Top ten for 2010
Chosen for foodies, by foodies, the annual Eat Out Restaurant Awards is a much-anticipated (and debated) event on the local dining calendar.
As has been the case for many years, there was a preponderance of Cape Town and winelands restaurants among the 20 nominees, with Stellenbosch stealing the best-restaurants crown from its cousin, Franschhoek.
My opinion of whether the Eat Out judges try hard enough to find worthy contestants in other parts of the country isn’t going to change this year’s results, so without further ado, here are the Top Ten restaurants for 2010/11.
Except for the winning restaurant, they’re in no particular order, as they’re all worthy of an overdraft on your bank account, or missed bond payment.
Rust en Vrede Restaurant (Stellenbosch winelands, Western Cape)
Chef David Higgs and his brigade swept the boards this year winning Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year, and the Service Award.
Impeccable service, meticulous attention to detail and superb use of local produce will surely see Higgs and his team continue to garner accolades that include a place (74th ) in the San Pellegrino Top 100 Restaurants in the World, and Great Wine Capitals of the World Best Global Restaurant and Best National Restaurant.
Stellenbosch-based wine estate Rust en Vrede (rest and peace) is currently owned by the Engelbrecht family, and specialises in award-winning Merlot, Cabernet and Shiraz wines.
Bosman’s Restaurant (Paarl, Western Cape)
South Africa’s only Relais Gourmand restaurant that also boasts an exceptional collection of rare wines and vintage champagnes.
Roots Restaurant (Krugersdorp, Gauteng)
Located in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in Gauteng, Chef Allistaire Lawrence’s menus are sublimely imaginative. The food and wine pairing menu is excellent value for money.
Aubergine (Cape Town, Western Cape)
With a passion for South African produce Chef Harald Bresselschmidt is a perfectionist and it shows. Precisely executed, beautifully presented food complemented by one of the country’s best wine lists.
Overture(Stellenbosch, Western Cape)
Never afraid to push the envelope Chef Bertus Basson consistently delivers innovative contemporary menus without forgoing the fresh flavours of top-quality ingredients.
Hartford House (Mooi River, KwaZulu-Natal)
A welcome return by 1 of South Africa’s most accessible and hospitable fine dining experiences, with accomplished chef Jacky Cameron at the helm.
Tasting Room (Franschhoek winelands, Western Cape)
Continually voted among the Top 50 Restaurants in the World, chef Margot Jansen is an artist that engages all your senses through the medium of food. Options include either the 5 or 9-course menu, with, or without wine pairing.
DW Eleven-13 (Dunkeld West, Johannesburg)
More super-smart bistro than true fine dining, Top 10 newcomer Chef Marthinus Ferreira’s elegant menus add a touch of sex-in-the-city glamour to this year’s winners.
Terroir (Stellenbosch winelands, Western Cape)
Simplicity, exceptional kitchen craft, superb seasonal produce, and attentive, informed service have earned Chef Michael Broughton legions of fans and a well-deserved place in the Top 10.
Jordan (Stellenbosch winelands, Western Cape)
Anything chef George Jardine touches turns to gold, and his latest venture in contemporary winelands cuisine is no different. Locally sourced ingredients used imaginatively, a walk-in cheese room, to die-for views, and Jordan’s exclusive Cape Winemakers Guild wines.