Posts Tagged ‘restaurant review’

Many meals ago, when I was wooed by a wine writer, I quickly learned that generous amounts of delicious wine is best accompanied by slobberfuls of decadent food. So during our romantic interludes we ate our way from Cape Town inner city’s very ra ra! Restaurants, to the secret grungy city spots and the food belly of the Franschhoek Valley.

Not only did I learn that a good wine had ‘legs’, a ‘nose’, and that blind tasting doesn’t mean you are sipping blindfolded, but I learned to truly appreciate what sets a mediocre meal apart from a gastronomical feast.oro signage170514_resized

Oroboros in Muizenberg ticks every single box. As we parked our car and started walking to the restaurant, I went into olfactory overdrive. It was as if we were transported to the streets of Morocco. The heady scent of freshly crushed and roasted spices came wafting out of Oroboros, which in turn made my tastebuds quiver. Small, cozy, and filled with bohemian artworks and décor, it has a very welcoming atmosphere. The waiting and bar staff are quick, efficient, and seem to actually like working there -which is a bit of a rare thing these days.20150912_170446

Oh but the food! We went there hungry but only managed the mezze platter and the West Coast Mussels. The portions are very generous and the variety of textures and flavours in the platter fill you up quick. Every dish on the platter seems to have been lovingly crafted by chef Craig Biggar. The chalkboard menu is small with a taste for most, which I like, as it often means the chef has perfected each dish.

JacquesresizedOwner Jacques de Klerk is a great host with a sort of bohemian glam, rock star vibe about him, which makes him intriguing to chat to as he dashes from table to table entertaining his people. I loved it when he served us olives drenched in oil, garlic and -I think – I tasted fragrant Rosemary. He served it piping hot and freshly oven-roasted, “because I just couldn’t wait.” Plenty of seating outside, especially for the last of the die hard smokers.

We managed to escape the shooters, it is a festive place on a Friday night, but Jacques –luckily- hooked us with his fresh, zingy Margharitas. The passion is tangible. I cannot wait to go back.georgezed

Oroboros Tapas Bar 082 925-1073; 2 York St, Muizenberg, Western Cape, South Africa

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Le Verger by day.

A visit to Le Franschhoek Hotel feels like being let in on a most exquisite secret.   The Cape Dutch style buildings are nestled in-between vineyards and an orchard; giving it a French chateau feeling.  The menu at the fine dining restaurant, Relais Gourmand, has been created by executive chef Darren Roberts and it’s a fusion of African dishes with Pacific Rim style cuisine. Le Verger is an outdoors restaurant that consists of individual glass conservatories scattered across the property. The sun streams in from all angles and it is spectacular to behold. Unfortunately Le Verger is closed for winter until end August. However, on my visit it is one of those crisp, sunny and wind still winter afternoons, and the staff made way for me to order from their fine dining menu at Le Verger restaurant.  

Executive chef, Darren Roberts

The chef has a taste for complex fusions and a blend of exotic tastes.  The starter portion of bishop stilton with roasted baby beetroot and Serrano ham salad with a decadent Champagne and walnut dressing is rich and simply melts into mouth.  For mains I had the grilled lobster tails with an oxtail tortellini, roasted bubble and squeak, baby onions and crustacean oil. This is an indulgent and decadent winter dish.  The portions are not large, but because of the complex ingredients, it is very filling and I had to decline dessert.  It is a special treat is to sip on a wine that has been harvested from the adjoining wine farm; there aren’t too many restaurants in the world that can boast this service.  Le Verger is the perfect venue for a long, lazy al fresco lunch during the sun drenched summer months.