May 13, 2022

Fields of gold

FIELDS OF GOLD (fine dining restaurants)


I have a very special friend who annually presents me with a somewhere-new voucher for my birthday. The deal is that she takes me somewhere I have never been before. It always involves a walk. These have ranged from, in the halcyon days, a hike in the tea plantation in Ella, Sri Lanka to in Covid times, the Constantia green belt in Cape Town. They always include about 10 000 words (each), often we lose our way, a yummy sustenance stop and if the setting allows, a little retail rendezvous.

This year’s day at Klein Roosboom was no exception. My favourite season in the winelands is autumn, when the varying hues from gold to green are captivating. The wine estate commands breathtaking views from Durbanville Hills to Table Mountain with three vineyard walks – we took the longest. And got lost. It gave us time to relax amongst the vine, enjoy the vista and work up an appetite for lunch and stocking up on some edible treats at the deli. The artisanal bakes make decisions difficult. Add a wine tasting and you have the perfect day…I spotted their party bike, a self-propelled vehicle with drink holders that can accommodate 12 party animals…and we reminded ourselves that one is never too old for a party on a wine farm!


I joined a trio of my favourite men for an authentic Italian dinner in De Waterkant. Osteria Tarantino has been on my to-dine list for a long time. Owner Enrico produces impressive Italian dishes and shares his love of Italy. It’s a small, intimate space, about nine tables in all. My man and I arrived first, and when the wine we chose was unavailable, we were then offered a much more expensive option, but at the same price. The antipasta menu boasted an array of dishes that I would be happy to work through. Arancini balls filled the gap left by a long working day, before we all tucked into pasta. My spinach and ricotta ravioli with Napoletana sauce was superb, and my husband’s 4 P’s exceptional (pappadelle, porcini, Parmigiana and pancetta, with mince and a Napoletana sauce with a touch of chilli.

The pappardelle with carbonara was a huge hit, and the Ferroro Roche ice cream sublime.


Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia cannot disappoint. It has the heavenly setting that in autumn is quite breathtaking. Genius chef Ivor Jones says, “I have the best office views in Cape Town.” Four waves with two exceptionally well conceptualized and flavoured dishes made for a memorable lunch. The final, playful touch? The Jonesy bar is a one-of-a-kind chocolate that pays tribute to four of his childhood memories – speculaas, passion fruit, muscovado sugar and popcorn. To find out more about chef Ivor’s culinary inspiration and expertise tune into FMR Fine Food on Saturday 14 May a 10h45.


A week in the City of Gold meeting with reviewers, sponsors and other energizing peeps reminded me of how visiting Jo’burg is like putting your fingers in a light socket.

Don’t expect merely traditional Greek fare when you visit Ethos in Oxford Place, Jozi. It’s a stylish restaurant that rubs shoulders with the The Test Kitchen Carbon and Shortmarket Club. Indoor and outdoor seating beckon, as does an inventive Med menu. The wine list is comprehensive and the cocktails legendary. I managed a quick working lunch with another food writer, and we both waxed lyrical with our choices. Mine was a spanakopita salad, an unexpected, layered dish of kataifi and baby spinach with yuzu, soy, garlic, dehydrated crumbled feta and a warm feta cream. My colleague chose the starter of calamari Romesco on a bed of wood-fired aubergine. It was served with a parsley dressing, almond and sheeps’ feta crème, with an escabeche of legs. The tapas selection is swoon-worthy, and the mains demand a day when you are ravenous.

The rest of my sojourn in Jozi will be shared in our June Gourmet Guide online magazine, but suffice to say that my tastebuds danced wildly at Qunu at the Saxon, and hit a crescendo at Basalt at the Peech Hotel. I will be back soon for another swoon…

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