Here in sunny (and windy at the moment) Cape Town the official summer season, or just plain ‘season’ as it known locally, begins on the first of November and lasts well beyond the official end date of February.
Strangely enough this ‘season’ seems to have been a little late. Some, for reasons best known to themselves, are starting to blame this anomoly on global warming, others the shifting of the globe on its axis. Whatever the answer is it is (and always will be I guess?) a wonderful conversation opener here in Cape Town.
Bearing all these natural elements in mind, none but the faint of heart will be deterred from the traditional eating out that comes into force every year at this time.
You will know, if you are local or have visited The Fair Cape before, that we have an inordinate number of excellent restaurants,taps bars, bistros and coffe shops all ready and willing to show off their wares, at a price of course.
I am going to try (and I do mean try) here to help you through this gastronomic wonderland that is, Cape Town.
The first on my list (and in no particular order) of first class restaurantuers and their offerings, is the enigmatic and often charming (sorry Liam tee hee) Liam Tomlin, winner of the 2017 Eat Out magazine Chef of the year award.
Liam is originally from Southern Ireland (Eire??). He ventured as far as Australia where he rapidly began making a name for himself in the hospitality industry.
His first venture was Chefs Warehouse on Bree street in the centre of the city, which was an immediate success. With Graham…..in charge of the kitchen and staff. The unusual combination of kitchen utensils, cookery books, crockery etc. as well as his stunning array of ‘tapas’ style foods and first class South African wines was truly a ground breaker and a wonderful experience for us Capetonians.
In November 2016 Liam grabbed an even greater share of the eating pie when he almost simultaniously opened Thali, offering Indian style tapas under the creative direction of John Van Zyl plus…Beau Constantia Chefs Warehouse with the extremely clever and personable Ivor Jones at the helm.
Both these restauarants will be strong contenders for 2018 Eat Out awards I am sure.
The legendary Luke Dale-Roberts (British also!) started his South African journey as one of the chefs in the legendry Constantia restauarant, La Colombe. Attained the head chef position through his hard work and innivotive culinary creations. I remember visiting La Colombe for the first time some years ago and tasting Lukes marvelous dishes. We were lucky enough to be introduced to him and chat about his (then) unusual and exciting food. He called me ‘mate’ on that occasion and still does….he’s the only one in the World, trust me. It’s an Englishism obviously.
Luke has two highly successful restaurants within the Biscuit Mill development in Woodstock.
The first one to open was The Test Kitchen which wins Eat Out magazine restaurant almost every year it seems and has again received the accolade for 2017. The ‘theatre’ as well as the incredibly high standard of his culinary creations are, obviously, second to none. The Test Kitchen is fully booked all year round, usually two or three months in advance. I rest my case.
Lukes second restaurant,The Pot Luck Club, is literally a few doors down from The Test KItchen but perched high on top of an old grain silo with panoramic veiws of the City and coastline. Stunning.
The menu at The Pot Luck Club (PLC to us locals) couldn’t be more different to The Test Kitchen, but is equally inspired and totally off the left field. We love it there for Sunday Brunch with bottomless Cap Classique (beautiful South African champagne). Rude not to really!
It is interesting for me to note that a number of chefs in Cape Town that are now, or soon to be well known, started their careers with either Luke Dale-Roberts or Liam Tomlin…….food for thought??