From May to September each year is what we often call the secret season. Late Autumn and Winter in Cape Town can be an amazing time. Whilst it may rain, there are many lovely sunshine days. Accommodation rates are at their lowest and many restaurants run special offers to entice the locals out to eat during the cool evenings, attracted by very competitive prices and probably a warming fireplace. For many Capetonians this is the eating out season as it is not only more affordable than in the peak months, but chefs often have dishes on offer that are not obtainable at other times. Although Horizon Cottages has fully equipped kitchens in the self-catering accommodation, holiday makers generally like to treat themselves by dining out at night and we hope that you will find this guide to restaurants in our local area offering great value specials useful in making the most of your winter holiday.
Noordhoek has gained something of a reputation for being a gourmet destination for food lovers many of whom travel over the mountain from neighbouring suburbs to enjoy a wide selection and price range of food at our restaurants.
The Food Barn, is the flagship of the Noordhoek farm village with a restaurant that offers five-star dining and amongst the best food to be found in Cape Town. The acclaimed Chef Franck Dangereux makes it affordable for mere mortals to eat here during the off-season.Firstly, the Autumn a’ la carte menu offers food at half price for lunches on weekdays (excluding public holidays) but this does not apply to side dishes. There is no catch, just go and enjoy world class food at a 50% discount. As usual during the autumn and winter the restaurant also offers set menus paired with specific wine farms where you can choose a three course meal with served with wines to accompany the dishes for R275 and four courses for R 325 and the menu changes every two weeks. Stunningly presented meals make the most of local produce and offer food of a quality not often found. Look for the details on their website. Foorbarn.co.za
During the day, the deli at the Foodbarn offers breakfasts, light lunches and an array of freshly baked goods as well as fresh produce.
Glencairn, a little beach suburb over the hill from our Cape town Cottages has the unpretentious Bay Café located in a pretty Victorian hotel. The charming period restaurant has a warming fireplace while the deck outside offers lovely views of Glencairn Beach and wetland, with its sweeping views of the Hottentots Holland mountains across False Bay. You may even spot whales basking in the bay. The food is pub/bistro fare but you will find some really unbeatable value for money in their winter specials. Their Lamb shank slow roasted in flavoursome gravy is succulent and falling off the bone. Tuesday – hake & calamari R49. Wednesday -Calamari and Ribs R49 Thursday Lamb shank R79, Friday rump steak R79, Saturday seafood combo R79. Every day of the week they also offer Prawns piri-piri R98 and Beef Espetada R98. Find them at Glen Road, Glencairn, on the way to Simonstown.
Fish Hoek is our neighbour on the False Bay coast. Opposite the beach is Barracudas; a relaxed family restaurant with large expanses of floor to ceiling glass to make the most of the views and which has a fresh, contemporary and natural feel with a touch of coral and aqua.
The restaurant is fully licenced but does not charge corkage if you bring your own. Most popular of their daily specials available from 6 pm is the superb Hake and Chips at only R45 but the other specials offer good value for money as, indeed, does the whole menu. Wednesdays Lamb curry, rice and rooti R75; R89.00 Rack of Ribs & Spicy Chicken Wings; Friday R89.00 Sizzling Sirloin served with chips & vegetables of the day; Saturday Mixed Grill or False Bay Seafood Platter R95.00. Corner Beach and Recreation Road , Fish Hoek
If Chinese food is what you like you can’t get better value for money than the Imperial Garden Chinese Restaurant, 38 Main Road, Fish Hoek. Whilst they have an extensive a’la carte menu , they are offering this winter an “all you can eat “ buffet reduced from R125 to only R98 but requires booking 24 hours in advance and minimum of 4 persons. Tel: 021 782 9677. The buffet includes Sweetcorn soup, spring rolls, crispy pork, sweet sour pork, calamari, seafood chow mein, oyster sauce chicken, stir fried vegetables, chili beef and egg fried rice.
Kalk Bay is popular throughout the year and has a wide selection of good restaurants. Harbour House is possibly the best restaurant in the southern peninsula; situated in the picturesque Kalk Bay working fishing harbour, built on the breakwater with views overlooking False Bay on one side and the colourful harbour on the other. From late July, Humpback and Southern Right whales migrate into the bay to calf and are regularly spotted by diners. Floor to ceiling picture windows allow guests to experience unforgettable seascapes all year round. In winter a log fire roars in the centre of the restaurant as huge waves crash on the rocks below and spray splashes the windows. Harbour House décor is elegant and simple, a quality reflected in the cuisine. As befits the quality of the food, with emphasis on fresh fish, menu prices are above average, but during the Secret Season they offer a superb 3 course meal at R185. This is really good value for fine Cape Town dining. The menu changes each month from May to September.
Cape to Cuba is a Bohemian restaurant overlooking Kalk Bay Harbour offering Cuban/Cajun dishes in a rambling, chandelier and antique filled beach hut restaurant/bar with live Latin music. In addition to Cuban cigars, great mojitos and other cocktails, they serve some unusual and delicious food and one can purchase any of the furniture, icons or chandeliers. Their winter specials are Seafood platter for one R135 and a winter fireside menu 3 course meal for R145, If you want somewhere different look for them in the Kalk bay main road.
Outspan Seafood Grill will be found in an old Cape Dutch style building as you come into Kalk bay, past the harbour. It looks a bit shabby, but it has a great position overlooking the harbour and has tables both in- and outside so that you can choose depending on the weather. If you fancy some fresh fish or prawns, the waiters will grill your fish for you on the fire outside. Winter specials for seafood lovers are grilled Yellowtail, 6 prawns, calamari, chips salad for R115 or Hake and chips for R46. They are not licensed so don’t charge corkage; bring your own or get a bottle of wine from the liquor store just next to them.
Muizenberg, surfing capital of Cape Town, is a bit further down the line but we should mention the latest from the Harbour House Group. Tiger’s Milk, as the eatery is known, offers top-notch ‘dude food’, pizzas, burgers, ribs and craft beer. Their current special for Burger lovers is on Mondays where you can get 2 gourmet burgers for the price of 1 – 2 quarter pounder burgers with truffle infused mushroom sauce for only R85.Tiger’s Milk is popular with a younger set, vibrant and noisy. Corner of Beach and Sidmouth Roads, Muizenberg.