Fantastic new Cape Winelands restaurant

Dec 20th, 2003, 03:36 PM
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Fantastic new Cape Winelands restaurant

This past week I visited an amazing new restaurant in the Cape Winelands by name of "Moyo" (Swahili for soul). The restaurant is situated on the Spier Winefarm.

It is not the norm for me to wax lyrical and shout out "VISIT THIS ESTABLISHMENT" but in the case of Moyo I am going to shout it out DOUBLY LOUD.

What an experience it was to visit Moyo. The food was unbelievable in quantity, quality and variety. I am not a fan of buffet tables but the buffet table at Moyo undoubtedly works well. With that said the food at Moyo is fabulous but the ambience of the venue which is incredible to say the least is the real winner. The best way to describe the venue is that it is the Cirque de Soleil of African restaurants. The atmosphere is UNDOUBTLY African; the entertainment is amazing and definitely African in flavour. The decor, friendliness and efficiency of staff, surrounding fires, canopy tents and total setting is phenomenal. To be quite honest it is hard to describe an evening at Moyo; you simply have to experience it yourself to understand why I am raving about the establishment.

An evening at Moyo costs R150/person and that does not include wine or beverages. This is more than the cost of an average meal in the city if you go to the right places however Moyo is not average, it is way above this mark. I also have to mention that one does not have to have a meal at Moyo as you can simply go to one of the two outside bar counters and simply laze around on the lawns and enjoy the incredible live, genuinely African entertainment that is on at all times at Moyo.

Also bear in mind that Moyo is 45 minutes out of Cape Town per car however if you are staying in the Stellenbosch region it is on your doorstep.

Moyo is open from midday to midnight on all days of the week. I have not frequented the venue during the day time however to me the ambience lends itself to being a night venue and my personal feelings are that having dinner as opposed to lunch at this restaurant is a better bet.

There is no question in my mind that I will always attempt to include a meal at Moyo's in the itineraries of my touring visitors in the future. WOW!! This place is amazing and I urge you all to visit the restaurant when you visit us in good old Cape Town.

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

Selwyn Davidowitz
Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Dec 21st, 2003, 12:13 AM
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So Joeys DOES export to CT, besides hoards of people during the holiday season! The original Moyo is the one at Melrose Arch, and a second Johannnesburg one opened up recently in Milpark (I think). I confess that I haven't tried either yet, but they've generally had rave reviews for both food and ambience. The new one at Spier is featured at the Moyo website, Although strangely the Milpark one doesn't seem to be even mentioned there. Except for the Spier page, the content is all about the original in Melrose.
ArthurSA is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2003, 09:13 AM
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Thanks for this information! We'll try the one in Jo'burg this coming May. (We won't be in the Cape on that trip.) It sounds intriguing!
Celia is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2003, 10:36 PM
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Now you're talking about one of my fave spots, here's a full history:
The very first, original Moyo was based in Norwood in Johannesburg. It was a fraction of the size of the Melrose Arch location, and wonderfully quirky in terms of decor and layout. My S.O. at the time and I were considered regulars - Sweetie (the maitre'd) never bothered with menu's for us, we'd walk in and she would call the order through to the kitchen: grilled calamari with chilli, honey and peanuts, and mixed African salad platter; to be followed with a biscuit platter and toasted almond ice-cream with caramel sauce. YUM! Then two years ago they moved to Melrose Arch, into a much bigger location and with an expanded menu. The restaurant is spectacular built on 5 levels going down into the ground and cut into the rock-face. The lowest level has that Morrocan tent feel. I always take visitors there and everyone raves about the food, the atmosphere, the decor, the service and overall experience. As an aside, the waiters also have an excellent sense of humour. In July when rent a celeb were in town for Madiba's birthday we took my Mom to lunch at Moyo for her birthday. With all the security about we knew that a VIP was in one of the lower floors. Hoping for Al Pacino or John Cusack we enquired of our waiter who we were dining with, his response was "Some former politician". We later found out it was someone you might recognise: Bill Clinton. Talk about perspective! About a year ago, Moyo opened a branch adjacent to the Market Theatre in Newtown (this is probably the Milpark site Arthur is thinking about). It's all part of the drive to re-energise the Newtown art precinct and aims at pre- and post-theatre dining. My current personal choices on the menu are the East African fish curry (not for the faint-hearted) and the Chocolate and Cardamon mousse cake (as this is a family board I will not describe my reaction to this cake :->)
And now to echo Selwyn's sentiments - VISIT MOYO, whichever branch you can get to - you will not regret it!
traci_local_in_sa is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 02:43 AM
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Aha! I KNEW that Milpark was a bad guess. Newtown it is! Thanks Traci.
ArthurSA is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 02:27 AM
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Kavey, Alisonv, Uhoh and everyone else,

I cant stop screaming about this venue as it is soooo good. I have now been back to the establishment 4 times and each night was better than the other. I had some Fodorites (Gillian Morris) with me at the restaurant on Monday night and they raved about the place. My suggestion is that if you ever visit the Cape Winelands do not leave out this restuarant as a place of eating!

Kavey, Alisonv, Uhoh when we all get together on 9 May this is going to be a must do event to end our day together as I have a Winelands/Kayamandi tour planned for us all to do on the day which I am going to do for all of you in such a way that you see the very best of the Cape Winelands with a pro tourguide as a gratuity for being such great Fodorites. Hope you all can make it! If you can then you can all tell Fodrites that what I am telling them is true.

To all visitors to our shores DONT MISS MOYO! Trust me on this one as it will be a night you wont forget to easily.

Selwyn Davidowitz
Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 06:56 AM
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Wow, Selwyn that sounds magnificent! This will indeed be a wonderful GTG.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 07:51 AM
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Wow Selwyn, are you serious? That's very generous of you as I know you're in absolutely huge demand at the moment and working all hours! I'd just love for you to show us some of your favourite places in the Winelands/Kayamandi ! Oh this is just going to be sooo exciting. Also, when we last emailed and you said you'd consider some options for our evening dinner I was kind of wondering whether we could visit this restaurant that you'd told us about because it does sound so much fun, and it seems to be it would be even more fun with a group of us going together! And now that'a where we're going! Woo Hoo!!!

I cannot WAIT!!!
Kavey is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 02:55 PM
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Kavey, Alisonv + Uhoh

The below is what I have planned for our tour when meeting up on 9 May.

Cape Winelands tour
First a very important point:

Let me point out that even though wine and wine farms are kernel to the winelands there is so much else to see and do in the area that it virtually becomes a misnomer to call it the winelands. The scenery, history, flora and beauty of the winelands equates the beauty of the wine farms; what I am trying to say is that when one visits the winelands area it is NOT just to see wine farms. I know that you never earmarked wine as one of your interests but please bear in mind that I am NOT suggesting that you go to the winelands to see wine. It is the scenery, people, history and culture of the area that I really want to show you. With that being said this is what I suggest we should do on the day:

I will collect you at all your places of stay and we will leave Cape Town at 09h00

Travel via Northern Suburbs of Cape Town; Stop in Bellville and the Durbanville area so as to see how the Afrikaners live.

We will travel to the town of Paarl and then to the very unique Afrikaans language monument. This monument amongst others represents a very important part of South African history and we will spend some time at this venue where I can assure you I will make the monument come alive as I explain to you what it really stands for.

We will then move on to Stellenbosch wine district. On the way to this area we will stop in at the wonderful Cotage Fromage for some tea, coffee and cheese.

After our visit to Cotage Fromage we will move on to Rust en Vrede winefarm for a wine tasting. We will laze around for a while on this magnificent wine farm. The setting and scenery on this farm is to die for imho. IMHO this is DEFINITELY one of the best red winefarms on the winelands and please bear in mind that I am a wine collector and love the whole concept of wine and winemaking. On this farm I will also introduce you to Cape Dutch architecture via the manor houses on the farm

After our visit to Rust en Vrede we will move on to town of Stellenbosch. In Stellenbosch we will travel though the town which btw is the 2nd oldest town in South Africa. It also is my alma mater where I qualified as an engineer many moons ago. The town and university are a wonderful experience to visualize and I can assure you that you, I am sure that you will fall in love with the town. It is nicknamed the "Town of Oaks" and when one arrives in the city centre one will see why this is so. It is also incredible to see how town & gown meets in this university / wine farming town.

After our Stellenbosch visit we will stop at one of the many pavement restaurants in Stellenbosch for a very quick lightish lunch.

After lunch I VERY STRONGLY recommend that you join me in a visit to Kayamandi. This will turn out to be a REAL REAL REAL township visit and NOT a commercial type zoo tour. Read on. I suggest that we travel on to visit to a black township, Kayamandi, where we will meet Mzwake Ntoyake, who is a leader in the township of Kayamandi in Stellenbosch as well as a union leader, at his place of work. Beside all of this he is a bundle of energy and a character second to none. Together with him we will travel through the township of Kayamandi. We will experience township life EXACTLY as it is and NOT in a touristy manner. Nothing is scheduled in a touristy way. The experience just happens unannounced. One sees the REAL TOWNSHIP. We will meet some of the wonderful people of Kayamandi and will be welcomed into their homes and places of work. In essence we will experience the spirit of Kayamandi. I cannot tell you how long the journey will take as it can be anything from 1 hour to 3 hours depending on how we blend in with the people of Kayamandi. Note I say "we" blending in as the blending from the people of Kayamandi's side is concerned is automatic in that they are such warm loving friendly people. I cannot describe this whole experience to you other than by telling you that without fail every visitor that I have taken to Kayamandi in the past has come out raving saying that it was by very far the best part of their whole vacation in SA.

After our visit to Kayamandi we will move on to Spier Wine estate where we will enjoy our evening at Moyo. Enough has been said about this already in the Moyo thread on this page so all I will say is that expect to be at Moyo till about 23h00 because thats how long this meal and fabulous entertainment evening will take us.

After our evening at Moyo we will return home to Cape Town where I will take you all to your various places of stay and we will unfortunately have to bid each other farewell.

Your only expenses on this journey will be to pay for your evening at Moyo which will be R150/head + wine as well as your light meals at Cotage Fromage and in Stellenbosch - The rest is on me!

Fair warning and that is that I will be handling this whole journey like a normal tour that I do with my own visitors so the following will apply:

1. I DONT fly past every event in such a way that it becomes a case of your are on a photo taking expedition. Thats NOT my style. I believe in highly qualitative touring and I spend time making you aware of all that you are seeing around you at all times and at the same time bring you up to speed with what is happening in my wonderful land people wise and politics wise.

2. The above itinerary is purely a skeleton and a guideline of the itinerary we will intend to follow however I can virtually guarantee you that it will change in the odd spot along the way because when I find out more of your interests as we travel I will make suggestions of other things to do that suit your interests.

3. My tours are different in that they dont conform to the normal run of the mill tours so dont expect to see tourist sites because you wont be doing that. In a nutshell most of the time you will be experiencing what we as South Africans do and not what tourists do!

4. To do the above tour we will travel in a luxury, air conditioned VW minibus. This brings me to a problem and that is that we can only fit 7 people + driver (me) into the vehicle. As I see matters there are 8 people + driver in the group. The back seat of the minibus can take 4 thin people and if you are all prepared to squeeze in then that will be ok with me. All in all the physical size of all will be crucial in that we will need 4 "thinnies" on the back seat. Then we will have another problem and that is when Mzwake joins us matters will really cramp up however this will be for a very short period as we will be doing more walking than travelling in Kayamandi.

I feel a little bit uncomfortable broadcasting all of the above on Fodors but I dont have much option as I do have Kavey's email but I dont have Alisonv and Uhoh's email addresses. Could the two of you please write to me giving me your addresses so that between the 4 of us we can discuss all that we have to in private emails as I believe this will be the better way to go. The above description is just to wet your appetite.

OK Kavey, Alisonv, Uhoh lets hear what you think of all of the above.

Selwyn Davidowitz
Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 03:21 PM
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Are you kidding? I think it's amazing and I can't tell you how excited I am about it!

I should tell you now though that we're neither of us (Pete and I) thinnies - I'm a "large" girl and Pete is 6 foot 6 inches tall so he's not exactly going to squeeze into a small corner either.

Hopefully we can work something out!

I have email addresses for both Alison and Uhoh so I can pass them on to you if you don't hear directly though I am sure you will.

The tour itself sounds perfect - regular tourist attractions are the things we can do on our own. What you are proposing is an expert insight into aspect's of your city and region that we just wouldn't be able to gain on our own.

Again, I'd like to thank you for your offer and repeat how much I'm looking forward to our whole experience together!
Kavey is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 03:35 PM
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Oh!! you are going to love the day Selwyn has planned for you. I so wish I could be there with you all.

My daughter and I spent a few wonderful days with Selwyn back in Sep 2003.The Township is not to be missed.We are hoping to visit again in a couple of years. I have missed Cape Town ever since the day we left.

I hope to have the chance to vist Moyo , with you in a couple of years; it sounds wonderful. Donna is not letting me forget my promise. Your friend , JoAnn
Dottie is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 03:52 PM
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Thanks Dottie!
Kavey is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 11:09 AM
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Selwyn, I'm glad you had to post this info here because we are all enjoying this tour vicariously! You have always been generous to Fodorites, educating us in a timely fashion and we appreciate that. I'm sure Kavey will take some photos for us to enjoy.
Clematis is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 02:05 PM
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Hi Clematis,

I respect your views highly when you write on this board so with that said all I can say is "Thank you very much for your posting." I say this because I was in two minds about posting my "itinerary posting" in that I was questioning myself as to whether this was advertising or not. I think you well know that I feel very strongly about keeping this board at a level of pure,quality, sincere information as opposed to marketing a product hence my heavy thoughts in this regard. My predicament about this all was that I only had Kavey's email address (now I have Uhoh's too as she has written to me privately) and had to communicate plans to all particpants in some way or other. I eventually decided that if I publish the info then it would be to the advantage of all Fodorites who could more than likely learn from our Cape Winelands experience and as you well know this has been and always will be my main aim on this board. With that said when your mail was posted I was so pleased as you put a rumbber stamp to my thoughts and I thank you for this. Rest assured that our whole journey will be photo depicted on my website when we do our tour on 9 May so you will all be able to follow our activities in fine detail on the day. It would have been my intention to keep all our pre-correspondence for this day trip to ourselves in private email however it might be to the advantage of other Fodorites to see all that we are planning. With that said I will discuss the issue of whether we will do all our discussions in a thread on Fodors for all to see and hopefully gain from as opposed to staying in private email capacity, after all is this not why we are all particpants on this great Fodors page?

Will keep you posted as to our plans.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 02:11 PM
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Thanks for the kind words. Very happy to see that you still have the Cape Town bug in you. Also pleased to hear that Donna is not letting you off the hook with your "visit to Cape Town" promise.

Stay in touch because who knows you could well land up with some other Fodorites doing a similar trip to the one we are planning some time in the future. Moyo awaits you!

Have a great 2004.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
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