The Chefs Warehouse and Canteen, Bree Street, Cape Town – This is most probably one of the best tapas experiences you will ever have, certainly mine. The concept when we visited was a tapas tray for 2 that had 7 different dishes that come as a surprise menu. Liam Tomlin’s cooking has always been world-class but here he manages to take tapas to heights only he can reach. Superb innovative cooking and modern presentations, a cauliflower risotto stood as one of my favourites as was the wok fried calamari.
Super casual friendly service which suits the Cape Town dining scene accompanied by world-class tapas well worth a detour. Follow on Instagram
The French Connection, Franschhoek, Cape Town, Eastern Cape – I have been visiting this restaurant for over 15 years and really it never disappoints, even in winter they are blazing and it’s always a treat. It’s a lovely drive out from Cape Town through the wine lands, a perfect day trip. They do some great French bistro classics with French onion soup & steak frites or au poivre.
All by the pretty highly regarded Chef Matthew Gordan, I have been a fan of his since meeting him back in 2002 while he was cooking at La Cabriere, his fine-dining outpost. Follow on Facebook
Pommes Fritters, St Francis Village, St Francis, Eastern Cape – Lovely little village restaurant with just a few tables and chairs. By the name of course they do fantastic French fries but on a recent visit we tried their wood oven pizzas which were very good. We opted for olives & salami and a persuitto, with artichoke on both, these were some of the best pizzas we have ever had in South Africa, thin crust crispy pizza dough with a thick, tangy tomato ragout and an amazing fresh mozzarella with a hint of oregano & basil. The toppings are then only a bonus, the owner is always there and hands on, not sure whether he is French or Belgian but he is a great host. Perfect casual food on a weekend getaway. Follow on Facebook
Fernando’s Chicken House, Central, Port Elizabeth – I have heard so many stories about Fernandos over the past 10 years. They say it’s where the famous Nandos chicken recipes came from and where the name Nandos originated from, Fernando it’s infamous owner. I am somewhat of a regular here, visiting a few times a year. I always order the same thing, the grilled Portuguese spicy chicken and by God, that’s what you get. You help yourself to the wine fridge and if you’re like me and enjoy spicy food, you will need a lot of liquid to wash it down, well this will be your heaven.
Some of the best spicy grilled chicken you will ever eat. The dining room is small and grubby, you enter through a smoke-filled room which adds to the brilliant atmosphere. If I won the lottery and bought the place I wouldn’t change a thing. Well worth a detour. Follow on Facebook
Bentleys Oyster Bar, London – I can’t remember the last time I visited London and didn’t make it my business to eat here at least once. The beautiful old London feel to the place, with old men behind the bar shucking in their tailored white jackets, the leather furniture and oak bar smells of the tradition and 100 plus years of selling great seafood and hearty pints of Guinness. They have a great selection of oysters to start with. To my oysters, I just add lemon and a dribble of mignonette and a pint of Guinness before switching to a great Sancerre. Fish and chips with tartar sauce and mushy peas are a staple there and a great foundation for drinks after if you’re lucky enough to know. Its Chef patron is Richard Corridas who has been at the forefront of the London dining scene for as long as I can remember.
For drinks or snacks or great seafood, this is your place. Follow on Instagram