Archive for the ‘Southern Suburbs and Cape Peninsula’ Category

Massimo’s restaurant in Hout Bay, authentic Italian food beyond gloopy pasta sauce

Friday, October 7th, 2011

There has been a lot of talk of salsiccia of late.  This after a globe-trotting friend bought a house in Sea Point dubbed Casa Salsiccia, also known in her taal as the Worshuisie, for its narrow-long Victorian-style design.  Problem is I don’t confidently recall having tried this Italian sausage.  When Massimo of Hout Bay started tweeting about this wurst and his intention to re-open a restaurant there my nostrils flared in a manner more epicurean than equine.  Problem is the launch kept being delayed, creating a credibility crisis. (more…)

Eating in Kalk Bay, a Postcard from the Edge and fixing ceviche

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Quaint and neighbourly but by turns weathered and over-familiar.  Nothing wrong there.  Simply the reality of a village wedged between mountain and sea.  Looking out from the old fishermen’s quarter the stifling feeling is heightened minutes before the sun rises over the now orange-silhouetted Hottentots Holland Mountains across False Bay.  The smarter houses to the immediate left on the Kalk Bay Mountain are still cloaked in darkness against the night sky.  Then suddenly the sun bursts out, bathing them in light.  A silver sea in between. (more…)

The Lookout Deck, fried eggs and models in the Republic of Hout Bay

Friday, February 25th, 2011

In my experience lovely Hout Bay has strangely been a bit of a Bermuda Triangle of food.  The calamari at Chapmans Peak Hotel was once legendary.  They rolled it through an old-fashioned wringer washing machine to tenderise, forsaking the common chemical approach, said friends who once disastrously waited tables there between glugs of vodka.  I’ve eaten a pretty good meal there with my family in the last couple of years and one very ordinary one. (more…)

La Colombe, how is it faring with the ‘dreaded’ consultant celebrity chef?

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

“Would you like a roll to mop up the juice from your fillet steak?”
A more reassuring sign at a fine dining restaurant you will not find.  It indicates service without stuffiness.  That they want you to have a good time rather than intimidate you.  It is the kind of thing a genial host at a laid back dinner party might suggest.  And this isn’t a posh roll, just the same simple Portuguese bread you would have found at almost any Bez Valley* corner café in years gone by. (more…)

Harbour House, Kalk Bay fish restaurant with a view

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Beside the seaside there is an itsy bitsy teenie weenie*… family of fishies.  Stuck to beach cottage walls by Pisscatorial, the Cape’s leading holiday home decorator, these wood-carved artifacts – displayed in descending order of size (daddy fishy, mommy, Wendy and little Johnny) – have spawned and entire cottage industry. (more…)

The Annex Kalk Bay – café with a view

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Toilets and eating, though intimately connected, never combine to whet the appetite and seldom go together in a restaurant review, save for sometimes brief commentary at the end on an untidy loo.

All the same it is said to be good luck if a bird dropping lands on you.  Today a pigeon at this casual café passes water on (more…)

La Colombe

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

We arrive at the same time as housing minister Tokyo Sexwale.  No he isn’t having a kiss and make up lunch with defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu but is on official World Cup business.  Sexwale is greeted by a manager with a familiar hug, indicating he is enough of a regular to make his political rivals in the ANC seethe with jealousy (oops since discovered Sexwale is a co-owner of La Colombe – see comment below).  I am sure none of its ‘pro-poor’ youth leaders would complain if they were tycoons (or turn down a free lunch at La Colombe for that matter). (more…)


Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Whenever Franck Dangereux’s name comes up I can’t help thinking of the silly US comedian Rodney Dangerfield, which of course wasn’t his real name.  While Dangereux’s name may evoke an image of a French comic hero, there is no tomfoolery about this chef’s food. 
When hiring, most chef patron’s look for a cook with experience, one who can whip up a soufflé under pressure and implement the boss’s ideas.  Not this man. (more…)

Olympia Café

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Photographer Paul Weinberg’s exhibition opening on the first floor Kalk Bay Modern gallery was so jam-packed that I decided to drop downstairs to Olympia in order to make sure a table could be secured for dinner (well aware that they don’t take bookings).

Positioning myself at the counter with a glass of white, I cast a beady eye over the occupied tables.  As soon as I saw one had become available I (more…)

A Tavola

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

The lamb kidneys placed in front of me at this deep south Italian joint looked beautiful: plump little mounds of offal on toast promising an explosion of flavour.  While the taste was certainly good, I couldn’t help feeling the kidneys lacked a little oomph, possibly on account of being just a touch too dry for my liking.

The prawn and zucchini risotto that followed revealed perfectly cooked fat chunks of rice.  Unlike my own usual mushy attempts, the grains of rice had kept their shape.  The prawns and baby marrows were well judged too: crunchy on the outside and full of juice in the middle. (more…)