Catch the big guns of the culinary world at this year’s beloved expo
Cape Town Winter Specials and Warming Menus
Get cosy with toasty winter deals at top-notch Mother City restaurants and other establishments
Get cosy with toasty winter deals at top-notch Mother City restaurants and other establishments
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 2015 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 and to cash in on great cold season deals at other establishments (from spas to yoga studios). 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
The Foreign Exchange
Because nothing keeps you warm in winter quite like a good dose of carbs, The Foreign Exchange, a laidback bar in Cape Town’s multicultural suburb of Observatory, is running a number of brilliant fireside pizza specials every day that it's open (Monday to Saturday) from 1 May until 31 August. The deals entitle guests to one or two pizzas paired with The Wolftrap wine or a pitcher of SAB beer at seriously discounted prices. Topping options include the Robben Island (chicken, pineapple, Peppadews and garlic), the California (chicken, avocado, feta and garlic), the BAF (bacon, avocado and feta) and many more, and of course, the winter special is best enjoyed next to the Southern Suburbs pub’s blazing fireplace.
Price: R100 for any one pizza and two glasses of The Wolftrap wine; R190 for any two pizzas and a bottle of The Wolftrap wine; R190 for any two pizzas and a pitcher of SAB beer.
92 – 96 Station Road | Observatory | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 448 0083
Between 16 May and September 2015, 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 warming dishes like ostrich fillet served up with glazed red vegetables. 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: R250 for two courses and R340 for three courses.
39 Barnet Street | Gardens | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 465 4909
Latin American cantina Orinoco brings all the heat and passion of South America to Cape Town’s winter with a number of great specials that’ll defrost chilly bodies in an instant. For starters, the restaurant will continue to offer up its delicious tapas for half the price on Tuesdays between 6pm and 9pm and on Saturdays between 5pm and 7pm, and on other days, the little bites will still be available at an incredibly reasonable rate (tapas options include tortillas, crispy calamari, pork meatballs, chicken legs in sweet and sour Mexican sauce and more). Not to mention, from 1 June to 30 August, the vibey Bree Street joint is also adding a few special winter dishes to the menu that are designed to satiate the sort of hunger that only biting cold brings. Examples of these warming plates include short ribs in homemade chipotle sauce, a seafood platter for two, sancocho (traditional Venezuelan mixed meat soup), chicken breast skewers and cazuela de sopa de mariscos (seafood soup with Mexican spices served as a casserole).
Price: Tapas: from R39 per dish or from R99 for a platter for two; half-price tapas special: from just under R30 a plate; special winter dishes: variable.
17 Bree Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 418 4544
Kloof Street House
Easily one of the most enchanting dining spaces in Cape Town’s city centre, the eclectic Kloof Street House will whisk you away to a magical word where winter is made wonderful. To help this process along, between May and the end of August, the elegant secret garden restaurant is giving its menu a cold season spin and incorporating hearty mains like tomato-braised osso buco on classic risotto Milanese and heart- and belly-warming desserts like chocolate fondant with toasted homemade marshmallows, spiced biscuit crumbs and marshmallow ice cream. In addition, the eatery will also run weekly specials and offer up an ever-changing selection of wintery dishes at reasonable prices – the sorts of items you might find on this menu include pan-fried springbok with sautéed wild mushrooms and parmesan polenta, crispy half roast duck with braised white cabbage and pickled root vegetables and classic paella with chicken, chorizo, prawns and mussels. These options can be enjoyed in the restaurant’s colonial library or in one of the two dining rooms, all of which are fitted with crackling hearths.
Price: Expect value for money. Winter starters range from R50 to R70, mains sit between R120 and R180 and desserts cost from R45 to R55.
30 Kloof Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 423 4413
Sitting pretty on a quiet road in the CBD, this contemporary bistro and steakhouse boasts a warm, cosy interior that offers great respite from the icy outdoors during the cold spell. And from mid-May, the restaurant, which has a small fireplace in one corner, is offering a delicious winter tasting menu to match its toasty aesthetic. This seasonal offering entitles diners to two courses (a starter and a main or a main and a dessert) for less than R200. And because this chic spot is renowned for only serving up the freshest, highest quality fare, this is real value for money. Charcoal Dining specialises in simply presented, generously sized dishes that burst with flavour, and it’s become quite a popular hotspot for its succulent, free-range meat plates, so no doubt, carnivores can expect a few fine cuts on the winter menu (though, there will, of course, be options for seafood lovers and vegetarians too). Paired with a glass or two of the bistro’s local wines, these dishes are bound to make frigid days far easier to handle.
Price: R175 for two courses.
50 New Church Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 422 3232
The Piano Bar
As an ode to the colder months, this moody musical revue venue in De Waterkant is adding a number of special winter dishes to its offering and serving them up at equally special prices. Between the start of June and the end of October 2015, guests at the swanky bar can enjoy items like butternut and sweet potato soup (prepared the way gran makes it); steak cooked in homemade, organic red wine jus and accompanied by slow-roasted seasonal vegetables; and butternut and sweet potato gnocchi in a spicy Vesuvio sauce (as the name suggests, every bite is like a volcanic eruption). While enjoying a late lunch or dinner (the restaurant opens at 3pm), patrons can take in the sounds of jazzy live music – artists play here almost every day of the week – and the comforting heat from the roaring hearth. Throughout winter, the restaurant will also host a number of great events, such as brandy and chocolate tastings and games nights – keep an eye on The Piano Bar’s Facebook page and website for details on these happenings.
Price: Variable but reasonable enough to keep cold season pockets full.
47 Napier Street (corner of Jarvis Street) | De Waterkant | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 418 1096
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 and every Wednesday night, the CBD-based haunt runs a 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 succulent steaks, skewers, burgers and salads. 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
There’s some true food for the soul as Borage Bistro heats up this winter with some excellent two-, or three -course dinner specials. This city centre eatery aims to stand out from other restaurants of the same ilk, and does so with incredible gusto, especially when one picks apart the menu on offer. From May until the end of September, select from delectable starters such as pea soup with Knackwurst or mouth-watering beef tartare. For mains, there’s melt-in-the-mouth pork collar, beef rump steak with triple-cooked chips or fish of the day with pearl couscous. It’s capped off beautifully with lemon tart or chocolate brownie for dessert. The restaurant opens from 8am and closes at 6:30pm (Monday to Wednesday), 9pm (Thursday to Friday) or 12pm (Saturdays).
Price: from R220
7B Ground Floor | Portside Building | Cnr of Buitengracht & Hans Strydom Ave | +27 (0)21 418 0992
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 special, which actually runs all year around, is a particularly perfect option for the cooler months when the idea of holing up inside with good food and a flick is especially appealing (it’s a good thing that thick, layered clothes hide newfound signs of horizontal growth). Visitors have five options for starters, five options for mains and four for dessert, 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 and popcorn.
Price: R475 per person.
Victoria Road | Camps Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 437 9000
Rick’s Café Américain
Modelled after Rick's, the bar in the cinema classic 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 R150 (includes 500ml of red or white house wine). And if you’re in the mood for anything from a Prego roll to Moroccan-spiced fish cakes with couscous, you’re bound to be spoiled for choice with the restaurant’s always-changing R60 weekday lunch special. All the options are hearty and ideal for frigid weather, and there are now even Banting-friendly alternatives available for the same price. If that’s not enough, guests can pick up well-priced cocktails (from R38), Jack Black draught beer, craft brew, tequila, 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: R150; weekday lunch special: R60 per dish; big savings on drinks.
2 Park Road | Gardens | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 1100
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, has 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 (they’re available from June 2015). 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 creamy soups, slow-roasted meat plates and warm chocolate-y desserts. There are two alternatives per course.
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
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 30 different wines available by the glass.
Price: Two courses for R130; three courses for R150.
341 Main Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 434 8797/6539
WINTER RESTAURANT SPECIALS IN THE CAPE WINELANDS AND SURROUNDS
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 the 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 R148p/p. The incredible offering – there’s one choice per course – includes dishes like springbok carpaccio, chicken ballotine and chocolate brownie with ice cream; 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 (dinner starts at 7pm).
Price: R148p/p for five courses; drinks are for patrons’ own account.
33 Main Street | Riebeek Kasteel | +27 (0) 22 448 1378
Catharina’s at Steenberg Hotel
Especially for 2015’s colder months, award-winning fine dining restaurant Catharina’s, which rests at the Steenberg Hotel in the Constantia Winelands, 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 chicken liver parfait with red onion marmalade and ciabatta; platters of beef sirloin, fried chicken, pork neck, new potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, broccoli gratin, apple sauce and more for mains (there are fish and vegetarian dishes too); and dessert options like Amarula crème brûlée or sticky date chocolate pudding. 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: R300p/p for a three-course lunch (drinks are charged for separately).
Steenberg Estate | Tokai Road | Constantia | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 713 7178
Uitkyk Wine Estate
Nestled on the slopes of Simonsberg mountain in Stellenbosch, this historical wine farm is running an unusual winter special series that’s sure to brighten up blustery days. Once a month between May and August 2015, the estate’s 18th-century Manor House will be hosting a pancake and wine pairing that marries a tasty sweet or savoury crêpe with a glass of vino for less than R100. Guests can look forward to combinations like Chenin Blanc with a spicy Thai green curry pancake or Cabernet Sauvignon with a dark chocolate wrap. These unique events take place on 30 May, 27 June, 25 July and 29 August at two different times: 11am and 2pm. Booking is essential as seating is limited.
Price: R95p/p for a pancake and glass of wine.
R44 | Stellenbosch | +27 (0)21 884 4416
OTHER WINTER SPECIALS IN AND AROUND CAPE TOWN
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 the beginning of May until the end of July, the already affordable WOW! is offering a free eyebrow or lip wax to anyone who books any other waxing service valued at over R200. Then, over the same period, the spa is running a great buy-two-get-one-free special; that is, anyone who purchases three treatments from the allocated list (it includes a body scrub, full body mask, back and neck massage, hot stone massage, detox massage with mud wrap, deep cleanse facial, fish therapy, organic teeth whitening and more) can enjoy the cheapest of the trio for FREE. Customers can choose to indulge in these three sessions any time over the months of May, June and July, and patrons will receive a voucher that indicates their one complimentary and two bought beauty treatments available for future use. For those concerned about stripping down in the cold season, it’s worth noting that all of WOW!’s rooms are heated and blankets are supplied.
Price: Waxing special: savings of between R50 and R60; buy-two-get-one-free special: variable – savings of up to R690.
11 Park Road | Gardens | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 5503
Excentric Hair Salon
Sitting pretty on Sea Point’s Regent Road, contemporary salon Excentric is offering three winter specials that make it possible to enjoy a little indulgence while still staying warm. The first deal gives the standard deluxe pedicure a toasty touch by incorporating a hot oil/stone foot and leg massage and paraffin heat therapy, which doesn’t only thaw freezing toes but also rejuvenates dry, cracked skin. The treatment is finished off with instant-drying gel polish and an express manicure and steamy French vanilla latte are thrown in for a very reasonable price. As for the second special, it entitles anyone who books for an Evolution Keratin Treatment to a complimentary lady’s cut (valued at R280). This hair rejuvenation therapy helps to keep locks silky smooth, shiny and free of frizz during the icy winter months, and the effects last for up to six months. Finally, the third special gives anyone who books for a colour service a complimentary express manicure. These deals run from 1 June until the end of August 2015 and customers must mention CapeTownMagazine.com to qualify.
Price: R499 for the deluxe pedicure special (it’s normally valued at R660); between R650 and R1300 for the Evolution Keratin Treatment, depending on hair length (savings of R280 for the free cut); between R420 and R850 for a colour service (savings of R140 for the free express manicure).
85 Regent Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 434 1413
The Om Revolution Mobile Yoga Studio
This innovative Cape Town-based portable yoga studio is offering a winter special that is bound to appeal to active types who are frustrated by the fact that they can’t exercise as often outdoors during the rainy season. The deal gives locals the chance to organise a weekly group yoga session for themselves and up to nine friends (10 people in total) at any location of their choice for a discounted total price. The Om Revolution will send a professional instructor to almost anywhere in Cape Town – they’ll travel as far as Blouberg, Gordons Bay and Hout Bay. The only condition is that interested yogis must commit to a minimum of four weekly sessions to qualify for the reduced per class rate. The special is available between the end of April and 15 November 2015, and with all the stretching and bending that’s involved, it’s sure to help keep folk toasty throughout the chilly spell.
Price: R450 per class for up to 10 people (that’s only R45 each if you can gather together a group of 10).
Any location in Cape Town | +27 (0)72 027 4628
Baraka Gifts & Décor
This store, located in the upmarket Cape Quarter Piazza, is home to a delightful collection of Africa-inspired gifts. Each item is imbued with a touch of the vintage, without losing any of its appeal.. Most of Baraka’s gifts are also charmingly handmade. and throughout May and June, two of the stores most-sold items go on sale. Its bohemian scarves, available in a rainbow of colours and a kaleidoscope of patterns, are now 50% less in price. Also, Baraka’s gloriously kitsch Tretchikoff pillow cases are now less 10% in price, selling for R360. Get kitted up for winter and decorate yourself and your home with Baraka’s cost-conscious styles.
Price: R360 per pillow and 50% less on all scarves (which start from R110).
Shop 13A, Dixon Street | Cape Quarter Piazza | Green Point | +27 (0)21 425 8883
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.
Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and if you have a smart phone, add m.capetownmagazine.com to your home screen for quick access on the go!
Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle, connect with us on LinkedIn, check out our photos on Instagram and follow our Pinterest boards for updates on what’s happening in and around the Mother City!