Winter has fallen upon South Africa, home to some of the world’s most stunning landscapes. With its advent, the landscape takes on a bluish-grey hue and is wrapped in a chilly embrace. But have no fear! Animals do not go into hibernation now. Indeed, winter is the season to enjoy heavy meals, appreciate velvety red wines, and unwind in front of a roaring fire doing all three. All of these homely touches come together in Cape Town’s dining scene to make it feel like a little slice of the countryside in the center of the metropolis.
Indulge in the cosy warmth of a fireplace at one of these three unique Cape Town eateries this winter. Raise the temperature of your wintertime cooking plans with me!
The Upper Union’s Modern Comforts
Upper Union, located in the lively neighbourhood of Kloof Street, provides diners with a dining experience that is at once relaxed and modern, while still maintaining the homely feel of a classic Sunday lunch. Two fireplaces, decorated with green and white tiles, set a warm tone inside the restaurant where Chef Amori Burger serves his “chef’s menu.”
The main course is a 35-day dry-aged Bonsmara tomahawk, which is complemented by a variety of well-selected sides. It’s meant to be a communal feasting experience. Products are abundant, elegant, and well-balanced; as a result, they offer a chance to bond with the people you care about.
A Niche in the Neighbourhood
Among the bustling streets of Kloof Street, Upper Union stands as a culinary oasis. It’s not merely the warming dishes that appeal, but the fact that it mirrors the neighbourhood’s vibrancy in its cuisine. Each element on Chef Burger’s menu is a nod to the eclectic local produce, the diverse food culture, and the passionate community spirit. For instance, the 35-day dry-aged Bonsmara tomahawk isn’t just a savoury delight, but a testament to South Africa’s revered beef farming tradition. This restaurant’s success lies in its ability to evoke a sense of community through its food.
The Salsify Restaurant at The Roundhouse Serves Up Fine Fare with a Picture-Perfect View
Salsify at The Roundhouse, perched above Camps Bay with an ocean vista, is where Chef Ryan Cole displays his creative talents. The exquisite restaurant, located in a historically significant building, features a central fireplace meant to fight off the chill of winter.
The ever-changing tasting menu pays gastronomic tribute to the passage of time. Pan-roasted line fish, slow-cooked duck breast, and other delectables can be found there. The West Coast abalone is a sustainable seafood option. The fireplace adds a touch of warmth and cosiness to the party space, making for a more enjoyable sensory experience all around.
A Taste of Heritage
As Salsify at The Roundhouse invites its guests for an unparalleled dining experience, it also immerses them in Cape Town’s rich history. The heritage building that houses Salsify has witnessed the city’s transformation over hundreds of years. It’s a living testament to the timeless allure of the city. The panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean from the restaurant adds to this allure, offering a sight that has been a constant for centuries. Every element at Salsify, from the food to the ambience, is a tasteful blend of old and new.
The Picturesque Retreat of Farro
Farro, a scenic wonder located on the Gabrielskloof wine estate, enchants diners with a menu that changes with the seasons. The chief chef, Alex Windebank, is a master artisan who makes cutting-edge European food that can win over even the pickiest eaters.
From the velvety duck liver parfait to the pork belly that virtually melts on your tongue, each dish is a testament to the chef’s skill in the kitchen. The cosy firelight from the fireplace adds to the ambiance of the room. Here, the superb cuisine, the cosy warmth of the hearth, and the stunning views of the Overberg join together to create an unequalled gourmet paradise for a cold winter’s day.
A Feast for the Senses
Farro’s charm lies in its unique ability to balance familiarity with innovation. The offerings are a modern take on the classics, presenting familiar flavors with a fresh twist. Farro’s setting within the picturesque Gabriëlskloof wine estate adds to the sensory delight of the dining experience. The sounds of crackling firewood, the sight of the captivating Overberg, and the taste of Chef Windebank’s creations form a harmonious symphony. It’s a place where one can not only enjoy a meal but truly experience it.
In the winter, eating close to a fireplace is about more than just staying warm; it’s about reconnecting with others through a primal experience. This winter, then, let the roaring fires of Cape Town’s restaurant scene warm not only your stomach but also your soul.
About the Author: Musa Khumalo is a seasoned writer and editor at Africa Nova, where he brings to life captivating stories from the heart of the African continent. With a deep-rooted passion for travel, luxury experiences, and culture, Musa’s work shines a spotlight on the diverse landscapes, people, local craft, and experiences that make Africa a world within itself.