Bringing country food to city tables every Saturday in Woodstock
Cape Town Winter Specials and Warming Menus
Get cosy with toasty winter deals at top-notch Mother City restaurants
Get cosy with toasty winter deals at top-notch Mother City restaurants
Winter time in Cape Town tends to compel locals to retreat into the warmth and comfort of their homes; shorter days, longer nights and moodier skies are generally likely to lead to three solid months of hibernation. In the 2013 winter, however, prepare to be lured out from under your comfy duvet to sample some of the best belly-warming menus the Mother City has to offer. Whether it be at a restaurant that’s always been on your radar, or at an upscale eatery that’s normally out of your budget, you can satisfy your curiosity and your cravings while heating yourself up from the inside out with these unbeatable Cape Town winter specials.
WINTER SPECIALS IN CAPE TOWN
La Vie Café & Bar
Thanks to its location just opposite Sea Point’s bustling promenade, this European-style street café and bar is an ideal hangout during the sunny, warmer months. But this winter, La Vie is set on helping its loyal customer base fend off frigid weather (and keep the bank balances intact too) with a delectable winter special bound to tickle those taste buds. From April until the end of the cooler season, on Mondays only, the laidback eatery is offering diners any two of their mouth-watering Gourmet or Classic Pizzas (excluding their seafood option) for a mere R99 in total. The deal is available from 4pm until the kitchen closes (roughly 10:30pm), and as the oceanfront institution is rather famous for these generously topped Italian favourites – they’re made from scratch from a traditional family recipe – it’s certainly one you don’t want to miss out on.
Price: R99 for any two Gourmet or Classic Pizzas (excluding the seafood pizza)
205 Beach Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | +27 (0)87 808 2456
For Italian fare head out to the Hildebrand Ristorante in the historic Harbour Side Café building in the V&A Waterfront. You can sample traditional dishes from all over Italy while appreciating the hustle and bustle of Cape Town’s world-renowned harbour. This winter the restaurant has launched a low-cost set menu that includes two or three courses for less. Choose among starters such as Mussel and Clam Chowder; hearty mains such as slow-roasted springbok shank in red wine, and divine desserts, like Hot Malva Pudding. If you’re a pasta lover, try their Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli, made fresh.
Price: R140 for any two courses; R170 for any three courses.
Pierhead | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 425 3385
Dish Restaurant at Inn on the Square Hotel
Because nothing heats you up in frigid weather quite like a steaming plate of stew, Dish restaurant at Cape Town’s historic Inn on the Square hotel has put together a potjie lunch special especially for the 2013 winter. Running on select Fridays throughout the cold season, namely 19 April, 10 May, 31 May, 28 June and 30 August, from 12:30pm to 4pm, the unusual offer will treat guests, tourists and locals alike to the slow-simmered proudly South African speciality, which is made in a circular pot (hence the name) over an open fire from a hearty mix of meat (usually oxtail), red wine, sherry, mushrooms, tomatoes and other vegetables. Diners can choose to tuck into the piping hot goulash – there’ll be several different meat options to choose from – either within the upscale eatery’s inviting interior or, on crisp, clear days, outside on the open-air terrace that extends out over the cobblestones of the famed Greenmarket Square. As an opportunity to indulge in a filling local favourite while warming up the insides, this midday deal is a wintertime must-do.
Price: Potjie lunches range from R95 to R145 depending on the meat option selected.
Greenmarket Square | Shortmarket Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 423 2050
The Red Bar & Grill at Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore
The Red Bar & Grill (rbg), the easy-dining eatery at the slick Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore hotel, is making hostile weather that much more bearable in 2013 with the launch of an uber economical winter warmer deal. To keep tummies feeling toasty, the edgy CBD restaurant is running a two-course meal special from 25 April until the end of May that spoils guests with a steaming Soup of the Day starter (an essential on frosty days) and a hearty main of Ostrich Neck with Rice for an affordable R155; as the cherry on top, this price includes a glass of house wine. Though, if it’s a tipple that appeals, the swanky hotel’s 11th-floor sunroof terrace, which is an ideal resting spot on those rare warmer winter days, runs a daily happy hour special between 5pm and 6pm that features buy-one-get-one-free cocktails and Castle draughts – certainly a deal bound to brush away those gloomy day blues.
Price: R155 for the two-course meal special.
29 Heerengracht Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 427 4800
Azure Restaurant at The Twelve Apostles Hotel
Get comfortable this season at Azure Restaurant at The Twelve Apostles Hotel. The seaside eatery’s dinner-and-movie winter special is an indulgent opportunity to truly take advantage of the cooler months (it’s a good thing that thick, layered clothes hide newfound signs of horizontal growth). The three-course set menu includes an amuse-bouche, and a choice between five starters, five mains and four desserts. There is also a palate-cleansing sorbet between the starter and main. After a belt-busting dinner, you can lounge in the private 16-seater movie theatre for a film, complimentary milkshake, ice cream, candy and popcorn.
Price: R350 per person, or from R1278 per person sharing for the overnight package, which includes accommodation, dinner and a movie.
The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa | Victoria Road | Camps Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 437 9029
Rick’s Café Américain
Modelled after Rick's in the famous film “Casablanca”, this charming restaurant boasts décor and food of classic proportion. With three roaring fireplaces and an eclectic mix of comfortable furnishings, it is the perfect place to get cosy while you save a pretty penny or two. Weather the winter chill with a warming 200ml carafe of glühwein for a mere R25, or fill the belly between 3pm and 7pm with a tapas or meze platter for two for only R135 (includes 500ml of red or white house wine). Not to mention, if you’re in the mood for anything from Malay Chicken Curry to Butternut Risotto, you’re bound to be spoiled for choice with the restaurant’s always-changing R49 weekday lunch special – one of the options is a steaming bowl of soup for R38. If that’s not enough, guests can pick up well-priced cocktails, Jack Black draught beer, jugs of margarita, mojito and more at Rick’s daily happy hour special, from 3pm to 7pm in winter. Here’s looking at you kid!
Price: 200ml glühwein: R25; tapas or meze platter with 500ml wine: R135; weekday lunch special: R49 per dish; all cocktails from R32.
2 Park Road | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 1100
Planet Restaurant at the Mount Nelson Hotel
Resting in the esteemed five-star Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town’s city centre, this highly acclaimed eatery is giving guests a reason to grin over the grisly period. Because the good folk at Planet Restaurant know nothing beats a nippy climate quite like indulgent food and drink, they have re-launched their decadent wine and dine offering: a series of once-monthly evenings from March to October that treat visitors to a gourmet seven-course meal matched with top-drawer wines from select local farms. What’s more, in 2013, the eatery is breathing new life into the food and wine pairing concept by focussing on how terroir influences the style of wine produced in a specific region. Thus, diners can expect these delicious occasions, which kick off at 7pm, to be as informative as they are enjoyable. Those who can’t make these nights needn’t despair though, the restaurant’s ever-evolving four-course winter menu – available from May to August – also offers the chance to experience this lauded spot at a fairly reasonable price.
Price: Wine and dine series: R460 per evening (includes welcome drinks and canapés, a seven-course dinner and wine pairings); winter menu: R325 for four courses (R500 with wine pairings).
76 Orange Street | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 483 1948
Signal Hill Terrace at Hilton Cape Town City Centre
Typically a hot summer hangout, unassuming eatery Signal Hill Terrace, which rests right on the pool deck of Cape Town’s lauded Hilton hotel, is establishing itself as a must-visit spot during the frosty period too with the launch of its Winter Warmer Shisha Special. Quite unlike bargains on offer at other Mother City restaurants, this package deal offers visitors the chance to puff on an authentic Middle Eastern hookah (tobacco flavours cover the whole spectrum, from mint and strawberry to grape and bubblegum), while sipping on a gourmet hot chocolate (made from real cocoa) or coffee and nibbling on tasty cookies, all for the price of R85 for two. The sterling special, which runs on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6pm to 10pm until the end of July, is a top way to inject the off season with a bit of much-needed warmth and excitement in a stylish city centre setting.
Price: R85 for the package, which includes a shisha, hot chocolate or coffee and cookies for two people (package remains the same price if purchased by only one person).
126 Buitengracht Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 481 3700
Upstairs at Quay Four
Well known to locals and travellers alike, Quay Four Restaurant at the V&A Waterfront has sealed its place as a seafood savvy Cape Town hangout. During the 2013 icy spell, this informal Mother City eatery is serving up a few delicious specials sure to appeal especially to those who fancy fresh fare pulled straight from the sea. In particular, the oceanfront spot is offering 500g of tender queen prawns for a mere R59 and 1kg of the tasty crustaceans for only R109. To wash these down, guests can wet their whistle with a well-priced ‘Castle Rocket’, which comprises a whopping 3.5L of beer.
Price: R59 for 500g prawns; R109 for 1kg prawns; R140 for the Castle Rocket (includes a free rugby ball).
4 West Quay Road | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 419 2008
The Square at Vineyard Hotel & Spa
The Square restaurant at the Vineyard Hotel & Spa is heralding the arrival of the colder months with a series of themed monthly menus (the special runs from April to August). The offering gives patrons a choice of two individually priced starters, mains and desserts. The month of May, for instance, is geared towards ‘fare to share’, and the menu comprises options like a Meze Platter, a Seafood Platter with pan-fried linefish, tempura prawns, steamed mussels and more, and a pudding platter of Lindt chocolate brownies, vanilla marshmallows, soft toffees and other sweet treats.
Price: Variable – each menu item is priced separately.
Colinton Road (off Protea Road) | Newlands | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 657 4500
This popular destination along the Camps Bay stretch has been host to numerous glamorous parties, fashion shows and celebrity events. In the midst of a jaw-dropping vista of the Atlantic Ocean and towering palm trees, you can kick your feet up and toast to an endless summer. Winter time celebrates the return of their popular 2-for-1 burger special, where, you guessed it, you can get two of the eatery’s delicious burgers for the price of one (sit-down only). The seaside hotspot will also be running a weekly changing Monday special (check their Facebook page for regular updates) and plans to do something particularly special once a month on a Saturday during the cooler months.
Price: You can expect to pay between R55 and R99 for their burgers. The buy-one-get-one-free offer starts on 1 May and continues until 1 September; it runs from Tuesdays to Thursdays from 12:30pm until 10pm.
37 Victoria Road | Camps Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 438 8315
Between 2 May and September, even guests with tight bank balances can dine at the elegant Aubergine. The fine dining restaurant’s Winter Bistro Menu offers excellent value; there’s a choice of two or three courses, with optional wine pairing for an additional fixed fee. Aubergine prides itself on obtaining fresh, organic ingredients from sustainable local suppliers when possible, and caters for a variety of palates. You can indulge in their special winter menu from Monday to Saturday from 5:30pm to 10pm.
Price: R215 for two courses (R298 with wine pairing included); R290 for three courses (R415 with wine pairing included).
39 Barnet Street | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 465 4909
La Boheme Wine Bar and Bistro
La Boheme has been a Sea Point favourite since it opened its doors in June 2009. This bistro-style restaurant offers patrons a taste of sophistication and refinement, without the accompanying high price tag. Though not unique to winter, the cosy eatery’s two- and three-course set menu claims incredibly reasonable prices. The menu changes daily; the offering depends primarily on the seasonality of the produce and the chef’s creative flair. Additionally, wine lovers can sample over 60 different wines available by the glass.
Price: Two courses for R100; three courses for R125.
341 Main Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 434 6539/8797
Headquarters Restaurant (HQ)
Headquarters is a concept restaurant with a brasserie-like atmosphere that blends elegance and comfort. The single-minded menu raises the ‘steaks’ (and eyebrows) with only three things on offer: salad, chips and sirloin. All you need to decide is how you like your meat done. Throughout the year (including during the colder winter months), HQ transforms the concept of meat-free Mondays into free-meat Mondays (they do also have a vegetarian mushroom option). You can get two steak dishes for the price of one, an offer that’s sure to warm anyone up from the inside out. Live music from local ensembles will keep you entertained through the night. Diners should also note that, due to popularity, booking at least four days in advance is essential; visitors can choose to reserve a seating in one of three time slots: 6pm to 7:15pm, 7:30pm to 9pm or 9:15pm until late.
Price: R169 for two 250g sirloin steaks; R250 for two 500g sirloin steaks.
100 Shortmarket Street | Heritage Square | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 6373
Ways of Wellness Spa
If comfort food doesn’t fight off that winter chill sufficiently, why not make a visit to Ways of Wellness (WOW!), Cape Town’s one and only 100% organic beauty spa, for a spot of cold-combating pampering. Based in Gardens, the city centre salon, which focuses on all things natural, is offering a buy-two-get-one-free special over the frigid spell; that is, anyone that pre-purchases two of the same spa treatment – a full body massage, wax, facial, manicure, pedicure or fish therapy session, for instance – on the same day during the months of May or June will get to enjoy this treatment again for a third time for FREE anytime within the next three months. That is, if two (already well-priced) manis are pre-bought in May, for example, a third will be given gratis and customers can choose to indulge in these three sessions over May, June and July. Patrons will receive a voucher on the day that indicates their one complimentary and two bought beauty treatments available for future use. With a line-up of spoiler sessions on the cards, winter should be that much easier to endure.
Price: Variable – savings of 33.3%.
11 Park Road | Gardens | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 5503
WINTER SPECIALS IN THE CAPE WINELANDS AND SURROUNDS
Clos Malverne Restaurant
Who says ice cream should only be savoured on warm summer days? Clos Malverne wine farm’s on-site restaurant has developed a unique ice cream and wine pairing menu that will liven up any frigid palate. For only R65, guests can enjoy four bowls of uniquely flavoured frozen scoops with four carefully matched wines. During autumn, patrons can try fig, lemon and chilli ice cream served with the estate’s zesty Sauvignon Blanc, indulge in apple crumble ice cream matched with their popular coffee-style Pinotage, tuck into tomato and thyme compote paired with the flagship Pinotage and finish off with a white chocolate, macadamia nut and coffee option married with a sweet dessert wine; the winter offering starts in June. The special runs from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 4pm, and is available by appointment only, so booking in advance is essential.
Price: R65 per person.
Devon Valley Road | Devon Valley | Stellenbosch | +27 (0) 21 865 2022
Fancy cosying up in an eatery ranked as one of San Pellegrino’s 50 Best Restaurants of the World? La Colombe in the beautiful Constantia Valley offers French fine dining with an Asian twist. The restaurant’s 2013 winter special, which is on offer every day except Sundays, includes a two- or three-course lunch menu and a five-course dinner menu with or without wine pairings. The midday offering is available from 17 June until 15 November, and the evening offering starts on 17 June and ends on 31 October. The eatery also boasts a Gourmand menu comprising six tasting courses ideal for those in the mood for some winter decadence.
Price: Lunch menu: R185 for two courses; R240 for three courses; Dinner menu: R310 without wine; R395 with wine. Gourmand menu: R625 without wine; R850 with wine.
Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate | Constantia | +27 (0) 21 794 2390
Avontuur Estate Restaurant
The allure of the Cape Winelands is evergreen and remains steadfast even in the midst of the cold, wintry chill. Head out to Avontuur Estate’s homely eatery for a taste of unique cultivar and contemporary country fare before the dinnertime rush. During the 2013 winter, from 1 May, the restaurant will once again be offering its ‘Early Bird’ set menu dinner special, which includes two courses for R135 and three courses for R185, every Wednesday and Friday from 5pm to 6:30pm (orders must be placed before 6:30pm to qualify). The options change daily, are off the normal menu, and depend on what the chef decides to prepare. Patrons can phone beforehand to find out what’s on offer on a particular evening. While walk-ins are welcome, it’s advisable to book beforehand.
Price: R135 for two courses; R185 for three courses.
R44 | Between Stellenbosch and Somerset West | Somerset West | +27 (0)21 855 4296
During the 2013 winter, in the company of the tasteful décor and inviting fireplace of Kleine Zalze wine farm’s esteemed Terroir (it’s consistently been ranked as one of SA’s top 10 restaurants), you can indulge in fine dining at an affordable price. Chef Michael Broughton’s set menu for winter includes a choice of three starters, three mains and three desserts, and features options like Potato Gnocchi Pan-fried in Salt, Pepper and Lemon Juice and Spiced Pear Clafoutis topped with Salted Caramel. Visitors to the stunning Cape Winelands would be well advised to take advantage of this unbeatable offer, which is available from Monday to Saturday for both lunch and dinner, before it comes to an end on 30 September (the special starts on 2 May). Guests should note, though, that the offer is restricted to tables of eight people or less.
Price: R225 for two courses; R255 for three courses; both options include a complimentary glass of award-winning Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection wine.
Kleine Zalze Wine Farm | Strand Road (R44) | Stellenbosch | +27 (0) 21 880 8167
Tucked away on the picturesque Dornier wine farm just outside of the heart of Stellenbosch, Dornier Bodega restaurant serves fresh, unpretentious farm cuisine from within a vibrantly adorned interior (there’s an extensive patio for warmer days too). This winter, from 17 May until the end of August, the laidback eatery treats visitors to a delicious two-course menu (starter and main) or gourmet four-course wine pairing menu (three of the four dishes are married with top-notch wines from the estate’s award-winning range) at discounted prices likely to warm any wallet. To ward off the icy chill, the offerings will be dominated by hearty slow-cooked meat, and guests can tuck into options like Fresh Black Mussel Soup, Springbok Tortellini, Grilled Karan Beef Fillet and Dark Chocolate Brownies. Diners should also look out for the restaurant’s half-price Wednesday shellfish lunch special, which, although not exclusive to the cold season, will certainly help to brighten those dreary days.
Price: R160 for the two-course menu (add dessert for R50); R235 for the four-course menu with wine pairings (R200 without wine pairings).
Blaauwklippen Road | Stellenbosch | +27 (0) 21 880 0557
Catharina’s at Steenberg Hotel
Especially for 2013’s colder months, award-winning fine dining restaurant Catharina’s, which rests at the Steenberg Hotel in Constantia, is introducing a Sunday Winter Feast Special bound to keep the bitter chill at bay. The reasonably priced lunch deal treats guests to a three-course set menu that includes starter options like Vegetable and Parmesan Minestrone Soup; main alternatives like a Family Platter with roast beef, lamb and deboned chicken served with roast potatoes, vegetables, salad, gravy and mint sauce (there’s a vegetarian dish too); and dessert options like Vanilla Crème Brûlée. The warming special only runs on Sundays, from 12pm to 3pm, and is valid from 1 May until the end of October. The eatery may well introduce deals on other days of the week too, so patrons should look out for these.
Price: R240 for a three-course lunch (price is scheduled to go up to R280 on 1 July 2013)
Steenberg Estate | Tokai Road | Constantia | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 713 2222
Until the close of the cold spell, patrons can look forward to some tasty wallet-friendly winter options at several Col’Cacchio stores around the Western Cape. More specifically, branches in Hermanus and Blouberg are offering 50% off the price of all pizzas on their extensive menu between 12pm and 3pm on weekdays until the end of August (applies to sit-down meals only). Aside from this warming half-price deal, from May to August, all of the stores will also take part in the brand’s popular Celebrity Chef Series that will see different local master chefs (think Liam Tomlin, for example) create their own signature masterpiece pizza for sale in outlets each month (every winter month is dedicated to a different chef). Five rand from each gourmet ‘celebrity’ pie sold will go to The Children’s Hospital Trust, making the offer as warming to the heart as it is to the belly.
Shop 15 | Seaside Village | c/o Otto du Plessis Road and Cormorant Avenue | Bloubergstrand | +27 (0) 21 554 2725
Shop 2 | Ground Floor | Station Square | Hermanus | +27 (0) 28 312 1479
Also eager to find out about Mother City hotels and lodges offering budget-friendly deals during the chilly season? Have a gander at our overview of winter accommodation specials in Cape Town.
Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle and check out our Pinterest boards for updates. Not to mention, subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with what's hip and happening in our pretty city.