Tag Archives: restaurants

Fairview Wine and Cheese farm

Fairview Wine and Cheese farm
This, is Fariview's restaurant. Doesn't it look lovely?

Kerry-Anne and I had lunch here with my mom, dad, and sister - so here's my brief review: The service was good, the setting and decor (inside and out) was lovely, the cheese platter that we shared was awesome (fantastic, in fact). The chicken pie that I had wasn't very good (it seemed to have been reheated in the microwave) and Kerry-Anne's melon-and-feta prawn special was... awful, in our opinion (the tastes were, well, dissonant). My mother said the quiche was great - and I have to admit, it looked pretty good.

So - my recommendation is: Given that they make their own cheeses, and the cheese really is splendid, eat lots of it. Also, as long as you're not driving, drink lots of their wine - it's pretty darn fantastic. :)

La Perla in Sea Point

La Perla in Sea Point
After hearing great reviews, Kerry-Anne and I visited La Perla on Sea Point's Beach Road for the first time. It was, sadly, pretty disappointing. The service was good, but the food wasn't up to scratch. The Lasagne I had was mediocre at best and Kerry-Anne's chicken dish was, well, also just mediocre.

La Perla is locally fairly well acclaimed - and assuming that our dishes were the norm, I can only imagine that folk like the restaurant for it's location and atmosphere. It's probably one of the nicest venues on Sea Point beach road, and the atmosphere is an interesting mixture of hip and young with classically stylish, and although La Perla appeared snooty from the outside (can a restaurant appear snooty?), the staff were surprisingly warm and welcoming.

Definitely visit La Perla for afternoon drinks, but I'd probably choose an alternative restaurant for lunch or dinner.

Good food – A South African tradition

A South African tradition
You may remember that I went along to the Gourmet Boerie (map) restaurant launch party in November last year. Well, I was recently invited back for a visit, and wow, I have to say that I'm glad I went along.

Just in case you're not sure what a boerie roll is - the word boerie is an abbreviation of the Afrikaans word boerewors, which is a yummy, meaty, sausage of sorts (see this pic), traditionally made by Afrikaans-speaking boers. A boerie roll is thus one of those sausages in a bun, and (to state the obvious) a gourmet boerie roll is a pimped-out boerie roll. :)

At the launch party our hosts served up boerie roll sliders - they were awesome. This time around I had a roll called "The Hangover" - it was magnificent. Besides for the great food and friendly service - what I though was great about Gourmet Boerie is that they have free wifi and openly display the password! The free wifi and the long benches make a great place to sit with your laptop for an extra-long lunch while eating boerie rolls and getting some work done. Beer, boerie, and wifi - what more could you ask for? ;)

Specials
Gourmet Boerie are running a mad winter special - which I believe lasts only until Saturday 31 August. The weekday special is a plate of 7 boerie roll sliders, with chips, a mini dessert platter and two beers for R110. On Saturday the special deal is any regular-sized boerie roll, with chips, and a beer for R55... and yeah, that's pretty much a bargain!

The Burger King phenomenon

The Burger King phenomenon
I'm not sure what it is with people, but when McDonald's opened their first few stores in Cape Town in the 90s, hundreds of people stood in queues for hours to get the taste. It happened again a month or two ago, this time with Burger King opening in our fair city.

I don't get it. Why would someone spend an hour or more in a queue - for a burger? Did you? Can you explain this strange phenomenon?

I once enjoyed Buena Vista

I once enjoyed Buena Vista

I paid a long-overdue visit to Buena Vista Social Cafe in Cape Town for dinner about three weeks ago. That was also unfortunately probably my last visit to the restaurant. While the service was acceptable (though not particularly memorable) the quality of the food was somewhat in contrast to what I'd come to expect from the Buena Vista.

In a last attempt salvage my image of Buena Vista Social Cafe, I visited ther branch in Tyger Valley. On arrival I noticed that while the decor looked the same as it always had, the restaurant's name and menu had changed, and it was in fact no longer Buena Vista Social Cafe. The service at the new restaurant was unfortunately also only acceptable, and Kerry-Anne and I both felt the food okay, but probably not worth a repeat visit.

To be honest though, the thing that I find most disappointing was that they have an awesome smoking section in the restaurant - filled with couches where patrons can relax while enjoying snacks and a few drinks. That would have been great, except for the fact that we don't smoke and the idea of spending an hour or two in those smelly surroundings with a coughing-sneezing wife isn't particularly palatable. :-/

Dinner and a stylish Green Point restaurant

Dinner and a stylish Green Point restaurant
Don't you love discovering stylish restaurants that really make you feel at home? Kerry-Anne and I visited Bistro 1800° at the 5-star Cape Royale hotel for their new menu launch last week - and my, what a treat it was...

After relaxing with drinks at Sky Bar, on the hotel's roof-top, we returned to the ground level for dinner - an arrangement of bite-sized versions of the restaurant's new menu. (Click on the pictures below to see a sampling of what we were treated to - yum, right?) I won't go into the delicious details, but on the menu for the evening was an assortment of specialty breads, cheese soufflé, loin of lamb, beef fillet, kingklip, berry pavlova and an incredible, and I do mean incredible, chocolate mousse!

Something that I found really interesting about the restaurant is the origin of its name. I believe it's derived from the New York-style grill that they use to sear their steak at precisely 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a whopping 982 degrees Celsius! Now that's pretty warm heh? Chef Jonathan Gargan believes that it's their special super-hot grill that's responsible for the juicy goodness - and while I can certainly agree that the steak is juicy and good, I do think he's being just a little modest - it probably also has a little to do with years of culinary magic he's rehearsed in the kitchen. ;)

Visit Bistro 1800° at 47 Main Road in Green Point - you won't regret it. Also, when you arrive, stop your car right in front of the building, make use of the valet parking, and step out like royalty leaving the smiling staff to find a safe spot for your car in the building's basement - it's way more fun that way.

Zabad in De Waterkant

Zabad in De Waterkant
Kerry-Anne and I were out in De Waterkant, looking for a new restaurant to try for breakfast. We found Zabad, just down the road from the Cape Quarter.

It looked stylish and inviting inside. It wasn't too busy (to make it noisy), yet not too empty to be uncomfortable. The menu selection looked pretty good, and both the coffee and breakfasts were super satisfactory.

As perhaps you know, I prize good service (and by that I mean chirpy and friendly, not surly and posh) over the quality of the meal. Sure, there's a point where great service just doesn't cut it anymore, but for me a visit to a restaurant is more about the experience than the food. A restaurant with great staff and atmosphere easily get away with merely average food.

As I said, the food at Zabad was great, but I can't think I'll return for a second visit. Sadly.

A teacup flower arrangement

A teacup flower arrangement
I recently visited the Pepper Tree restaurant in Philadelphia with a group of photo-friends - this was one of the pieces of decor on the eclectic set of tables that we sat at.

In terms of a review - I enjoyed the visit to the Pepper Tree. My bacon and eggs was good, the coffee was great, and the service friendly. The only disappointment was that the bacon served wasn't "crispy" as advertised, though not bad by any means.

The only reason why I pick on the bacon at all is because once you've had Bacon Method bacon, there's no going back to the soft 'n bendy kind. ;)

O’Driscoll’s, and Irish pub

O' Driscoll's, an Irish pub
Sadly I've never visited O'Driscoll's in Cape Town. We almost visited the green building one Saint Patrick's day, but it was (obviously) so popular that there was no way to comfortably squeeze inside, let alone order a drink in any reasonable amount of time.

This is however a matter that we should settle. I resolve to visit O'Driscoll's soon. Even if only for a solitary beer. :)

Gourmet Boerie

Gourmet Boerie - why did it take so long?
Boerewors rolls (aka boerie rolls) are to South Africans much like burgers are to Americans, or pizzas to Italians - they're practically a staple food.

Boerie rolls have been sold at sports events, festivals, and even along side the road for about as long as South Africa's been South Africa. They're common at braais, and the perfect emergency meal for a Friday evening, when you really don't feel like cooking.

A friend and I visited the Gourmet Boerie (map) launch party on Saturday evening - and OMW, the food was outstanding. Boerewors rolls are normally cool, but Gourmet Boerie's extensive menu that includes gorgonzola, bacon, pecan nuts and rocket, with the choice of lamb, chicken, beef and ostrich sausage, along with the option of white, whole grain, or even rye rolls really takes the traditional braai meal to another level! It really was that good.

South Africans, don't you think it's strange that it's taken so long for a restaurant selling gourmet borie rolls to appear? I'm sure most of us would kick ourselves for not coming up with the idea first!

Peninsula trip stop 7: Dinner at Cape to Cuba

Peninsula trip stop 7: Dinner at Cape to Cuba
Dinner at Cape to Cuba in Kalk Bay was awesome. Their service was snappy, they had half-price cocktails (between 5pm and 7pm) and the array of unusual dishes were both tasty and pretty well priced.

If you enjoy eclectic décor, beach sand, good service, then visit Cape To Cuba in Kalk Bay - it was pretty awesome. :)

Breakfast in Cape Town

Breakfast in Cape Town
Given the number of times I've written something about Beleza, you'd swear they're paying me. Alas no, not even a discounted cup of coffee. :) For some reason I've grown to really like this restaurant as a breakfast venue. It's something about the atmosphere, I think.

Espresso Bar in Buitenkant Street

Espresso Bar in Buitenkant Street
This either used to be Truth's espresso bar, or still is. I'm not sure. This photo, taken by @RelaxWithDax only a couple of months ago, shows the Truth name and logo on the front of the building. It is no more... do you suppose Truth has moved on?

Julep, a cocktail and tapas bar on Long Street

Julep, a cocktail and tapas bar on Long Street
Have you visited Julep? I've never been, so if you have, then please leave a comment and tell us about it.

From the poster, I guess it's clear that at times the stylish-looking bar (open Wednesday to Saturday, 7pm to 2am) has music orchestrated by various live DJs. So, if you're into that kinda thing, then visit and let me know what it was like, okay? :)

Intersection

Intersection
I took this photo from a balcony at Rafikis. Even though the breeze was cold on my back, I didn't mind, it was kinda cool having dinner while overlooking the city streets.

It was the first time I've eaten at Rafikis, and I have to say the pizza wasn't bad at all. The bases were thin and crispy, just how I like them, and the Inferno chili pizza that I ordered was pretty tasty and not quite as hot as I'd imagined it may be.

Kalky’s in Kalk Bay

Kalky's in Kalk Bay
Kalky's is probably the most well-known fish 'n chips restaurant in Cape Town... perhaps even in South Africa! As you can see, the decor is quite unassuming - there's nothing special about the look of the restaurant - which I guess you can then take to be a testament to how great their food must be!

The best time to go would be an hour or so before lunch time - just to make sure that you get a seat. You'll find the restaurant located close to the water's edge, inside Kalk Bay harbour.

And, if you're wondering why it's so empty... it's because this photo was taken a little while after 8am, while the restaurant was closed. :)

Olympia Bakery in Kalk Bay

Olympia Bakery in Kalk Bay
This old red door, located on the side of the large Olympia Bakery building (off Main Road in Kalk Bay) is the entrance to the bakery's take-away section where patrons buy breads, danishes, croissants, and many more delectable baked yummies.

The side of the building that faces Main Road has large glass windows that allow the morning brightness to flood the restaurant. I'd hoped we could have a bite to eat at the bakery's restaurant, but it seems as though it's popular enough that one would have to book in advance to get a seat. So alas, we moved on to an alternative restaurant that was ok, but not quite as awesome as I think Olympia would have been.

We'll have to make a plan to return - perhaps for breakfast and then hop over the road for lunch at Kalky's! :)

If you’re driving through Paarl

Kikka restaurant and florist
If you find yourself peckish and in need of bunch of flowers while driving through the winelands town of Paarl I'd recommend visiting Kikka restaurant and florist at number 217 in Main Road.

Kikka's food was delicious, the coffee was good, and the atmosphere created by the beautiful decor and French background music made it the perfect spot for afternoon tea. We'll certainly return on our next trip to Paarl. :)

Elevator buttons

Elevator buttons
Are you ever confused by the array of buttons presented to you upon entering an elevator? I find it especially confusing when:

  1. a combination of numbers and letters are used for floors
  2. the letter G isn't used for the ground floor
  3. basement parking levels start at a number greater than 0
  4. floors are numbered with various colours that seem to mean something important
  5. floors are labeled with landmarks unknown to me

This is the elevator at the Cape Quarter. Upon entering one is met with a combination of the points I made above. Not only this, but one's also overwhelmed by a large poster, a confusing legend, that attempts to guide visitors to the right button.

All that I wanted was to go to the ground level - but as the doors closed and the elevator departed, overwhelmed, I found myself pondering the merits of taking a trip to destination unknown.