Reuben Riffel on Cape Town

The chef and restaurateur, 40, recommends his favourite restaurants, walks and wines for a special occasion.

I was born and raised in Franschhoek.

What I love most about living in Cape Town is the fact that it’s not a big city. The variety of cultures are all uniquely South African. I think I get more of a sense of Cape Town through the city’s artisans: artists, craftspeople, tailors, spice shop owners, and so on. And, of course, the mountain and beaches.

When out-of-towners come to town, I take them to Cape Point – it’s just beautiful; Kalk Bay for fish and chips; Kirstenbosch Gardens for a picnic, The Foodbarn in Noordhoek, after driving over Chapman’s Peak, for great food and the best of Cape scenery.

The best restaurant meal I’ve eaten recently was at Liam Tomlin’s Chefs Warehouse.

My other favourite restaurants include The Pot Luck Club for delicious food in a relaxed environment; George Jardine’s Bakery at Jordan for great food, a very chilled environment, and some of the Cape’s best wine; and Waterkloof restaurant for really delicious, beautiful food and stunning views.

An annual Cape Town event I always attend is Taste of Cape Town. I love the vibe – it feels like a carnival – and it’s always great to catch up with fellow chefs.

My favourite weekend getaway in the Cape is Paternoster on the West Coast. It’s small and has that proper West Coast feel, with great people and crayfish…

On my bucket list to still do in the Cape is shark-cage diving. I also want to catch a big yellow-fin tuna, and ride the Argus Cycle Tour – I still haven’t done that!

The best coffee spot in Franschhoek is from Terbodore Coffee Roasters on Goederust Farm, La Motte, Franschhoek.

The best walk in Franschhoek is Cat se Pad from Haute Cabrière to the top of the Franschhoek Pass.

A good red wine for a special occasion is Ernie Els’s Big Easy and Jordan’s Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Banting diet works for some and not for others. I think people should be careful of “miracle” diets, and rather learn from the research and see how it can benefit you.

Every good chef should be disciplined, curious and hard-working.

On Sunday I spend time with my kids.

Money makes the world go round.

Straight after this, I’m off to work!

When I wake up in the middle of the night I switch on some slow jazz.

One day I’ll play the guitar…

Reuben Riffel is the chef and owner of Reuben’s in Franschoek, One&Only and Paternoster, as well as Racine in Franschhoek.


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: 08 December 2014

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