The Commissary – Exciting, no nonsense dining in CT

The Commissary is a new, exciting approach to pared down, no nonsense, dinner-only dining. It’s under the care of rock star restaurant duo, Chef Wesley Randles and Simon Widdison, and under the mentorship of Luke Dale Roberts, set to shift Cape Town’s cuisine scene.

As if The Test Kitchen, The Pot Luck Club and The Shortmarket Club aren’t enough to keep Luke Dale Roberts and his highly competent crews on their toes, the opening of another cutting edge eatery is sure to set both local and international food wires alight. The Commissary opens its doors on November 1st and is a new pared down, food market-esque concept that The Shortmarket Club Chef and co-founders Wesley Randles and Simon Widdison and their team will head up six evenings a week.

A commissary is a basic provisions store which you’ll find in the army, hospitals and prisons – and while we definitely won’t be serving prison fare, we’re taking things back to basics in a big way with our new dining venture”, says Wesley.

“I’ve had the idea in my head for a while – a space where people can come and enjoy seriously approachable, affordable food with big, unapologetic flavours”, says Wesley, who together with front-of-house talent Simon Widdison has made a name for The Shortmarket Club in just two years of operation.

The Commissary will be under the same roof as its sibling inner-city eatery.

I wanted to create something that really epitomises getting back to basics – it’s a no reservations restaurant, there’ll be communal tables in an open plan space, there’ll be music playing and a busy atmosphere. We’ll be serving food on eco-friendly, disposable plates and the most basic cutlery – it’s a cool, no frills atmosphere with small plate, flavourful food taking centre-stage”, he says.

The news of The Commissary comes in days after the announcement that another new concept fine dining destination, care of the growing Dale Roberts restaurant empire opens this October. Salsify, at historical landmark The Roundhouse in Camps Bay, will open with Chef Ryan Cole at the helm and promises to be a boundary-pushing, sensory fine dining experience.

As with Salsify, The Commissary venture is a partnership with multi award winning Chef Luke Dale Roberts acting as mentor and advisory partner and with Wesley, Simon and their team operating the rest of the business.

Over the years I’ve realised that one of the things that really motivates me is helping team members reach their potential and find their own way – getting to play a part in that journey is so exciting.” Wesley came to me with the idea a while ago and I loved it – it’s a back-to-basics approach to food which really resonates with me and everything I love about food and I couldn’t think of anyone more driven and committed than Wesley to make it work”, says Luke of his 29-year-old mentee.

With space for just 45 diners at a time and a busy, convivial atmosphere, The Commissary aspires to hit a gap in the ever changing Cape Town restaurant market. It’s a fast-paced eatery perfect for 21st century diners with things to do and places to be. The design of the space by the business’ design director, Sandalene Dale Roberts, taps into this busy atmosphere too.

I wanted to really ramp up the space with colour, it’s the kind of concept that allows for it. Food markets have taken the world by storm and we also wanted to reflect that style of dining and entertainment – you’ll find communal tables with built-in lazy Susans and I’ve also designed chairs that have been printed with pattern and colour”, says Sandalene. She explains that the look and feel of The Commissary doesn’t reflect a specific look and feel: “We’re wanting to encompass a mood we’re seeing everywhere where quirky, interesting details are partnered with great food”.

Expect a small-plate menu, big and bold flavours and a street food influence. Attention to detail, the use of the very best ingredients and a focus on flavour first remain cornerstones for this eatery. “Everything else that’s added is a layer”, says Wesley. The wine list will also be small and carefully crafted.

For local foodies, this concept is a thrilling one and there’s no doubt that getting a spot in this cutting edge new dining destination is going to be a hot seat indeed.

 

88 Shortmarket Street

Dinner, Monday to Saturday from 5PM to 10:30PM.

(27) (21) 422 2902 / info@theshortmarketclub.co.za

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TAU makes luxury safaris affordable

Spring 2018 at Tau Game Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve makes for a revitalizing 5-star safari, complete with invigorating Tau Spa Oasis treatments to complement the superb Big (and small) Five, game viewing and delicious food.

Image by: Tilly Dix

Watching the wildlife meet at a large waterhole from the safety of your private room deck or the lodge’s hospitality and pool decks adds further excitement to an unforgettable safari.

The lodge is enclosed within the Madikwe Game Reserve, resulting in humans being subtly fenced in while game, including several crocodiles, roam free. Smaller game, such as the protected African wild dog, is flourishing in the Madikwe Game Reserve, while inquisitive squirrels and cheeky vervet monkeys forage for snacks around the lodge. Not to mention the constant nest-building of the bright yellow weaver birds around the lodge’s decks.

“Ah, we did not want to leave – my camera worked overtime – we made precious memories.”

October rates start from R 4 354.00 per person sharing per night and all packages include the following:

  • 3 meals per day, including tea and coffee
  • 2 game drives per day, including refreshments on game drives
  • Use TAUSPRING18 when making a reservation.

Park entrance fees (R 180.00 per person per night) are excluded from the package rates. So are are tourism levies (R 100.00 per person per night), airstrip fees (R 60.00 per person on landing), beverages ordered at the bar, telephone and internet usage, laundry, spa facilities, curios and other extras. A compulsory rhino conservation fee of R 150.00 per adult per night and R 75.00 per child per night (2 – 12 years) is applicable to assist the reserve in its anti-poaching efforts.

Image by: Tilly Dix

Early morning safaris are spectacular, offering magical light for photography, with a pitstop for Amarula coffee and delicious buttermilk rusks overlooking the verdant bush, whilst game rangers keep a vigilant eye on game and predators. They have respect for the bush by allowing the creatures of the wild their space. Afternoon game drives include dazzling African sunsets with decadent sundowners before returning to the lodge for a convivial dinner with guests and rangers conversing about their safari sightings of the day.

Dinner is hosted in the boma, restaurant or dining deck – depending on the weather – always presenting a surprise element for guests.

The tranquillity of the African bush, notwithstanding the protestations of a coot protecting its young from an over-zealous young crocodile, or the greeting ritual of elephant nearby, make for an unforgettable stay at TAU – place of the lion.

The TAU Cubz Club, TAU Spa Oasis and Tau Conference Centre make this an ideal malaria-free destination for romantic, family, leisure or corporate safaris.

www.taugamelodge.co.za

“Sisters-and-sweet” will celebrate diversity and heritage

September is “sister”-time at Stellenbosch Hills. To celebrate Heritage Month this year, the popular winery has tweaked its famous Local-is-Lekker Biltong & Wine Pairing at its cellar – for a limited time only – to also feature a most traditional confection: the koe(k)sister.

The quintessential South African dessert treat will be the kicker on the Stellenbosch Hills‘ experience that pairs its wines with biltong and droëwors. Extending the celebration of cultural diversity, tasters will be offered the choice of two versions: a plaited, sweet and crunchy koeksister or the Cape Malay-style equivalent koe’sister. The latter generally comprises a spiced dough-ball that’s deep-fried, dipped in boiling hot syrup and rolled in desiccated coconut.

Launched in 2005, Stellenbosch Hills’ Local is Lekker Biltong & Wine Pairing pioneered a genre that has subsequently been taken up by wineries far and wide.

Heritage Month is an extension of South Africa’s official Heritage Day, celebrated annually on September 24, officially launched in 1995. Like biltong, koe(k)sisters are regarded as an unmistakable part of the South African culinary lexicon.

Stellenbosch Hills’ Heritage Month offer will feature the full meaty experience of six wines, with the koe(k)sister paired with Stellenbosch Hills Muscat de Hambourg.

With a colour reminiscent of sunset, the wine is explosively fragrant with aromas and flavours of candy floss, boiled sweets, rose petals and violets. It shows best when served with koe(k)sisters, on crushed ice, over vanilla ice cream and strawberries or at room temperature in winter.

Other members of the pairing board are:

Springbok Biltong & Stellenbosch Hills 1707 Reserve White: A perfect balance between lean, dry game and the wine’s sumptuous citrus and buttered toast flavours.

Moist Beef Biltong & Stellenbosch Hills Polkadraai Pinotage/Merlot: Succulent complexity matched with sweeter notes of the premier red blend.

Ostrich Droëwors & Stellenbosch Hills Merlot: Milder game meat perfectly complemented by the plummy, ripe fruit flavours of a well-rounded companion.

Smoked Beef Biltong & Stellenbosch Hills Shiraz: A unique oak-smoked and cured biltong, gently spiced, connects seamlessly with smoky flavours of a wine that exhibits a hint of dark chocolate.

Kudu Droëwors & Stellenbosch Hills Cabernet Sauvignon: Subtle, yet rich game flavours – the perfect match for silky tannin and notes of ripe black fruit.

Traditional Beef Droëwors & Stellenbosch Hills 1707 Reserve Red: Exotic zest of roasted coriander offsets the wine’s clean spice and ripe tannin.

This exclusive and proudly South African pairing is available only for the month of September at R75 per person. Bookings can be made on 021 881 3828/9 or info@stellenbosch-hills.co.za.

www.stellenbosch-hills.co.za

Cape Town Hospitality Enthusiasts: We are looking for you!

Travelling Mystery Guest is searching for individuals interested in becoming mystery guests based in Cape Town.

The company assists hotels, restaurants, guesthouses, lodges, shopping centres and other tourism destinations with Customer Journey Evaluations. With Customer Journey Evaluations, Travelling Mystery Guest sends a mystery guest to evaluate the establishment’s brand promise and the overall customer journey. The mystery guest is responsible for taking notes and compiling a comprehensive report on the experience.

As Travelling Mystery Guest is continuously expanding, we’re looking for Capetonians that would like to become mystery guests. Ideally, we are looking for well presented individuals with a passion for and some experience in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Successful candidates will undergo training on the company’s mission and vision, assessment standards, requirements and quality assessment reporting.

If you think you have what it takes to become a mystery guest, send your CV to enquire@travellingmystery.co.za or alternatively to admin@travellingmystery.co.za.

Here are your Mother’s Day options

Mother’s Day at Haute Cabrière Restaurant

Chefs Nic van Wyk and Westley Muller take the hassle out of the kitchen by preparing a Sunday Feast for Mum and the family. The menu is set around old-school family lunches with abundant tables taking you on a journey through the Haute Cabrière and Pierre Jourdan wine ranges.

Starters and desserts are plated and the mains are served in platters – perfect for sharing. Wine during the lunch is included.

Price R370,00 per person, children 12 years and under R150,00.

Booking details:

Tel: 021 876 8500

Email: restaurant@cabriere.co.za

 

The Ritz Hotel, Cape Town

Exclusively on Mother’s Day, The Ritz hotel will be serving lunch at Top of The Ritz, and it is limited to 60 lucky guests.

R850 per person includes a seven-course meal and a glass of bubbly.

Bookings are essential.

E-mail info@theritzcapetown.co.za or book online via http://www.theritz.co.za/book-table-top-ritz/
Prepayment is required to confirm your booking.

The maximum table size is a 6 seater and the price excludes drinks and gratuity.

You can also join The Ritz at CASA restaurant for a poolside Sunday Glam Brunch with Mum, accompanied by live entertainment. Brunch commences from 11am until 5pm, served in the form of a lavish buffet and a glass of bubbles.

Limited to 180 guests

Booking details:

Email: info@theritzcapetown.co.za or book online via http://www.theritz.co.za/book-a-table-at-casa/

 

Allée Bleue Wine Estate

Join Allée Bleue Wine Estate for a delectable 3-course menu hosted in the courtyard, including a glass of the estate’s Brut Rosé upon arrival. The courses include a choice of a meat or vegetarian main option as well as an inviting choice of desserts.

R195,00 Per Person. Bookings are essential.

View the menu here.

Bookings: 021 874 1021

Email : info@alleebleue.com

 

Avondale Wine Estate

Mother’s Day at FABER at Avondale, care of Chef Dale Stevens, offers a set menu 4-course sharing lunch (2 starters, 1 main, 1 dessert) priced at R525 per adult. Children will receive a “kiddies” menu, with a choice of a main course and a dessert priced at R110 for 2 courses.

Bookings: 021 202 1219

Email: faber@avondalewine.co.za

 

Terroir at Kleine Zalze

Master chef Michael Broughton will be offering his quintessential provençal style menu. Mums receive a garden rose and a flute of complimentary Kleine Zalze Brut Rosé.

Bookings: 021 880 8167

Email: restaurant@kleinezalze.co.za

 

Four Seasons Hotel, The Westcliff

Join Four Seasons The Westcliff for a Mother’s Day Brunch at Flames Restaurant.

Price R 795 per person, children from 1-12 dine at half price

That same evening Classics on the Hill is transformed into Swinging Classics featuring the Charl Du Plessis Trio. Hailed as the most unique trio of their generation with new crossover arrangements of classical masterpieces, they will perform works by Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and many more composers from the world of classical music in their signature jazz trio style. The show starts at 5pm and tickets cost R795 per person which includes a gourmet buffet dinner.

If you are looking to truly indulge mom, look no further than the Spa at Four Seasons The Westcliff. Two Balinese spa therapists from the Four Seasons sister resort in Jimbaran Bay, will be making Four Seasons The Westcliff their home for the month of May providing authentic Balinese spa treatments in the heart of Johannesburg. What better way to say thank you to your mom than with an exclusive pampering session at the luxurious Spa at Four Seasons The Westcliff.

Bookings: 011 481 6000

Book online via http://www.flamesrestaurant.co.za/bookings/

 

Forti Grill and Bar

Forti Grill and Bar in Pretoria will be serving their serving their comprehensive à la carte menu, which has something for every taste. This is next level feasting and Chef Fortunato will have you serenading to your Mum before the afternoon is over!

There will be two seatings for the day, one at 12pm and another at 3pm to ensure that Forti Grill and Bar can accommodate as many guests as possible.

Mothers will receive a complimentary bar of chocolate from Forti as a small token of appreciation for everything that moms do.

Bookings: 012 003 6180

Email: info@forti.co.za

 

Makaron Restaurant at Majeka House

Makaron will exclusively be open for lunch on Mother’s Day and Chef Lucas Carstens will serve his signature à la carte menu. Mums receive a complimentary glass of Méthode Cap Classique upon arrival.

Bookings:  021 880 1549

Book online via http://www.majekahouse.co.za/restaurant/makaron-restaurant/bookings/

New Year’s Eve

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New Year Traditions around the world

Since we are approaching the end of 2017, Travelling Mystery Guest decided to take a look at the traditions people have for New Year’s Eve around the world. For those of you who are frequent travellers, you might have the privilege to encounter some of these traditions. As for us here in South Africa, we will embrace our own traditions this year!

  1. Denmark

 

The people of Denmark save all their unused plates and dishes for New Year’s Eve where they then shatter these plates against floors or doors together with friends and family. This tradition ought to release all your frustrations built up through the year!

  1. Spain

Grapes

This beautiful country believes that their luck revolves around grapes. People would try to fit 12 grapes in their mouth and when this is achieved, it is believed that you will have good luck in the New Year. This seems like an easy way to improve your luck in 2018!

  1. Peru

Peru

Peru actually has a festival where they fight with one another to settle any differences that they had. The Takanakuy Festival is held to ensure that everyone starts the New Year on a clean slate. This is certainly an interesting and unique way to forgive and forget.

  1. USA

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One of the most famous ways of celebrating the New Year is the Ball Drop in Times Square, New York. This tradition started in 1907 and every year a specially designed ball is dropped in front of thousands of spectators to symbolise the New Year.

  1. South Africa

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New Year’s Eve in South Africa is celebrated with friends and family, popping champagne when the clock strikes 00:00 and wishing everyone a happy new year! Most people will probably have a braai and prepare a festive meal and some will even have fireworks (where it’s allowed). When looking at what other countries think about New Year’s in South Africa, it seems we are quite popular for some of the biggest parties, especially in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

We hope you have some exciting plans for this upcoming New Year’s Eve, whether it’s at home or somewhere exotic. South Africa will always be special, with beautiful beaches and growing urban cities. There are a lot of opportunities to make this New Year’s Eve a great one! Cheers to the New Year!

The #IDoTourism Movement

How can we do tourism? How can you do tourism? And why should we?

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To build a greater nation and to show off South-Africa’s potential globally. South Africa Tourism has started a movement to show the importance of every single South African in our tourism industry. The ability of this industry to create jobs and the effect that tourism has on the entire country has been greatly underestimated.

We have a beautiful country and South African people are amazing. By standing together, we can improve our entire economy by supporting this movement. On the 5th of October, Margie Whitehouse from South Africa Tourism highlighted the importance of this movement at the Tshwane Tourism Association’s meeting, which was hosted at 012 Central. Travelling Mystery Guest supports this movement.

Are you going to do tourism? Remember to use #IDoTourism if you share it online.

Watch their inspirational video to learn more about the #IDoTourism movement:

 

 

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Written by: Alicia Redelinghuys