Cape Town’s catalogue of bistros, cafes and bars grows every month. In case you missed them, here are four new establishments to consider adding to your weekend itinerary:
CHEFS Foodhall introduces Cape Town foodies to a new eatery experience. Technology stands at the forefront of this innovative rendition of shopping mall dining.
CHEFS is the first-of-its-kind in South Africa but emulates eateries scattered around the world. Co-founder Campbell Stevenson hopes that one day it will become a country-wide chain.
You’ll find it in the space that once housed Edgar’s department store in Cavendish Square. The vast space and minimal colour feature of cobalt stone blue will catch your eye, but don’t let the almost clinical veneer intimidate you. As you enter, you will be greeted by staff members who will help you to navigate your first CHEFS experience.
As previously mentioned, technology plays an important role in this restaurant game. CHEFS manages queue lengths by allowing customers to order and pay for food via its designated use-friendly app. 16 internet points are installed around the food hall so that orders can be placed without WIFI-related issues.
The CHEFS app is downloadable on the AppStore or through a QR code found on coasters. Operating like Uber Technologies Inc., simply download, sign up, and input your payment details.
Some of the cuisines will pull inspiration from dishes created by the appointed Culinary Director and renowned Chef George Jardine. Mussels and braised short ribs will fall under this influence, but CHEFS also serves family favourites like pizza and burgers.
The food hall is kitted with 11 serving stations that offer an array of options. Each kitchen is equipped with screens that display customers’ in-app food orders. Diners can collect their meals for takeaway or opt to grab a barstool and sit at one of the community dining-style counters.
Enjoy steamed bao buns, loaded fries, ramen and many other types of appetising food for affordable prices.
CHEFS Foodhall is open from 9 am to 10 pm seven days a week, but not all of the food stations will be open from 9 am to closing.
- Location: 1 Dreyer Street | Shop G06, Cavendish Square, Claremont.
- Hours: 9 am to 10 pm
- Contact: chefs_cavendish
2. Mila at Doolhof:
Recently opened, Mila at Doolhof Wine Estate is an enchanting farm bistro situated at the foot of Wellington’s Limietberg mountain.
Housed in an original, late 19th-century wagon house, this gorgeous eatery is crammed with character. There’s a herb-adorned courtyard terrace, stout terracotta pots, a fantastic menu and a decidedly laidback atmosphere. Mila welcomes guests to taste and purchase exquisite wines and flavourful dishes encircled by the Doolhof estate’s lush gardens.
Doolhof Estate lies between Bain’s Kloof and the Groenberg Mountain Range, burrowed in its own hidden valley. The drive from town to Wellington is only an hour from Cape Town, but it still qualifies as an escape from the city.
Getting from the town of Wellington to Doolhof Estate involves a journey of winding dirt roads and an alluring mountain valley view that cinches the feeling of adventure.
Mila Restaurant was opened in September 2022. It is owned by Anelma le Roux, whose additional culinary successes include her two Paarl-based eateries: Monarch Coffee Cartel and the Lounah Café. It was during these two ventures that she met the Doolhof wine estate’s owners. Both parties discovered synchronicity in their food ethos and fine bistro approach, and a wonderful collaboration took place.
Mila’s excellence is foregrounded by its exquisite cuisine, smoothly run by husband-and-wife team Jacques and Michelle Fourie. Chefs Jaques and Michelle share ten years of experience and a love of delicious, uncomplicated food. The menu changes often but the selection is always straightforward, refined and simply delish.
If you’d prefer seat on Doolhof’s sprawling green lawns, the restaurant can organise a gourmet picnic basket. This must be booked 24 hours in advance.
The menu is accompanied by the finest selection of wine. Fill your cup with Doolhof’s signature selection or choose one of the exclusive wine labels that they supply at cellar-door prices.
Doolhof is the perfect location to enjoy personal respite or spend quality time with your loved ones. After dining at Mila, take a wander past the horse paddocks down to the mountain stream and marvel at the indigenous flora. If you’re so inclined, challenge yourself to a steep hike or cycle up the Groenberg mountain.
No matter your choice of activity, a visit to Mila at Doolhof ensures excellence.
- Location: Doolhof Wine Estate, Bovlei Rd, Wellington, 7654.
- Hours: Wednesday to Sunday: 9 am to 4 pm | Monday and Tuesday: Closed
- Contact: 021 864 2805 | [email protected]
3. The Cookie Co.:
New craving alert! Cookie Co. has officially opened its Cape Town eatery and candy store on Bree Street.
From familiar flavours like chocolate chip to their proudly South African milk tart cookies, Cookie Co. uses the highest quality ingredients to create delicious combinations. Their cookies are inspired by the classic American cookie: Crispy on the outside with chewy, gooey interiors.
At their Johannesburg branch, October’s flavour of the month was inspired by Halloween. The Cookie Co.’s pumpkin spiced delight is made with real pumpkin and a blend of warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. While this spooky cookie is not available at their new Cape Town branch, don’t be disappointed as each month the Cookie Co. will release a new flavour.
The Cookie Co. urges you to take a moment and enjoy their delicious treats with a cup of coffee. If this caffeine and cookie combo doesn’t spike your interest, your sugar-filled desires are not restricted.
The store also operates as a sweet shop and cereal supplier, shelving familiar international brands like Lucky Charms and Reese’s peanut butter cups. And there’s more!
In addition to cookies, Cookie Co. makes its own ice cream. With summer hot on our heels, prepare to indulge in their cooling, rich scoops.
Cookie Co. wants you to bask in childlike fancy. Visit their brand-new Cape Town location to satisfy your cravings!
- Location: 16 Bree Street, City Centre.
- Hours: Monday to Friday: 7 am to 4 pm | Saturday: 7 am to 1 pm | Sunday: Closed
- Instagram: cookieco_sa
4. Scala Pasta Bar:
Inspired by the pasta eateries that scatter Europe, Scala Pasta Bar in Church Street embodies the spirit of Italy.
Its classification as a pasta bar and not a pasta restaurant is tied to its tapa-style menu. Small plates of antipasti and pasta shared amongst friends and family underpin the Scala food philosophy.
The menu is the product of a collaborative effort by chef Luciano Monosilio and executive chef Justin Barker. Chef Barker supervises kitchen operations, and the restaurant’s open-plan design allows diners to witness the pasta factory in action. One type of pasta is made using egg and flour, another with double-zero flour and a third with semolina.
To start off the evening, a cocktail, please. Shaken or stirred on a marbled bar top, enjoy modern twists on timeless favourites like negronis, old fashioneds and elderflower spritzes. If hard spirits are not to your taste, a selection of wines is available too.
The menu is restrained but diverse, with antipasti to start and pasta with unique sauces to follow. It is advised to order two or more small plates of antipasti and two kinds of pasta to share between couples. This way you get to experience all of Scala’s distinctive flavours, allowing for the complete taste, texture, smell and sight experience.
For dessert, tiramisu should be mandatory. You have to crack through the tempered chocolate layer and observe as the espresso oozes. The second dessert option is equally good, a vanilla custard millefoglie, layered with dark chocolate and candied almonds. You might not be able to pronounce it, but you definitely will enjoy it.
Reserve a table, order with curious tastebuds and plunge waist-deep into delizioso Italy!
- Location: 81 Church Street, Heritage Square, Cape Town.
- Hours: 12.30 pm to 10.30 pm | Closed on Sundays
- Bookings: 021 424 7204
Picture: Mila restaurant at Doolhof / Facebook.