Burgers at the River Café, Constantia Uitsig

I seem to be eating out awfully often at the moment, and try as we do to stay at home, there always seems to be a really good reason to go out.

Today, it was lunch at the River Café with my good friends Nick and Jeanne, who are at the moment sitting on a flight back to the UK, so it was out last chance to see them in a while.

The River Café is a lovely restaurant at the entrance of Constantia Uitsig Wine farm. Although I have not been there in a while, the service and food were fantastic. The staff managed to maintain the fine balance between being there when they were needed, and not quite getting in the way. While they have a simple and small menu, there is a good variety of tasty and interesting foods.

I started with Won-ton parcels, with a side-salad of veges stir-fried in peanut oil. While the parcels were a little oily, they were tasty and firm; and the veges were fantastic. You could have  ordered just the veges as a main course (they were that good!).

Now I know that a burger for main course sounds really boring, but in this type of restaurant you can be assured that you will not get a boring burger, and I was not disappointed. It was succulent, juicy and tasty. The home-made tomatoe relish was wonderful, and this was definitely one of the best burgers that I have had in a long time.

Lois had Gazpacho, which she proclaimed as very good, and both Nick and Jeanne had the fish, which was equally praised. On the downside, the restaurant is not the cheapest place to eat, but the food and service are good. While there are a few vegetarian options (for Lois), the selection is not huge.

However, if you want to go somewhere for a really good meal, this is a place to consider.

No doubt I will be blogging about another restaurant next week :-)

Ice cold cider at Peddlars on the Bend

Nothing like an ice cold cider to quench your (well at least Lois’) thirst at Lunch (I had a beer). We had lunch on Sunday at Peddlars on the Bend, a wonderful restaurant that has both stood the test of time, and the test of a fire. The entire restaurant almost burnt down a few years ago. But thankfully it survived, and after major repairs has been open ever since.

The outside garden area at Peddlars on the Bend

They still have one of the best bars and outside seating in Cape Town, and a wonderful (but more formal) restaurant inside. We spent a leasurely afternoon with some friends enjoying a beer or two, and an amazing meal. The staff are attentive but out of the way, and at about R80-R100 for most main courses, excellent value as well. There is also something for almost anybody; a very well thought-out menu.

Stacked Aubergine starter

Roasted Eisbein, not a small meal

Cape to Cuba

Cape to Cuba is (surprisingly) a Cuban restaurant in Kalk Bay, Cape Town. We have had several meals there, and they are generally very good. They also have a very casual pub area (think shorts and bare-feet) where they sometimes have live music.

Inside, the restaurant is a little like a rabbit warren. Rooms and corridors seems to extend all over the place, giving some open areas but many quieter areas with just a table or two in a room.

If you are in the area pop in; the food is good and the atmosphere is great.

(You can see the Kalk Bay harbour wall in the background)

Wine tasting in Stellenbosch

Welmoed wines

Yesterday we took some friends winetasting and to lunch in Stellenbosch. We started off at Welmoed, an old favourite of ours. I love visiting this farm because they have a great selection of wines at great prices, and because the staff are always helpful and friendly. I have only had good experiences there, and I almost always have some of their wine in my fridge.

Hartenberg picnics

Then we went to Hartenberg for lunch. They also have some wonderful wines and a great tasting room (you actually sit down at tables and the staff come around and describe the wines and let you taste them). But Hartenberg wines are clearly of a different quality (and at over double the price of Welmoed wines) clearly in a different price range.

Hartenberg make a lovely picnic lunch which includes breads, cold meat, chicken, cheeses and dessert for R120 per person. You can sit outside the tasting room, or at one of the many tables scattered around the gardens. I have had a few picnics at Hartenberg and it is also a lovely experience.

A very civilised way to spend a Saturday.

Closing time

Signboard outside Forries

On the 1 Jan 2011, Cape Town moved a little closer to being in a “nanny state”. The new  drinking laws have put even tighter restrictions on when restaurants and pubs can serve alcohol.

If the local government really think that it is going to make any difference to alcohols consumption, they clearly have been consuming too much alcohol themselves. This is just 5 years after the UK have relaxed drinking laws.

I wonder how much binge drinking will happen just before 11pm?

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