The bans have been lifted, and we are jubilant because our favourite restaurants have, once again, opened their doors to guests, bringing exciting, innovative, and delicious food and flowing wine back into our lives. In celebration of this significant step forward in South Africa’s recovery from COVID-19, here is a selection of Southern Vines’ favourite restaurants in Cape Town.
La Colombe delivers emotionally evocative fine dining and child-like delight with its magical food presentation and interactive courses. Perched high up in the saddle between Constantia and Hout Bay, a meal here is an epic food experience that lasts several hours and is unrelenting in its perfection. It’s little wonder that La Colombe is consistently positioned amongst the world’s top restaurants.
Where: Silvermist Wine Estate, Main Road, Constantia Nek
The Cape’s indigenous flora may inspire the name, but FYN’s menu is a multi-sensory ode to Japanese food theatre. Each course arrives upon the table like a gentle tide, bringing with it a selection of artfully composed bites that are exquisite in flavour, balanced in texture, and immaculate in presentation. This is Kaiseki style dining at its finest outside of its mother country.
Where: 5th Floor, Speakers Corner, 37 Parliament Street, Cape Town
Winding your way up through bucolic farmlands and quaint pockets of vineyards on the foothills of Sir Lowry’s Pass, the winery and restaurant at Idiom rears up out of the plush landscape like a dream. Here, every dish is a symphony of bright, beautiful colours and fresh ingredients, paired beautifully with highly attentive, service and a handsome collection of Italian varietal wines, like Sangiovese, Barbera, Nebbiolo, and the absolutely sensational Zinfandel Primitivo.
Where: Da Capo Vineyards, Old Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West
Field-to-fork is the ethos behind the exceptional menu at the upmarket bistro-meets-contemporary restaurant, Foliage. Located in the thick of the action on Huguenot Road in Franschhoek, the foodie capital of the Cape, much of Foliage’s menu is weaved around whatever treasures chef Chris Erasmus can forage from the surrounding hills in the morning.
Where: 11 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek
From the Afrikaans word “to compel” comes this charming, home-style restaurant that oozes warmth and history. Noop is located in a heritage building on Paarl’s main road, under the canopy of two towering oak trees. The cuisine here is an honest yet expert composition of fresh, local ingredients and handpicked meat cuts, paired with wines from the surrounding winelands.
Where: 127 Main Road, Paarl
The brainchild of legendary Cape Town Chef Luke Dale Roberts, this classically beautiful restaurant (with some serious splashes of the avant-garde) serves ingeniously innovative gastronomy against a backdrop of mountain slopes, beachfront, and Atlantic Ocean views. It’s a food experience that is as subtle, compelling, and deeply satisfying as a Jane Austin love story.
Where: The Roundhouse, Round House Road, Camps Bay
Protégé is amongst the restaurants redefining the approach to fine dining, maintaining its calibre and innovation but delivering it in a casual setting. Located in the heart of Franschhoek and headlined by exquisitely talented chef Jess van Dyk (previously of La Colombe), each dish on the menu is a work of art. Plus, there’s always something special going on at Protégé, and right now, it’s a variety of dishes for only R55 on Sundays (16:00 to 21:00)!
Where: 18 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek
For well over a decade, La Mouette (meaning “seagull” in French) has successfully served revolving seasonal menus in a gorgeous heritage house in the lively seafront suburb of Sea Point. At this French-inspired modern European restaurant, chef Neill Anthony crafts multi-course, wine-paired meals that are as gorgeous to behold as they are to eat.
Where: 78 Regent Road, Sea Point