hip eats in cape town

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Sep 19th, 2004, 06:11 AM
  #1
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hip eats in cape town

Hi everyone,

We are leaving for our next journey to Zambia and South Africa in a few weeks and I wanted to get an update on the latest "in" restaurants in Cape Town.

Last year we enjoyed Madame Zingara, the sister restaurant (arabic- next door- name escapes me), Emilys on the waterfront, Kennedys and The Tides. We were not impressed by Five Flies, despite high hopes. So, the favorites were quite a varied group. We are looking for nice atmosphere, interesting food and pleasant staff. We generally do not like to eat in hotel restaurants - although we did like the Tides. Any hints are appreciated!

I have heard we should try Manolo and Baraza - anyone hear of them?

Thanks!
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Sep 19th, 2004, 06:26 AM
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Ok - the mystery sister restaurant was was Cara Lazuli. We also liked Savoy Cabbage.
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Sep 19th, 2004, 07:28 AM
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melissaom (I know you asked about CPT) and anyone else heading to Joburg,

... If you get to JNB - be sure to check out Moyo at Melrose Arch - great cuisine and live entertainment nightly.

We had a great time... this is Joburg's 'up and coming' and very trendy area. Check out the Melrose Arch hotel while you're there - you won't believe you're in South Africa after you walk through the doors!
 
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Sep 19th, 2004, 02:08 PM
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JamesEOA
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In Camps Bay:
Vilamoura for superb prawns and seafoodl;
Blues - great atmosphere and food.
 
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Sep 19th, 2004, 03:06 PM
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Melissa,

I am not going to comment about which restaurants you want to visit or for that matter which I suggest however I want to find out something so please excuse the fact that I am using your question to ask a question.

Why are you spending so much money to travel virtually halfway around the world to experience the same type of restaurants that you can back home? Let me also ask a second question and that is why are you not not wanting to rather eat at local type restaurants that offer a unique SA type cuisine scenario?

Please understand I am not criticising the fact that you want to visit hip type restaurants I just want to try and understand why travellers like yourself want to visit these places over unique local type eating venues.

Btw as much as I disagree with JamesEOA about a great eating experience at Villamoura (I speak under correction but I think the establishment closed down about 3 months ago) and Blues (just another Southern Californian copycat type restaurant), I have to concede that a venue like Blues would be regarded as hip. On the other hand Moyo in Melrose as well as at Spier in Stellenbosch is a local type experience that I would say is a "must do place"

One final point when you were in SA last time round I do believe that the Rand was much weaker so dont expect restauarnts to be as cheap as you found them to be last time. As a matter of fact the hip type restaurants now offer meals that I would say are 75% of the cost of your restaurant meals back home. Just another good reason imho to not eat at the overpriced hip type places where you pay for the wonderful decor moreso than the cuisine.

Just my twopence worth.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Sep 20th, 2004, 12:10 AM
  #6
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Hi Selwyn,

Nice to hear from you!

We live in Germany, so actually going to a place like Savoy Cabbage is a great treat as we don't get things like Kudu Carpaccio or Kingklip or roasted butternut squash. In Munich, you either get great food, great ambiance, or great waiters. Maybe 2 out of 3...but rarely all three. We found that finding all three in Cape Town was the rule and not the exception.

I could understand if we lived in California that these restaurants would be similar to what we have "at home", but they are similar to maybe 2 restaurants here in Germany.

We do also try and eat at the more "local" type of places - we have 2 weeks of travel before we even get to Cape Town. So, any new insider tips such as Kalkies you have would be great.

And yes, the Rand was weaker last time. But, we would love SA at any price. The people, the scenery and the food make it like no place else on earth. Two weeks to go.....yeah!!!!
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Sep 20th, 2004, 06:41 AM
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Melissa,

Fair response and now I certainly understand your attitude.

Other than what I have told you in the past here are some hip places that I would consider.

Ginja (4262368) is a must do place. You will not be sorry.

If you want to go to an upmarket venue for fish then visit Baia.(4210935) Personally I think that Willoughbys is better value for money but for a restaurant to qualify for your 3 citeria of food, great ambiance, or great waiters Baia fits the bill.

Two very swish and hip sushi restauarnts are Tank (4190007) and Wakami (4332377) however expect these places to dent your wallet somewhat.

Another hip place where the teenage set hang out is Moja (4234989)(not to be confused with Moyo)

The Tuscany Beach Cafe (4381213)in Camps Bay is where all the "want to be seen" people hang out for sunset or sundowners.

A fantastic venue that very few people know about for dinner and where many locals go to is a place called Theresas (7888051) in Kalk Bay. This is NOT a hip type venue however it is fabulous for atmosphere, service and well prepared local food with an emphasis on fish. Excellent value for money too.

Another venue that I dont frequesnt purely because I think it is a rip off is Paranaga (4380404) on the Camps Bay beachfront. Make no error this is a hip place where all the "beautiful people" visit and the food is good (I have been there once) with the ambience being wonderful however the pricetag simply does not warrant the event imho.

If you want my opinion I would suggest that if you are looking for your three criteria then the Blue Danube (4233624) and the "the One restaurant" at the Cape Grace take a lot of beating for graceful elegant dining but they certainly are not hip type venues.

Btw I agree with you when you say that Five Flies just aint what it is supposed to be cracked up to be.

Hope this helps and that you once again enjoy your stay in our great country and city.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa







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Sep 20th, 2004, 07:07 AM
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Second recommendation for Baia - my husband and I enjoyed a great meal there in May. Excellent food, and the non-seafood dishes were as good as the seafood (husband isn't really a seafood fan but indulged me that evening). Excellent service. Ambience quite elegant, not young and buzzing, more refined and relaxing.
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Sep 20th, 2004, 02:31 PM
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We were in Cape Town last week. Without any doubt, the best restaurant at which we ate was Pigalle. Baia also was very good.
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Sep 20th, 2004, 03:10 PM
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Jrruff,

Just as a matter of interest these days Pigalle (The establishment is owned by the past owners of Villamoura) generally is not frequented by many tourguides whom I know as well as by many Capetonians. The reason for this is a couple of months ago a diner visited the restaurant and asked for a glass of tap water with the meal. The restauarnt refused to serve the glass of water and said that if the patron wanted water they could buy bottled water. Please remember that one can drink good old clear water from any tap (faucet) anywhere in South Africa and bottled water is leading the race to becoming the rip off of the 21st century. The diner went to the local newspaper with the story and when the newspaper questioned the owner his response was "that not serving tap water was the restaurant's policy as someone had to pay for the chandelier". For those who dont know it there is a wonderful massive chandelier in this restaurant. This story made the news in Cape Town's newspapers and because of this many Capetonians dont visit this place of eating.

With that said it does seem as if the restaurant is turning out to be successful however as the above story permeates the dinner tables and get-together places of Capetonians I think the attendance at Pigalle will drop.

Just my twopence worth.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Sep 21st, 2004, 01:09 AM
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Slightly off the "hip" theme perhaps . . .

The Cape Grace restaurant recommended by Selwyn, "one.waterfront", has just won the Business Day (newspaper) Restaurant of the Year award for 2004, after being unplaced last year.

Bosman's at the Grand Roche in Paarl was 2nd for the 2nd year running. Tied 3rd was Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek and Lynton Hall in Pennington (KwaZulu-Natal south coast).

The remainder of the short-list was made up of last year's winner La Colombe in Constantia (CT), The Restaurant in Greenpoint (also CT), and Auberge Michel in Sandton.

This results were announced in today's Business Day, but I can't find the story on their website. I'll post here the examples the story quoted from one.waterfront's menu:

"Starters include a venison consomme served with poached quail's egg and deep-fried foie gras ice cream, and Cape Malay scallops grilled and topped with warm roe salsa, served with cucumber, goat's cheese samoosas and chowder smoothie.

"Among the main dishes, one that stands out is the roasted duck breast served with an oriental dauphinoise, soft-boiled egg and sauced with a wasabi and mustard jus."
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Sep 21st, 2004, 02:32 AM
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Moyo at Spier - my top choice. Bit out of Town but well worth the trip.

Book in advance (stay overnight at Spier?) ask for a table in the trees.

Dinner will be best as all the lanterns, fires and lights will be lit.

Eat drink and be merry....
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Sep 21st, 2004, 05:41 AM
  #13
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Thanks everyone - this is really helpful!!

Melissa
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Sep 21st, 2004, 08:57 AM
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Moyo at Spier was so much fun...

I'd definitely try and reserve either a tree house table or a table directly against the trunk of the big tree (I'm sure they'll understand which tree).

The tables under the marquee are closer to the food but less funky.
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Sep 21st, 2004, 09:19 AM
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Selwyn: I don't mean to hijack this thread just to discuss Pigalle. But, my wife and I dined at Pigalle on Tuesday, Sept. 14th. It was HIGHLY recommended to us by the Concierge at the Mount Nelson Hotel. Pigalle, although not completely full, had a very good crowd. Our dinner was one the the best that we enjoyed in S.A., and certainly was the best that we had in Cape Town (we also dined at the Cape Colony Room at the Mount Nelson Hotel, Baia and Panama Jack's). To top it all off, they had good music with dancing. An independent tour guide drove us to the airport the next day and I mentioned that we had dined at Pigalle. He opined that Pigalle was one of the best venues in Cape Town and one that he highly recommended.
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Sep 21st, 2004, 12:22 PM
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While not trendy, I have dined on both of my trips to Cape Town at Bismielah (sp?), a Cape Malay restaurant on Wale Street because the cuisine is very different from anything offered in NY (and we have many types of restaurants). It is the opposite of trendy though, but its interesting -- that being said, I was the only diner on both of my visits, granted I had an early dinner so maybe it gets more popular later in the evening.
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