Tag Archives: restaurants

Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama
Cape Town has some history with Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama. I took this photo at the Vasco da Gama Tavern in De Waterkant. The Vasco da Gama is one of the older pubs in Cape Town. It's so old that my dad (who used to work at Table Bay Harbour and who's now in his 70s) regales stories of how he used to visit the pub over lunch times for their legendary eisbein.

The irony of drinks at Java Cafe

The irony of drinks at Java Cafe
These drinks, our lunch, and the service at Stellenbosch's Java Cafe was pretty good; but I found it sadly ironic (given their name) that their coffee was extraordinarily pitiful. If you appreciate fine coffee, rather skip their brew and order a beer or anything else instead.

Café Manhattan at the Cape Quarter

Café Manhattan at the Cape Quarter
Café Manhattan in De Waterkant looks less than New York, and more like some place in Texas, don't you think? That notwithstanding, this bar/restaurant is one of the gems in the Green Point. It's not just the food that's good, the vibe, staff and patrons have made this one of our go-to places if we're looking for lunch in Green Point.

The bar area gets a little rowdy in the evenings, so I wouldn't say it's family friendly. If you're looking for a slightly quieter place to hang out with a friend or four, take a seat in their lounge area - it's tucked away, near the kitchen, up a small flight of stairs.

Fresh at Paul Cluver

Fresh at Paul Cluver

If you'd like a treat, prepared with love and care, visit Fresh restaurant on the Paul Cluver estate. We took friends visiting from the UK on an outing over Sir Lowry's pass to the little district of Elgin. Fresh, our decided lunch-stop, certainly didn't disappoint. The food, the staff, the atmosphere and our table on the lawn beneath the trees was perfect. Just perfect.

Jason Bakery’s “go somewhere else” opening hours

Jason Bakery's opening hours - go somewhere else
No really, they aren't open on Sundays or public holidays. Which is a real shame for those of us who don't work in the city. Totally understandable though Jason... you and your staff also need a break.

Jason Bakery – they love real breal

Jason Bakery - they love real breal
I've been meaning to visit Jason Bakery for a while now. Eventually the day came, so here's a quick no-frills review:

There isn't a lot of seating, but the bar chairs and tables attached to the outside pillars are actually reasonably comfortable. It was actually genius of them to small half-round tables to the pillars! The croissants are tasty, but the croissant-and-egg breakfast isn't much to write home about (and I was left feeling hungry). Their coffee isn't as good as Origin's, but it's not bad at all (I have a penchant for Origin's flat whites). The staff are friendly and efficient. I'd visit Jason Bakery again, and advise you to do so also! :)

OMG, deep fried oreos!

OMG, deep fried oreos!
Who thinks up this stuff?! Oh, the Americans. Right. I should have guessed. :) Hudsons sells these for R25 (for all four oreos), which is pretty much a bargain for any dessert. They were pretty damn good and the only recommendation I have is to order it with a small bowl of vanilla ice cream.

A chill pool and stage at SBC

A chill pool and stage
Shimmy Beach Club (in the harbour precinct) has this chill pool surrounded with beach-like sand, where guests can take a shaded break from the hot day. Behind the pool is a stage (check out their calendar to see what's happening), and in front of the stage is bar area, with the formal restaurant to the left.

I only visited once, at 11am when they open, so it wasn't very busy, and as can be expected, there really wasn't much happening. But, I can imagine that it gets quite packed with 20/30 somethings as the day and evening wears on.

I haven't read any positive reviews of their dinner menu (in fact, I read one or two negative ones), and I have to confess that the coffee that I ordered was slightly less palatable then airline coffee. However, I suspect they're more geared towards what comes out of a bottle than what comes from the bean. :)

Shimmy Beach Club is an interesting concept - quite different to any other venue we have in Cape Town, and for that reason you should probably pay them a visit. I'll certainly visit in the evening sometime - I'm keen to see if they manage to pull it off with style, or if it ends up being pretentious with no real class.

If you believe there’s nothing up my sleeve…

If you believe there's nothing up my sleeve...
The chairs at Hard Pressed Cafe in Cape Town are decorated with vinyl album covers and lyrics. Pretty awesome idea hey?

FWIW, their coffee was pretty good and reasonably well priced - and we enjoyed the salmon and poached egg breakfast tremendously. They have many '90s vinyls for sale, although many of the used ones are somewhat scratched and the new ones seem overpriced at just under R500.

Reserved @ Hudsons

Reserved @ Hudsons
It's known as "The Burger Joint", but here's the secret - they actually sell pretty darn fantastic pizza. And waffles. And beer. And did I mention waffles?! When visiting Cape Town, pop in at Hudsons on Somerset Road in Green Point. The staff are great, the food is great, the atmosphere is great.

Be sure to make a reservation if you intend going between 18h00 and 21h00 most nights - it's super popular and you're unlikely to get a table otherwise.

Fantastic beer at Saints Burger Joint, Eden on the Bay

Fantastic beer at Saints Burger Joint, Eden on the Bay
I cannot lie - they do have great beer. The burgers were ok - not spectacular, just fine. Go here for the beer and the rock 'n roll though. Of the four I tasted, I think I liked Germany's Erdinger Weissbier best. :)

Smoothies ‘n juices

Smoothies 'n juices
I took this photo outside a little juice and health bar at the top end of Long Street called Orchard on Long. I never ventured inside, but all the fresh fruit on display sure did look colourful, and beautiful beautifully so. We'll make a point to stop in next time - but probably not for the wheatgrass shots like the guy below... that's just way too hipster. ;)

Delectable gelato

Delectable gelato
Instead of ending an evening meal with dessert or coffee at the same restaurant, we normally prefer spreading the love a little and ending the evening somewhere else. We visited Big Route (at 105 Main Street, Green Point) for their super-tasty pizza; and followed that up at Gelato Mania, a small take-away gelato parlour that's just a hop-skip-and-jump away from Big Route.

Gelato Mania's huge selection of gelato and real Italian ice-cream was pretty awesome - so much so that we were forced to return the next evening to try a different flavour. Next time you're out for dinner in the Sea Point/Green Point/Cape Town city area, visit Gelato Mania for dessert... or dinner, assuming you like waffles for dinner. ;)

The coffee of champions

The coffee of champions
I don't often have the opportunity to visit Origin Roasting in Cape Town, but every time I do it makes me realise how easy it would be to become addicted to their flat whites if I lived in the city. They really are that good. Besides for the taste, what I really appreciate is that they don't make their drinks in tiny 3-sip coffee cups - they use respectable-sized cups that don't make you immediately regret not ordering two at first order.

Milkshake no more

Milkshake no more
I probably should have taken a photo before I drank the lemon cheesecake milkshake. But, as it arrived my mind emptied and became consumed with the thought of using that red Nimitz-class straw to funnel the creamy goodness into my tummy. No seriously, that's the largest straw I've ever had the pleasure of using. In fact, I understand that oil rig we've become used to seeing in Table Bay harbour was recently fitted with one of these to dredge oil from beneath the seabed.

Visit Royale Eatery. Have a burger. Drink a shake. You're sure to enjoy it. :)

Jugs ‘o water

Jugs 'o water
Kerry-Anne commented on the fact that in the USA we're always presented with glasses of water upon arrival at a restaurant - which is probably always a good thing as it's believed that people are in a permanent state of dehydration.

It's interesting how this norm in America is most often not even a consideration in South Africa, and how at times one has to ask for water more than once before it arrives - almost as though the staff delay the free drink so that one orders more paid drinks.

Our milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard

Royale's best milkshakes
To continue with the sentiment of that song - they're damn right, their milkshakes are the best in town.

After leaving our breakfast spot where the food was ok, but the service and general vibe was unfriendly, we visited Royale Eatery for lunch; and milkshake of course! Royale are known for their lovely staff, gourmet burgers, and (as you can see from the photo) their interesting and delectable milkshakes.

Kerry-Anne, having had only a pickling for breakfast, had a Bergerac burger and since I'd already had a reasonable breakfast I just had a plate of sweet potato fries and a Lemon Cheescake milkshake (which, I recommend you try; if you like the feeling of pure bliss, that is.).

Our waitress more or less convinced me that next time I should try the Avocado & Mint milkshake. Have you ever heard of, and more, had such a thing? Avo in a milkshake? How strange.

Blues, a personal white elephant

Blues, a personal white elephant
Blues (right ahead, on the first floor of the Camps Bay Pavilion) is, arguably, one of the best known restaurants in Cape Town, and probably the best known one in Camps Bay. The strange thing is that even though I've lived in Cape Town all my life, and I've visited Camps Bay dozens of time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner - I've never visited Blues. Not for any nefarious reason - it's just that I've never felt particularly interested in going. :-/

A favourite breakfast spot

A favourite breakfast spot
I can't really explain why, but Beleza's one of my two favourite breakfast spots in Cape Town. And, if you know me you'd possibly know the other is Cafe Caprice; again for a somewhat difficult to describe reason.

But, try them both, early, on a good-weather day - you'll probably enjoy them. :)

Isabella’s – good food that takes a while

Isabella's Restaurant
We recently discovered Isabella's in Durbanville's Heritage Square. Isn't the decor beautiful? Sure it is. In fact, the restaurant is almost as beautiful inside as it's cakes are on the outside. I've been on a low-carb diet for a while now, so I haven't yet indulged; but I'm biding my time, and soon we'll be devouring a cake or three.

Isabella's has an astonishingly-comprehensive menu filled with creative gourmet alternatives to regular burgers, wraps, salads and sandwiches. The portions are fairly substantial, and super-tasty.

Don't visit if you're in a hurry though. On both our recent visits it seemed like the restaurant's relaxed atmosphere intoxicated it's staff into a Sunday afternoon-like slumber. :)

But, the lack of speed and sparkyness is made up for by the surroundings and food. So, heed my advice if you're in a hurry, but do visit them if you have some time to spend.

A confusion of flora

A confusion of flora
Once picked, we can refer to these as a bunch of flowers; but like this - I suggest we refer to this collective as a confusion of flowers. It seems like a fairly apt name, IMO.

After a blistering hot Friday, we had a strangely-cool Saturday, with plenty of cloud-cover, especially congregating around Table Mountain like a huge ball of grey cotton wool. Kerry-Anne and I headed out to the Alphen Hotel in Constantia to meet up with friends for lunch at La Belle, a lovely restaurant on the hotel's estate.

La Belle is pretty awesome - the service is great, and the food is superb. The pork neck I ordered was spectacular, the cheese cake was heavenly, but the coffee was unfortunately only average. I'd definitely recommend you visit La Belle though - you're sure to enjoy it.

The mountains of Stellenbosch

The mountains of Stellenbosch
Those are the beautiful mountains that our little wine-loving town of Stellenbosch backs onto. Wouldn't you love to live in these surroundings?

We really do seem to have the best of both worlds here in Cape Town: We're almost surrounded by the ocean (as peninsulas tend to be), we have a great big mountain towering over our city, and we have big open winelands with beautiful blue mountain ranges. This truely is a remarkable part of Africa!

This photo was taken from the delightful Asara wine estate. The location on Google Maps has been wrong for some time now - here's a map I created to show you the way.

Truth’s old coffee machines

Truth's old coffee machines
For the sake of general knowledge and trivia, did you know, the first steam espresso machine was developed and patented in 1884 in Italy by one Angelo Moriondo? That's not so long ago, now is it?

I found this gem at Truth Coffee Roasting, a popular coffee shop in Buitenkant Street. I'm sure it's no longer in use - they do, after all, have far more sophisticated espresso machines these days. But still, it's quite pretty - don't you think?