So Taste of Cape Town 2011 starts today. It’s the fourth year for this festival and each year it’s very well attended. I’ve attended the previous ones (click here for my review of Taste of Cape Town 2010) and look forward to attending this one too. There are some great restaurants and chefs at the festival like George Jadine of Jordan restaurant, Rudi Liebenberg of Planet restaurant, Stefan Marias of Societi Bistro, Brad Ball of Bistro Sixteen82, Chris Erasmus of Pierneef, Hideki Maeda of Nobu and more!
The festival is evolving each year and so in addition to the fouteen restaurants offering a selection of ‘gourmet’ dishes, there will be a large number of stands where you can taste and buy goodies. I know our friends from Jorgensen’s Distillery will be there so make sure you take along enough cash to top up on limoncello and vodka, etc (maybe their new gin will be ready?). There will be many other interesting stands and tasty products including the Eat In small producers market.
You can find out more about the festival at the official website.
I have 5 sets of double tickets to giveaway, so if you’re planning, or able to go tonight or tomorrow night and want to save the R70 entrance fee each (you’ll still need to buy crowns to spend), drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Taste of Cape Town 2011 tickets’. In the email you can tell me how much you love Relax with Dax and the first 5 emails will get the tickets. [UPDATE: I HAVE THE 5 WINNERS ALREADY, SO NO MORE EMAILS PLEASE]
Remember, the tickets are only valid for Thurs and Fri and they do not include crowns or a wine glass.
Now, in addition to the ticket offer, Gold restaurant (one of the restaurants at the festival) is offering an awesome prize to one lucky Relax with Dax reader. Dinner for 10 people at the restaurant, to the value of R4100! Imagine being able to invite 9 friends out to dinner and it’s free!
The voucher includes arrival cocktail – R25, interactive drumming experience – R85, guided tour of the Gold of Africa Museum – R50, and set dinner and live entertainment.
You can see that it doesn’t include drinks, so that you’ll have to pay for, but everything else is free. Now that’s a cool prize.
To win this prize, you’ll need to post a review of your experience at the 2011 Taste of Cape Town festival in the comments section below. It doesn’t have to be long, just your overall impression and what you felt were the highlights. A winner will be randomly selected from the entries on Wed 11th May 2011 and annouced on Friday 13th (eek!).
* I must reserve the right to remove reviews if I feel they are inappropriate, eg they contain bad language or personal attacks.
I always win tickets to this event but never ever went,but hopefully would like to win and go this year and then I can tell u about the experience.
I was there last night, and it was great. I was there last year as well, and will be posting my review on my blog soon. I found that last year had far more products to try, where as this year had far more wines. The portions were also very small, but very tasty. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves though, especially after buying a few bottles of wine and sitting on the benches sampling our purchases. I would say though that for me, the cheese festival this year was preferable for tasting and sampling, where as Taste is better for the purchasing and sampling of the restaurants menu items. But already looking forward to next year, and the good food and wine show later this month!
It was very cold and very misty on Thursday, so our first point of call was a glass of wine from Noble Hill! They have a refreshing sangria up for tasting as well.
Due to the weather, there weren’t a huge number of visitors, which we found to be a positive as we got to chat with stand owners about their products. We wandered around, tasting various wines including De Wetshof, Rickety Bridge, Kingsriver Estate (they have a wonderful apricot sweet wine for tasting!) and Neil Joubert to name a few. We tasted some wonderful cheeses and met the owners of the only water buffalo farm in South Africa – Buffalo Ridge. They make a wonderful buffalo mozzarella of course.
– Wang Thai’s Spinach Cones which were filled with lemon, ginger, lemongrass, coconut, onion and peanuts and drizzled with a palm sugar sauce. Great, crispy way to start.
– Nobu’s Pork Belly with a spicy miso paste was amazing. The pork belly had just a thin layer of fat below the crispy skin and was deliciously spiced with the miso. Definitely warming on the cold evening.
– Fyndraai Restaurant offered a carpaccio styled cured venison loin. It was topped with balsamic and pumpkin seeds and delicately served with Parmesan and a caramalized tomato dressing. Was delicious with a merlot.
– For the finale: Signal at Cape Grace served a deliciously delicate dark chocolate and toasted coriander seed croustillant tart. It was gorgeous and finished the tasting evening off wonderfully.
As I recall, GOLD were placed next to Signal and had a wonderful display of music and dancing whilst I was waiting for my chocolate tart.
Overall, a wonderful vibe, a great variety of different products up for tasting and stand owners who were willing and made time to impart knowledge on those eager to know. Will definitely be back this year (and next) as I know I missed out on so many other wonderful products and dishes!
I went to Taste of Cape Town last night and really enjoyed it. As usual the layout was great and there was plenty of space for everyone to enjoy the event comfortably. I was really impressed with the parking and traffic control – a definite improvement from last year’s craziness!
The dishes on offer were also amazing; I found it so hard to choose. I ended up settling on some delicious duo curry pots and pumpkin fritters for dessert – both from Gold. I also tried some great wines from Boschendal and Nobel Hill and amazing Weis beer from Boston Breweries.
The highlight for me was chatting to the different vendors peddling their wares and learning more about the way they make their products. It was also awesome to take a little bit of Taste of CT home with me … I bought so many tasty things from Aloe and Cauliflower dip to Camembert Cheese to Snoek Pate.
I will definitely go again next year
The 2011 Taste of CT is a very well organised event but I did find the layout a bit confusing and we struggled a little to get our bearings and find stands that we wanted to re-visit, but other than that, well done to the organisers. One thing I noticed (and impressed me) was that the bins and eating stations were constantly being cleaned and refreshed. There was absolutely no litter. The portions are small, and very tasty but I did find it quite pricey. I went through my book of crowns (R100) in no time!! If you are going to drink AND eat – AND you’ve come hungry, it’s going to be quite an expensive evening. But still worth it. Thankfully it wasn’t too busy so we had a chance to chat with the restaurant owners and didn’t have to wait long for our ordered. Bombay Brasserie lamb, Bistro 1682 pork belly, Savour prawns- was all to die for. And the Gold Restaurant Pumpkin fritters almost made me weep with joy! Oh, and I just loved the traditional dance with drums that was done by the staff. The La Motte stand was the most elegant, I have to say. Nice selection of smaller wine estates, and a micro brewery makes this an event with something for everyone. And having Origin Coffee/Tea there on such a cold night was a huge hit! I’m thinking of going back tomorrow night for those fritters…hmmmm.
I went to the Taste of Cape Town on the very first night (thursday night) and enjoyed some lovely food and dessert as well as coffee and some food demos which were very interesting – with great tasters at the end as well.
The parking was a bit crazy but overall I had a blast 🙂
Two thumbs up!!!
I went to the Taste of Cape Town on Friday night, and it was a great experience. It was great to taste things from restaurants that I probably otherwise wouldn’t get a change to, either because they are too expensive, or because I’d never heard of them before! Nobu’s pork belly and Fyndraai’s cured venison were definite highlights.
I found the layout of the place completely confusing and difficult to follow. Maybe they can sort out some better signage next year?
We went to taste on friday night. Really fantastic event as usual. Parking was crazy as we got there at 7:30 and we ended up parking at Somerset Hospital where I work and walked (pretty far!)
The venue was great with much more space than last year and more areas to eat and lean on. Some interesting restaurants and a few I hadnt heard of.
I started off with the Nobu yellow tail sashimi which was delicate yet flavour full. My husband had the halibut with miso which was the star from Nobu I think.. smoky and sweet.
We then went to fyndraai and tried the snoek fishcakes with veloute which was very rich but absolutely delicious especially the bokkom mayo which came with.
I had the try food from Bombay Brasserie as this was probably the only time I would eat (normally out of our price range). We had the lamb ‘Breyani’ which was spicy and offered a complex mix of flavours.
We tasted a few wines along the way buying some rickety bridge. I think it was a bit cheeky of some wine tasting booths to ask for crowns to taste when we already had to buy the tasting glasses. (I think the patrone stand did very well!!)
All in all a lot of fun and a great opportunity to taste food from some of cape towns best.
Taste of Cape Town was a culinary adventure for me, an ex-joburger,this was my first introduction to Cape Towns top restaurants. A must try at Taste is La Mottes Milktart Milkshake! Yummy!
last night I went to the Taste of Cape Town and like all the years previously it did not disappoint. I did notice that it was a lot busier and the number of stands seemed to have increased. It is housed at a different location each year, and I found that whilst this years spot was very convenient (Green Point), the access in and out of the parking was far too slow. It was easier to park further away and walk in. I also found that the tents were too spread out and the layout very confusing. I kept walking around in circles unable to get my bearings. I think it would have been better to keep things closer together. My all time favourite location was at the German school in Tamboerskloof two years ago.
There were some fine restaurants on the list and certainly enough to choose from, but overall it was my impression that the number of very top end restaurants has diminished, with more middle end restaurants being represented.
There were far more wine estates represented and smaller producers. So lots of wine, coupled with fabulous friends and a few tasty morsels, it really is a fun night out.
My food highlights were (based on the limited number of tasters I ate)
1. Chicken liver parfait, on toast with pineapple chutney – Societi Bistro
2. Gambas Pil Pil,sauteed prawns in roast garlic and chilli – Bistro 1682
3. Confit of duck tart with preserved ginger and pickled shimji mushrooms – Signal at the Cape Grace
4 The nutty one (dessert parfait) – Planet at the Mount Nelson
I heard that the fritters at Gold were amazing and the pork belly from Bistro 1682.
I wish I could have eaten more. I few dishes ‘underwhelmed’ me, but I do also consider the environment in which they are prepared.
Taste of Cape Town 2011 was excellent, I went for the 1st time in 2010 and wasn’t going to miss out this year. I went on the Thursday evening and thankfully the weather held off and was OK. I found the cricket pitch being in the middle kinda disoriented one a little and I was doing a lot of zig-zagging all over the place. I got there at around 7pm and parking was no problem at all. There were no queues to get in and all was well organized, I guess maybe people stayed away due to the risk of rain. It was a little darkish in certain areas, especially where there was seating, and could have done with a bit more lighting.
Everything I had was really good, I however think my favourites were:
1. Planet Restaurant – Mustard marinated beef fillet. Served with short rib tortellini, roasted onion and cauliflower puree, tomato chutney – delicious beef and the pure and chutney toped it off beautifully.
2. Taj Cape Town/Bombay Brasserie and Mint – Chicken fingers Andhra-style spicy fried chicken tempered with curry leaves and Guntur chillies – had a stunning taste, a bit of a bite afterwards but not overpowering.
3. Taj Cape Town/Bombay Brasserie and Mint – Paraat meat pulao with raita – a Punjab speciality Long-grain basmati pilaf rice braised in a subtle lamb curry – very moist and tasteful.
Right, so how have things changed since last year (read that review here http://relaxwithdax.com/taste-of-cape-town-2010-review)?
Well, the festival is definitely evolving. It started as a showcase of Cape Town’s best restaurants and now, while there are still some top restaurants, there are also some which are not the best and you also have the likes of Simply Asia and Wang Thai amongst the 14.
The festival has also shifted the focus from the food a bit with the incorporation of a ‘market’. There are many stands selling wine and food options like biltong and sauces, etc. This element has grown. I don’t think it’s a bad thing as it adds some variety.
I like that it was held in Greenpoint this year as it’s convenient for me and it has access from both ends of Frits Sonnenberg which means traffic isn’t as bad as it can be. Parking can be a little challenging. The optimal route is to enter Frits Sonnenberg from Mouille Point end and turn up at Hamilton’s to find parking.
The usual complaint applies, the festival is a damn expensive outing. I’m actually surprised it’s so well attended because I’ve never heard anyone even suggest that it might be good value for money. If you don’t have comps to get in, it will cost you around R370 to fully experience the festival.
So, it’s important to know which things you should spend your crowns on and which you can safely avoid. We took our own wine glasses and saved 2 crowns per glass!
Some of the stands offer free wine tasting and then charge by the glass or bottle, others charge also for a tasting so be sure to ask before sticking your glass out!
Things that I tried which I highly recommend:
Bistro Sixteen82: Gambas (prawns) pil pil (peri peri).
Societi Bistro: Mushroom risotto and if you’re a risotto fan, the paella at the Cape Grace (Signal) is actually a seafood risotto and it’s awesome.
Taj (Bombay Brasserie): I was caught off guard by this, their spicy chicken fingers as well as the lamb curry with basmati rice were both fabulous.
Things that other people told me must be tried:
Gold: Pumpkin fritters, I love pumkin fritters but the queue was so long I didn’t get to try them.
Fyndraai: Calamari and tiger prawn, I was told this was the best dish at the festival.
Jordan: Barrel smoked kinglip, people were raving about this
Nobu: yellowtail sashimi and pork belly both got mentions
Pierneef: Milk tart milkshake
Planet: The nutty one (a dessert)
Savour: Norwegian salmon
Bistro Sixteen82: Pork belly
Right, there you have it. Spend your crowns wisely. Go forth and enjoy. Don’t forget to come back and write a review of the festival as a comment on this post and you could win dinner for 10 at Gold restaurant.
As an aside, I like that all food samples were served in biodegradable bowls/plates but I was very unhappy to see a massive tent dedicated to imported water. I refuse to even mention the brand on my blog. Imported water is really a sad indictment on society.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was pleased to see that it had grown compared to last years. Venue was also much better, however the parking was a nightmare!!! Wish they would of opened more parking! also, not sure why they cannot move the event just a couple of weeks earlier since it is always cold and windy which makes it somewhat uncomfortable and as soon s we were done we just wanted to leave instead of linger longer in both years that we attended. but otherwise great and look forward to next year!
2011 was my first Taste experience and must admit, feel neither here nor there about it. Its a great night out, something fun and you get to experience a few top chefs foods in one outing- guys that I am aspiring to be like. However, on that, with a poorly chef students budget it turns out to be an exceptionally expensive night and in all honestly, with all the specials on now much better value to go eat out- say at the Roundhouse for R250 / 7 courses. I still left quiet hungry but fortunately the Slug and a few other bars were withing walking distance which was quite a cool pro!
Sunday – not only being Mother’s Day – also turned out to be an excellent day to visit Taste of CT under the shadow of the Stadium. Having done our homework from your site (and few additional twitter feedbacks) we set out to conquer, devour and enjoy.
Our teenage son in tow, an extremely fussy eater (an understatement), ended up having a ball too, that’s how diverse the menu’s were. The enthusiasm from the Taj (Bombay Brasserie) team bowled him over eventually, particularly when they said if he doesn’t like the spicy chicken fingers, he doesn’t have to pay. We went back twice for more, including their lamb curry!
Gold restaurants team also stood out, friendly, warm, helpful and extremely enthusiastic. The pumpkin fritters went down very smoothly, particularly with Rickety Bridge’s wines (also a fantastic stand with engaging and motivated staff.)
I have to admit after all the raving reviews of Bistro Sixteen82’s pork belly, I wished I rather went for Nobu’s version but was all bellied out by then. Mine was too dry for my liking, and our party mentioned that my own version of the Chinese 5-spice belly is better. (Thanks guys, dinner invite soon).
Societi Bistro, already a firm favorite for consistently delivering, stole the show with the Chicken Liver parfait and pineapple chutney – yes, did go back twice for this one too!
The seafood paella (risotto) from The Grace (Signal) surprised the tongue and senses with cooked creamy and fresh sashimi combination.
I have gone every year since inception, and found a bit more conservative ingredients used this year for a wider audience appeal, but still innovative and worthwhile regardless.
It’s family friendly, although easier for adults who don’t view food a necessary evil.
This event also was a great opportunity to quickly review some restaurant menu’s and choices for upcoming birthday celebration considerations. (And if staff was anything to go by, Gold and Bombay Brasserie certainly impressed our socks off).
I would not miss this event, and encourage groups to go in order to sample wider and experience your own tasting adventure too. See you all next year again. Can’t wait!
I will post a full review on my blog at some point but here is the short version:
I have been to Taste 3 years running and I enjoy every year. This year however was a little anti climactic. There was some amazing dishes, from Societi’s mushroom rissoto, Planet’s Mustard beef and “The nutty one” and Bistro’s pork belly. There were also a lot of places we didn’t taste a thing from.
In previous years I have bought at least 2 books of crowns, this year, 1 went far enough. Some of the dishes didn’t really pop off the plate.
That really is all the negative though, the venue was great, parking was a dream. Very well organised everything 🙂
I’ve visited Taste of Cape Town since the first (wind swept)event at Camps Bay High School and I must say, the venue at the Green Point Cricket Club has been the best so far for convenience as I live in the City and just took a cab there and back.
I attended on Sunday the 8th (the only time it’s open during the day)and the weather played along to make it one of those unforgettable days (my sore head this morning is testament to this).
Despite it being the last day of the festival and exhibitors must have been feeling the effects of four hard days’ work in not-ideal circumstances, we never heard any complaints; just smiles and willingness to tell you more about their dish/product/wine.
This is not a cheap event to attend; we printed the menu beforehand to estimate what we wanted to sample and then doubled the amount calculated – it actually worked! Our only extra indulgence: Primitiv Vodka (what an amazing product, and it’s local!).
Other fabulous newly discovered dishes: Pumpkin fritters from Gold (great find, as we drive past Gold every day and we’ve always thought it’s just a coffee shop and museum); Yellow tail sashimi from Nobu and the Milk Tart Milkshake from Pierneef at La Motte.
Some negatives: Only imported water on sale (is this the best we can do?), wasting money on tasting glasses (we forgot to bring our own) and we heard a few people complaining that glasses were only sold at the entrance and not closer to the action and finally the cost: it’s not cheap at all…but it’s worth it.
I visited Taste of Cape Town on Friday evening. I received 2 free tickets, which was fab, as I was going to go anyway 🙂
I managed to park one road down, so not too far. I thought it was all pretty well organsied – the line to buy crowns moved very quickly.
Loved all the free wine tasting, and while I was waiting for my food at Jordan, they were pouring champagne (sparkling wine) for everyone, which was great !
My favourite dish was the Kingklip fettucine from Jordan – delish! I had also read about the Pumpkin fritters from Gold, so we saved that for desert, and they were divine.
I heard from someone that the pork belly from Nobu was fantasic, but sadly I didn’t manage to get there.
We ran out of crowns and had to buy more, but that was not a problem. We finished off with coffee from Puro (spelling”??)
I had great fun, and it was so nice to chat to people at the eating tables scattered everywhere, sharing experiences and tips with everyone. People in general seemed happy and relaxed – good food and wine, and the festival atmosphere will do that 🙂
Oh, brilliant dustbins everywhere, but most of the time I didn’t need them, just as I finished a meal, a guy would pop up and ask if he could remove my plate – perfect service !
I went 3 times. Really.
The most enjoyable day was Sunday. I took my mother (79) and we had a great time. She received many Mother’s Days ‘specials’.
I do however think last year was better. Apologies to Pick n Pay, but without ‘The Checkers Wine Route’ the event is just not the same
This was my first Taste of Cape Town so I had nothing to compare it to. My wife and I attended on Saturday evening and I must say we enjoyed the evening out. The event was well organised although the wind threatened to send the tents into orbit. Luckily there were plenty of wines, shooters, Grappa and tequila to keep us warm.
The food at the various restuarant was excellent, but my favourites were the Planet Restaurant – Mustard marinated beef fillet. Served with short rib tortellini, roasted onion and cauliflower puree, tomato chutney and the Taj Cape Town/Bombay Brasserie and Mint – Paraat meat pulao with raita.
The one stand that stood out above the others were the Gold Restaurant. The team memembers were very friendly, warm, helpful and had a very enthusiastic vibe about them.
Towards the end of the night the stands that rocked were the Grolsch stand and the stand that had the Italian shooters, Lemocello and Grappa.
Overall a very entertaining evening although a bit on the expensive side.
The Taste of Cape Town 2011 was an unbelievable Saturday evening. Highlights included Gold’s pumpkin fritters, Bistro 1682’s pork belly, Bombay Brasserie’s paraat meat pulao, Planet Restaurant’s marinated beef fillet and the milktart milkshake from la Motte. The evening turned a corner after the Patron tasting and got very festive. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable(and expensive)experience.
As a taste virgin, I have to admit that I was most impressed and satisfied by the delights that the evening held. Going on saturday night did mean that the crowds were pretty thin, most probably owing to other jock-esque rugby games, but this actually meant for a most pleasant evening with no having to fight the crowds to get to anything.
My highlights were definately Bombay Brasserie’s Paraat Meat pulao, although what had originally attracted me to their menu were their lentil dumplings, these turned out to be a bit dry but this was definately compensated for by the amazingness of that pulao! The next highlight was most definately Rudi Liebenberg’s mustard marinated fillet- absolute perfection and Nobu’s spiced pork belly which would not be my first choice but really suprised me. We spent a good amount of time seating in what I think was actually the Gold stand’s display table, but it was the duo of putu pap pots and gold dusted pumpkin fritters that kept us oogling over seconds even! Absolutely delicious, even left with a little sprinkling of face paint that drew a great deal of attention and remarks for the rest of the evening.
Overall, a fabulously tasteful evening filled with amazing food and drink! The general vibe of the crowd of foodies was also most enjoyable. Will definately be back next year for seconds!
Hi Dax 🙂 who won the dinner at Gold? Didn’t see the announcement.
Review number 15 (Maggie) was randomly selected as the winner of the voucher for dinner for 10 at Gold restaurant.
Thanks everyone for entering.