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

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.

Hottest New Restaurants in Cape Town for Summer 2016/2017

There are an overwhelming amount of restaurants in Cape Town – so to cut through the clutter,  I am going to do a short list of the newest and hottest at the moment i.e. the list of the ones the locals are desperately trying to go out and try at the moment!

  1. The Shortmarket Club – hottest new restaurant from Chef Luke Dale Roberts in partnership with his wonderful chef team from Pot Luck Club!
  2. Ash Charcoal Grill – a collaboration between Franky Fenner Meats, Publik and a chef called Ash!  Fabulous! #greatmeat
  3. Primal Eatery – new meaty spot – as the name suggests!  They have taken the old Charcoal Dining spot just above the top of Bree Street in New Church Rd and revamped it.   There is a renowned restauranteur behind it – so this one looks promising!  Decor looks glam!
  4. Mulberry and Prince – gorgeous intimate quirky and artisanal spot – small plate dining.
  5. Thali by top Chef Liam Tomlin has just opened on 1 December – it is an Indian Tapas Restaurant.   As per his signature Chefs Warehouse – he will not be taking bookings – so you will have to stalk it for a table!   Find them at 3 Park Rd, Gardens (close to the fat cactus!).  Concept Indian tapas for 2 with 8 dishes to share for R650 (note no choices) I loved this experience.   Highly recommended!   Note they also have a vegetarian menu option.
  6. The new Chefs Warehouse in the Constantia Winelands on Beau Constantia Estate has just opened.   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!
  7. The Stack – great old world charm, combined with contemporary decor and simple dishes done amazingly well
  8. Shio Contemporary Japanese has just opened in De Waterkant- 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!
  9. La Tête – New nose to tail restaurant by Chef Giles Edwards has just opened in the space where Orinoco was in Lower Bree Street.  They advise booking by phone – +27 21 4181299.  Closed on Sundays and Mondays NB Snout to tail dining including Pigs Tails and Sweetbreads (menu changes daily!) – do not take vegetarian friends with you! 
  10. Foxcroft – La Colombe’s Chef has opened a slightly more casual – yet still fine dining restaurant in Constantia.  Just awarded Best New Restaurant in South Africa by Eat Out
  11. Faber at Avondale – in the Paarl Winelands Region.   Hottest new opening for the Cape Winelands – top chef Eric Bulpitt in partnership with Avondale
  12. 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!

New Cape Town Restaurants:

  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!   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:
    • Sexy Food –  #upperbree – James Kuiper’s cancer diagnosis set him on the journey to learn about healthy food – from fermentations to bean sprouts – his philosophy revolves around live-cultures.   He is inspirational to chat to and learn from.   It is well worth popping in for a drink and a chat.
    • #upperbree: Not so new – but not to be missed – artisan bacon at Bacon on Bree, artisan Cheese at Culture Club Cheese, Little Saint – farm to table restaurant  and at night Door 221 & Mothers Ruin Gin Bar for drinks.
    • The Hungry Herbivore – just off Bree – a great new vegan venue.   Sexy decor and great food.   They are open for lunch and breakfast and have just started with dinners from Thursday to Saturday nights.   Well worth going.   Great to see an explosion of vegan places in Cape Town!!!  This is chef owned – Amy is passionate and a really warm and welcoming host.   Closed on Mondays. 11 Orphan Street
    • 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)
    • #middlebree – not so new but really awesome – Charango – great funky decor featuring a mural of one of South Africa’s top street artists – Faith47.   Fabulous chef – Peruvian cuisine – hip and delicious – I would highly recommend it.   Don’t miss the pisco sours.   Other legends in this part of Bree are: Clarke’s for burgers & hipsters,    La Parada – Spanish vibey tapas bar – a new menu has just been released that looks awesome
    • Mink & Trout – this is a revamp of the old Birds Cafe – so same owner/chefs.   Looking gorgeous and wonderful food as Kevin is a really good chef!
    • Ash Charcoal Dining– Just a small detour off Bree Street is Ash Charcoal Dining.   This is a fabulous new opening that combines the Franky Fenner Meat Market guys and the Publik Wine guru Guys who were sharing a retail space – with a fabulous chef called Ash who is now serving their meat and their wine with wonderfully cooked meat.   Great contemporary decor – wonderfully prepared meat – it is a great space and a great combo – I would highly recommend a visit.   81 Church Street – small detour off Bree – across the road from Love Thy Neighbour.
    • Gate 69 – a fab  new revue bar theatre – glam and burlesque – tickets include dinner.   This looks well worth trying out!!!  Current cost R550 per person for the show and dinner.
    • Love thy Neighbour – another name change!  This one was &Union and then Biergarten and now it is Love Thy Neighbour!  Now open for lunch and Dinner – serving funky looking Greek inspired food – sourcing locally and organically where possible.   Definitely always been one of my favorite spots – so I need to get there to see the changes.  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.
    • Burger & Lobster – interesting as it does not seem to be linked to the overseas group.   Sexy sassy interiors.   I have not been to try them yet.   They advised that they will be importing lobster from overseas as the South Africans had not had the opportunity to try Lobster – only the local crayfish.   Seems a little odd to me when we have great fresh crayfish.   Seem really friendly and this is a vibey spot.
    • Upstairs by Spasie – #middlebree – this is a cool spot for a drink while on Bree Street – it is an art gallery and cocktail bar – and it is upstairs above IYO.
    • Charango – not so new now – but a definite hot spot not to miss – great decor and great Peruvian inspired cuisine!  Note – loud & vibey.  Ps don’t miss the Pisco Sours drinks!
    • Dapper Coffee Club and Club 9 – #lowerbree – fun little coffee shop and eatery inside a car showroom that sells antique cars.
    • La Tête – New nose to tail restaurant by Chef Giles Edwards has just opened in the space where Orinoco was in Lower Bree Street. They advise booking by phone – +27 21 4181299. Closed on Sundays and Mondays
    • Villa 47 – #lowerbree – brave venture opening three restaurants in one spot!!  The newest fine dining restaurant has just opened on the top floor.   The ground floor is intended to be a bistro, the middle floor a wine bar and tapas spot and fine dining on the top floor.  The top floor fine dining is the new addition
  2. Loop Street is the next new hub in Cape Town – definitely 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:
    • Malay Coffee Company   – 214 Loop Street – head here to taste local Cape Malay dishes – such as salomies (curry wrapped in a rooti), koesisters (a local spicy doughnut) and samosas)…………..we have stalked this one three times and have not found it open.   Has it closed down already?  Or is it open only with quirky hours??
    • 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.
    • Bar Dough by Jason – 33 Loop Street #LowerLoop – new outlet by cult baker Jason (from Bree Street fame) on lower Bree Street in the business part of town. This is fabulous on a Saturday as they do hot dog Saturday.   The hot dog rolls rocked my world – they are delicious – as is the rest of the hot dog and the craft beers and champers with it.   A real festive fun vibe being in the lower end of town.   Tip – after the hot dog and drinks – cross the road and head for more drinks at the Village Idiot bar!
    • The Village Idiot – 32 Loop Street – fun upmarket gastro pub – open in the evenings during the week & for lunch and dinner on weekends.   They offer a wonderful gastronomic braai (BBQ) experience on a Sunday at lunchtime – with visiting chefs hosting the gourmet braai.   Note that the visiting chef needs to be paid in cash for the lunch – so take money with you!  You can also order from the regular menu – but it is great fun to experience a local braai.   #gourmetbraai.
    • Velvet Cake Co – 16 Loop Street – a cake and cupcake emporium ……..with some quiches and muffins too!  A perfect stop if o if you have a a sweet tooth!
  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 Moro Gelato – has opened – This is one to look out for – they are a local ice cream producer that makes ice creams that rock the rhubarb!   They are Woodstock based.
  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 just 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 – opened 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.
    • Cafe Honeybun – awesome new addition to Greenmarket Square – finally somewhere decent to eat on Greenmarket Square!!  This is the second branch of Cafe Honeybun (the original is in Obs).   Pop in for fresh juices, taste her homemade milk tarts & koeksisters (local favourite dishes!).   I still want to try her burger – it looks insanely good!
  5. De Waterkant:
    • Shio Contemporary Japanese – new spot to open in De Waterkant (close to Seapoint!).  Talented Chef Cheyne Morrisby will offer guests the chance to feast on Asian inspired dishes.
  6. Seapoint also has loads of new spots that have opened:
    •  Three Wise Monkeys – funky little ramen and sushi restaurant – very vibey – and takes no bookings.
    • Baked Bistro– have moved from Bakoven to Seapoint.  98 Regent Rd.  Strong community following.  A local favorite.
    • 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.   Note that Jarryd’s is now open for dinner
  7. Nooka Vegetarian Restaurant and Cafe – Another vegetarian restaurant for Cape Town – looks lovely!  20 Roeland Street.   Open Mon to Sat for breakfast and lunch.

New in the Cape Winelands

  1. Hoghouse Brewing Company at Spier Wine Estate
  2. 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
  3. 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!
  4. 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 | reservations@bistro13.co.za
  5. 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
  6. Ryan’s Kitchen – this is a small fine dining establishment with a focus on incorporating local flavours into many of the dishes. It had to relocate from Rusthof Guesthouse after is was sold and has recently opened up again closer to the entrance to Franschhoek village. Chef Ryan is a really talented chef and his dishes are beautifully plated with wonderful flavours. I would highly recommend trying out the new Ryan’s Kitchen. Open Monday to Sjaturday for lunch & dinner. Tel no 021-8764598 Address: 1, Place Vendome (it is a small shopping centre on your left hand side as you enter Franschhoek), Huguenot Road, Franschhoek. Cost: $$$-$$$$
  7. The Restaurant at Newton Johnson (Hermanus Wine Region) has replaced 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 opened on 1 October 2013 and has just been voted one of South Africa’s Top 10 restaurants in the recent Eat out Awards (Nov 2014).     To book- tel: 028-3123862 / cell: 072-9053947 / email: therestaurant@newtonjohnson.com
  8. 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)
  9. 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. reservations@leopardsleap.co.za  Open Wed – Sunday for lunch.
  10. Camphor’s at Vergelegen Wine Estate – fine dining restaurant at Vergelegen – . Chef  PJ Vadis is moving on – we await an update on the replacement chef!

 

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