Liam Tomlin on Cape Town

Liam Tomlin on Cape Town

The chef and cookbook author, 49, on the best coffee, pizza and walks in the city.

I’m 49 with the big 50 approaching fast.

I was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and lived there till I was 17.

Cape Town took my breath away the first time I visited it, and it still does. The sheer diversity of the city and its people continue to amaze me.

When out-of-towners come to town, I take them for a drive along Chapman’s Peak and then lunch at The Foodbarn in Noordhoek. It is one of the most scenic drives in the world and the food at the end of the drive matches it.

I never eat in my own restaurants, I wouldn’t be able to relax.

I recently had a great meal at Hallelujah – it’s the type of food I like to eat and share when I’m off duty. I really enjoy casual, unpretentious restaurants that offer great food and friendly service. Get there for the second seating so you don’t feel rushed.

Other restaurants I enjoy are Jordan – George [Jardine] cooks great local, seasonal and flavoursome food. If you can get a table at either The Test Kitchen or The Pot Luck Club, both offer great Asian flavours and two very cool designed rooms. Bocca, Burrata’s little sister, recently opened a few blocks away from us and is still open when we have finished service, so I often pop in for pizza or a great carbonara. Mondiall is a great addition to the Waterfront where Peter Tempelhoff is a master of classic dishes. There’s also Bascule Bar on a sunny Sunday afternoon for tapas on the terrace. The list could go on and on – we have a lot on offer, both in the city and the winelands.

An annual Cape Town event you’ll always find me at is the Cape Argus Cycle Tour – it brings so much positive energy to the city. I love to stand and watch the riders whiz by every year. (Check out our Best spots to watch the Cycle Tour).

My current favourite weekend getaway is Ellerman House – loved the art, wine cellar, gardens and Veronica’s [Canha-Hibbert] food. I love the fact that it’s only five minutes away from our home but it makes you feel as though you’re a million miles away.

On my bucket list to still do in Cape Town is attending a concert at Kirstenbosch and riding the Cape Argus – one day I plan to be fit enough to do it!

The best coffee in my area is – I have to say it – from Deluxe Coffeeworks at Street Food on Bree.

The best walk in the city is at De Waal Park – a real gem in the heart of the city. It’s very dog-friendly, so we love to take our dog Bailey there. We live at the top of Bree Street, which is five minutes away. If you go, try and get to know the Friday-night gang, they love a glass of wine at the communal table!

The Banting diet? I’ve heard that exercise also works.

I don’t wait for a special occasion to drink red wine. At the moment I am enjoying Mr P Pinot Noir and Nabygelegen’s Scaramanga.

Every good chef should have confidence, a thick skin and stamina.

We’ve just published and launched our book, Tapas, and I’m currently working on a new book, Street Food, which I hope to complete by the end of 2015.

I’m also busy trying to become a permanent resident of this beautiful country.

On Sundays we do breakfast at the Mount Nelson.

Money helps but it can’t buy the important things.

Straight after this, I’m headed for 15 hours in the kitchen.

When I wake up in the middle of the night I make coffee.

One day I want to backpack around the world.

Check out what Liam Tomlin is busy with.

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Time of publication: 10 January 2015