As you enter the concrete jungle of Cape Town CBD, there is a high-rise brick building that holds a hidden oasis. Situated in the center of this high-rise is Ben Wei. This Asian fashion restaurant transported one to East Asia with the decor and ambiance.
Almost as if you were invited to dine with an Emperor, the quality of the paper the menu was presented on was of a high quality and sported a caricature co-owner and chefs face Jim Dai. Looking back on the evening, the menu setting was a sign of the good to come. This also alluded to the assumption that no cost was spared to make the diners feel welcome.
Restaurant Week Dinner Special R250 p.p.
For a 4 Course Dinner Special
Starters Prawn Tempura
Crispy Asian Fish Cake
Sushi California Sunshine
Hot Mains Kung Pao Chicken
Chicken and Cashew Nut
Desserts Chocolate Banana Spring roll
Coconut Ice Cream and Berry Coulis
The prelude to supper was a condiment of “Asian salad” – cucumbers, carrots, bean sprouts pickled in vinegar. Thereafter, we were served four courses successively.
The first course was fries with a dip – not the French fry variety but various seafood coated in bread crumbs and deep fried. The fish cakes were notable here because of the unique taste of the combined tuna and salmon and worked well with the coriander aioli.
The second course was a selection of sushi – California Sunshine, Rainbow Reloaded and Rainbow Rolls. Each serving was a generous 8 pieces and was delicious. Particularly with the California Sunshine, the addition of lemon zest on the sushi added a twist to the otherwise normal California Roll.
For Hot main, classical Asian dishes of Kung Pao Chicken, Spicy Beef and Chicken Cashew Nut were on the menu with the options of rice or noodles as a side. Each was a healthy portion and the Spicy Beef (as the name suggested) was indeed spicy. This can be attributed to the closely guarded secret sauce.
After the climactic 1st to 3rd courses, the dessert was met with mixed reviews. The Chocolate Banana Spring roll was served with vanilla ice cream and was received very well. The chocolate was gooey and the Spring roll pastry was neither too thick nor thin but just enough to be crispy.
The coconut ice cream with berry couli did not amalgamate well together but the individual flavones were delicious.
Ben Wei certainly gave more than what was expected, especially in terms of value for money. The patrons were always available to set and did so with a smile. All in all, Ben Wei left us feeling very optimistic and was the perfect start to restaurant week 2017.
I absolutely love Reverie Social Club both as a concept and as fantastic dining experience. Now I have to admit that I am gainfully employed literally two minutes from this restaurant, for the last two years I might add, and I was totally oblivious to its existence.
Chef Julia prepares a set menu for a small group of approximately twenty diners, so booking is imperative and it really was an absolute treat.
We were the first to arrive and we mulled around enjoying a glass of the complementary Diemersfontein Sauvignon Blanc, as we waited for the arrival of the rest of the guests.
Trout tartare with apple and fennel salad, sriracha, radicchio and black rice.
Persian orange and almond cake, with dried apricots toasted meringue naartjie curd and apricot sorbet.
Our party were the only South Africans barring another gentleman, with the rest of our fellow diners ranging from a group of Aussies, a young New York couple here on honeymoon to a German family on their second visit to South Africa and Reverie Social Table. And I guess this speaks volumes about the quality of the dining experience.
Now, I’m no social butterfly by any stretch of the imagination, but maybe this kind of setting and the wine on offer, makes one more relaxed and open to the “social” experience that Reverie Social Table is well-known for.
Persian orange and almond cake, with dried apricots toasted meringue naartjie curd and apricot sorbet.
Our first course of the evening was trout tartare with apple and fennel salad, sriracha, radicchio and black rice. Which was served with the Diemersfontein 2016 Rose, this was a lovely course and the black rice was an interesting twist, once upon a time reserved for the Emperor and forbidden to “common folk”.
Next was the Soup with pickled vegetables, smoked cashews, beetroot and radish with charred aubergine veloute .This course was delicious and the smokiness of the cashews was a nice addition. This course was paired with the Diemersfontein Shiraz.
This was followed by the main course was delicious karoo lamb with a lamb jus, broad beans, horseradish, vanilla cauliflower and roasted garlic served with the Diemersfontein Carpe Diem 2015 Pinotage . This was my favourite course for the evening, the lamb perfectly prepared and I enjoyed the charred rind, this might be too much fat for some but I loved it.
The next course was served with the second Diemersfontein Pinotage for the evening and was perhaps the most interesting course on the evening. Cremona panna cotta, liquorice choc cremeux, hoisin sauce, coffee brioche crumbs. Now this was the savoury course and lovers of gorgonzola will instantly love this course, others maybe not so much as every spoonful seems richer and heavier than the last.
Last but not least was the dessert course. Persian orange and almond cake, with dried apricots toasted meringue naartjie curd and apricot sorbet. I enjoy all things tart and citrusy so this was a treat for me.
Reverie Social Table is about more than just fabulous food, and it really was fabulous. It’s about meeting new like-minded people perhaps, but more importantly it’s about creating an environment where social interactions and connections happen by default. A first for me, but most certainly not my last visit.
This eatery is maybe not in the most fashionable part of Cape Town or Observatory for that matter but it certainly is a gem. Add it to your “Must Do” when in Cape Town.
Situated at the foot of Devil’s Peak, The Taproom is both a pub and restaurant. Perfect for a lunch snack or after work drink and snack.
The Taproom is perfectly situated so one can take in the beautiful mountain views,whilst relaxing with a beer or 5.
Devil’s Peak Tasting Tray
BBQ Chicken Wings with Café Racer Glaze
Roasted Bonemarrow with Beer Bread Toast, Pickles,
Chilli Fried Beer Cheese Croquettes with Paprika Mayo
Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Corn Bread, Fury Hot Sauce
East Coast Hake, Cider Batter, House Pickle Mayo
A definite winner is the BBQ Chicken wings, I would have happily had 3 bowls of those, serious value for money.
The size of the Roasted Bone Marrow, straight from the Fred Flintstone era.
The Croquettes we good, bit too cheesy for my liking, but Jason happily scoffed it all up and the Paprika Mayo was perfect partner.
It’s not secret I love chicken, so even before we ordered the bar snacks I knew what mains I was having… all I saw was Buttermilk Fried Chicken, didn’t see the Fury Hot Sauce part . Sadly I only got in one mouthful and had to quickly pass my chicken onto Jason, as I can’t spicy or hot, so fury was a tall order. Apparently it was very good.
The Beer Battered Fish was good, both the batter and fish was prepared well sadly we found a few bones, but wasn’t worth making a big deal about it.
The Rosemary Fries was quite substantial and served both of us.
Jason had the Devils Peak Tasting Tray and still preferred the Lager after tasting the rest of the beers.
I loved the coffee, and this was a seriously good cuppa joe.
Situated inside the hip and happening Old Biscuit Mill, Burrata offers an assortments of Antipasti’s, Mains and yummy desserts. Of course being an Italian eatery, there pizzas have been rated right up there with the best on Cape Town.
We arrived early as we always doJ. The restaurant décor is in keeping with the Old Biscuits Mill, exposed brick work, but with a few modern touches and finishes we anticipated another goodies even before the food arrived.
Arancini with aioli
Beef carpaccio with salsa verde, rocket and parmesan
Charcuterie board, salami and proscuitto with pickled vegetables
Ginger and apricot semifreddo with chocolate ginger cremoso and pistachio sable biscuit
Torta di Ricotta, lemon ricotta cake with basil whipped ganache, burnt honey gel and ricotta gelato
We ordered six Antipasti dishes, simply because each one sounded yummier thank the next and it was impossible to decide. Firm favourite was the Cauliflower Pops, who knew cauliflower could taste this good. The spicy Lamb meatballs could easier be a meal in its own. Squid was succulent and juicy. I didn’t get to taste the Beef carpaccio’s orange smoked Springbok, but I have it in good authority that they were excellent too.
Onto mains, and honestly by this time, we were stuffed, but had to at least have a pizza and then also decided on the Fish of the day. We simply couldn’t finish it, but the base was delicious and topping fresh and flavourful. The Fish and Polenta cake was excellent too.
Somehow we found space for dessert, don’t ask and Jason has decided his dessert of choice going forward would be semifreddo, clearly he has been converted J.The Ricotta cake was surprising light and delicious.
All in all an excellent evening, perfect for date night or a family gathering, you will not go wrong and the coffee is excellent too.
Sadly I am allergic to shellfish and was unable to try the Gambas or Prawns as they are more commonly known, my family were licking their fingers and smacking their lips and the two Prawns and as per father and daughter combo, it’s two of the best Prawn Dishes they have had.
The tapas filled us up and we sadly couldn’t even get to the mains or dessert, but we heading back for sure, to get to the rest of the menu.
The food came out quickly and service was excellent. Found the Restaurant staff to be very friendly and helpful, though some of the patrons didn’t seem as welcoming. But this too shall change.
Just before the start of Summer we decided we needed a moment to revive the senses before the Holiday season sets in. We decide 12A would be the place we’d go to celebrate our anniversary and to get some much needed R&R.
From the moment started communicating with the reservation start, we immediately knew this overnight stay was going to be one for the books. The reservation staff handled all the booking from the hotel stay to the spa treatments and even dinner. I simply had to pop and email and it was taken care of.
Finally the day had arrived and from the moment we pulled up you could feel the 5 star treatment. Having been to 12A before for lunch and dinner, this time it felt different. The reception area felt like a bygone era. Not old, simply classy, loved it!!!
We were given a full tour of the grounds and then shown to our room. We stayed in a stunning sea view room and its was to dream off. They even added some special treats to wish us well on our anniversary celebrations, nice touch J.
We freshened up a bit and then headed off to lunch at The Café Grill, a 24 hour café, ideal to grab a light lunch or for a more informal dining experience. We ordered the Caesar Salad and the Salmon & Avo Roulade. The portions were huge and simply delicious and freshly prepared. Oh and the one of the best bread baskets for sure!
Jason of course wasn’t required to take pics at lunch bit simply couldn’t help himself.
Then it was off to the 12A Spa for our treatments.
Men’s Executive (2 hrs) R 1 950
For total relaxation and grooming, this package is tailored for the modern day man with the dynamic and immediate relief of the 90 minute Deep Tissue Muscle Massage combined with a 30 minute hydrating skin booster facial. Total Time Out! This Includes a delicious spa lunch.
Detox Deluxe (2 hrs 15 min) R 2 400
Kick start your detox at The Spa at The Twelve Apostles Hotel with this Detoxifying, Cleansing and Slimming package. Your journey will begin with a 60 min Bellabacci Massage focusing on lymphatic drainage, increasing blood circulation and eliminates stagnation followed by a 60 minute Mio Slimming treatment of choice. This package includes a healthy Spa Lunch and a Detox Smoothie.
Might sounds expensive, but it was worth every penny. By far the best Spa experience we have both had. So much so,we were so relaxed,we totally missed our dinner time, but who’s checking we were there some R&R and that’s just what we got some serious R&R.
We then freshened up and headed to the formal restaurant Azure to meet up with Mario & Laetitia, the dinner part of the blog is written by my well versed cousin, over to you sir ;).
It’s not every day one gets an invitation to the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa, without a doubt one of the premier destinations in Cape Town. It was typical blustery day along the Atlantic seaboard, but that did little to dampen spirits as we watched the sun set over the ocean.
We opted for the “Taste of the Sea” four course tasting menu (R650) and the additional wine pairing (R350). The price point is perhaps at the upper end of the scale, so we were curious to see how this meal would match up to expectations.
Taste of the Sea
Citrus Confit Yellowfin Tuna
Kewpie mayo,edamame beans,molasses curd,tsuyu sause and puffed wild rice
Creamed cauliflower,cumin,yohurt,pineapple chutney,hydrated sultanas and verjuice
Sustainable Fish of the Day
Cardinal Fish, smoked rillettes,saffron Saldanha Bay mussel cream,salt baked celery root,compressed apple and chunky chives oil
Key Lime Pie
Valrhona,ivory whipped ganache,vanilla crème, candied lime and lime curd
Additional Wine Pairing R350.00
First on the menu was Citrus Confit with Yellowfin Tuna, this was accompanied by kewpie mayo, edamame beans, molasses curd and tsuyu sauce and puffed wild rice. This was a lovely Asian influenced dish, I’m not sure that there is a better way to enjoy tuna. Tsuyu is a simplistic clear sauce made with mirin, sugar soya sauce and dashi soup stock. This course was paired with the Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc 2015.
The following course was the Prawn Dhal, creamed cauliflower, cumin yoghurt, pineapple chutney, hydrated sultanas and verjuice gel. This course was paired with my favourite wine for the evening, the Jordan Riesling 2016
The palate cleanser was a citrus sorbet, if memory serves, and it was served in a most dramatic fashion.
Next was my favourite course for the evening, the Fish of the day, which turned out to be a fish I had never heard of, much less eaten, Cardinal. I was somewhat offended that I had never heard of this fish and like any self- respecting Capetonian it bothered me, enter Google. I trolled through several sites in search of this fish, which is apparently related to sea bass, with no success, clearly this is an elusive little fish. This course was served with rillettes, saffron mussel’s cream, salt baked celery root with compressed apple chunky chives oil. This course was paired with the Bouchard and Finlayson Chardonnay 2014. I really enjoyed this course.
Finally, for desert Key Lime Pie with Valrhona ivory whipped ganache (Valrhona is a brand of luxury chocolate made in France), vanilla crème, lime curd and candied lime. I enjoy tart, lemony dishes so this was a real treat. The Rudera Noble late harvest was served with this dish, too sweet for my personal taste, but will definitely appeal to those with a sweet tooth.
This is about the experience, it’s about putting the “Fine” in fine dining; idyllic sea views, modern stylish décor, sophisticated ambience and world class service. An experience, that has to go on that bucket list.
Its spring time, the sun is out and it’s my favourite time of year. The weather is getting warmer and it’s an opportunity to dust off some of those winter cobwebs and to do some “out and about” exploring.
So, we were off to do a little Saturday, afternoon picnicking on a little farm called Vergenoegd Wine Estate. I will be the first to admit that I must have driven past this farm maybe a hundred times on the way to the more familiar and commercial wine farms in Stellenbosch and surrounds and not given Vergenoegd Wine Estate a second glance.
They have a little market on site, it’s not very big but it is early in the season so hopefully it will be filling up with all manner of delicious treats. Every Saturday at around 12:00, what seems like hundreds of ducks are marched in orderly fashion across the little courtyard area, much to the delight of kids and parents alike.
A Gourmet Picnic with a Bottle of Wine and an Exclusive Wine Tasting Experience for 2 People at Vergenoegd Wine Estate,
Value : R329
Having found ourselves a comfortable spot on the lush lawn we were brought our picnic basket that consisted of two decks.
BBQ Roasted nuts
Sesame seed crackers
Cumin Seed Butter
Mature cheddar Butter
Green salad, fennel, celery, walnuts & cucumber.
Naartjie cream cheese
Basil, Olives, semi dried tomato cous cous Salad
Garlic infused Olive Oil
Frittata, nestertium pesto, Creme fraiche
Carrot cake, vanilla chantilly, mixed nut crumble
To quench your thirst
750ml Runner Duck Red,Rose or White Wine
750ml Still or Spring Water
The first deck consisted of ciabatta, bbq roasted nuts, sesame, cumin seed butter, which was amazing, mature cheddar and brie, babaganoush, marinated olives and the most delicious Salmon mouse.
The second deck consisted of a Green salad with fennel and celery, walnuts and cucumber. Then there was the naartjie cream cheese which was lovely. There was also the Cous cous salad with basil, olives and semi dried tomato. Next was the Frittata nesterium pesto and crème fraiche. The dessert consisted of Carrot cake, vanilla Chantilly and mixed nut crumble.
We were two couples which allowed us to share the complimentary wines; we opted to go with the Runner Duck Sauvignon Blanc 2017 and the Runner Duck Red 2014 to give us an opportunity to try both.
We enjoyed some wine tasting at our table and I absolutely loved all the wine on offer. The portions are generous and can easily satisfy a couple. The platters are interesting in design and require some dexterity and an imagination.
This is one of those places to go to when you are not in the mood for crazy crowds and just want to unwind in a very relaxed atmosphere.
Having visited The Foodbarn a few years earlier, we were excited to go back and this time, they surpassed all our expectations.
Still the same but different, is the best way to describe the interior, I still love the space and the fact that you don’t feel as though you just stuffed in for the sake of numbers. Diners are not on top of each other there is ample space for a romantic dinner and large group dining.
Then it came to choose, we had serious trouble as everything sounded delicious, but eventually we choose our dishes for the night. Each one better than the next, each element no matter how big or small simply superb!
The monthly visits to the Saturday Supper Club at Radisson Blu Hotel never failed to impress me. However last night was the final Supper Club for the season and proved to be extra special with Morgenster Wine and olive oil.
Stacey the Restaurant manager was excited to see us at the final supper as we were the constant few who had supported from the beginning. Upon arrival we were greeted with welcome drinks; Sauvignon Blanc 2016 & Rose 2016. These were accompanied by canapés which we had the privilege of enjoying out on the open amidst the stunning view of the sea with an orange horizon. Something I can never have enough of.
Welcome Drinks & Canapes
Morgenster Sauvignon Blanc 2016 & Morgenster Rose 2016
Cape Malay Spiced Lentil Soup – with Don Carlo Olive Oil
Morgenster Sangiovese 2016
Braised Beef Short Rib – Morgenster extra Virgin Olive Oil
Chocolate Tart – with Lemon Olive Oil Ice cream
Nabucco Nebbiolo 2012
After the welcome by our host and introduction of Morgenster Wine we were treated to Starters.
Cape Malay Spiced Lentil Soup with a dash of Don Carlo Olive oil paired with Morgenster Sangiovese 2016. The pairing was on point as the spicy soup complimented the Sangiovese.
Mains were braised beef short rib with Morgenster extra virgin olive oil accompanied by Morgenster 2010. This was my favourite partnership as the wine was light to compliment the red meat.
To end the sumptuous three course dinner, we had chocolate tart with lemon olive oil ice cream. The ice cream was a first for me and we were told was made locally. The wine of choice was Nabucco Nebbiolo 2012 which proved to be fruity and woody yet not sweet.
My wine tasting adventure at the Saturday Supper Club every month proved to exhilarating and exciting for two reasons; the great food and wine together with awesome people.
Thank you JAR PHOTOGRAPHY and Radisson Blu for making this adventure one to cherish. I look forward to the summer adventure to come.
Last month we got to experience a stay at African Pride 15 on Orange and redeemed our Wikideals Voucher which included a luxurious Couples Spa Package at Suntra Spa, Sparkling Wine & an Exclusive 3-Course Gourmet Dining Experience for 2 People
Value of Deal R2760
Cost of Deal R1200
Upon arrival we were greeted by friendly reception staff, who did the necessary and then showed us to our room. We had a lovely bottle of bubbly and chocolates waiting for us in our room.
After we freshened up we headed to Murano Bar for something to nibble on before our spa visit. We decided on the Charcuterie Platter and if I’m being honest for R145,I think it was on the small side. Still hungry we decided to just do lunch and use our Entertainer App we ordered the Baked Norwegian Salmon & the Chicken Tikka Masala. Now these mains were polar opposites, let’s start with the bad, the Salmon was smothered with some green pastes which we assume was the herb crust, but it was really terrible and the mash, not sure what that was. Sad that such a good piece of fish was wasted. Now the good, the Chicken Tikka Masala with all the trimming was excellent. The portion was huge and 2 pf us couldn’t polish off the dish. Serious value for money. We utilized our Entertainer App and only paid for 1 main, so all’s well ends well J
Then it was onto Suntra Spa for our Couples Spa Treatment. The lovely ladies at Suntra Spa were very friendly and welcoming. We were shown to the steam room where we could enjoy a scrub and the sauna for 20-30 mins. Sadly I wasn’t able to enjoy that as it was simply too hot for me and I felt quite light-headed. Shame the ladies were so helpful and understanding and I felt so bad, they eventually convinced me to stay for the massage. My massage was good, I felt relax though if given a choice I would have happily paid for 90 mins instead of the 30-45 min one we had. Sadly Jason’s massage wasn’t good at all, but he took on for the team and soon we were done.
Then we freshen up and it was off to dinner. We were shown the Spa Menu as it was part of the Wikideals and we could choose from:
SUNTRA SPA MENU
Salt and Pepper fried Calamari
Dipping sauce, lime
Grilled Line fish
Sauté wild mushrooms, fondant potato, pea puree
Luckily we polished off the entire bread board which was good. Sadly the food really wasn’t very good and we mostly ate the veggies and avoided the protein.The Bon-bon platter was the same one we had in the room, so we passed on that and honestly at the point contemplated checking out and going home.
The next morning, we both weren’t feeling too good and decided not to tempt fate and skipped breakfast and headed home.
We’ve eaten at Savour Restaurant prior granted it was a function, but the standard of food has definitely dropped and the fact that there was only one other couple and a birthday party and a family in the restaurant.
All in all not quite what we expected food and spa wise, but the hotel, the rooms and staff were trendy, clean and helpful.