The 10 Best Restaurants in Cape Town 2017

The 10 Best Restaurants in Cape Town 2017

Image: Ash restaurant, by Crushmag

… according to SA's top chefs.

To get us gastronomically excited for 2017, we asked 14 of SA’s top chefs where they go for a bite when they’re not whipping up feasts in their own kitchens. Their answers range from pricey fine-dining establishments to delightfully relaxed wallet-friendly joints. Here are Cape Town’s Best Restaurants, according to our top chefs.

OUR PANEL OF CHEFS

(in alphabetical order)

The 10 Best Restaurants in Cape Town

1. Chefs Warehouse & Canteen

Cape Town Restaurants – Chefs Warehouse
Image: In Search of the Good Life

What was launched as a Cookery School by acclaimed chef Liam Tomlin, Chefs Warehouse & Canteen was reformed into a gastronomic treasure trove where, aside from enjoying canteen-style fine dining, guests can shop for kitchen paraphernalia, speciality ingredients, recipe books and even chefs’ clothing. Liam and his team recently opened a branch at the picturesque Beau Constantia, with chef Ivor Jones at the helm.
The menu changes daily, according to availability, much like the seating… there’s a “no booking” policy in place.

CHEFS WHO RATE IT

Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen
Luke Dale Roberts
Michael Broughton
Justine Drake
Eric Bulpitt
Reuben Riffel
Rudi Liebenberg
Bertus Basson
George Jardine
Scot Kirton
Glen Foxcroft Williams

Contact 021 422 0128, info@chefswarehouse.co.za
Address Chefs Warehouse & Canteen, 92 Bree Street, Cape Town City Central, Cape Town

2. La Colombe

La Colombe – Best Restaurants
This upmarket vineyard restaurant is situated in scenic Constantia, a region that has seriously upped its restaurant game of late. One of South Africa’s most acclaimed fine-dining establishments, La Colombe masterfully marries foraged-for local ingredients with a wonderful sprinkling of French flair.
Insider tip Scot Kirton, who heads up La Colombe’s kitchen, and his longtime pastry chef Glen Foxcroft Williams recently opened a casual fine-dining restaurant (yes, we know it sounds like an oxymoron) nearby. It’s called Foxcroft, and it’s one of our favourites.

CHEFS WHO RATE IT

Reuben Riffel
Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen
Kerry Kilpin
Glen Foxcroft Williams

Contact 021 794 2390, reservations@lacolombe.co.za
Address La Colombe, Silvermist Wine Estate, Constantia Main Road, Constantia Nek, Cape Town

3. Greenhouse

Greenhouse – Best Restaurants
Led by the legendary Peter Tempelhoff, one of two Relais & Châteaux Grand Chefs in South Africa, and Ashley Moss, this much loved eatery at The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel should feature on every foodie’s to-do list. Drawing inspiration from sea and land, Greenhouse offers modern South African cuisine at its best, accompanied by sophistication, refinement and a magnificent five-star setting.

CHEFS WHO RATE IT

Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen
Scot Kirton
Rudi Liebenberg
Luke Dale Roberts

Contact 021 795 6226, reservations@collectionmcgrath.com
Address Greenhouse, The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel, 93 Brommersvlei Road, Constantia Heights, Cape Town

4. South China Dim Sum Bar

Dim Sum Bar – Cape Town restaurants
Image: Genevieve van Vuuren

With a menu that’s simple, varied and ever-changing, South China Dim Sum Bar dishes up fresh and flavourful Asian street food. Owner-chef Edmund Hung’s philosophy – merging good food, warm service and earth-friendly practices – underpins the entire experience.

CHEFS WHO RATE IT

Peter Tempelhoff
Bertus Basson
Rudi Liebenberg
Kerry Kilpin

Contact 078 846 3656, southchinadimsumbar@gmail.com
Address South China Dim Sum Bar, 289 Long Street, Cape Town City Central, Cape Town

5. The Test Kitchen

The Test Kitchen – Best Restaurants
Bold, experimental, contemporary, TTK (as it’s known among insiders) is where Luke Dale Roberts and his team let their creative cooking juices flow. Serving nouvelle cuisine, with a South African bent, this newly renovated restaurant was ranked 22 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016, as well as Best Restaurant in Africa in the Continental Restaurant Awards 2016.

CHEFS WHO RATE IT

Michael Broughton
Rudi Liebenberg
Scot Kirton

Contact 021 447 2337, reservations@thetestkitchen.co.za
Address The Test Kitchen, The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town

6. Ash Restaurant

Ash Restaurant Cape Town
What it is A nose-to-tail meatery, motivated by sustainability and the concept of charcoal cooking. Chef Ash Heeger – who worked at The Test Kitchen and La Colombe – teamed up with Andy Fenner (of Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants and Publik Wine Bar) to bring you Ash, where good wine, meat (naturally), and coolness merge.

CHEFS WHO RATE IT

Luke Dale Roberts
Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen
Bertus Basson

Contact 021 424 7204, reservations@ashrestaurant.co.za
Address Ash Restaurant, 81 Church Street, Cape Town City Center, Cape Town

7. The Foodbarn

The Foodbarn – Best restaurants
This Noordhoek institution, where top chef and La Colombe founder Franck Dangereux works his magic, offers a more relaxed take on fine-dining. Housed in a charming old barn, The Foodbarn offers a unique food experience; in addition to the restaurant, there’s also a deli (which transforms into a tapas bar at night) and pop-up kitchen, every Wednesday at the Cape Point Vineyards Noordhoek Community Market.

CHEFS WHO RATE IT

George Jardine
Kerry Kilpin

Contact 021 789 1390, info@thefoodbarn.co.za  
Address The Foodbarn, Noordhoek Farm Village, Corner Village Lane and Noordhoek Main Road, Noordhoek

8. Rust en Vrede

Rust en Vrede – Best Restaurants
Located on the historic, award-winning Rust en Vrede wine estate in the heart of the Cape Winelands, this restaurant offers the quintessential winelands restaurant experience, combining fine dining, superb service and an elegant setting.No wonder it continues to win prestigious awards, such as ranking No. 85 on The Elite Traveler’s Top 100 Restaurants in the World 2014.–

CHEFS WHO RATE IT

Gregory Czarnecki
Luke Dale-Roberts

Contact 021 881 3757, dining@rustenvrede.com
Address Rust and Vrede Wine Estate, Annandale Road, Stellenbosch

9. The Shortmarket Club

Shortmarket Club
Jointly owned by chef Luke Dale-Roberts, his interior-designer wife Sandalene, fellow chef Wesley Randles, and manager Simon Widdison, this world-class eatery combines extraordinary food, immaculate interiors and exceptional service, making dining here a memorable occasion. The stylish space feels like a private-members club (sans the stuffiness and sleaze). Food-wise, expect edgy versions of classic dishes. Sensational.

CHEFS WHO RATE IT

Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen
Reuben Riffel

Contactt 021 447 28 74, info@theshortmarketclub.co.za
Location The Shortmarket Club88 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town

10. La Mouette

La Mouette – Best Restaurants
Image: Sunday Times Neighbourhood

Culinary couple Henry and Mari Vigar teamed up with good friend Gerrit Bruwer to establish this fine, seasonally inspired modern restaurant in a quaint old building along Regent Road in Sea Point. Offering great à la carte options and an excellent-value Tasting Menu that changes regularly, La Mouette is unsurprisingly a local favourite.

CHEFS WHO RATE IT

George Jardine

Contact 021 433 0856, reservations@lamouette.co.za
Address La Mouette, 78 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town

Read more about our panel of chefs (arranged alphabetically below):

Bertus Basson

Bertus Basson – Best Restaurant Chefs
Image: Claire Gunn

Started out at Michelin-starred Chez Bruce (Wandsworth) under one of Britain’s best chefs, Bruce Poole. Opened Arabella Hermanus as a sous chef. Competed in Boscue d’Or, The Culinary Olympics and Global Chefs Challenge.
Created All Things Culinary, and Overture restaurant (Hidden Valley) – which was recently listed as the La Liste’s 100 Best Restaurants In The World 2017, along with The Test Kitchen, Aubergine, La Colombe, Rust en Vrede, Greenhouse (The Cellars-Hohenort), The Restaurant at Waterkloof and Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais – with fellow chef and business partner, Craig Cormack.
Current Owner-chef of Overture and Spek & Bone in Stellenbosch, Bertus Basson at Spice Route.
Restaurants he rates Chefs Warehouse, South China Dim Sum Bar, Ash Restaurant

Eric Bulpitt

Eric Bullpit – Best Chefs Cape Town
Worked at Winchester Mansions under chef and mentor Jonathan Staley. Worked in Noma Kitchen (Copenhagen), the-then San Pellegrino No. 1 restaurant.
Became head chef at Jardine Restaurant, joint head chef with PJ Vardas at The Roundhouse Restaurant, and then chef-owner at The Restaurant at Newton Johnson (Hermanus).
Current Head chef at Faber (Avondale Wine).
Restaurants he rates Chefs Warehouse

George Jardine

George Jardine – Cape Town Chefs
Started working in restaurants at 16. Enjoyed a London stint under Michelin-star chef Jean-Christophe Novelli. Opened Novelli at The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel.
Opened and ran restaurants in Jakarta (Indonesia), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Sydney. Opened Jardine bakery. Opened Jordan Restaurant at Jordan Wine Estate and became executive chef. Opened Restaurant Jardine.
Current Divides his time between Jordan Restaurant and the new Restaurant Jardine.
Restaurants he rates Chefs Warehouse, The Foodbarn, La Mouette

Glen Foxcroft Williams

Glenn Foxcroft Williams – Best Restaurants
Image: Claire Gunn

Started out as trainee chef at the former Opal Lounge. Worked in La Colombe’s kitchen before being promoted to pastry chef, aged 21.
Competed for Pastry Chef of the Year, winning the Rising Star Award. Opened Foxcroft with Scot Kirton.
Current Co-owner and pastry chef at Foxcroft.
Restaurants he rates Chefs Warehouse, La Colombe

Gregory Czarnecki

Gregory Czarnecki – Best Restaurants
Worked at several Parisian, Michelin-rated restaurants, including Restaurant Senderens (with mentor, three-star Michelin chef Alain Senderens), Lucas Carton and Pergolèse. Became head chef at Restaurant at Waterkloof.
Opened and did recipe design and menu conceptualisation for leading Brussels, Genève and Lyon restaurants. Won SA Chef of the Year in 2016.
Current Head chef of Restaurant at Waterkloof.
Restaurants he rates Rust en Vrede

Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen

Jan Hendrik – Best Cape Town Restaurants
Trained at City & Guilds international culinary school. Became contributing food editor and stylist at ELLE SA before heading to ELLE Paris. Co-founded Coord Event Direction and became executive chef for Champagne PIAFF.
Opened his Michelin-starred restaurant JAN (Nice). Published two books, The French Affair and JAN – A Breath of French Air. Became the first South African chef to receive a Michelin star (2016).
Current Chef, creative and photographer – alternating between South Africa and the South of France – with his main focus on JAN.
Restaurants he rates Chefs Warehouse, La Colombe, Greenhouse, Ash Restaurant, The Shortmarket Club

Justine Drake

Justine Drake – Best Restaurants
Was food editor at FairLady, Men’s Health, Shape. Became editor of Eat In and launched Eat In Small Producer Awards.
Presented and co-produced her own TV shows, including Just Cooking.
Current: TV chef and editor of Pick n Pay’s Fresh Living. 
Restaurants she rates Chefs Warehouse

Kerry Kilpin

Kerry Kilpin – Best Chefs Cape Town
Joined La Colombe as chef de partie before becoming sous chef.
Worked with Franck Dangereux at The Foodbarn.
Current Executive chef at Steenberg’s Bistro Sixteen82.
Restaurants she rates South China Dim Sum Bar, The Test Kitchen, The Foodbarn

Luke Dale-Roberts

Luke Dale Roberts – Best Restaurants
Image: designindaba.com

Trained at Bar Au Lac Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland before becoming sous chef at Soho House Media Club. Launched kitchens across Asia and served as sous chef at La Colombe.
Opened The Test Kitchen, The Pot Luck Club, and more recently, The Short Market Club in Cape Town and Luke Dale Roberts at The Saxon in Johannesburg.
Current Chef-owner of The Test Kitchen, The Pot Luck Club and The Short Market Club.
Restaurants he rates Chefs Warehouse, Ash Restaurant, Rust en Vrede

Michael Broughton

Michael Broughton – Best Restaurants
Image: liveoteat.co.za

Self-taught chef. Opened first restaurant, Broughton’s in Parkview, Johannesburg. Moved Broughton’s to Sandton. Became executive chef at Mount Grace Country Hotel and Spa (Magaliesburg). Opened Kleine Zalze’s award-winning Terroir restaurant.
Current Chef at Terroir, Kleine Zalze Wine Estate.
Restaurants he rates Chefs Warehouse, The Test Kitchen

Peter Tempelhoff

Peter Tempelhoff – Best Restaurants
Worked at several prestigious London restaurants: Marco Pierre White’s Quo Vadis (with chef Curtis Stone), Michelin-starred restaurants, Hambleton Hall (with mentor Aaron Patterson) and Giorgio Locatell’s Zafferano. Became head chef at Automat (Mayfair) and later, executive chef at Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate.
Became overseer to Liz McGrath’s The Collection and its four Relais Châteaux restaurants. Awarded nine stars from Rossouw’s Restaurant Guide and voted Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef.
Current Executive chef at The Collection by Liz McGrath, which includes Greenhouse and Seafood at the Marine, Hermanus, and partner at Greenhouse.
Restaurants he rates South China Dim Sum Bar

Reuben Riffel

Reuben – Best Restaurants
Started out in construction before branching into the restaurant industry. Served as barman and waiter at Chamonix Restaurant before becoming sous and executive chef.
Became head chef at Franschhoek-based Monneaux Restaurant. Earned international experience and recognition at Bruno’s Brasserie (Cambridge, England).
Opened Reuben’s branches in Franschhoek, Robertson Small Hotel, One&Only, Abalone House (Paternoster). Opened Racine at Chamonix.
Published Reuben at Home. Appeared on both The Martha Stewart Show and the Today Show. Served as MasterChef South Africa and MasterChef SA Celebrity guest judge. Recipient of SA Chef of the Year and Unilever Chef of the Year awards.
Current: Chef and restauranteur at Reuben’s restaurants at One&Only, Abalone House and Racine at Chamonix.
Restaurants he rates Chefs Warehouse, La Colombe, The Shortmarket Club

Rudi Liebenberg

Rudi Liebenberg – Best Restaurants
Joined the army as a chef. Served banquets at Durban’s Tropicana Hotel. Became executive chef at Sheraton Pretoria Hotel and The Michelangelo Hotel Sandton. Principal/chef at Prue Leith Chefs Academy. Became executive chef at The Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa and later, at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel.
Current: Executive chef at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel’s Planet Restaurant
Restaurants he rates Chefs Warehouse, South China Dim Sum Bar, The Test Kitchen, Greenhouse

Scot Kirton

Scot Kirton – Best Restaurants
Started out at Haute Cabrière restaurant (with zero training) and went on to become sous chef. Enjoyed a stint at Gordon Ramsay’s acclaimed Savoy Grill (London). Became sous chef at La Colombe, and then head chef at River Café. Became chef proprietor of re-opened La Colombe at Silvermist. Opened his second restaurant, Foxcroft, with Glen Foxcroft Williams.
Current: Chef proprietor of La Colombe and co-owner of sister restaurant, Foxcroft.
Restaurants he rates Chefs Warehouse, The Test Kitchen, Greenhouse

The Inside Guide would like to thank each of our executive chefs and their personal representatives for their valued feedback.  

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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 18 January 2017

11 Responses to “The 10 Best Restaurants in Cape Town 2017”

  1. Iago

    Has anyone eaten at Little Saint in Bree Street, chef Santi Louzan has a tone of Michelin back ground, food looks and tastes second to none and is all not only healthy but well sourced.

    Reply
  2. Barry Fry

    I never understand how these places are chosen. I can’t see why 95Keerom is not mentioned? I have eaten at all these places, and none of them are as consistently good as 95 Keerom. That’s not to say they are not deserving of the list, but merely that they are all different, and cannot be compared. If I had to choose one as a prize, it would be 95 Keerom. I worked at the River Cafe, The Square and many more Michelin starred restaurants, as well as eaten at top places in the world, but I can’t say which is the best as a general rule. I can suggest which ones I liked for their style and moods. Does this make sense

    Reply
  3. Mike

    A restaurant that always seems to miss the accolades is Mike Bassett Myoga or on the other side of the curtain Harlequins in Parow.

    Reply
    • Jakker

      Harlequins is fun if you’re looking for retro decor and food and a place where you can be noisy without being reprimanded, but doesn’t belong on a good restaurant list.

      Reply
  4. David

    Sorry to say, but Shortmarket Club is there purely on reputation of the partners involved. The food is horrifically over priced and very average.

    Reply
  5. Kevin Tong

    I am just wondering on what basis as well as how many other dim sum places were considered. As there are many other dim sum places which are maybe not known , if the award was based on the best dim sum in Cape Town , especially on authenthecy etc then the judges have failed the public. On the other hand glad a establishment like this have featured. Just my personal opiniion having over 40 years of dim sum experience and knowing which is the best and geniune .

    Reply
    • The Inside Guide

      Thanks for your feedback Kevin. We asked the chefs involved to send us the names of their best restaurants/most memorable meals in (and around) Cape Town. And this is what they came back with. We didn’t send them a list of restaurants, and ask them to rank them. It was an open slate. The fact that four chefs named this one was indication enough that it deserved to be on this list. That said, we would love to hear your suggestions on the Best Dim Sum Restaurants in Cape Town!

      Reply
    • Jacques

      I don’t believe this was a competition. It is places which the chefs prefer to dine out; their personal taste & choice.
      Whether the public agree that those are the best places is obviously up for discussion.

      Reply
  6. Dr. Achim Becker

    A report about SA’s best Restaurants without mentioning Aubergine and without Harald Bresselschmidt in the panel?

    Reply
  7. Simon Orford

    Anything halaal or have you just ignored 1/4 of cape towns population?

    Reply
    • The Inside Guide

      Hi Simon

      Thanks for your comment. It was the chefs who chose the restaurants. Perhaps you could suggest some fabulous Halaal restaurants?

      Reply

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