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Going Bizerca at Heritage Square

Laurent and Cyrillia Deslandes have moved Bizerca uptown to Heritage Square, where their premises include the wind-protected courtyard at the square’s heart, and the masterstroke is that, while settling into the new space and giving it their own understated style, they also added something akin to placing a striking centrepriece on a dinner table to provide a talking point: an entire wall of the restaurant interior has been turned into a vertical herb garden.


A wine safari far from the bush

It was a “safari” because there were four young winemakers, each of whom had brought along a wine to show off, tell us about and share with us, all the while being matched to a particular dish by executive chef Roland Gorgosilich and his highly skilled team. In effect, we all stayed put at our tables, while four winemakers moved from table to table with each course.


A soupçon of La France at the Cape

It’s called Café Dijon, and you may know the Stellenbosch original. That one is gone, owners Johan (Dup) and Sarah du Plessis (Sarah being in the kitchen while Dup charms you front-of-house) having decided to move business, but not house. So, madly, insanely, they are still living in the Boland and commuting every day and night to their new premises in the (dare I say it) trendiest part of Cape Town.


Lunch with Her Ladyship

It’s a bit like having lunch with the Dowager Countess of Downton Abbey. You wonder if the staff must get into huddles of confusion and consternation somewhere in the wings as they try desperately not to embarrass her ladyship while she’s entertaining guests for lunch.


Blumen marvellous nosh at Tokara

RICHARD Carstens is looking very much as though he is on top of his game – on top of the world, in fact. The world’s view from his lair in the mountains above Stellenbosch stretches all the way to False Bay and Table Mountain, but his cuisine journeys far more widely than that, with influences that stretch as far afield as the eyries of culinary genuises like Ferran Adria and Heston Blenthal – who was so delightly misnamed by a contestant in an episode of Come Dine With me as ‘Blumen Heseltine”.


Barefoot and replete at The Foodbarn

The promise is made, and the promise is kept: at the Foodbarn, you can wear shorts and sandals or even walk in with bare, sandy feet, and nobody is going to frown, ask you to sit outside and bring you the burgers and chips menu. There isn’t one of those. Rather, you’ll still enjoy some of the finest fare at the Cape and a soupcon of France, sandy feet and all.


Bungee-jumping at The Tasting Room

Offering a surprise menu — you have no idea what you’re getting — is the restaurant industry’s equivalent of bungee-jumping. It’s out-there stuff, and pretty exhilarating if you’re prepared to harness up and fling yourself over the culinary edge.


Test-driving The Test Kitchen

History repeats itself. La Colombe had a brilliant chef who grew an international reputation for the Constantia restaurant and earned it a slew of awards. Then he left and started his own, more modest, eatery. La Colombe found a brilliant replacement, who clawed back its international reputation and earned it a slew of awards. But now he too has left and opened his own, more modest, restaurant.


Savoy Cabbage is right on top of its game

Peruse the annual awards lists of the last 10 years and you’ll find many examples of restaurants that were once just the place to get to, dahlings, their chefs’ names thrown about as if the Gods had come down to save our palates. Then they slip down the lists until, in a year or two, they drop out of the top 10 and are often never heard of again.


Eat Out’s top 20 nominees are out – what do you think?

Eat Out’s 20 nominees for their annual restaurant awards are out, with the awards dinner to take place at the Westin Grand on the Foreshore in Cape Town on Sunday November 22.