Overnight Dinner and a Movie at 12 Apostles Hotel – Mario Arendse

Arguably one of the most beautiful and picturesque venues on the Atlantic seaboard, must be the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa. This was my second time at this venue, this time taking advantage of their Winter breakaway package that included dinner, a movie (at their private movie theater), overnight accommodation and breakfast.

Overnight Dinner and a Movie Package Includes:

One night’s luxury accommodation in the room of your choice

Full South African breakfast daily

A three-course dinner from our set menu in the hotel’s Azure Restaurant or The Café Grill

Complimentary use of the In-house cinema

Popcorn, candies, ice-creams and rich drinking chocolate or a milkshake of the day served to you without missing a frame

One-hour session in the temperature-controlled plunge pools and salt water flotation pool at The Spa at The Twelve Apostles


I was looking forward to some good food and a night of relaxation and respite from the inclement weather. The rooms are beautifully decorated and the views from either the Leopard Bar or the Azure Restaurant area are amazing. My previous visit was during restaurant week, so I was keen to see what fare would be on offer this time around.



The amuse- bouche was smoked aubergine, which was delicious. I’m not a big fan of aubergines, but I love when it’s been smoked as it adds a whole new dimension to it.


There was the chopped salad with beetroot, bacon, carrots, baby gem and avocado, which was lovely and fresh. I expected more to honest

Baby calamari risotto, with roast tomato puree, tomato water jelly dehydrated tomato and tomato consommé, seaweed butter and pickled onion rings.

Slow cooked Hen’s egg with compressed ham hock, pea puree, mushy pea salad and cured egg yolk

12A Fresh vegetable salad, with mixed greens, raw vegetables and avocado. This portion is massive and could easily be shared amongst our table.


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Prawn Stroganoff with basmati…strange texture to this dish, I thought it was undercooked with the prawns seemingly a bit translucent.

Cape Malay style chicken curry, served with sambals, roti, poppadum and aniseed basmati. Again, it seemed adequate, but didn’t really inspire. The waiter couldn’t really explain all the condiments or how they should best be enjoyed.

Azure steak was well prepared but the Café de Paris butter was a solid lump and didn’t really melt at all which is possibly an indication that it was placed as the steak cooled.

Green Herb Gnocchi with celeriac purée, grilled baby leeks, salsa verde, onion jam, pickled onion shells and gin pearls. The gnocchi turned out to be polenta and not potato, which wasn’t clarified in the menu or by the waiter.

Pasta Primavera with sautéed vegetables in tomato sauce with linguine. There were hardly vegetables to talk about in this dish, and it was very bland.

Grilled Fish of the day, which was Dorado took the honours as the best dish on the night. It was served with creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, roasted baby carrots and sautéed baby vegetables.

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Chocolate and Karoo Honey consisting of honey ice cream, cocoa custard manjari aero, honeycomb and a chocolate torte

Crème brulèe with shortbread.

Seasonal fruit platter with a berry gel and yoghurt


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We should’ve known that this wasn’t going to be a smooth transition from Dinner to the Movie when we were given different times to be ready and the movie choice wasn’t clear all very confusing…We had booked our movie for 22h30 but had to wait 30 min as the previous movie had started late. When the usher came to collect us, she took our milkshake order and lead us to the cinema, seats were comfy, and the sweet snacks were set… Sadly one bowl of popcorn for a movie really isn’t enough, but our group made the best of it.

Part of our party enjoyed the Spa facilities and rated it one of the best spas they have visited, and they have visited a few, so at least that was one plus!

The accommodation was amazing and view stunning so a solid 3/5 ticked the right boxes, pity bout the dinner and the movie, though.



I was so looking forward to this little getaway, and I really wanted it to be great, but the food was a disappointment (on both of my visits to be honest) and really did not live up to expectation. It is an amazing venue and setting but I’m afraid my expectations are beyond average at the given price point. Overall, this was not a five-star experience.


For the full album click HERE

Restaurant Info:

Azure Restaurant

Twelve Apostles Hotel

Victoria Road,

Camps Bay

Tel No: +27 21 4379000

Email: reservations1@12apostles.co.za.

Written for JAR PHOTOGRAPHY by Mario Arendse

Photography for JAR PHOTOGRAPHY by Jason “Dubbz” Petersen



Escapé Tapas Bar & Restaurant – Mario Arendse

In the past I’ve made no bones about the fact that there are so few quality eateries in the southern suburbs. I mean the kind of place you can slip in on your way home, or maybe on a lazy Saturday afternoon to catch the football with the boys and grab a bite.


Now, let me start by saying that any restaurant that offers complimentary Tequila on arrival is off to a good start in my books. The menu is Mexican inspired tapas-style dining with something for everyone. Escapè had only been open a few months when we arrived for dinner, and it was encouraging to see a steady flow of patrons into the establishment. It’s literally just off the M5 freeway, before you get to Muizenberg and I can already see it becoming a local favourite during the summer months.

The ladies enjoyed the good cocktail range and I was quite pleased to find that they offered Stella Artois on tap…a good start. Our starters consisted of Nacho’s, chicken wings and chilli poppers that were delicious. Mains were the Chicken Burrito, which was absolutely yummy; there were the beef burgers, deep fried calamari, steak and tacos to name a few of the choices on offer. The food was good, unpretentious, and honest while the service was friendly, attentive and efficient.

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I managed to have a brief chat with the manager Mia, and there are big plans ahead for this little restaurant and brand so watch this space closely and follow them on social media for updates on events etc.


It’s important that we support our local neighbourhood eateries and entrepreneurs and to provide them with honest feedback to ensure continued improvement and sustainability. For me personally this is not just about lip service, so I will definitely be back.


For the full album click HERE

At the time of this article Escapé was busy finalizing their liquor license but currently charges corkage,please contact them directly to confirm.

Restaurant Info:

Escapé Tapas Bar & Restaurant

Eastlake Drive,

Eastlake Shopping Centre

Cape Town

Tel No: 021 788 2568

Email: info@escape-tbr.co.za

Written for JAR PHOTOGRAPHY by Mario Arendse

Photography for JAR PHOTOGRAPHY by Jason “Dubbz” Petersen

Majeka House – Mario Arendse

I’m a typical Capetonian in that I can happily hibernate during winter trying to get by with doing as little possible, in the form of entertainment, as I wait for the arrival of the summer months.

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The opportunity to go to Majeka House and their Makaron Restaurant was my opportunity to snap out of this winter funk. The venue is neatly nestled in a residential area on the outskirts of Stellenbosch. There are so many lovely Boutique hotels popping up everywhere, but I have to say this is definitely one of my favourites.

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The vibe is laid back but sophisticated, the venue is beautifully decorated, as are all the rooms. It’s the perfect place to celebrate an Anniversary or romantic breakaway. There is an undercover heated pool at the spa facility that includes a Jacuzzi and sauna for guests to use at their own leisure. There’s a quaint library/bar facility where guests are free to lounge at the cosy fireplace.

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There are lots of options for diners, as you can choose between 3-5 plate meals with or without wine pairing.

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The amuse-bouche consisted of Caesar taco/ crispy chicken skin, truffle/beetroot, trout cracker, roosterkoek, bokkom butter, mosbolletjie and korrelkonfyt. The crispy chicken skin was fantastic, nothing like I expected…it was a bit like a potato crisp. Absolutely loved the roosterkoek and bokkom butter, which was not at all very fishy strangely enough.

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The first course consisted of the following options:

Baby marrow risotto, raw mushroom, cured egg yolk shavings.

Kale, broccoli, miso, seaweed.

Slow roasted carrot, cumin, pork crackling and a carrot jus

The next course consisted of:

Sweet breads, leeks and mushroom tea

Prawn confit, curry, smoked snail shavings and coconut.

Raw scallops, oyster cream, ginger, vermouth and green radish…I loved this dish, and I prefer the scallops raw as you can taste freshness.

Smoked hake, slat baked celeriac, soured onion and dill.


Then was the…

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Warm trout, bone marrow, cauliflower and basil

Mushroom ravioli, house made malt vinegar, parmesan…this course was one of my favourites, beautifully presented.

Leipoldtd’s springbok “rafeltjievleis”, stewed fruit, pickle onion.

Guinea fowl, spiced parsnip and fermented berry sauce.

Suckling pig, turnips, brown butter and golden delicious apple.


Desserts consisted of:

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Chocolate, potato

Roasted pear, burnt onion, Parmigiano-Reggiano

Banana, toasted yeast caramel and sourdough ice- cream…. a strange concept maybe but it was yummy.

Fire roasted pineapple, lemon, shiso, pineapple beer sorbet.

All the courses were hard to fault and I loved the attention to detail and intimate ambience. This venue is maybe one of the best kept secrets in Stellenbosch and I’m sure to be back. I miss their “Godfather” cocktail already.



R1325 pp sharing

1-night accommodation in a Premier room

4-course small plate dinner at Makaron for 2 (excl. Beverages)

Breakfast for 2

Upgrade to a Garden for R600, Mountain View for R920 and Poolside for R1510. Single supplement of R520

Valid from 1 May to 30 September except for Wednesdays

T: +27 21 880 1549 | E: reservations@majekahouse.co.za


R1845 pp sharing

1-night accommodation in a Premier room

Choice of a 60-minute treatment each and a 4-course small plate dinner (excl. Beverages) at Makaron for 2

Breakfast for 2

Upgrade to a Garden for R600, Mountain View for R920 and Poolside for R1510. Single supplement of R520

Valid from 1 June to 30 September except for Wednesdays

T: +27 21 880 1549 | E: reservations@majekahouse.co.za


R1815 pp sharing

4-course small plate dinner (excl. Beverages) at Makaron for 2

1-night accommodation for 2 in a Premier room

Breakfast for 2

Upgrade to a Garden for R215pp, Mountain View for R665pp and Poolside for R965pp. Single supplement of R700

Full non-refundable deposit requested on reservation

Valid from 1 to 30 October 2018

T: +27 21 880 1549 | E: reservations@majekahouse.co.za

For the full album click HERE

Restaurant Info:

Majeka House * Hotel * Restaurant * Spa

26-32 Houtkapper Street,




Tel No: +27 21 880 1549.

Email: reservations@majekahouse.co.za.

Written for JAR PHOTOGRAPHY by Mario Arendse

Photography for JAR PHOTOGRAPHY by Jason “Dubbz” Petersen