EAT

Category : Eats

Breakfast inspiration.

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If you need some breakfast inspiration, try these two: Mozzarella Bar, for soft scrambled eggs with salami and mozzarella (of course), a great way to start the day; or Tamboerswinkel (top) for simple but delicious toast with cheese and a selection of jams. Both very satisfying.

Honest chocolate x Patron XO Café Dark

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Haven’t even tried the chocolate, but I already love the idea of this. Support local artisan chocolate maker, market global tequila. Clever collaboration by Patron.

Black Book II.

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Where to eat when. Here it is, an updated version that should help you decide on the most suitable place for a bite or drink in Cape Town. Because Siri isn’t really that great here. Because we – me included – need help when we get thrown with the task of finding the perfect location. So hopefully the below list helps out, at least for the next while. And feel free to add your own recommendations as comments.

  1. Coffee fix: Deluxe (CBD)
  2. Eggs Benedict fix: Caffe Milano
  3. Pastry fix: Jason Bakery
  4. All day breakfast: Clarke’s Diner
  5. Business breakfast: Hemelhuijs
  6. Hangover breakfast: Superette
  7. Hassle-free lunch: Tamboers Winkel
  8. Lunch sandwich: The Kitchen
  9. Healthy lunch buffet: Sababa
  10. Lunchtime steak: HQ
  11. Lunch & the game: Vasco de Gama
  12. Fast seated lunch: Table Thirteen
  13. Late afternoon beer: The Power & The Glory
  14. Lunch with clients: Dear Me
  15. Brasserie lunch: Cafe Dijon
  16. Working lunch: Bird’s Boutique
  17. Quiet lunch: Skinny Legs & All
  18. Catchup lunch with a friend: Mano a Mano
  19. Long, lazy lunch: Bistro 1682
  20. Lunch with out-of-towners: Live Bait
  21. After work beer: &UNION
  22. Client drinks after work: Planet Bar
  23. After work cocktails: Tjing Tjing
  24. Bubbly & oysters: The Twankey Bar
  25. Sushi on your own: W Cafe V&A
  26. Chinese takeout dinner: Monk’s Chinese
  27. Steak dinner: Carne
  28. Burgers: Royale
  29. Asian dinner: Sawadee
  30. Italian: A Tavola
  31. Dinner with friends: Woodlands Eatery
  32. Dinner with the parents: Societi Bistro
  33. Dinner on a budget: South China Dim Sum (BYO)
  34. Wine-fueled dinner: Burrata
  35. Business dinner: The Pot Luck Club
  36. Fine-dining extravaganza: The Greenhouse
  37. Festive dinner: El Burro
  38. Friday night party dinner: Dias Tavern
  39. Lazy weekend lunch with kids: Massimo’s
  40. Lazy weekend lunch: The Foodbarn

 

Blender Baker Beermaker.

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The annual Food Wine Design event in Joburg might be the best event of its kind in South Africa. A well-curated gathering of food purveyors, wineries, craft beer and the best from the local design world, it’s held on the rooftop of the Hyde Park Shopping Centre in November. My lasting impression from the previous one I attended was that Joburg is starved for quality food and wine events (let’s be honest, shit like the Good Food & Wine Show is a joke) and that when they do attend these events, they bring their friends and importantly, their wallets!

Anyways, to the point of this post: this year host-sponsor Sanlam has a pretty cool initiative: Blender Baker Beermaker. They’re asking people to go online and select their favourite style of wine, type of beer and pizza. They’re then going to take the most popular of each and serve them at their Blender Baker Beermaker stand at the festival.

I think the whole concept is pretty awesome. This is essentially a crowdsourced stand. South Africa’s first? Either way, it’s great. You decide what gets made. Just go and vote at their Facebook app here. Go on, do it now.

 

 

 

 

Eat here: Cafe Dijon.

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“I really want this restaurant to do well.” That’s easily the most common thing I’ve heard from anyone that’s been to Café Dijon since it’s opened at the rear of The Rockwell building in Greenpoint. And I can only echo it. I also really really really want this place to do well. For the beautiful marble bar to become a busy after-work hangout, the lunch hours to be busy and people to hang around into the evening sipping wine. And of course, for it to be a lively bistro every single night.

Cape Town needs a good brasserie. Caveau on Bree Street filled that market for a while, but there’s a gap for it now and Café Dijon is the perfect candidate.

Aside from just wanting it to do well, the restaurant deserves to succeed. They’ve done a fucking stellar job turning what was possibly the city’s most undesirable piece of restaurant real estate into something beautiful. It’s modeled after Balthazar in New York, the room divided cleverly into several eating areas so even when quiet it doesn’t feel empty. Leather banquets, French café chairs and an outside courtyard encourage to stay and conquer the wine list. Wines are well priced too, though they could do with a few more inexpensive reds by the glass.

On the food, it’s what I’d all South African bistro classics: calamari, steak tartare, Charcuterie platters, mussels and five different cuts of grilled steak to choose from. They’ve smartly included a large selection of healthy but hearty salads too – roast beetroot & goats cheese, pear & Parma ham, seared tuna or the grilled steak and rocket surely all to become popular. Classic French dishes like French onion soup, snails Bordelaise and duck l’orange are things like the marrow bones starter, the Dijon cut steak and the pork belly will have me there often.

Essentially, it’s a no-brainer. Go there for a glass of wine, a beer in the courtyard, a light lunch, boozy lunch, healthy lunch, steak dinner or whatever. Don’t ask me for a restaurant recommendation in the next while, cos you know the answer. Just go.

The only thing that I can say needs a tweak – and this applies to so many places – is the music selection. Celine Dion should be deleted from all music playlists today. Right now. But I’m sure they can get some more old school jazz and other oldies to keep it lively.

Truthfully, I’m really hoping it’s so busy you don’t even hear the music.

www.cafedijon.co.za (closed on Mondays)

 

Braai Season.

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Braai season is upon us. And these days a good braai should offer way more than boerewors and a chop. Cooking over coals also shouldn’t mean you have to resort to barbarianism and eat only meat, drink only beer. This however, can also be fun as well as good business – just checkout Mzoli’s for proof.

The modern braai should be as gourmet as any other meal, just a whole lot simpler. Choose the right ingredients, cook outside on a grill and serve with a few fresh sides and you’re celebrating summer the best way possible. Whether you’re drinking a G&T, glass of Riesling or a craft brew, it doesn’t matter. What matters is being outside and using the beauty of fire to cook your meal.

Mix it up a little though. Braai Asian-style duck instead of chicken. Get a variety of pork, beef and lamb sausages instead of boring boerewors. Slow-cook pork ribs while basting in orange-rum marinade. Get crayfish, prawns and fresh fish and do a seafood platter. And don’t forget how amazing (and simple) veggies on the fire are, especially sweetcorn or aubergine, zucchini and peppers, sliced and splashed with salt and olive oil.

Here’s a few places to stock up on quality meats and seafood in Cape Town…

Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants
A veritable free-range meat fest happens six days a week in this tiny shop off Kloof Street. Step into the walk-in fridge and you enter a world of potential braai awesomeness. Pork ribs, beef ribs, steaks, fresh chourizo, lamb chops, duck, etc etc, the list goes on and on. They have it all, or if they don’t, contact them and they’ll get it. Full listings on their website at http://ffmm.co.za. Recommend: get a whole duck and roast it with Chinese five-spices.
Raith Gourmet
Packed every day with German locals getting their fix of meat and sauerkraut, they have a mean selection of sausages that really make your average boerewors look rather stale. They also do great pork ribs and a selection of marinaded meats worth trying and offer really good value. Recommend: get a big selection of sausages, some mustard and sauerkraut of course.
Gardens Continential Butchery
More commonly known as “the German butcher on Kloof,” this small neighbourhood butchery stocks a variety of fresh and marinated meats, but is better known for the game selection. Recommend: stock up on baby chickens and do a peri-peri feast.
Cure Deli
No store so look for Cure at several markets around Cape Town. The banger-style sausages are great and there’s often game on offer too along with the cured options. Recommend: braised leek & sage bangers
Joostenberg Deli
Pork, pork and more pork. Made from their own free-range pigs, this butchery turns out amazing sausages, ribs, roasts and other pork delicacies. Products are available from several major retailers. Recommend: get some pork steaks and make your own pork pregos at home.
Gogo’s.
I actually haven’t even stepped foot in the place but have heard great things. They stock a range of free-range meat, game, duck as well as some seafood. Recommend: apparently their pasture-reared chickens are rather special.
Oceans Edge
When you’re tired of waking up with meat sweats at 3am, or if you just enjoy seafood, get to this gem of a shop in Sea Point that stocks a good variety of fresh and live seafood. Grilled fish fillets for the fire, prawn skewers, crayfish tails, they got it all. Maybe get some oysters for starters. Recommend: get a whole small fish, stuff it with herbs and cook over high heat so gets crispy on the outside.
Food From The Karoo
A pretty awesome package of great foods from the Karoo, including the ubiquitous lamb cuts, nguni beef, chicken and some game. Order via their easy-to-use website makes it super convenient too. Recommend: springbok fillets!

And don”t forget – it’s National Braai Day on the 24th September. That’s this month people!

 

David Bakery.

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Guys, many of you already know that I’ve been looking in on Jason Bakery while he’s away on his holiday to Spain. After a few days checking how things worked, I’ve  just decided it’s easier to take over. That’s right, Jason Bakery is now David Bakery!

Naturally this means a few things will change around here. Firstly, you can call the place “David’s” if you like, I won’t be upset. Also, yes, just like it says in the picture – we’re open Saturdays! We’ve also streamlined the menu: every croissant comes with bacon in it! Actually, EVERYTHING comes with bacon! Even coffee comes with a piece of streaky bacon instead of a biscuit.

Sadly I won’t be able to pour coffees next week since I’ve got to recover from the tattoos I’m getting this weekend on my arms, but I’ll be handing out free loaves of sourdough to the first 10 people that arrive and say our new tagline:

BEER. BREAD. BACON.

 

 

 

* okay, yes, this is all a joke.

Eggs & Soldiers.

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At Dear Me.

And that’s it.

Breakfast perfection.

Monk’s.

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Do yourself a favour and the next time you have a craving for Chinese food, give Monk’s a call. I loved them the moment I saw their logo. Which you’ll only see online or on the neat white takeout boxes, since they don’t have a shop. You order. They deliver. You pay with cash or card. Easy as that. And the food? I’ve only had the Monk’s kingklip with some smokey noodles, which was delicious. As I thought it would be. Why? Simple rationale: any small company that puts a bit of love into their logo usually puts a bit of love into their product too.

monkschinese.co.za

Table For One? Rather a Seat at The Bar.

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Going out for dinner on your own in Cape Town (or anywhere) is not fun. Especially when sitting at a table in a busy restaurant, other diners all around you laughing and talking while you finger the menu and check through your text messages trying to look at ease. But sometimes it’s unavoidable. Maybe you’re here on business, in which case the hipsterfied crowds of Cape Town are already making you question your choice of shoes. Or your day has been shit and you just need a quick bite and glass of wine on your own. Whatever the case, on those occasions the good news is you don’t have to ask for a table for one. Just follow this simple rule: head somewhere that serves a decent dinner at a bar or counter seating. Like these places:

Vasco de Gama. You’ll dine alongside traveling businessmen, local blue-collar and white-collar folk and if you don’t feel like talking, even after a jug of sangria, you can just stare at the TV while munching on your peri-peri chicken.

Clarke’s Diner. Wear some sharp threads and grab a seat at the bar. Make small talk with the colourful bar staff. Stuff your face with the comfort food. Enjoy the music. Ponder growing a moustache and buying a bicycle. Follow through on the bike, forget the tache. (Wed – Sat only)

Hudson’s on Kloof. Good burgers and craft beer on tap at the bar, which only has a few seats, so you might have to muscle your way in if you get there late. Plaid shirt optional.

Burrata. The fact that the bar circles the pizza oven makes it a hit in winter. Pizzas are great but the menu of Italian specialities shouldn’t be ignored. And the wine list is as good as it gets.

Kyoto Garden Sushi. Still what I reckon is the best sushi in Cape Town, and the best part is if you’re a lone visitor to the Cape or you’ve offended all your friends, you can still enjoy it at their bar counter without looking like a loner.

Haiku. If you want upscale Asian then you’re sorted her. Great dumplings and an extended menu of Eastern dishes on offer. Just sit at the counter in front of the kitchen.

Giovanni’s. Counter seating and bar seating where you can enjoy their prepared foods, salads, cured meats and everything else. No booze, so more of a quick-bite-and-run spot.

El Burro. Eat the best Mexican in Cape Town at the counter seats adjacent the service bar. Down a Corona, gawk at the waitresses, shoot some tequilas and enjoy the vibe.

The Twankey Bar. What they refer to as ‘bar snacks’ are really tasty little meals. The guacamole and chips is fantastic, the oysters are legendary, there’s Guinness on tap and a TV for catching the game.

The Power & The Glory. Best in summer, when you can sit at the window counter, sip on a pint of beer and enjoy a rather fine hotdog. Stay for two pints and you’ll probably only leave at 2am when they escort you out.

&UNION. The entire inside is essentially counter seating. Dine on Cape Town’s best prego and catch live music twice a week. Time it right and you can fit in a free winetasting (Tuesdays and Thursdays). Crowdwatching is always great here too.

Willoughby & Co. Sit at the bar and watch the sushi chefs get angry with the waiters. Try some edamame, miso soup and the rainbow reloaded. Two carafes of white wine and you’re done.

Woodlands Eatery. A raised bar offers a good vantage point from which to drink, dine and watch the young creative crowds. The food is a treat here, especially the pizzas, and their pricing is good too.

Any other spots you recommend? Drop us a comment, thanks!

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