James Puttick at Jack Black Brewery
Graduated from Silwood School of Cookery, and trained under chef Luke Dale Roberts at La Colombe and then The Test Kitchen. Worked in London at The Ledbury in Notting Hill, followed by two years at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, before heading back to Cape Town, and opening Ash Restaurant in 2016.
In 2018, she closed Ash and opened Riverine Rabbit, a fine dining restaurant in the heart of Cape Town, with sister Mandy van der Berg. Starred in Netflix’s The Final Table (November 2018).
Current Owner-chef at Riverine Rabbit
Restaurants she rates in 2019
For a casual meal Clarke’s Bar & Dining Room. I suppose it helps that it’s a hundred metres from work, but I love it. Good food. I normally have the omelette for brekkie (best in Cape Town) and the baby burger with twice-fried fries for lunch. The cocktails are awesome too!
For a special occasion I had one of the most memorable meals of my life a couple of months ago at Greenhouse. Wow. Twelve courses of incredible food, wine and service. I honestly can’t recommend it enough for a special occasion.
For a guilty pleasure The Dairy Den in Seapoint. Those doughnuts are my kryptonite.
For a Winelands experience Gåte at Quoin Rock. I had the pleasure of experiencing the beauty of Quoin Rock about a month ago and it was a mind-blowing experience. The scenery and architecture is second to none. The food procured by Rikku [Ò’Donnchü] and Warwick [King] is just sublime. The wine pairings from the estate are on point and the service is personable and attentive.
For authentic cuisine Hesheng Chinese Restaurant in Sea Point. Proper authentic dumplings and all. Order the pig’s ear salad and pickled cucumber to go along with your dumplings!
Best new restaurant Mine! haha.
Best “oldie but goodie” Den Anker. Somewhat of a classic in my eyes. I have a set order that I do not deviate from: Mussels. Frites. Beer. The service is fantastic and the view is pretty great too.
The best restaurant overall Greenhouse again!
Restaurants she rated in 2018
For a casual meal Hail Pizza. I’m just going to come out and say it. Best pizza in Cape Town. I’ve eaten my way through the menu several times over and I can safely say that everything is wonderful. The Caesar Salad is the best I’ve had (and I’ve had a few). Rad drinks selection of non-alcoholic and alcohol cocktails. The pineapple kefir water is delish.
For a special occasion The Test Kitchen. What better place for a special occasion? Incredible food. Incredible wines. Incredible service. An extraordinary experience that leaves you reminiscing about it for months after.
For a healthy meal Olami. You’re guaranteed a fresh, wholesome meal prepared with love. When I think “healthy” I don’t necessarily go straight to rabbit food. Olami prepares fresh stews, curries, awesome salads and dips that leave you feeling fresh. Always consistent, always delicious.
For a quick bite The House of Machines. Does The House of Machines count as a hole in the wall? Either way, the food offering is on point. The fried egg, bacon and chips breakfast has legitimately saved my life on three hungover mornings. Avo on rye is just the best and the coffee is real good too.
For a Winelands experience Overture. My favourite restaurant in the winelands year after year. Bertus orchestrates a beautiful symphony of flavours and textures that impresses me every single time. And how about that view??
For authentic cuisine GOLD Restaurant. Gold is a 100% authentic African Experience. A fantastic feast with influences from all over the continent served over a couple of hours whilst being entertained by a never-ending stream of talented drummers, dancers and life-sized puppets. Everyone is so welcoming from the moment you step through the door. It feels like coming home.
The best restaurant overall La Colombe. Sho. La Colombe absolutely blew me away when I visited recently. Everything from the first to last bite was pure ecstasy. Seamless, slick service, an unreal wine list, beautiful setting and delicious food that runs the risk of being too frilly but 100% delivers. Scot is just killing it.