or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

South Africa

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Off to South Africa later this week for a visit to Cape Town, Johannesburg and the Kruger National Park. SA has world-class ingredients (especially fish/seafood, fruit and veg, and game meats) but until the 1990s few world-class chefs or restaurateurs.

I'm determined to try the award-winning "Beads" in Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, which has had some really adulatory write-ups for a sort of African fusion menu.

Near Cape Town I also intend to try "Mana" near Stellenbosch, which has an excellent reputation (modern European with some typically African ingredients) and "Josephine's" in Montagu (which seems to be a fusion of Indian, continental European and African cuisines - very interesting-looking menu!).

I'd be delighted to receive any other hints or tips for worthwhile restaurants to visit in Cape Town/winelands or Johannesburg from anyone who's visited South Africa in the last couple of years.
post #2 of 6
Ooh, Jacaranda, I'll be going in a couple of weeks too! Also Cape Town, but no JHB.

If you want to visit a lovely winery that's a bit of a drive from CT, Diemersfontein was great two years ago. I brought back some of their pinotage and everyone loved it. They have a little restaurant that serves very upscale fare, including some disturbing ingredients such as Springbok.

About the restaurant at Diemersfontein: http://www.diemersfontein.co.za/restaurant/
post #3 of 6
Btw, unrelated but perhaps helpful to those who want to go exploring. Fares to SA are now between $750 and $840 round trip from the east coast of the USA.

Am I allowed to post the consolidator's web site?
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip, FR; I've eaten at Constantia Uitsig, where the current Diemersfontein chef used to run the River Cafe. We're going to be spending a couple of days around Montagu/Paarl and then down to Stellenbosch, so Diemersfontein is well within reach. I'll report back in a couple of weeks!

Might even be able to eat some early hanepoot grapes before we leave...
post #5 of 6
There are so many 'good' restaurants to choose from in and around Stellenbosch. Ever heard of Moyo? Probably won't get any more African. They really go all the way. It might be worth making a post on 'Stellenbosch Forums' (Search in Google) to find out from people in Stellenbosch.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Moyo - South Africa

Yes, Moyo's a lot of fun (a chain of vast, pan-African themed restaurants aimed at an affluent white target market, tourists and parties), but people visit for the slick and highly choreographed entertainment experience (music, drumming, face-painting etc) rather than the food. (And let's be honest, the vision of Africa that Moyo presents is an accessible, Disneyfied version: Africa with secure parking, waiters who speak English, and a souvenir shop.)

In the end I didn't get to Diemersfontein - my companion contracted really bad food poisoning from bobotie and rice eaten at a farmstall cafe on the R62 on the outskirts of Montagu, which wiped us out for a couple of days.

We did eat at "Josephine's" in Montagu - an interesting menu with lots of Cape Dutch and Malay influences, as well as Thai and Indian dishes (and some good vegetarian choices, Free Rider!). Great food, but the restaurant was lit by harsh, overhead lighting and had a flustered server who seemed unable to cope with 4 tables.

"Beads" in Stellenbosch was an awful disappointment: having visited, I'm still not sure what the hype is about. Eye-wateringly expensive by South African standards, to begin with, with main courses at around R100-120 (US$15-18 approx). Charming service, and a pretty location in an historic building on one of the town's main streets (think of oak trees, cicadas chirping, whitewashed thatched houses, and lots of university students wandering around).

Unfortunately it took an hour for any food to arrive, and when it did appear (two fish dishes) both fillets were only half-cooked and still cold in the middle - the manager later admitted that they had been cooked from frozen (Stellenbosch is only 10 miles from the coast!). I sent both back, and they came back ten minutes later still partly uncooked; on the original plates with the original vegetables (which were by now stone cold).

Premium prices for slow service and badly prepared frozen fish? I was a tiny bit grumpy.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Restaurant Reviews