|A fresh beginning and it’s time to reassessThe past 2 years has seen lots of changes in the Cape Town – and though we have said goodbye to some dinning venues (The Test Kitchen, Shimmy Beach Club, Balthazar, Africa Café, Mama Africa) we are delighted that there are lots of great new and exciting developments in Cape Town.La Colombe has opened two new restaurants in the V&A Waterfront – The Waterside Restaurant and Pier Restaurant. Sea Point Beach Road has seen the opening of the Grand Pavilion. And while Shimmy Beach Club has closed Cabo Beach Club has redeveloped and take over its space..
Given all the changes this landscape,we thought it might be helpful to take a closer more personal look at the local Cape Town Restaurant scene.
This is what Inside Guide has to say about one of South Africa’s most lauded restaurants, Wolfgat.
‘This pocket-sized restaurant in the West Coast town of Paternoster was named the Best Restaurant in the World at The World Restaurant Awards in Paris in February 2019. Situated in a charming revamped fisherman’s cottage on the Paternoster coastline, this intimate, 20-seater restaurant offers a one-of-a-kind experience, where diners get to witness firsthand the passion and devotion of chef and feted forager Kobus van der Merwe.’
On the topic of award-winning restaurants, we want to share with you what Eat Out has to say about Northern Cape restaurant, Klein Jan.
Ever since Chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen was awarded his first Michelin star in 2016 for his restaurant in France, South Africans have been wondering if he would ever open a restaurant in his home country. And finally, in 2021, he did.
“I always knew I wanted to come home and I’ve always wanted to open a restaurant in South Africa,” he says. “But I didn’t want to do it in a big city where people would expect it to be. The first option would have been to have it on the farm that I grew up on, but Tswalu is the closest to that.”
Restaurant Klein JAN is located in one of the most remote areas of the Northern Cape, deep in the stark beauty of the semi-arid southern Kalahari at Tswalu, the largest private game reserve in South Africa, which covers 114,000 hectares.
|Insights from Alex
We were delighted to show-off the Holden Manz property to a group of international buyers recently. We love to work with this restaurant because the location is just beautiful and their kitchen manages to offer a consistent standard, even when arriving with groups.
My focus in the business is MICE and so I’d be remiss if I didn’t make a mention of Gold. It just works. Our guests delight the theatre of it all and we love that the menu’s are straight forward. You always know what you’re going to get. A new innovation at Gold is their Spice Experience, which explores the history of spices throughout the world in an intimate atmosphere.
Another favourite from the MICE perspective is The Grand Beach restaurant, here the waters edge location never fails to enthrall.
I was delighted to hear of that Beyond has taken on the restaurant at Buitenverwachting Wine Estate in Constantia. This is a sister restaurant to Fyn, which has made Top 100 Restaurants in the World ranking. Another ‘new to me’ addition is Le Lude in Franschhoek which is causing quite a lot of excitement among Capetonians.
Where do I like to hang out? The Food Barn in the relaxed village atmosphere of the Noordhoek Farm Village.
Insights from Frances
I love that there is now such a focus on farm to table eating and for me there is nothing nicer than a seasonal table under the oaks at Table at de Meye. When I’m ‘being a tourist’ in Cape Town I love to pop in to Truth Coffee in Buitenkant Street near the District Six Museum, once rated by the Weekly Telegraph as producing the best coffee in the world. As a family we like to spend time ‘on the Peninsula’ at the weekends and Kalk Bay is a favourite destination for us. My family enjoys to eat at Harbour House so that we can soak up the expansive view across False Bay.
Nothing beats a sea view and so when I’m planning a programme for my groups I like to include a dinner at Bilboa in Camps Bay, then I’ll be sure to get them in early enough to catch the sunset.
A new development which I’m really excited about is the full menu at Constantia Glen. It’s breath-taking views means that our guests often want to take time to relax and so it’s great that they’ve expanded on the charcuterie boards of before.
Insights from Nick
Every new investment is cause for us to celebrate as it shows us that the hospitality sector is robust and that Cape Town is open again for business.
We simply love the expansive deck that has been built on at Haute Cabriere, their kitchen is outstanding and it’s great that they’ve been able to add such a beautiful outside aspect to the experience they offer.
Another substantial investment is the events space at Hazendal Wine Estate, it offers so many dimensions:- from craft beer tasting; to a floating stage for outdoor events; to wine tasting and then of course their restaurant.
A trend that we noticed before Covid was a move towards more Social Responsibility. We’re now seeing much more interest in this respect and individuals and companies are making far more discerning choices. With this in mind it’s always a pleasure to take our guests to The Werf at Boschendal. The whole ethos of the property speaks to being kind to the planet and also the people on it.
We like to encourage our guests to steer clear of the busy tourist spots and to look for places that are frequented by locals. Society Bistro is a good example of this. It’s been around for many years and a summers evening in their city courtyard is difficult to beat.
Over the past few years the city has become a more and more popular going out destination. A new restaurant for me is ‘Between Us’ in trendy Bree Street. It’s run by identical twins, hence the name, but between us, the food is excellent.
This philosophy of going local we also apply when recommending a lunch spot on a Peninsula Day Tour. Why not pop in to Camel Rock Restaurant in Scarbourogh and enjoy some fish and chips and a refreshing craft beer?[ ]
This is by no means an exhaustive list of restaurants. In truth there are dozens more to choose from. Part of what we pride ourselves in doing is matching the right restaurant with the right client. Please reach out to us with your specific restaurant and event requirements so that we can help you find your perfect match.
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