By Jene Barnes
What's new on the Cape Town and Winelands restaurant scene?
There's no denying that trying to stay up to date with all the restaurant news in Cape Town and the Winelands can be a daunting exercise. With new restaurants popping up all over the place and old restaurants re-inventing themselves, it's a full time job keeping track of what's happening on the ground. Here Jene highlights a few of the key openings and updates...with more to follow...
After 15 years of operating in the same building, Reuben's Franschhoek has shut its doors at its premises just off the main road in Franschhoek. Reuben's is currently operating on a pop-up basis at Racine at Chamonix and is due to reopen in a renovated building in November. More news to follow...
New York meets Cape Town at Mulberry & Prince
New talk of the town is the cultishly cool kitchen and bar on the corner of Bree and Pepper Streets that's co-owned by Capetonion Cornel Mostert and Brooklyn-born Cynthia Rivera. The chic eatery specializes in New American cuisine and the up-to-the-minute space is a delicious mix of exposed-brick walls, stained glass, lush velvets, mid-century modern-inspired furniture and beautiful artwork by Kurt Pio (available for purchase) on the walls.
Villa 47, a three-story restaurant complex opened on Bree Street at the end of March - and as with any activity on Bree Street, this was bound to get tongues wagging! Locanda, the relaxed Italian bistro occupies the ground floor and has a small deck with a few tables spilling out onto the sidewalk.
Locanda's focus is on regional specialty dishes prepared by Italian Chef, Vittorio Bianchi under the leadership of head Chef, Clayton Bell. Stuzzico, the Villa's latest addition is a more vibey, tapas-style bar serving Italian finger-food on the first floor - and a soon-to-be-launched third restaurant will occupy the 2nd floor of the building.
The Shortmarket Club
Luke Dale Roberts' latest venture, The Shortmarket Club is set to open at 88 Shortmarket Street (just off vibey Bree Street) on June 27th in collaboration with chef Wesley Randles (his top chef from The Potluck Club) and Simon Widdison (the affable and competent front-of-house manager of The Potluck Club). While Luke’s involvement at The Shortmarket Club will be more of a supporting role, he has left the day-to-day running of his newest project to his stellar team. The super sexy venue has been conceptualized and designed by Sandalene Dale-Roberts, Luke’s wife, and has an uncompromisingly opulent-feel with a cool Edwardian 'club' vibe.
The restaurant will be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and, in keeping with its opulent old-world feel, many of the dishes are modern interpretations of classics. The Shortmarket Club has already created a buzz in the Mother City ahead of its opening and this is set to continue so get your bookings in quick!
The Test Kitchen
Will close for renovations from mid-August and reopen on October 04th - The Shortmarket Club is a good alternative in the interim.
The Brasserie and Private Members Club by hotelier Nigel Pace (ex-Cape Grace & Singita) and Sarah Ord (of Sarah Ord Interiors) is bursting with color, flair and creativity! The Stack reopened its doors to invited guests yesterday, almost one year after a devastating fire swept through the heritage listed building. It is looking more beautiful than ever and the Brasserie and Bar is open to the public and taking reservations from June 06th.
The Deckhouse Crab Shack & BBQ
Suspended on a glass deck overlooking Kloof Street and the surrounding mountains is Cape Town's only dedicated crab shack! Seafood and South coast-style dishes served the American way are offset by lush beach house-style decor. The open fire and stellar service also makes this a good choice for the chillier winter months.
Outrage of Modesty
This cutting-edge cocktail bar is about “giving people a new experience,” says Australian mixologist Luke Whearty, who co-owns the venue with Brad Armitage of Alliance Brands (of The House of Machines, located downstairs). You won't find cloying cosmos or Kir Royals here; instead you'll be presented with an oak menu of carefully curated cocktails made with top-notch and lesser-known ingredients, all of which Luke and his team have foraged for or sourced ethically.
Renowned chef George Jardine, whose award-winning Jordan Restaurant is an all-time favorite, adds another medal to his decorated epaulette. Situated in a converted home opposite the Stellenbosch Hotel, the new eatery is warm and welcoming, offering innovative dishes enriched by chef Jardine's commitment to fresh and flavourful ingredients.
95 at Morgenster
Master Chef Giorgio Nava adds yet another pearl to his impressive string of Cape Town restaurants, and continues the traditions that make 95 Keerom and Carne SA so exemplary: top quality ingredients and authentic Italian flavors. But here, the overall experience is enhanced by the spectacular scenery that surround this serene lakeside eatery.