Pictures: Megan Baadjies and Nathan Adams
Pictures: Megan Baadjies and Nathan Adams
It’s nearly that time of year when we all reflect on the good, the bad and ugly of the past 12 months - hopefully the good outweighs the bad and the ugly. 

Whatever your thoughts on this year, there is nothing like a good meal and a glass of wine to help you reflect on the year that was.

Good food is not hard to find in Cape Town; we revisit some of our favourite restaurants and bars we reviewed this year. With the holiday season upon us, what better way to spend the sunny days and nights than with good food and in good company?

From brew food and seafood to sharing plates, these are some of our favourites you have to visit this summer.

The Beerhouse

A pint of beer might not be your drink of choice, so you might just enjoy it best in your food.

The Beerhouse in Long Street, expanded the range of beers and ales available to diners when they opened their doors in 2013 and now they are at the forefront of another revolution.

In short, brew food is adding beer as an ingredient and fusing it into all the items on a menu. So at Beerhouse you’ll find brew snacks, including BBQ bitterballen, beer fermented flatbread and beerchos (nachos with beer cheese).

On the main menu there are meats, pork and chicken prepared in the Beerhouse smoker. The new menus are also a great way for people to get all the beer flavour from their plate and not a beer.

Durbanville Hills

A decent meal at a wine estate is often an afterthought when the focus is on the wine list. Durbanville Hills has really made an effort with its summer menu, with carefully selected ingredients and dishes for a tasty lunch or dinner from starters to mains. 

The seared salmon comes with onion spread, broccoli and almonds but the lemon bearnaise and asparagus is the highlight. 

The beef dish comes with a generous portion of sirloin and braised short rib. Dessert is as flavourful and the options are varied.

* Durbanville Hills Winery is on Tygerberg Valley Road, Cape Farms, Cape Town.

Trading hours are Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm, Saturdays 10am to 3pm and Sundays 11am to 3pm.

The Base Restaurant

The President Hotel recently launched its new pizza area, The Base Restaurant, which offers a range of artisanal wood-fire pizzas.

But this is not your traditional round pizza with a base so thick it could be mistaken for bread.

The pizzas have a distinct thin, crispy base and come in a rectangular shape made with a “secret dough recipe”.

The Base’s menu has six pizzas with seasonal toppings which caters to meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.

The variations range from the classic margarita to more exotic options such as prosciutto, gorgonzola, rocket and fig.

Prices range from R95 to R135. Takeaway options are available for collection, email [email protected] or call 0214348111.

Benguela on Main

Benguela on Main in Somerset West offers a luxury fine dining experience away from the busy-ness of the city.

About a 55-minute drive from Cape Town, this establishment is worth the drive.

The food is well prepared and is as elegant as the venue itself. The restaurant has a tasting menu and an à la carte menu that offers two or three courses.

On the second floor in the bar and tasting room, guests can enjoy local and international wines. It’s perfect for pre-dinner drinks on the balcony.

The menu includes pan-roasted hake with gnocchi nero and caviar cream with leeks and greens. 

On our visit my partner and I enjoyed the grass-fed beef chimichurri with roasted shallot, poached bone marrow and pommes soufflé with a mushroom purée.

Benguela on Main is on the corner of Main Road and Coronation Avenue, Somerset West.

For reservations call: 087 357 0637 or e-mail: [email protected]

The Yard at Silo

The Silo District at the V&A Waterfront is fast becoming Cape Town’s trendy food and lifestyle hub.

Opposite the newly opened Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, The Yard at Silo is the new kid on the block.

Named after the surrounding dockyards, The Yard is a concept store-cum-bistro-bar that offers a retail and dining experience under one roof. 

The retail section features a range of urban homeware, accessories, decor and a few pieces of clothing.

The delicatessen houses a selection of fine chocolates, preserves, home-made pastas and cheeses.

There is also a salad bar and warm buffet which has a different offering daily.

Adjacent to the buffet, is the marble top drinks bar with a range of craft beers, wines and spirits.

Even the food offerings dare to be different with a selection of Mediterranean, Indian, Oriental and Middle East inspired meals on offer.

* The Yard opens from 7.30am to 10.30pm daily. For reservations contact [email protected]

Bistro Sixteen82

Chef Kerry Kilpin at Bistro Sixteen82 at Steenberg Wine Estate is a master of breakfasts especially her three takes on eggs benedict.

On the menu at the restaurant she writes: “I cook with love and my food is love,” which you can taste in her eggs benedict.

The three choices you have are the simple eggs benedict with hollandaise sauce, eggs royale and mushroom benedict.

* The prices range from R86 to R105 which is a real bargain for the great breakfast treat you’re served.

Breakfast is served from 9am to 11am at Bistro Sixteen82.

Lily’s Restaurant

Lily’s Restaurant in Mouille Point, opened its doors a few months ago and everything, including the menu, is still shiny and new.

Perched right on the main road, it’s tucked away underneath an apartment complex and if you blink you would probably miss it.

Part of the familiarity of the restaurant is that in many ways its décor, menu and gourmet-bistro style reminded me of Tasha’s restaurant. 

This is a compliment because Lily’s succeeds with that relaxed atmosphere, but has food on the menu that should be taken seriously.

The “appetisers & light bites” are well priced, with a strong focus on seafood and fish. There’s the Lily’s salmon cakes, “gun show mussels” and grilled calamari to choose from.

On any given summer’s night they would be perfect with your sundowners but I found the Caesar salad croquettes was the right choice.

Lily’s has a cosy restaurant feel, with a menu almost too gourmet.

* Shop 1, East-West Building, corner Beach Rd and Surrey Place, Mouille Point, Cape Town, 8005. Contact: 021 204 8545 or email: [email protected] Opening Hours: Mondays to Sundays 7.30 to 10pm.

The Mess

The word Mess refers to a group of people eating together at one big table and sharing meals. And what better way to enjoy summer days and nights than feasting with family.

Tucked away from the busy Cape Town CBD, The Mess restaurant is in Napier Street, Green Point. The restaurant is about sharing meals and enjoying different flavours on a single plate.

Owner, Carlene de Gouveia says The Mess is about different flavours, trying to make the place welcome to all types of cultures and families and a place where everyone feels comfortable.

The menu focuses on sharing plates of enjoyable food.

Offerings include pork belly, tacos, lamb and curry dishes.

The spacious courtyard is perfect for outside dining.

* The Mess restaurant and bar is at shop 110, The Rockwell, Napier Street, Green Point.

Operating hours are Mondays to Saturdays 6pm to late and Fridays lunch, noon to 3pm.