Now it’s November

At the launch of the 2019 JHP Gourmet Guide™ this week, we were delighted to announce our partnership with the premier restaurant booking app, Dineplan, a collaboration that is as essential as the marriage of food and wine. Their vast audience will now first-up see on the landing page an icon to take them to the list and reviews of the 25 plated restaurants. Dineplan focuses both on restaurant and diner’s needs.

Now it is time for you to join us in this excitement as we launch our new website, www.gourmetguide.co.za. The new website will be a one-time shop for eating out at SA’s top establishments. One can view the plated and awarded restaurants and make your reservation through the site using Dineplan. And if that isn’t enough, savour some recipes from top SA chefs which will keep you coming back for more as we update them monthly.  The remainder 50 rated restaurants which appear in the printed guide will be included on the new website from January 2019. Keep your eyes on us.

And now another countdown begins! In December we will be launching the seasonal Gourmet Guide magazine, free to download and print. It will be oozing mouthwatering gourmet travel features, it will make you want to roll up your sleeves, get into your kitchen to perfect some delectable recipes. Overflowing with information that food-lovers want, it will take you to all corners of the globe. The summer edition promises to keep you inspired through the festivities with some step-by-step recipes, shopping lists and a ‘what-to-do-when’. Of course there will be Gourmet Guide restaurant reviews of some establishments that have recently opened their doors, good enough but too late to have made it into the annual printed guide. Here are some teasers…

Don’t miss it.

THE RESTAURANT @ THE NEK

Previously Harbour House, next to La Parada in Constantia, this is the group’s first foray into fine dining. Who better to take the reins than chef Dylan Laity, who was plated in both the 2017 and 2018 JHP Gourmet Guides. Expect an eight-course tasting menu for dinner (R820 per person, with wine pairing R1220), with the addition of an a la carte menu for lunches this November. The breathtaking vista of vineyards and False Bay may draw your eyes from the white interior momentarily, but it is on the plates that your eyes will linger. Dylan’s dishes like the smoked snoek and mackerel pate and savoury vetkoek and the raw Karan beef in Rooikrans coal oil with puffed rice, lemon and mustard cement his talent. The roasted cauliflower with Hanepoot grapes, capers, mint and yeast and the spiced hake with chermoula, parsley, organic carrots and brown butter, drew oohs from our table too. Desserts with leading flavours of naartjie and Amarula, will beckon, so pace yourself.

SALSIFY

The opening evening of Salsify at the Roundhouse was a fun affair, with some subtle yet exceptional dishes. I was delighted to return a fortnight later to share the experience with friends. They too were super-impressed with the technical and creative talents of chef Ryan Cole, formerly of The Test Kitchen. His partnership with the Dale Roberts duo of Luke and Sandalene has ensured that the visual feast begins with the décor, and remains constantly inspiring to the final dish. The smoke-fired tuna brought loud acclaim from everyone at the table, before they enjoyed dishes off the a la carte menu. I chose well – quail, duck and a remarkable chocolate soufflé that was served with aplomb. Service here, like the food, is of the illustrious standard expected. The full review will appear in the December Gourmet Guide magazine, but don’t wait until then to make your reservation to celebrate something special, or simply the fact that we have another incredible restaurant luring lovers of fine food to the Cape.

LA PETITE FERME

If you are planning to visit the culinary towns for wine adventures during the festive season, consider a stay-over at La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek. It was during unseasonal spring downpours that we cosied up in one of the 10 beautiful newly refurbished luxury suites. Our experience began with a wine tasting, conducted by passionate and well-informed Ryno, in the intimate wine-tasting room. We moved to our seats in the restaurant, admired the sweeping vineyard, valley and mountain views before tucking into a hearty lunch. Chef Kyle Norris and his team are dedicated to showcasing local produce, and satisfying appetites for South African fare. When we arrived in the restaurant we thought it had been opened specially for us, but an hour later there was a steady buzz of international dialects, smiling faces and a lot of khaki clothing!

LANZERAC HOTEL AND SPA

Another fabulous option is the recently restored legendary Lanzerac Hotel and Spa in Stellenbosch. I will share my experiences in the December magazine, along with a few other getaway gems.

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