open daily 11 to 21h30.
    • Wild Sprout Whole Food Cafe – all about healthy eating and happy to cater for everyone from vegans to gluten free diets.   Wonderful fresh and bright decor – a fabulous addition to upper Loop Street!   179 Loop Street.
    • Homage 1862 –  wonderful new addition to Loop Street!  It is all about freshness and flavour.   Gorgeous old building. I love the interior of this spot – great little hidden foodie gem on Loop Street.
    • House of H  –  112 Loop Street – loud, fun, funky combo of fresh eatery, with a barber,tattoo parlour and bar in one spot.    Chef Heinrich Koen (known as H) has been  cooking since age 13 and has worked with UK celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Aldo Zille.   He was also executive Chef of the Madam Zingara Group locally.   This spot is quirky – H presides over the small menu of great cuts of meats and the salad area – which feels like a market area at the back of the shop.   It is self service – get your card and then come through and chat to H about what you want to eat.   H is there to advise you and to show you the different cuts of meat that they can do on the grill for you.   The meat rocks, the burgers rock and so do the salad combos that you can chose.   Note that especially on weekends it gets really busy (and loud and fun) – so you do need to book.
    • Yours Truly – 63 Loop Street – I love Yours Truly!   This is a fun bar and cafe with a great simple menu – where there is such attention to getting the right bread, parma hams and ingredients that everything is delicious and really inexpensive.   During the day they function as a coffee bar & light eatery with a vibe and at night the Loop Street and Kloof street venues turn into bars.   They attract a young hip and quirky crowd.  Both venues are festive and fun with staff that have a great energy and vibe.   The Loop Street venue is in a gorgeous Victorian building.   The Kloof Street venue is in front of a back packers and in the evening they have a fun bar until 10pm that is located upstairs – it is called Up Yours.   If you want to find summer fun in Cape Town – head for a drink at Up Yours – it is great for people watching, cocktails in jars and pizza in the evening.
    • The Village Idiot – 32 Loop Street – fun upmarket gastro pub – open in the evenings during the week & for lunch and dinner on Saturdays.
  3. Long Street now has more of a grungy feel and is attracting the youngsters.   There are however some legendary eating spots on the strip – such as South China Dim Sum.   Newest openings include:
    • Obi Restaurant– Papa San (a legendary sushi chef and famous for having had Minato Restaurant and for being in the Douglas Green Wine advert) has teamed up with a wonderful young chef Ben Bettendorf to open Obi in lower Long Street.  This is a great combo as both can work in the kitchen – which frees Papa San to come out and chat to his Cape Town fans!  We loved our visit to the restaurant – we were warmly welcomed by Ben and as we were early, we ordered the early bird special  – three courses including a Miso soup,  a lovely large plate of sushi and delicious ice creams to end (a scoop of a fancy green tea ice cream that was sublime!!!) .   Simple decor, warm welcome, honest Asian style food…….fantastic!
    • Moro Gelato – This is one to look out for – they are a local gelato producer that makes gelato that rock the rhubarb!   They are Woodstock based – which was hard for us city slickers to access in the past – so it is wonderful to have them as an outlet in the heart of Long Street!
  4. Shortmarket Street is home to some funky spots that have been opening there.  These include:
    • The House of Machines that has been open for some time – quirky combo of a cafe, a motor bike workshop where you can have your custom made motor bike designed and made, funky biking merchandise, a bar and a live music venue.  They have launched a secret doorway in the venue that opens at 4pm.   …..find the lights with the sausages – and you will have found The Sneaky Sausage.  84 Shortmarket Street.
    • The Shortmarket Club – open for breakfast, lunch & dinner.  Chic and glam and well worth booking!  Joint venture between famous Chef Luke Dale Roberts, his wife Sandalene Roberts, Chef Wesley Randles (original Pot Luck Club Chef) and manager Simon Widdeson.  88 Shortmarket Street (note there is no sign – look for 88 – next door to The House of Machines! The sign is on the pavement)
    • Cafe Roux Sessions – This is the Noodhoek Cafe Roux that have opened a live revue bar featuring musicians and comedians.  You book online and head there for dinner and a live session.   The tickets are for the performance and all proceeds go to the musician/comedian.   Dinner/drinks are an additional cost on the evening.   It is a gorgeous intimate venue.  I love their decor.  Great addition to Shortmarket Street.
  5. St George’s Mall area – this is also a new hub of fun and fantastic offerings!  This is on the pedestrianized zone in the middle of the city – and a few spots close to it!
    • Free From EateryNEW –  the top of St George’s Mall near St George’s cathedral – this is the first restaurant of Chef Miles from Natal.   He is doing fun breakfast options and focusing on doing a harvest table for lunch that one can chose from – a variety of salads and a meat or fish of the day.   The focus is on freshness and food that is free from any additives.  His aim is to build up people from his community in his kitchen and the front of house.   As such be patient – everyone is being trained!   Opened October 2017.   We loved our visit to Free From.   Chef Miles is hands on and a wonderfully welcoming host!  Expect 100 degrees of passion!
    • ka pa tée – NEW – Woweeeeeeee!  This spot is gorgeous.   Gorgeous decor.  Gorgeous items on sale.   Gorgeous tea’s  – and this is coming from a non-tea drinker.   I was blown away.   We met and chatted with the owner Bruno.   Bruno and his staff are very serious about tea.   They have been gathering tea from far and wide and have an amazing section of black, white, green, matcha and blends.   There is a great ceremony to making the tea with an amazing infuser – so when you order head to the counter to watch it being made.   Bruno will soon have an online store – so once you have tasted and fallen in love with the tea you will be able to order and have your tea delivered.   They also have the most wonderful assortment of healthy cakes – seriously healthy – most are gluten and sugar free.   All the cakes were amazing as were the teas.   I loved the energy of the space and of Bruno and his staff.   I could happily spend hours settled into his spot.   The location is just off St George’s mall in Church Street.   Walk down Church Street towards Adderley and you will find it on your right.
    • Locali – Sadly closed down
    • Hokey Poke – if you fancy a bowl of freshness – head to this little side street just off St George’s mall to experience the Hawaiian Poke bowls.   It is literally a hole in the wall spot – note it is in the same street as Ka Pa Tee – which is an insanely good tea bar – so pop in for tea after your poke!
  6. Church Square Area Cape Town – this is a very new little hub of restaurants that are opening on the fringe of the city behind the oldest Church/Slave Lodge area:
    • Kleinsky’sNEW – there seems to be a move towards all the Seapoint guys opening a branch in town – first Jarryd’s opened just off Heritage Square and now a small Kleinsky’s has opened.   This spot celebrates the owners Jewish heritage with contemporary delicious items.   Small and fabulous little spot for breakfasts and lunches.   Expect bagels, salads and some great sweet items like NY Cheesecake.
    • Manga – NEW –  The second branch of Manga Cafe – from Mouille Point – has opened next door to Kleinsky’s on Church Square – great Japanese comic book decor and fresh Asian Eatery.  Quirky and cute spot.   We headed to try the sushi.   The first sushi dish we had was a complete taste sensation.   Sadly they put what tastes like a balsamic reduction on all their sushi – as such all the sushi dishes that followed all tasted the same.   We could not taste the difference between the tuna and the salmon.   Saying that – we enjoyed our visit – quirky little spot.   Loved the decor.
  7. Kloof Street (just above the city)- one of the coolest hoods – this is now one of my favourite “hoods”  – it seems to be getting cooler every second and is definitely worth lots of time eating and drinking!
    • Today, Tomorrow – NEW – opening end May 2018 – Daniel Holland from Yours Truly is opening a new spot two doors down from Yours Truly on Kloof Street – he is taking over the premises of Mitico – the Italian Spot
    • Yours Truly – wonderful bar and casual eatery.   Great coffee spot.   Young vibey and fun.
    • Janse & Co – New – see above – wonderful chef adding a great new fine dining option to the hood
    • Cause Effect – New – see above – wonderful cocktail bar – these guys are alchemists!
    • Thali – fairly new!  Top Chef Liam Tomlin’s famous 8 course shared tasting menu with Indian inspired flavours – enjoyed while surrounded by Moroccan style decor
    • Chalk & Cork – been around quite a while – fabulous to have a wine bar where you can taste interesting wines made by smaller producers.   Great small plate dishes to share to go with the wine,   as well as pizza!
    • Unframed – quite simply the best ice cream in Cape Town
    • Publik– Kloof Nek Street – NEW location – fabulous hole in the wall wine bar
    • The Sorrows Bar & Eatery – this is a great spot to head for drinks or to drown your sorrows after a long day!   It is brought to us by Daniel Holland who owns YoursTruly in collaboration with his friend James Louw.   The decor is gorgeous.   The food offering is fun and meant to have a tongue in cheek element of fun to it.  Open pretty much Tuesday to Saturday during the day and night.   On Monday it is closed in the evening.  16 Kloof Nek Road
  8. Just Above the City:
    • The Stack – great old world charm, combined with contemporary decor and simple dishes done amazingly well.   They have just appointed a new Chef – so back on the to try list!
    • Yard Cape Town – who are legendary for their quirky decor and burgers – have now started making Pizzas and cocktails.   Be careful as the guys in the Waterfront have chosen to launch a restaurant by the same name.   These guys are on the edge of the city – NOT the Waterfront!
  9. De Waterkant:
    • Shio Contemporary Japanese – Chef Cheyne Morrsiby – is an amazingly talented chef.  Once he is on your radar – don’t miss his other two restaurants in Hout Bay!  Expect funky contemporary decor and a rocking taste bud experience.   Lots of flavours and spices – worth sharing everything to maximize the experience.   Great new intimate spot.   Loved our visit!
    • Lucky Bao – De Waterkant – opened mid October 2017 – we love Chef Cheyne Morrisby’s food – he has Cheyne’s in Hout Bay – which is focused on fine dining flavour packed dishes with Eastern flavours and his tiny little Lucky Bao bar in Hout Bay – this is more of a street food concept with simple dishes packed with flavours.   As such we are really excited to have a Lucky Bao opening on the edge of the city so that we don’t have to drive so far to get his delicious morsels!  It is located on the corner of  Napier and Jarvis in de Waterkant.
  10. Greenpoint:
    • NEW – Jason Bakery has opened a second branch in Greenpoint near Giovanni’s.   This one has more seating then the mother ship and is more of a sit down restaurant – note they do also do take aways!
  11. Seapoint:
    • Mojo Market – wonderful little food and shopping market – open 7 days a week – vibey and fun – well worth popping in for lunch or dinner!
    • Syriana – this one had been on my radar for a while – definitely want to get there – hearing good things about it!  Syrian Cuisine!
    • Three Wise Monkeys – funky little ramen and sushi restaurant – very vibey – and takes no bookings.
    • Sundoo Indian Tapas Bar  – funky Indian tapas restaurant with a great vibe.   I loved everything on the starter menu – so head there for drinks with friends and order an assortment.   Loved their mini bunny chows.   77 Regent Rd
    • For those with a sweet tooth – there are two gems on the strip – Crumbs and Cream (home of the cookie sandwich!) & My Sugar (insanely passionate chefs behind this one – a must visit!)
    • I am loving Jarryd’s and Kleinsky’s.
  12. Constantia:
    • Foxcroft – La Colombe’s Chef has opened a slightly more casual – yet still fine dining restaurant in Constantia.  I think anything that the La Colombe team touch turns into a gourmet delight!   We loved our Sunday lunch here.   The only oddity is it is in a little mall at the entrance to Groot Constantia Wine Estate.   So when you sit outside you are literally sitting in the car park.   Don’t let that phase you – each dish is a taste sensation of note and I wanted to lick the plates!   Note this spot is now almost a year old – but it stays on the hot list for summer as it is fantastic!
    • Chefs Warehouse – Beau Constantia Estate – now a year old – but still a hot spot for summer 2018.   This is a great combo – one of the most beautiful estates in the Cape combined with one of the most talented chefs – Liam Tomlin – and jaw dropping views and then add delicious wine – perfection!!!  They ARE taking bookings  – a move away from his signature – No Bookings Taken!

New in the Cape Winelands

  1. Le Coin Francais – by talented Chef Darren Badenhorst – Newest spot to open in Franschhoek – From their website – The newest edition to the Franschhoek scene is a restaurant really and truly for Franschhoek. Both in concept and in name, the aptly named “Le coin Français” , which literally means Franschhoek, will embody the essence of the valley in heritage, cuisine, art and wine. It will feature cutting edge methods meeting time tested French elegance in cuisine, a carefully selected locally themed wine list to showcase the best local wines, a French sommeliers selection, and an ever evolving collaboration of art in the theme of photography.  I popped in to have a look – gorgeous decor – it simply feels grand as you walk in, with wonderful attention to detail and decor.  They are currently open for dinner – choice between a 6 or 8 course tasting menu which can be done with our without wine pairing.   This looks really good!
  2. Chef’s Warehouse at Maison – set to open on Maison Wine Estate in December 2017.   Famous Chef Liam Tomlin’s signature 8 tapas style dishes to share between two people
  3. Marigold in Franschhoek – Great to have Chef Vanie Padayachee back in the Franschhoek Valley to launch Marigold a North Indian Cuisine restaurant owned by Mr Singh of the Leeu Collection.   I cannot wait to try this one out – I have heard great reports!
  4. La Petite Colombe – has opened a fine dining restaurant at Le Quartier Franscais Hotel in Franschhoek.   This is the sister restaurant of La Colombe – as such expect fine dining tasting menus.   Expensive – but talented Chefs – so worth the investment if you are here and holidaying on US dollars or pounds!   For locals – perhaps wait for the winter specials!
  5. Spek & Bone – this is my favourite thing for this summer!   I am in LOVE with Spek & Bone. This is the new chilled offspring from the renowned local Chef Bertus Basson.   It is a simple concept – take a lovely hidden courtyard in the oldest part of Stellenbosch Town and create a chilled wine bar with delicious shared plate dishes.   This is the perfect spot for an afternoon with friends.   Note closed on a Sunday.   Otherwise open for lunch and dinner.   Tip – don’t miss the peppermint crisp ice cream cone at the end – for any South African it brings back happy childhood memories.   Note – if you are into wine – this is the spot for you to head for – the wine list is insanely good.   Lots of smaller unknown wines.  For foodies – this is a culinary journey and a feast – order everything on the menu to share and make sure you spend the whole afternoon so that you can taste everything!
  6. The Village Table BistroSeven Sisters Vineyards in Stellenbosch – this one looks like a gem and one I definitely want to try out.   The sisters come from Paternoster and had a difficult life.   Their Dad lost his job, they lost their home and were split up.   They have come together to buy and build their winery together.   The menu has some wonderful local dishes on it and the restaurant looks welcoming and cozy.   They proudly serve only their own and black owned wines!   They are located just off the Annandale Road – close to Spier!
  7. The Bistro at La Paris Estate – this is a new bistro that has opened on the La Paris Wine Estates in Franschhoek.   It is located near the Groot Drakenstein Prison (where Nelson Mandela was released from).
  8. Reubens – Chef Reuben has moved to a new spot – he has bought his own building and has opened a fresh new restaurant in Franschhoek – just off the main drag.   The new venue is fresh and gorgeous – this will definitely be worth a try when I am next in Franschhoek!
  9. Hoghouse Brewing Company at Spier Wine Estate – closing down – the chef is going to open a new spot – it sounds similar to what was here – will update soon!
  10. The Deck at Hidden Valley – Newest offering by top South African Chef Bertus Basson – this is a very simple offering – a burger or fish and chips.    No bookings taken.  Fantastic venue – a deck overlooking the dam at Hidden Valley Wine Estate, on top of a mountain, with a sweeping view of the valley below.   We loved our visit to try it out.   Portion sizes are large – so we shared a portion of fish and chips.   This is traditional style deep fried Hake fish in the most wonderful light batter.   It was delicious.   The wines by the glass were limited to Deck White and Deck red – which were designed to go with the burger and the chips.   There were more options by the bottle.   I found the wine offering restrictive for a wine estate as I would happily have paid more to have had the option of tasting some of the estates top wines!  Note there is no inside seating – as such this is a great fair weather option!
  11. Faber at Avondale – in the Paarl Winelands Region.   This stays on the list as it is still a hot new opening for the Cape Winelands – top chef Eric Bulpitt in partnership with Avondale Wine Estate…… I still have not been!
  12. Orangerie at Le Lude Champers estate – fabulous small restaurant next to the new tasting room at Le Lude Estate.   Small conservatory style with wonderful light and small outside area.   This is a family owned estate – one daughter did the gorgeous decor and the other daughter cooks.   One can either do a tapas style platter with the champers tasting or stay for lunch at the Orangerie. Small delicious sounding menu!    Tip – this estate is walking distance from the centre of Franschhoek (15 minutes).  To book call +27 87 754 9925
  13. Foliage – Not so new anymore – but wonderful and not to be missed!  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!  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!