Capetown Eating....??

Old Sep 9th, 2007, 07:03 AM
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Hari, I bet it has changed beyond recognition. I know I am tipping my hand here about my age, but at the time of my first two trips, ( remember I was VERY VERY young!!) the only upscale options that I remember in Delhi were the Ashoka, the Oberoi, and the Imperial, which was actually considered a notch below the first two. I can't even imagine what the city is like these days..

All this talk about Indian food is making me hungry..

Do you think I need to think about booking the CapeTown restaurants before I leave home?? Maybe through the hotel or travel agent??

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Old Sep 9th, 2007, 07:38 AM
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Ekscrunchy - we did try to email Africa Cafe from Canada to make a reservation prior to our arrival but didn't receive a response. To ensure that we did get a table, we had a friend in CT book for us. You could always ask your hotel to book a table for you. Like Selwyn, I believe it is worth the effort to ensure that you get in.
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Old Sep 9th, 2007, 07:44 AM
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ekscrunchy, don't miss Showroom. Selwyn didn't mention it, but I know he loves it too. Also, if you are there on a Sunday, keep in mind that a lot of restaurants are not open (e.g. Ginja's), so work your schedule accordingly.
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Old Sep 9th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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Just up the road from Bieshmillah is a place called Cape Malay Kitchen. It is very clearly visible as you drive up the road. On a Saturday evening you can experience the owner and two accomplices performing genuine Cape Malay music.
By the way, if you want to experience a beautiful part of the culture then visit the Civic Centre in the area on a Sunday afternoon after 5:30. This is when the local Cape Malay singers practice their songs etc. for the end of year festivities. I am regular visitor there. They also sell various local foods from the kitchen. There is no entry fee.

VERY IMPORTANT:
All Muslim owned businesses are closed on a Friday between 12h:00 and 14h:00 which is when they attend Mosque

Also note that the food at Africa Cafe is "African" and not necessarily "South African. My experience has been that the food is good but if they have big groups attending then you must have lots of patients. It's a very dragged out evening.
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Old Sep 9th, 2007, 07:53 AM
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Aby, I think you'll find that restaurants are pretty inexpensive by US standards. Even at Showroom, where we went crazy with wine and each ordered appetizer, main and dessert, I don't think we spent more than $60 per person.
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Old Sep 9th, 2007, 09:34 AM
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ekscrunchy,

As I see it you will be here in the middle of September onwards. Normally restaurant pre-booking is not all that important at this time of the year but for some or other reason there just seem to be many visitors in cape Town this year than in past years so maybe you should book as soon as you can. With that said overall I do believe that if you book your restaurants on your day of arrival I reckon you should be able to juggle all your reservations to suit you.

Good point that Hills27 brings up and that is that on Sundays many places are closed and if they are not closed on Sundays then they close on Mondays or Tuesdays.


Aby

Non expensive type eating places that are good generally fall into the restaurant chain category such as the Ocean Basket for fish (many branches all over town) or Jimmys Killer prawns. If you go to the Kloof Street branch you should try the pan fried tuna. This is the owners (Ivan) speciality. Absolutely fabulous. There are many branches all over Cape Town of Jimmys..

Another venue for good fish at average to slightly above average prices would be Willoughbys in the Waterfront. Excellent fish restaurant where most of the locals eat. No bookings taken.

Even though I have mentioned the above fish places the tow big hidden secrets for cheap and wonderful local fish places would be Tangos and Kalkies. The only problem about these venues are that they are far away from the city centre but if you ask me worth the ride.

Tangos (021 7126631) is a venue that locals seem to have kept to themselves. You will hardly ever see tourists at this local family type fish venue. As already said it is rather far out of the city center (25 minutes away in Kendall Road, Bergvliet) but imho this is the very best value for money fish restaurant in Cape Town. When you are in this restaurant you soon realize that fresh fish is being brought through the door minutes after being caught in the local Kalk Bay harbour. Furthermore if you want to find great varieties of local fish Tangos is the place to eat.

If you have a lunchtime restaurant opportunity may I suggest that you stop at Kalkies in the Kalk Bay harbour. Now here’s a real typical Cape Town experience to want to savor with fresh fried fish (and chips) being served in the Kalk Bay harbour. Furthermore you wont find tourists at this venue as it seems to be too down market from the outside so what you finds is that all the locals eat there because it is such a treasure. Try and experience this great culinary experience when you are in our city.

For steaks or meat you could want to visit one of the many outlets all over the city owned by either the Cattle Baron or Spur steak houses

Another great place for steaks would be the Bayside Cafe in Camps Bay - 021 438 2650 This establishment is very well supported by locals and is one of the very places that I would recommend on the Camps Bay strip or should I say "rip off strip"

A great place for good, cheap food is Millers Thumb which is located just off the bottom end of Kloof Street. All round good wholesome food at great prices. Fair warning, this venue is heavily frequented by locals and you HAVE to book ahead.

If you are looking for wonderful atmosphere and unbelievable prices then one of the best places to visit is one of the oldest restaurants in Cape Town viz. The Pizzeria Napolitana (4345386). This restaurant has been in Sea Point as far back as I can remember as a school kid growing up in Sea Point. The reason as to why this venue is still around under the same ownership of a third generation of the same original starting out family is that it offers great Italian foods and fish dishes at incredibly reasonable prices with a marvelous atmosphere in the eatery thrown in too. Till today if one wants to visit this restaurant one generally needs to book about 3-4 days in advance. If you are looking for pasta in the Sea Point area then The Pizzeria (the name by which we all know it in Cape Town) is a great place to visit.

Talking about pasta the only reason as to why I am suggesting a pasta place is because I have noticed that when visitors travel to Cape Town for lets say 4 nights then on one night somebody in the touring group always somehow or other asks for pasta or pizza. Personally I would not advocate this because Cape Town has so much to offer in terms of local foods and especially fish but its a case of horses for courses so just in case you have an interest in pasta I have made the above suggestion.

Last point is that you will find that if you visit Zoerinas (my last maill in this thread) it is also very cheap.

OK Aby if the above does not help you with food choices in Cape Town then nothing will.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Old Sep 9th, 2007, 04:18 PM
  #47  
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Thanks <b>Selwyn</b>!!
IOU a lunch/dinner
aby
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Old Sep 9th, 2007, 07:27 PM
  #48  
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It sounds as if you've got as many restaurant recommendations as you'll need--but just in case and to add to the mix, these were restaurants recommended by an acquaintance who used to live in NYC and now lives near Cape Town. We went to all of them on our visit to Cape Town last fall, and her recommendations were right on the money:

Haiku (Asian tapas – fine quality – very New York – it has 8 different kitchens – one Thai – one Japanese – one Chinese, etc) – let the waiter order for you (we ordered for ourselves, but the food was very good--not excellent, but a fun atmosphere)--owned by the same people who own Bukhara--where we also went but whose atmosphere we didn't like and thought the food was unexceptional. We live in New York and one can get some quite good Indian food--probably not as good as London though--and I'm sure not as good as Hari's used to

95 Keroom fresh Italian food (must try carpaccios and raviolis, and pork chop) – great South African wine list
lovely atmosphere and service and quite good food

Wakame – a more casual sushi restaurant than Haiku right on the water in Mouille Point – good food with a sunset and trendy crowd

Fireflies is a good South African style restaurant--good food--fun atmosphere--not touristy

Blues--Camps Bay restaurant--pretty--good fish--lovely view--good crowd

The best meal we had was probably lunch at Petite Ferme in Franschoek--we were supposed to stay there, but the tale of what happened is a long one (basically, they forgot to notify the security guard the night we were coming so that we were locked out--at 11:30 p.m.-- wound up with no place to stay that night and the town was closed down except for Le Quartier Francais, which took us in and put us up in their most expensive suite--treated us in the most gracious way--and the story goes on and on--but the lunch at Le Petite Ferme was very special--although they had said that it would be on them because of the endless series of mix-ups that continued after our being locked out--and they didn't come through on their offer--
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Old Sep 10th, 2007, 03:54 AM
  #49  
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Thanks to Selwyn and 520.

I will go ahead and book some of the CapeTown places we discussed above.

For Franchoek, the travel agent in CapeTown has recommended these for dinner:

Topsi
Reuben's
Le Quartier Tasting Room (Need a credit card to hold reservation)

And for lunch:

Le Petit Ferme
Guardian Peak
Fairview (Goat's Shed)
Tokara

Any comments on these? Many thanks, yet again.
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Old Sep 10th, 2007, 05:56 AM
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Ekscrunchy, We are on parallel tracks. I do not know any of these personally. I have done some research on chowhound.com. Gooseberry knows quite a bit about food and she has some replies to me on the African board that may be helpful. She also has a blog that is linked in her responses. Sometimes you can get too many opinions, but I try to combine opinions from various sources.Zin
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Old Sep 10th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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Yes we are on parallel tracks..I posted a query on Chowhound a few days ago..we can wait and see what responses we get!! Take a look at the Panama Jack's menu on their website..that seafood sounds great!

We arrive in Capetown on Saturday the 22nd..will you be there that week?
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Old Sep 10th, 2007, 06:14 PM
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ekscrunchy. There is already a posting on chowhound about the Winelands that I wrote and gooseberry replied to- scroll down the board. We are going on safari first in Botswana and will not be in Capetown until October 3 and then after five days we will drive -yikes! to the Winelands where we will spend four days. Have a great trip!Zin
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 04:56 AM
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Zin: I found Gooseberry's good review of the Winelands places. Thanks for the tip. My travel agent in Capetown is recommending Mange Tout in the Mont Rochelle Hotel for one dinner; see what you think:

http://www.montrochelle.co.za/restau...troduction.asp
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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Ekscrunchy- looks pretty, but how about the food? Zin
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 01:42 PM
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Zin: I don't know about the food other than the travel agent based in CapeTown recommended it. I have dinner set (can always change) at Reuben's and the Tasting Room. Same agent recommended Topsi's as well..do you know anything about these last two?

I think I am also going to skip Le Quartier Francais and have lunch, instead, at their less-fancy place, Ici, to try their lamb burger mentioned by Gooseberry on Chowhound. What do you think? I notice that you are not planning to do LQF...
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 01:53 PM
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..never mind..I am an idiot. I see that Tasting Room IS the restaurant of Le Quartier Francais. I am just addled because my partner just spilled a Dr. Pepper on my nice rug under the computer..

So..I guess I have another free dinner now that I eliminated LQF. So will add ..what?? Bouillabaise, French Connection?? Many thanks for all the help..these are life and death decisions, as you no doubt realize!
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 04:29 PM
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Ekschrunchy,
Meant to also point you to Grande Provence, a restaurant in a hotel/winery. We wanted to try it last Oct. but Britain's Prince Edward had taken over the whole place: no non-royals allowed! But the menu, chef and dining room looked very interesting. About a mile out of Franshoek. Haven't read any reviews on Fodor's yet.
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 04:38 PM
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oops, looks like Grande Provence has a different chef now, but his credentials seem good. The restaurant's first chef, Vanie Padayachee, went to someplace called Fu.shi in Plettenburg Bay.
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 05:27 PM
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Ekscrunchy, I had decided to go to LQF, but then had second thoughts.I generally steer clear of really fancy resturants. There are plenty in the SF Bay Area.I would rather go to more unique places as I do here. I am particular about food- being an ex pastry chef. I believe in good seasonal ingredients- fresh and well prepared so I usually do quite a bit of research before I go-as it sounds like you do too! I have only &quot;settled&quot; on Ginja and Savoy in Capetown and have left the other three nights open for now. In the Winelands I have resevations at Reubens and French Connection and probably will go to Bouillabasse. For lunch I will try to go to Hillcrest Berry Farm, Bread and Wine and maybe Le Petite Ferme. Have a great time and if you get a chance write about your impressions as I will be ther after you are. Thank you so much and have a great time!!!!.Zin
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 09:41 PM
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Just some quick personal comments re some of the restaurants mentioned in the past couple of mails.

Haiku - Great, expensive food and remember to take earplugs with you as the noise will drive you mad, that is if you dont tolerate noise. We actually left the restaurant before dessert as we could not tolerate the noise in the venue. Used to be a &quot;to be seen&quot; venue but after the initial hype is now losing part of its shine in what is a very fickle Cape Town dining community.

Grand Proivence - No great shakes under the old chef who I have been told is not doing to well at Fushi after all the hype of its opening. GP is definitely trying to create an upmarket setting which most might like. We however did not enjoy the venue purely because there was nothing innovative about the food, decor or anything else at the establishment. Just another place with huge hype to eat some average food!

Zinfanatic, relative to what your likes seem to be my suggestion is that you steer clear of Hillcrest Berry farm for lunch. Very, very ordinary place with no special cullinary skills present. Other than the view and the great berry desserts I certainly would not recommend the establishment to you relative to what you seem to be looking for in food. Might be a good place for tea?

Mont Rochelle - Have not been to this venue as yet purely because I dont think that the restaurant has opened (I could be wrong). Does look interesting and will have it on my list of do's or donts very soon.

Just my quick twopence worth.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

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