If you’re from Johannesburg or Durban, you have to wonder about the inescapable truth that the restaurant awards are governed from the Mother City, and speculate about the possibility that, were the carrier magazine published in Gauteng and its judges mostly based there, the outcome might not be very different.
History repeats itself at La Colombe, where chef Franck Dangereux’s stupendous food put the restaurant on the local and global map, before Franck left to eventually open his own eatery in Noordhoek (The Foodbarn). Now chef Luke Dale-Roberts, after four years at La Colombe and intimations of moving into more of a ‘consultancy’ role, has set up his own restaurant, The Test Kitchen, due to open on November 24 at the trendy Old Biscuit Mill premises.
A new breeze has shuffled through Le Quartier Francais at Franschhoek where owner Susan Huxter and chef Margot Janse have tweaked the premises of the former Ici and revitalised it as The Common Room, a place where Franschhoek locals (and visitors) can hang out.
In that quiet that follows, there is the sound of a poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks badmouthing his girlfriend. On a pavement corner there is a trio of coloured boys singing in perfect harmony, with a hat at their feet, while bands of tourists march by unseeing, with their eyes on the next gourmet thrill.
The chef came out before a particular course and explained, somewhat nervously, that the kingklip was to be served raw tonight. Riiiiiiight, we muttered, dubious, looking left and right as if wondering where the candid camera was.