Feb 2021 STATUS: OPEN
ëlgr literally blew my socks off last night.
Trust me and book immediately. This was my best dining experience in the last year. I would go as far as to say that they are now my top restaurant in the Cape.
Firstly the decor – super stylish. I am pleased I dusted off the heels and dressed up a little for this one!
Secondly – the most beautiful large back courtyard – tranquil and also super stylish – with the chefs making pizzas in the outside oven – and the bar.
Thirdly – super attentive warm service from our waiter and the manager. ëlgr works on a flat management system where everyone earns a salary and has equal status. All tips are pooled and go straight to the staff. They work as a team and it shows in everything they do.
Fourthly the food and the menu.
The menu is meant for small plate dining and sharing. It is brilliant as it is well priced and accessible. You can come for a glass of wine, a salad and a charcuterie plate to share or you can chose to share a whole array of dishes to get the flavours, or you could have a pizza and a beer or you can do the Chefs tasting menu where he simply sends dishes out for R395 per person. This spot works for all budgets.
An incredible flavour journey.
The dishes were a true celebration of summer. How wonderful to have cold dishes on a summers night.
We started with the watermelon. It was the perfect start. The watermelon was cut in cubes with chilli and lime salt added. It awoke all my senses. Cleared the palate and blew me away with its simplicity and deliciousness. This course we combined with the lardo and anchovy toast. Rich and delicious it was the perfect combo with the watermelon as it cut through the richness.
Next course we did the fennel salad and the beetroot salad. The fennel salad was delicate and fresh, while the beetroot salad punched with flavours. The beetroot salad was one of the most delicious salads I have ever eaten. It combined curry and cashew nuts with coriander. I scraped the dish for every last morsel of this dish.
We then had the white pizza. We had been watching the chefs all night making them in the courtyard and cooking them in the wood burning oven. We saw the incredible looking pizzas pass our tables.
The pizza has chipotle, corn, jalapeño and coppa. It was perfection. Light, slightly chewy and once again zinging with flavour. These chefs like chilli – but it is perfectly balanced to enhance the other flavours with each dish.
We ended off with the Paris Breast and the chocolate sorbet. Perfect pastry and not too sweet. The vegan chocolate sorbet blew my socks off. It was incredible and was served with a little salt on top.
We were lucky enough to have a chat with Chef Jesper at the end of the meal. Jesper came to South Africa with his family when he finished school in Sweden. They moved to Franschhoek. He studied to be a chef in the Winelands and worked as a chef in the Cape for quite a few years before heading back to Sweden for two years with his partner. They moved to Malmö. Malmö has a 50 percent immigrant population and a large Turkish community. Jesper is inspired by the flavours of the food that he ate in Malmö as well as the food he has experienced on his travels. He does not follow rules and simply plays with the flavours that have inspired him on his journey.
Man oh man do I love this man’s flavours.
As you can tell by the review – I got so excited by our dinner that we arrived at 06h30 and exited at 10pm.
Find them on Kloof street next door to Yours Truly. They took the place of Janse & Co. Book in advance to make sure you get space in the courtyard.
This is fabulous Chef Damian (Damo) Dafel’s first restaurant.
Feb 2021 STATUS: OPEN
Damien realized early on in the lock down that his concept was going to be too expensive to carry through in the “new post Corona period” He has been testing what would work with Sando’s and Noodles – Noodles have won! He has just launched a new concept in his Dahlia spot – a hand pulled Noodle bar. Update end September 2020
STATUS OPEN FEB 2021. Opened December 2020
Heritage Square has been taken over by Chef Liam Tomlin and is now a wonderful playground to explore the best of local – from the produce that inspires each dish in the kitchens, through to the best of local artisan wine/gin/rum & artisan food products. The concept is hard to explain – so bear with me! Local has an artisan food shop, a charcuterie and cheese counter, a wine counter, a local gin and rum counter, an Italian kitchen called La Cantina and upstairs there is a wonderful middle Eastern inspired kitchen called Mazza. The idea is that you simply pop in for something small or big. A glass of wine and a few slices of Richard Bosman Prosciutto or a dill cured local Franschhoek trout dish from La Cuccina with a beautiful glass of chardonnay.
To add to the assortment of what is on offer here, you now have an Italian pastry and coffee shop in the entrance to the square called Cafe Milano. It is owned by Giorgio Nava. Just past him is an ice cream stand. Not just any ice cream – UNFRAMED ICE CREAM – which was voted as one of the best ice cream producers in the world! Next find the stairs next to the ice cream and head up the stairs and find a lovely little bar called The Drinkery. Here you will be warmly met and you can sit and relax and have a wonderful cocktail or glass of wine on their terrace. They are fine with you bringing a few snacks from downstairs as long you order your drinks from them!
Inside the courtyard – next to the oldest wine vine in the Southern hemisphere you find a wonderful chocolatier. The shop is called Alexander Avery. His chocolates are seriously beautiful. They are also seriously delicious. Do not miss out on popping in and buying a few.
You then walk through the Cape Heritage Hotel. I have always loved this hotel. As a foodie if I came to Cape Town this would be my perfect location – you have a world of food & wine options right on your doorstep! Just past the hotel you find the Chefs Warehouse & Canteen. This was Liam’s first restaurant that he opened in South Africa. He is in the process of changing his restaurant into a Wine & tapas bar. Knowing Liam – the tapas are going to be the most tasty morsels of deliciousness to be found in Cape Town. This makes this hood a really awesome one stop spot to have fun on an evening.
STATUS FEB 2021: Opened Mid Feb 2021
Chefs Warehouse Bree Street has reinvented itself and has launched as a pinchos and wine bar. With the loss of our international visitors it makes sense to have a concept that everyone can afford. The head of the new kitchen is Chef Gordon Logan. He is excited to be able to enjoy the creative license to create delicious dishes that reflect real food with real flavours. There will be no foams and spooms and twisps and dry ice here. Simply pop in for a snack and a glass of wine – or stay for the evening and work your way through the menu!
RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO EXPERIENCE A REAL TASTE OF CAPE TOWN FLAVOURS!
Opened their doors: Mid-December 2020. Current Status FEB 2021: OPEN. Opening hours keep changing so the best idea is to google MAKERS LANDING and check the hours that come up. Update on 11 Feb – Open during the day Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Makers Landing is the perfect market to head to if you want to try truly local South African flavours. This market celebrates our fresh produce, tip to tail dining and all of the best of our local flavours.
Here you can try many of our local specialities that are hard to track down in one place: African Food in its traditional and contemporary form (pap/samp & beans, chakalaka, great meat stews etc), Koesisters, Koeksisters, frikkadels, local curries, rooibos drinks….. and more! They have a local brewery on the premises, a gin distiller, a vegan stand, an artisan bread bakery, local cheeses, local charcuterie, local vegetables from an incredible community initiative, locally made chocolates……………..and more! Their wine offerings support some of our wonderful small winemakers. Soon a fishmonger will open where you guy buy your fish and have it filleted by one of the local ladies from the Kalk Bay Harbour! There will be local mussels from the West Coast and the opportunity to try the local fish cooked or to simply take it home.
All of the vendors are small businesses and this market offers them a platform for sales and to expand their businesses. Many operated from home before. Some had restaurants that closed during the pandemic and this offers them a platform to relaunch their businesses.
Upstairs they have an incredible exhibition on what makes up our local dishes. For anyone interested in food – this is a must do visit. I loved the exhibition. It was amazing how many things I did not recognize. We have such biodiversity in our magical country and many tribes have different dishes that they enjoy.
MAKERS LANDING POP UP RESTAURANT
POSSIBLY LAUNCHING – END FEB
This has not been launched yet. It is likely to be launched towards the end of February 2021. The idea is that you will come and enjoy dinner upstairs at Makers Landing and that each dinner will showcase three of the food businesses that operate in the market. I was lucky enough to go along to their launch of this concept. I would highly recommend you book as soon they open. It will be a large shared table experience. Each chef will come and introduce their dish and their business. The dinners will be a celebration of our local foodie artisans and the best of local cuisine. Tickets will be available to book online once they launch. For our dinner they left a large space between each group of people who were there for dinner.
Feb 2021 STATUS: OPEN
This is a great addition to the Bo-Kaap! I love that they have scattered tables outside everywhere! Even across the road on the pavement! This spot is in the heart of the Bo-Kaap as such is offering contemporary cuisine with a Cape Malay flair. Pop in here for a coffee and a koesister (local doughnut) or to try a local favourite – peri peri chicken livers. Their menu has a wonderful variety of dishes on offer. We absolutely LOVED their mango slushi. Magical on a hot day! They are proudly Halal. No alcohol is served.
Opened end 2020. STATUS OPEN FEB 2021.
This is truly a family business! Expect warm country hospitality as the family have moved her from the Winelands to open this business. Mom will be running the business hands on with her son Ryan. Their concept is simple – great wine and tapas and offering fresh seasonal Mediterranean style dishes.
Chef Ryan plans to host relaxing long family lunches on weekends. You simply arrive relax and settle in for the day!
They are located on the top of Kloof Street (just before Mana Epicure)
They have taken two of the houses – one house hosts the deli and one house hosts the restaurant.
These are wonderful warm country folk you have opened in the city. Please support them and welcome them to our hood.
Feb 2021 STATUS: OPEN
Culture Wine Bar is an awesome addition to Bree Street. It is the new baby of Chef Matt Manning of Grub & Vine. Matt Manning is a hugely talented chef and is an inspirational entrepreneur. Along with Grubb & Vine and the Chefs Studio has has always had a talented sommelier by his side since he launched. As a result the wine list has always been exceptional at his restaurant. His relationship with the wine estates led to them running regular wine events at the restaurant and the cooking school. As such it was a natural evolution to take over the wine bar next door when it closed down. Decor is super stylish in the Culture Wine Bar. I love it as it still has a down to earth feel. The food is “posh” British pub food in style in the wine bar. Snacks include scotch eggs and pork pies………….definitely a tribute to the Chefs roots! They also have arancini balls, charcuterie and cheese platters ……and naturally an amazing wine list. This is a great spot to meet up with a mate for a glass of wine or bubbles and a catch up! They may be indoors – but note that they have a lovely huge window that allows a great through draft of air!
STATUS OPEN FEB 2021.
Peter Tempelhoff’s new restaurant at Buitenverwachting Wine Estate offers an a la carte menu aimed at locals. Peter is one of the city’s most well known chefs and is the owner of the well regarded Fyn restaurant. The interior boasts wonderful views of the vines. They also have a lovely outdoor terrace.
STATUS OPEN FEB 2021.
Fabulous Local Chef Denise Levy with her partner Kim have teamed up to offer three different kitchens that can be used for cooking classes. So why head out for dinner when you can learn to cook your own………….Master chef style! Click on this link to see what classes are coming up in the kitchens. And you can also book a kitchen for a class with a group of friends. Great kitchens & a great passionate team! Highly recommended
FEB 2021 STATUS: OPEN.
The Stir Crazy Cooking School has been around since 2000 offering cooking classes in Hout Bay. Moreover this led them to establish a training school for those who wished to learn to cook on Super Yachts. Because this side of their businesses grew in demand they therefore decided to get bigger premises in the V&A Waterfront. As such they took the huge leap of faith by establishing a professional cooking kitchen in the V&A Waterfront. Hence they will be able to use this venue for their cooking classes and for training students for the super yachts.
This is a great opportunity to learn to cook your own dinner. In addition, they also offer some South African inspired cooking classes. Check out their upcoming cooking classes here. Moreover this venue can also be hired for any group event or friends wishing to do a master chef challenge! So they are open to brief! The new venue is fabulous and is wonderfully accessible – it is on the same road as the Cape Grace Hotel in the V&A Waterfront.
They have opened a coffee bar at the school – so pop past for a coffee and a pastry if you are in the Waterfront area and check them out!
The Melting Pot – CLOSED DOWN
So sad for this young team. They have closed down due to the forced lock down period during the COVID-19 pandemic. I know that they will be back. They are currently doing pop-ups and are looking to put their roots down – I will keep you posted once they start up again!
Sepial’s Kitchen – MOVING PREMISES to the V&A Waterfront Food Market – new spot called UGLY DUMPLING!!
Dec 2020 STATUS: OPEN –
Talented Korean Chef Sepial describes her cooking as North East Asian Flavours with a sprinkle of something! Her restaurant has closed down and is moving to the V&A permanent food market for now.
Find her in the meantime at the Oranjezicht Farm Market every weekend!
NEED MORE INSPIRATION:
For more inspiration – check out my top rated restaurants in Cape Town here.
To learn more about the cuisine of Cape Town – join us on a foodie walking tour of the city.