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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
Wintertime 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 2014 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 RESTAURANT SPECIALS IN CAPE TOWN
Dish Restaurant at Inn on the Square Hotel
Because nothing cheers you up during the frigid season quite like perfectly paired booze and fare, Dish restaurant at Cape Town’s historic Inn on the Square hotel will be running a series of drink and dine evenings throughout the 2014 winter. Taking place every Wednesday during July; the second, third and fourth Fridays of August; and the first two Wednesdays of September, the regular event will match different beverages each time (expect anything from whisky and wine to brandy and craft beer) with a carefully prepared three-course set menu. Guests have a choice of two starters, two mains and, generally, two desserts, with a palate-cleansing fish dish and sorbet between the starter and main. What’s more, diners are free to mix and mingle with the representative from the wine farm or distillery to learn more about how the drinks are crafted. As an opportunity to indulge in a filling meal within an informal atmosphere right on the edge of the cobblestoned Greenmarket Square, this dinner deal is a wintertime must-do.
Price: The whole experience costs between R245p/p and R280p/p, and this price includes the meal and drinks paired with each course.
Greenmarket Square | Shortmarket Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 423 2050
With an interior that’s inspired by the cute kiddies’ tale of Peter Rabbit, this little café on Cape Town’s Kloof Nek Road offers a cosy respite from cold winter weather. And starting 8 May 2014, the eatery is making itself a must-visit spot during the frigid spell by running a High Tea for Hooligans special that spoils customers with either a rooibos tea-based cocktail or an SAB beer accompanied by a few homemade sweet and savoury treats. The complementary bites vary weekly but generally include items like a soup of the day; bruschetta with homemade butternut, caramelised onion and goat’s cheese; peppermint crisp tart; baked apple pie; and buttermilk chocolate cupcakes. A perfect antidote to cabin fever and gloomy moods, the deal runs until the end of winter but only applies on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm to 7pm.
Price: R45 for a rooibos-based cocktail or SAB beer and sweet and savoury nibbles.
14 Kloof Nek Road | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 3451
Cascades on the Promenade
Situated just a seagull’s flap from the ocean in Sea Point, the stylish eatery at Cascades on the Promenade boutique hotel is the perfect spot to both enjoy the warm winter sun on clear days and watch the waves tumble and turn on blustery afternoons. And to make its offering even more enticing this cold season, the pet-friendly restaurant is running a daily lunch special until the end of October 2014. This deal spoils customers with a starter, a main course and a glass of red or white wine for less than a buffalo randela, and it applies every day from 12pm to 4pm. Though the exact dishes available change three times a week, patrons can expect either a soup or a salad for starters and anything from a Belgian beef stew with french fries to a special Italian pasta for mains. Whatever’s on the menu though, you can expect it to keep your tummy toasty and your pocket full.
Price: R95p/p for a starter, a main and a glass of wine.
11 Arthur’s Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 434 5979
CinCin Restaurant at the Colosseum Luxury Hotel
The perfect place to ‘ching ching’ those glasses during the frosty months, this fancy fine dining restaurant in Century City is inviting guests to enjoy a spectacular special inspired by the sea this icy season. The offer, which is valid on Wednesdays only until 31 July 2014, includes an ocean-fresh seafood platter for two that features mussels, crumbed calamari, prawns, linefish, rice, chips and grilled vegetables. Every item is prepared to perfection and is served with delicious tartar and lemon butter sauces. Though the eatery is both sophisticated and elegant (it claims a huge crystal chandelier and all tables are adorned in white linen), it also boasts a relaxed and comfortable ambience, so winter visitors will feel right at home. Not to mention, there’s little more soothing and satisfying than watching the Cape Town rain pitter patter against CinCin’s expansive two-storey windows – it’s reason alone to cash in on the classy restaurant’s cold-spell deal.
Price: R119 for a seafood platter to share – that’s less than R60 each.
Colosseum Luxury Hotel | Cnr Century Way and Century Boulevard | Century City | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 526 4000
For delicious continental fare, head out to Hildebrand Ristorante in the historic Harbour Side Café building in the V&A Waterfront. You can sample traditional dishes from all over Italy and beyond while appreciating the hustle and bustle of Cape Town’s world-renowned harbour. This winter the restaurant has launched a low-cost Mozambican menu that includes two spicy courses sure to get the insides heated up. Choose among starters (there’s a choice of four) like peri-peri chicken livers or smoked salmon salad and hearty mains such as rump trinchado. Of course, guests can order divine desserts, like hot malva pudding, too, but these are not part of the special.
Price: Starters range from R45 to R75 and mains sit between R85 and R120.
Pierhead | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 425 3385
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, which runs from 1 April to 30 September, is an opportunity to truly take advantage of the cooler months (it’s a good thing that thick, layered clothes hide newfound signs of horizontal growth). Visitors have five options for each of the three courses, and 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 or hot chocolate, ice cream, sweets and popcorn.
Price: R395 per person.
Although this oceanfront Melkbosstrand-based restaurant channels sweet summer holiday vibes during the warm season, it’s also a cosy little hideaway during winter. So, for the chilly months ahead, the eatery is offering enough penny-saving deals to warm the heart, pocket and tummy right through. For starters, the Portuguese eatery is running a R50 winter lunch special from Monday to Thursday between 12pm and 4pm that treats visitors to an ‘espetaco’ (an original dish that fuses the Mexican taco with Portuguese fillings, like trinchado beef with cheddar cheese and sour cream) for only one lion “randela”. Then, for dinner (from 6pm) during the week, guests can go for an incredibly reasonably priced two- or three-course set menu that comes with a mahala glass of wine. Aside from these top bargains, Castella Amare is also bolstering its main menu with a special ‘Winter Warmers’ section that features caldo verde soup, feijoada (pork and bean stew), caldeirada (seafood stew) and a spiced oxtail stew, and the seaside haunt is expanding its current happy hour deal to slash the prices of cocktails as well as wine and tapas between 4pm and 6pm from Monday to Thursday. Finally, females also get lucky this winter thanks to the restaurant’s new Wednesday ladies’ night that entitles all women present in the restaurant from 6pm to a free cocktail. All 2014 seasonal specials start on Monday, 12 May.
Price: Winter lunch menu: R50. Dinner set menu: R149 for two courses and wine; R179 for three courses with wine. Happy hour: 50% off starters and cocktails and R10 for a 250mL carafe of wine.
47 5th Avenue | Melkbosstrand | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 553 3827
Trees Restaurant at the Townhouse Hotel
Spread out across the first floor of this plush, centrally located hotel, Trees Restaurant, which is so named because it looks out over leafy boughs, claims a cosy interior that’s perfectly suited to chilly winter days. To make the cold season something to get excited about, the elegant eatery’s Michelin-trained chef has put together a series of weekly changing winter dinner menus that are both pocket friendly and make for prime dining. Diners can choose between two- or three-course offerings (there’s also the option to match your three courses with a glass of wine), and dishes include items like butternut soup with coconut milk and toasted almonds, slow-braised oxtail, coriander-crusted ostrich medallions, chocolate fondant and bread and butter pudding. There are two alternatives per course, and guests can look forward to also enjoying a delicious amuse-bouche to get the tastebuds tingling and a refreshing palate cleanser between the starter and main. The deal runs until the end of July.
Price: R138 for two courses, R178 for three courses and R208 for three courses with a glass of wine.
60 Corporation Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 465 7050
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 Park Road in Gardens, the city centre salon, which focuses on all things natural, is offering two great wallet-friendly specials over the frigid spell. Firstly, from 1 June to 15 July, the already affordable WOW! is offering a whopping 40% discount on its heavenly hot stone massage, bringing the price down from R380 to R230 (this deal can be enjoyed immediately or a voucher can be bought for a future date). Then, during the month of August, the spa is running a great buy-two-get-one-free special; that is, anyone who pre-purchases two of the same treatment – a full body massage, wax, manicure, pedicure or fish therapy session, for instance – on the same day during the month of August will get to enjoy this treatment again for a third time for FREE anytime within the next three months. So, for example, if two anti-aging facials are pre-bought, a third will be given gratis and customers can choose to indulge in these three sessions over August, September and October. Patrons will receive a voucher on the day that indicates their one complimentary and two bought beauty treatments available for future use.
Price: Hot stone massage special: R230 (down from R380); buy-two-get-one-free special: variable – savings of 33.3%;
11 Park Road | Gardens | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 5503
Rick’s Café Américain
Modelled after Rick's in the famous film Casablanca, this charming restaurant boasts colourful décor and exotic food. 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. You can weather the winter chill between 3pm and 7pm daily with a tapas or meze platter for two for only R140 (includes 500ml of red or white house wine). Not to mention, if you’re in the mood for anything from Cape Malay beef roti to Moroccan fishcakes with couscous, you’re bound to be spoiled for choice with the restaurant’s always changing R55 weekday lunch special – all the options are hearty and ideal for frigid weather. If that’s not enough, guests can pick up well-priced cocktails (from R32), Jack Black draught beer, craft brew, jugs of margarita, martinis and more at Rick’s daily happy hour special, from 3pm to 7pm in winter. Here’s looking at you kid!
Price: tapas or meze platter with 500ml wine: R140; weekday lunch special: R55 per dish; big savings on drinks.
2 Park Road | Gardens | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 1100
Between May and September, even guests with tight bank balances can dine at the elegant and sophisticated Aubergine. The fine dining restaurant’s Winter Bistro Menu offers great value for money; there’s a choice of two or three courses, with a variety of wines available by the glass. Aubergine, which is housed in a charming old building that dates back to 1830, prides itself on obtaining fresh, organic ingredients from sustainable local suppliers when possible, and the eatery caters for a variety of palates. Though the winter offering will change regularly, guests can expect dishes like springbok liver parfait, quail breast marinated in red wine and, for dessert, hazelnut pudding with rum and raisin sauce and pineapple sorbet. You can indulge in this special menu from Monday to Saturday from 6pm to 10pm; the restaurant is closed for lunch during the cold season.
Price: R235 for two courses and R315 for three courses.
39 Barnet Street | Gardens | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 465 4909
Jackal & Hide
Framed by the striking backdrop of Table Mountain, Jackal & Hide on Cape Town’s always buzzing Kloof Street marries a Victorian look with a contemporary edge and specialises in long-time local favourites that have been given a little twist. Winter is arguably the best time to indulge in the trendy restaurant’s core dishes as from early April until the end of August, the CBD-based haunt runs a Wednesday special that makes any two mains available for a meagre R140 all day, from open until close. Customers can look forward to items such as beer-battered hake served with homemade tartar sauce, a grain-fed steak of the day and chimichurri beef skewers with an Argentinean marinade of limes, fresh herbs, chilli and spice. Patrons can choose to book a table within the cosy interior or to sit outside on the deck if it’s a little warmer out; either way, Wednesdays at Jackal & Hide are a pleasant wintry treat.
Price: R140 for any two main dishes.
108 Kloof Street | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 424 1020
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 exclusive to the winter months, the cosy eatery’s two- and three-course set menu claims incredibly reasonable prices that are bound to make the blustery weather a little more manageable. The menu changes daily as the offering depends primarily on the seasonality of the produce and the chef’s creative flair. Additionally, vino lovers can sample over 60 different wines available by the glass.
Price: Two courses for R110; three courses for R135.
341 Main Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 434 8797/6539
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’d like your meat done. Every Tuesday during the cold season, the elegant eatery, which boasts soft lighting and a fireplace, is running a winter edition of its #DateNight concept that treats couples to two of its steaks and sides and two glasses of red wine for only R200 – booking is essential. Otherwise, HQ is also still offering its free-meat Mondays deal that includes two sirloin dishes for the price of one (there’s a vegetarian mushroom option too), an offer that’s sure to warm anyone up from the inside out. On this evening, live music from local ensembles will keep guests tapping their toes. Diners should note that, due to popularity, booking for this special at least a week in advance is recommended; for this, visitors can choose to reserve a seating in one of three time slots: 6pm, 7:30pm or 8:30pm.
Price: Tuesday #DateNight: R200 for two steaks and two glasses of red wine; free-meat Monday: R175 for two 250g sirloin steaks or R264 for two 500g sirloin steaks.
Heritage Square | 100 Shortmarket Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 6373
With a commitment to providing something for everyone all ‘round the clock, this well-positioned Green Point bistro – it rests a stone’s throw away from the Cape Town Stadium – is keeping grumbling tummies full and warm this winter with its Monday Madness special. Running from 5pm until close, this start-of-the-week deal gives chilly patrons the opportunity to enjoy any two regular pizzas off the German eatery’s menu (excluding the Big Pizza) for only R99. Options include pizzas adorned with barbeque chicken and red onion; tomatoes, Italian mozzarella and basil; Serrano ham, Parmesan and rocket; and several other toppings. Aside from the discount, Cafe Extrablatt’s large chairs, working fireplace and big-screen televisions also make it a comfy spot at which to while away drizzly, icy days.
Price: R99 for any two pizzas.
Exhibition Building | 79 Main Road |Green Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 286 0460
Boy Girl Hair Salon
Though obviously not a restaurant special, the fantastic winter deal at this trendy unisex salon in the East City will have you looking tip-top for less the next time you head out to eat. From May to October 2014, Boy Girl Hair, which is run by the uber quirky, and slightly off-kilter, Günter Theiss, is doing ladies’ haircuts for only R240 exclusively for CapeTownMagazine.com readers – that’s an absolute steal in today’s very expensive hair industry. Not to mention, from Tuesday to Saturday, patrons can enjoy 30% off the price of all other services, including fashion colours, highlights, blow-drys, flat irons and treatments (like the incredible La-Brasiliana). And if you’re concerned that low prices mean low quality, never fear – the cutting-edge stylist and his team give plenty of attention to each client to ensure that they give customers precisely what they want. Plus, they’re generally happy to accommodate patrons outside of normal working hours.
Price: R240 for a lady’s haircut for CapeTownMagazine.com readers only; 30% off the price of all services.
Perspectives Building | 37 Roeland Street | East City | Cape Town | +27 (0)81 472 4641
Two Oceans Aquarium
For all those eager to host their own dinners during the icy months, the spectacular Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront is offering a great winter warmer functions package between 1 June and 31 August 2014. The deal gives guests the chance to arrange a memorable meal or cocktail party in a breathtaking underwater setting for a reasonable price, which covers the venue, catering by the ethical in-house Shoreline Café, staff and décor. There are two different rooms to choose from: the I&J Predator Exhibit (minimum 50 people), which gives visitors the chance to dine alongside ragged-tooth sharks, turtles, rays and shoals of predatory fish, and the Atlantic Ocean Gallery (minimum 20 people), which is dotted with displays of lobsters, seahorses, spider crabs and jellies. In essence, both settings are a visual delight and will leave all party-goers mesmerised. To book a function at the aquarium, email email@example.com or call +27 (0)21 418 3823.
Price: R299 per person (excl. VAT) for the venue, catering, staff and décor.
Dock Road | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 418 3823
WINTER RESTAURANT SPECIALS IN THE CAPE WINELANDS AND SURROUNDS
De Grendel Restaurant
Because the cosy on-site restaurant at De Grendel wine farm in Durbanville knows that nothing thaws the insides quite like steaming comfort food straight off the stovetop, the Winelands eatery has launched a Comfort Night Out campaign for the chilly season (15 May to 30 August 2014). Inspired by the wintertime favourites of the Graaff family (the farm owners) and the childhood food memories of chef Ian Bergh, the two-course dinner menu features the sort of classic dishes we’ve all known and loved since childhood; examples include hearty venison with baby turnips, potato, celeriac, quince and broccolini; moussaka with cheese, creamy béchamel sauce and nutmeg; and malva pudding with chocolate, butterscotch, Madagascan vanilla and whisky. Though, do note, the options will change fortnightly – check the restaurant’s website for updates. Basically, the deal is a fine opportunity to enjoy a first-class meal in a warm and elegant Winelands setting – the restaurant is all wooden floors and ambient lighting – without having to travel too far.
Price: R185p/p for a main, dessert and glass of De Grendel wine.
De Grendel Wine Farm | Plattekloof Road | Durbanville | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 558 7035
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 7 May until the end of August, the laidback eatery treats visitors to a delicious two- or three-course menu 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 beef fillet with potato rosti, pork belly with butternut risotto, chocolate brownies with marshmallow ice cream and a trio of crème brûlée. Diners visiting on a Thursday will benefit further by receiving their third course for FREE! Customers should also look out for the restaurant’s half-price Wednesday shellfish lunch special and Friday soup and fish deal, both of which are sure to brighten any dreary day.
Price: R175 for the two-course menu and R230 for the three-course menu (only available Wednesday to Sunday); 50% off shellfish platters on Wednesdays; R120 for the soup and fish special on Fridays.
Dornier Wine Farm | Blaauwklippen Road | Stellenbosch | +27 (0) 21 880 0557
The Royal Hotel
Resting in the charming town of Riebeek Kasteel (just over an hour from Cape Town), The Royal Hotel, a four-star colonial property that boasts a famously expansive stoep, is giving locals and tourists alike even more of a reason to visit this pretty olive-producing region this cold season. The regal accommodation’s in-house restaurant offers a year-round meal deal that is particularly tempting during winter when the biting cold ignites hunger. Daily, visitors can indulge in a mouth-watering five-course set menu for an unbeatable R98p/p. The incredible offering – there’s one choice per course – includes dishes like tomato tartlets with olive tapenade dressing; seafood curry with jasmine rice; and dark chocolate cheesecake; though, the menu differs every day. And if decadent options like the above don’t warm up diners enough, the eatery’s glowing fireplace (there’s a hearth in nearly every room of the hotel) and the daily half-price G&T special that runs between 5pm and 6pm on the veranda are sure to do the job. As the almost unrivalled five-course deal is bound to be particularly popular, booking is essential.
Price: R98p/p for five courses; drinks are for patrons’ own account.
33 Main Street | Riebeek Kasteel | +27 (0) 22 448 1378
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, and though the offer is available all year round, the flavours change seasonally, so visitors can expect rich tastes and textures that perfectly complement the cold weather and brighten up any dreary mood. The special runs from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:30am to 3pm, and is available by appointment only, so booking at least one day in advance is essential.
Price: R65 per person.
Devon Valley Road | Devon Valley | Stellenbosch | +27 (0) 21 865 2022
Catharina’s at Steenberg Hotel
Especially for 2014’s colder months, award-winning fine dining restaurant Catharina’s, which rests at the Steenberg Hotel in Constantia, is replacing its standard Sunday buffet with a winter feast that’s bound to keep the bitter chill at bay. The reasonably priced lunch deal treats guests to a three-course roast that includes plated starter options like roasted cauliflower soup with gorgonzola cream and white truffle oil; platters of beef, lamb, chicken, new potatoes, cheese bake, broccoli gratin, mint sauce and more for mains (there are fish and vegetarian dishes too); and dessert options like vanilla crème brûlée. The warming special only runs on Sundays, from 12pm to 3pm, and is valid from the first Sunday in May until the end of October.
Price: R280p/p for a three-course lunch
Steenberg Estate | Tokai Road | Constantia | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 713 2222
Breeze Restaurant at Windtown Lagoon Resort
Most popular as a kitesurfing and windsurfing accommodation hotspot, Windtown Lagoon Resort in Langebaan is also a fine, penny-saving place to dine this cold season. During the month of May, the boutique hotel’s on-site restaurant is offering a tasty meal pairing bound to get mouths watering and bodies warmed. Anyone who orders the eatery’s succulent pork belly will receive a complimentary glass of chilled Kleine Zalze Gamay Noir, a light-bodied red that marries a sweet berry flavours with a spicy edge. The match can be enjoyed alongside Breeze’s toasty fireplace and is bound to make for a memorable winter evening out.
Price: R125p/p for the pork belly and wine pairing.
9 Bree Street | Langebaan | +27 (0)22 772 1064
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.
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