Eat your way through Cape Town

Karen Dudley's The Dining Room can be found in Woodstock. (Image courtesy of The Dining Room).

Karen Dudley's The Dining Room can be found in Woodstock. (Image courtesy of The Dining Room).

With seven out of 10 2014 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards won by venues situated in and around Cape Town, beyond the scenic beauty, the Mother City is a top culinary destination. A short trip to the Winelands offers a pick of some of these luminaries: there’s Jordan, Terroir and Rust and Vrede restaurants in Stellenbosch, or The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek. 

A little further out, The Restaurant at Newton Johnson overlooks the spectacular Hemel en Aarde Valley. For more good food, this time under old oak trees, head south and lunch in the garden of Groot Constantia’s historical Jonkershuis, or enjoy wine and views across the valley where the Cape’s oldest vineyards grow on the slopes of boutique wine estate Constantia Glen.

Head back into the city to Bree Street and discover a bunch of new eateries that have popped up like West Coast flowers in springtime, the latest being Culture Club Cheese and Bacon on Bree. Another two new Cape Town foodie hubs worth a visit are Salt River and Woodstock, where Raw and Roxy’s vegan café has just opened on Albert Road.

Here are five of our top picks:

The Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club

The Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club – two of Cape Town’s trendiest eateries that are so popular you have to book a table months in advance – are both the brainchild of British-born, multiple award-winning chef Luke Dale-Roberts. Opened in 2010 at the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, The Test Kitchen has been named South Africa’s best restaurant by Eat Out no less than three times in a row (2012, 2013 and 2014), earned its space in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2013 and 2014, and this year ranked 44th on the Elite Traveler Top 100 Restaurants in the World list.

In 2013, Dale-Roberts opened The Pot Luck Club next door to The Test Kitchen. Together with Greg Scott, a renowned Cape Town architect, they designed a striking new dining venue with an open-plan kitchen lit up like a stage. It’s Dale-Roberts’s food, and not his spaces, breathtaking as they are, that remains the star of the show – from his tapas-size fare made to share to his artistic food presentations and brave flavour combinations. To quote an Eat Out reviewer: “Incorporating South African flavours and some serious Asian flair, every dish is technically precise, totally original and beautiful to look at.”

The Taproom

Pop into Devil’s Peak Brewery’s The Taproom in Salt River and be greeted by the aroma of ale freshly made at their on-site brewery. Guests are encouraged to order a beer paired with a food board while taking in the view of Table Mountain through the large industrial windows. If you’re new to beer tasting and ravenous, order their legendary cheeseburger with the award-winning Kings Blockhouse IPA.

Jason Bakery

Perched on Bree Street, Cape Town’s über-trendy strip, Jason Bakery manages to deliver good service as well as food, even during the morning rush when the cars and bicycles of the smart set and bearded hipsters jostle for parking spots, prime seating space and the perfect breakfast on the double. The menu is full of weekly surprises, with The Bomb – a freshly baked croissant filled with bacon, Emmental cheese and a poached egg – maintaining its place as a popular favourite. The peanut butter, bacon and maple syrup croissant is ideal for the more adventurous palate. And naturally, all the baked goods are made with stone ground flour.

The Dining Room

The Dining Room is the only place that twinkles and sparkles at night on Woodstock’s Main Road. “It’s not a restaurant,” says owner and chef Karen Dudley, known for her popular Woodstock eatery The Kitchen (where Michelle Obama lunched when she was in town). “It’s an old-fashioned and elegant dining experience, with a quirky twist.” And she’s not just talking about the delightful décor. Think a decadent variety of starters served on a trolley, for mains, miso beer-braised beef short ribs – tender on the inside and crispy on the outside – and Dudley’s current favourite. And for dessert? Grandma’s pineapple foam pudding, of course.

Don’t miss…

Kloof Street House: Jazz on a Sunday, candlelit courtyard seating and lazy sundowners at the bar, all in the elegant comfort of this modern Victorian-style restaurant offering everything from Karan beef to bouillabaisse and salted caramel cheesecake.

Visit Hello Weekend to read more about their Tastescape Weekend specials running from May 22 to 24. 

This content has been produced in partnership with Cape Town Tourism. Contents and photographs were sourced independently by the M&G’s editorial team.

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