Cape Town’s dining scene is a living, breathing entity; an ever-evolving arena where innovation and challenge are as honoured as history and tradition. One of the consequences of this dynamism is that every passing month can be marked by the opening of an exciting new eatery – or several eateries – in the Mother City and here are a few of just such places to check out this spring!
Situated in the oldest wine-producing region in South Africa and, in fact, the Southern Hemisphere, Blockhouse Kitchen is the recently opened restaurant at the arresting Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate. Located in a historic building that oozes rustic, country charm, the Blockhouse Kitchen offers an all-day dining experience that is both healthy and eco-conscious. Here, nose-to-tail and root-to-leaf philosophies are applied to every dish, which not only constitutes a more sustainable approach to dining but also means that dishes are generous in portion and pricing. The menu is varied, packed with local and seasonal ingredients and dishes, and is guaranteed to please both foodies and those with more conventional palates.
Gigi Rooftop at Gorgeous George
Lounging on the topmost floor of a lovingly restored building on St George’s Mall in the city centre, the oasis-like Gigi Rooftop at the just-opened Gorgeous George boutique designer hotel is the new hotspot on everyone’s lips. Chef Guy Bennett, previously of The Restaurant at Grande Provence in Franschhoek, heads up the kitchen of this tranquil, jungle-inspired full-day eatery, serving seasonally driven dishes that are a fresh spin on modern classics. This is a place that calls itself “a living room for the neighbourhood” to where people can “come for breakfast and stay for dinner.”
In May of this year, the much-anticipated new arrival to the Cape Winelands, Jewell’s, quietly opened its doors to the public. Located at the Spice Route in Paarl, the farm-to-table Jewell’s is the collaborative effort of lauded chefs Liam Tomlin (of Chefs Warehouse) and Neil Jewell (previously, of Bread & Wine). The restaurant features a sleek black-tiled kitchen, breath-taking views of the surrounding winelands, al fresco dining, and a menu that pays tribute to the produce of the Spice Route farm, with charcuterie and bread courtesy of Neil’s wife, Tina Jewell.
Viande, simply meaning “meat” in French, is the new restaurant at the Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl and is spearheaded by renowned celebrity chef and TV personality, Pete Goffe-Wood. The restaurant’s name is a statement of its culinary direction, which delivers country-style cuisine by following a nose-to-tail dining philosophy. The 90-seater Viande occupies the entire floor of the hotel’s main building with its stunning collection of chandeliers and anchoring fireplace, and with décor by well-known Cape interior designer Francois du Plessis. Viande is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.