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CapeTown and around......seeking restaurant advice

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Jun 16th, 2013, 05:20 AM
  #1
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CapeTown and around......seeking restaurant advice

To my utter delight, I will be returning to South AFrica in early OCtober for a trip that will begin with a week in CapeTown. Looking for tips on where to eat. I already have Test Kitchen on my list!

Not too interested in "stuffy" French-style dining; innovation is good, as is fabulous seafood;
local farm-to-table, Asian influences--all good.

Last time we loved Showroom (now closed) and had a good dinner at Ginja and LQF in Winelands. Also liked Codfather in CAmps Bay, and the raffish (but perhaps now gone downhill) Panama Jacks at the Docks.

Finally, what is the best northern Indian restaurant in the city..someplace with good tandoori to satisfy the spice shunner, and enough to make me, a spice lover, happy, too.
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Jun 16th, 2013, 07:56 AM
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>>>innovation is good, as is fabulous seafood; local farm-to-table, Asian influences <<<

Aubergine will meet your preferences perfectly. Had the degustation menu a couple of months ago - just excellent. Trust the sommelier for regional wine recommendations.

http://www.aubergine.co.za/

Relaxed, country-style ambiance. With a short-sleeved shirt, you will feel comfortable.
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Jun 16th, 2013, 09:42 AM
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I agree with the recommendation on Aubergine (also very close to where you are staying). Test Kitchen has a more casual 'sister restaurant' at the same location, The Pot Luck Club & Gallery worth checking out too. Others include Bistro Bizerca, Il Leone Mastrantonio, The Greenhouse at the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel, Freres Bistro, Hemelhuijs (lunch). Asian try Haiku, Tandoori try Bukhara, seafood - try Harbour House on the ocean in Kalk Bay a seaside suburb of the city on the False Bay coast or its more central venue, Harbour House V&A Waterfront. Chef Bruce Robertson (The Showroom), now offers a unique lunch experience at The Boat House, Scarborough (reservations essential). the list really is endless....
Lew - Cape Town
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Jun 16th, 2013, 11:22 AM
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I guess it can be variable, but some friends took me to the Noon Gun Tearoom, a somewhat funky family-run place at the top of Signal Hill, where we had a Cape Malay meal that was very, very good. But the food took a distant second place to the view over the city, which was nothing short of stunning beyond words. Above - way above - the Bo-Kaap district, a tourist trap it's not.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 05:07 PM
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We really enjoyed Ocean Basket in the central area last month. Nothing fancy, that's for sure. But locals galore. Very reasonably priced and very good food, IMHO. Check out the trip advisor reviews.
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Jun 19th, 2013, 12:44 PM
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Ok, so far I have Test Kitchen and Aubergine on the list. Maybe try for a lunch at The Boat House on the day we take the driving tour. And will try to convince partner to have dinner at Bukhara..we do not get great Indian food here in NYC!!

We are much more interested in the food than the setting, so please keep in mind. I will do some research on some of the other suggestions here, so thanks all who answered so far.

Mzoli's keeps coming up......but I think more for atmosphere than for the actual meat, no?
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Jun 20th, 2013, 07:50 AM
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I really enjoyed Codfather for fresh fish and seafood.

You can read a conparative review of The Tasting Room and The Test Kitchen on my Africa blog http://wp.me/p3cJtv-rO

Have a great trip!
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Jun 20th, 2013, 10:31 AM
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Hi eks!

I have some suggestions but would require a car ... will you have one?
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Jun 21st, 2013, 06:35 AM
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Hi Elizabeth!! Will have car (driver/guide) during the day, and can take take a taxi at night...do not mind roaming far for good food!!! LOVE following your adventures in your blogs!

Gayle: I had lunch at Codfather last time....very good!!! Thanks for the link!!


Interesting that Bruce Robertson, chef at The Showroom, which I liked last time, now offers meals in his own home, The Boathouse, mentioned by Lew, above.

Any of you been to Paternoster? I was intrigued by this article but it is from 2008..worth a drive from CapeTown for food and scenery?

http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/03/30...cing.html?_r=0
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Jun 21st, 2013, 08:37 AM
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Last September we ate at La Moutee and thought it was fantastic. Alas, we missed Test Kitchen, as they closed for ten days during our travels. We ate a few other places all of which were good, but this meets what you are looking for and the price was easy on the wallet for a several course tasting menu.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 11:43 AM
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Great ideas so far...I wish we had more than one week.

Will plan a day trip to Winelands.....just got a recommendation for Babel in Franchhoek,but have also heard good things about Bread & Wine, and Rust and Vrede. anyplace stand out for a lunch in the area. Last time I had a good meal at Tokara, and a medium-good meal (with great setting) at Le Petite Ferme. ?????
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Jun 21st, 2013, 12:24 PM
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We had a good but not great meal at La Petite Ferme (in 2010)....wouldn't be my first choice. More ideas to follow later today!
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Jun 21st, 2013, 03:39 PM
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Any of you been to Paternoster? I was intrigued by this article but it is from 2008..worth a drive from CapeTown for food and scenery?

Yes, gorgeous. October is probably too late for any flowers around West Coast National Park, but if you're headed up the west coast, it's a great byway.

We stayed a couple of nights up the road from Paternoster at a wonderful B&B called the Oystercatcher Lodge - http://www.oystercatcherlodge.co.za/home.html - and would return in a heartbeat.

Paternoster - http://gardyloo.us/aug24b%20016s.JPG and http://gardyloo.us/aug24b%20026s.JPG

West Coast NP - http://gardyloo.us/aug24b%20044s.JPG and http://gardyloo.us/aug24b%20066s.JPG

Sunset from the lodge - http://gardyloo.us/aug2223b%20050s.JPG
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Jun 22nd, 2013, 05:11 AM
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Gardyloo: Incredibly gorgeous photos; if I had seen these earlier, I might have been convinced to do at least one overnight! But now that all is planned, we would make the trip to Paternoster as a day trip; we have one week booked at a hotel in Capetown.

I have seen many of the "main" first-timer sights in the city on my last trip in 2007, when I stayed a week before heading to Winelands for three nights, but travel partner has never been to Africa. I have arranged a car and driver, so am trying to plan out days in and near the city.

I thought we would do a daytrip to Winelands (more to eat and view scenery than for the actual wine), daytrip to Simonstown area and Chapman's Peak Drive (closed last time when I was there) with Cape Point. Might leave out Hermanus this time, in favor of...Paternoster???
Hope to visit the handcraft market on the weekend.

Also interested in the Saturday food market at Old Biscuit FActory on Albert Road (???) More to look at local products to take home, an just see what is out there, than to shop for food, as we are staying in a hotel...comments on this market??

So, is Paternoster a place that should be on my list? This is in the early half of October..chance of seeing flowers en route, or are those further out of the city?

So many questions....I am very grateful for all the help here.

I will mention that I have booked again with the local agency, SouthernDestinations, who were responsible for my "life changing" first trip to the region a few years back. I could not be happier with the services they provided.


Trip for two of us is more or less:

Week in CapeTown (flying KLM from JFK via AMS). Mt. Nelson Hotel

4 nights Londolozi, Pioneer Camp

1 night J'burg (need restaurant ideas for one dinner; staying at The Winston in Rosebank)

3 nights Tswalu

Return from JNB via AMs to JFK, on KLM

Week of depression to realize that trip is really over!



When I write this, it seems like such a short trip, in comparison to my last visit....but it will not be the last if I have any control over these things!!!
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Jun 24th, 2013, 06:55 AM
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In the Winelands, we love George Jardine at Jordan http://www.jordanwines.com/

Last year it was rated 3rd best in SA, and it has probably the best dessert souffle I've ever eaten.
http://cettesemaineacarlux.blogspot....jeuner-au.html

I personally wouldn't take the time to go to Paternoster but then we are usually in the Cape in high summer (December/January) and the flowers are over. It was interesting, but not unlike other ocean towns we've been to. Several of the restaurants mentioned in the article had closed when we were there several years ago.
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Jun 24th, 2013, 10:06 AM
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Carlux:Thank you for the helpful info. I had guessed that it might not be worthwhile to devote a day to Paternoster since my travel partner has not seen the more "basic" sights in the Western Cape. I am certain is is a pretty town, and probably worth taking the trip for a few night's stay.

Given that we have a week in the city, I am trying to plan out an itinerary ("make a plan") that will also allow for downtime at the hotel. So any thoughts are helpful.

Should I devote a lunch, which will consume a few hours including the drive, I think, to Mzoli's in Gugulethu? Anyone here to comment on the food (meat)??
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Jun 26th, 2013, 03:13 AM
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A day visit to Paternoster is not recommended, too far, it would be better to overnight. Oystercatcher's Haven run by Sandy & Wayne Attril at Paternoster is an excellent and well situated bed and breakfast as mentioned. Should you wish a full-service hotel, try Abalone House, and be sure to dine on the beach at acclaimed chef Suzi Holtzhausen's restaurant 'Gaaitjie' for innovative seasonal menus of regional fare.
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Jul 16th, 2013, 06:00 AM
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One further question:

I am having difficulty finding great restaurants open on Sunday and Monday evenings.
We might make lunch our "big" meal on a Sunday in Winelands. Babel Restaurant has been recommended to me and I hear good things about Bread and Wine. Is Sunday just too jammed with visitors to make a Winelands visit a good idea on that day?

http://babylonstoren.com/food/

What other restaurants should I consider for Sunday and Monday evenings.

So far, I have the following on my "essential" list.


Pot Luck Club
La Colombe
Test Kitchen
The Greenhouse
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Jul 16th, 2013, 11:02 AM
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Sunday is a great day for the winelands, you just have to make reservations in advance. I loved both Overture and Jordan, fantastic food, views and service, both of them. My partner also raves about Delaire though I havent been yet.

Sunday is difficult, but have a look at La Mouette in Sea Point. We ate there on a Sunday night this past May and really enjoyed it. It isn't in the same class as the others on your list but it is really quite good, with a very reasonably priced tasting menu. Monday you could try Aubergine or Savoy Cabbage. If you want some a bit different and wacky, have a look at Bombay Bicycle Club.

Your essential list is fabulous. I have eaten at Test Kitchen the past 2 trips and it is my favorite restaurant in the whole world. Both times we sat at the counter and I recommend that if you want to be in the middle of all the action. We also ate at the Greenhouse in May, completely different than Test Kitchen as well as more expensive but also fantastic. La Colombe we did a year ago, very classic. This year we had a lunch at their other restaurant Constantia Uitsig Restaurant. It was good, but didn't hit the wow factor. I haven't been to Pot Luck Club yet.

Enjoy your trip ! We have been the past 3 years to South Africa and end our trip with 5 or 6 days in Cape Town, mainly to enjoy the fantastic food !
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Jul 16th, 2013, 05:24 PM
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Blues Restaurant in Camps Bay is very good, at least we enjoyed a very nice meal & an amazing bottle of Pinotsge. Because the restaurant is situated upstairs, the views towards the beach were beautiful especially at sunset (& if you get a table by the windows). We also ate in the restaurant directly downstairs from the Blues but it was not nearly as good although the TA reviews were better. Too close to the road as well.
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