From the city centre beneath flat-topped Table Mountain and beautiful beaches along the Atlantic Seaboard, to lush winelands around Stellenbosch and Paarl and craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, the relaxed and cosmopolitan city of Cape Town has it all.
Tucked away in an exclusive residential part of Stellenbosch, Makaron Restaurant is the show pony of the venerable Majeka House & Spa. The quirky oasis created by interior expert Etienne Hanekom is a designer’s paradise that melds disparate décor ideas seamlessly – it’s a beautiful setting in which to enjoy inspired food while learning a bit about South Africa’s star ingredients. Here, chef Lucas Carstens aces exquisite ‘dust-to-delicious’ combinations like mock abalone mushroom and tjokka, baby marrow and kapokbos, and Karoo lamb and groenboontjiebredie. We recommend ordering six or seven small plates and trying a little bit of everything on the menu. Don’t be concerned about leaving hungry – while the plates are small, the portions are indeed more generous than most other tapas-style dining spots and each morsel is packed with flavour. What’s more, not being located on a wine farm means the restaurant isn’t limited when it comes to wines they can serve, so you can look forward to superb food and wine pairings.
The Instagram moment: The bright green cacti flanking through the desert-themed courtyard.
26-32 Houtkapper Street, Paradyskloof, Stellenbosch
021 880 1549
Salsify at The Roundhouse has quickly become a bucket-list table to secure well in advance on arrival in Cape, for good reason: the magical setting up on a steep road on the lower slopes of Lion’s Head overlooking Camps Bay’s leafy glen to the ocean and Twelve Apostles mountains is well worth the trek for Luke Dale-Roberts and Ryan Cole’s inventive seven-course tasting menu. Every course shows phenomenal attention to detail, regardless of whether the star ingredient is locally reared quail or asparagus. Dishes like scallop with pomegranate and fried onion, Peking duck breast with salted sour plum and walnut salsa, and lavender peaches with macadamia nut ice cream will leave an impression you won’t soon forget, and despite exquisite plating and novel presentation, nothing is overworked or overcomplicated. If you opt to order à la carte, don’t miss The Salsify Chocolate Bar for dessert, best washed down with some of the small-batch house gin. We highly recommend the wine-pairing option for an extra-special spoil.
The Instagram moment: The dining room has been kept beautifully classic with white tablecloths and Persian rugs, but the entrance room and back lounge that have been given an electric shock with some more modern graffiti by Louis Villiers is what will really catch your eye.
The Roundehouse, Roundehouse Road, Camps Bay
021 010 6444
Located on Cape Town’s gourmet boulevard, otherwise known as Bree Street, the new-look Bocca is buzzing with a new Italian-inspired energy with husband-and-wife team Guido and Adnana Brambilla running the show. Regulars trust that the small plates that will emerge from the kitchen off the carefully curated menu that lends itself to group sharing will be close to a religious experience in terms of punchy flavours and contrasting textures. Chef Guido’s tapas draw on frequent globe-trotting, a passion for authentic Italian ingredients and the ease that comes from chefs cooking the sort of food they love to eat. Highlights include the stracciatella and salumi ‘bites’, the Bocca pizza adorned with prosciutto crudo, stracciatella, artichokes and thyme, and the baked fusilli ragu layered with traditional beef and pork ragout, rosemary béchamel, Parmesan and provolone. As a plus, the wine list is well considered and the bartender knows how to make a mean Aperol Spritz.
The Instagram moment: The bustling Bree and Wale intersection taken from the perfectly pared down wood-clad outside deck on a balmy evening.
Corner of Bree & Wale Street, Cape Town
021 422 0188
Written by: Candice May
Images: Hein van Tonder; Justin Patrick