Winesense review

I often wish for more time in order to try all the new restaurants that are opening every month. Long weekends provide exactly that. We decided to take advantage of Good Friday by going out to Kalk Bay and investigating what’s happening out there. We decided to try out a new wine bar and restaurant called Winesense.

Winesense is located across the road from Cape to Cuba. The place looks very modern, something which is very unusual for Kalk Bay and surrounding areas (although I did notice another new restaurant in St James called something Fog which also looks very modern). Despite its modern look, it doesn’t appear unappealing. The decor is very tasteful and nobody in my party of 6 had any criticisms except a suggestion that the light fittings could be replaced with chandeliers for a more interesting result. There were tables and chairs outside which would make for a lovely al fresco experience but the weather wasn’t great so we stayed indoors.

This is not the only Winesense in Cape Town, there is also one in Cavendish and another in Durbanville somewhere (Willowbridge?), but the one in Kalk Bay is the only one which has a restaurant aspect. The concept is quite unique in SA (at least in my experience). The wines are stored in glass-fronted cabinets so that you can read the label. Each bottle is pressurised with nitrogen so that it can be kept for up to 6 weeks after opening. When you arrive you are given a smart card with some credit, you insert this into the card slot of the wine cabinet in order to access the wines. Each wine has a dispenser with 3 options: a tasting, a half glass or a full glass. Each price is diplayed and this amount is deducted from your smart card after dispensing. We tried a few wines which we were not familiar with (they have over 70 to choose from) and found some nice options. We then selected a favourite and poured a glass for ourselves before retiring to the restaurant to test the food.

The menu consists predominantly of ‘tapas’ style portions priced at an average of about R20 to R25 each. There is a broad selection and most of it sounds very tasty. We tried about 10 dishes between us and were very impressed in general. Some of the dishes were extremely tasty eg. the bobotie spring rolls and risotto balls. Others, like the chicken skewers, steak skewers and portuguese style octopus were good too. None of the dishes were disappointing. Each menu item has wine suggestions for those who like to pair their food and wine. There are a few full size meals but we did not try them. We were treated to a complimentary taste of their selection of creme Brulees, original, berry and chocolate. YUM! The original was a very good creme brulee which can be hard to find these days. The chocolate was nice and rich and the berry was interesting.

Our total bill came to R600 including a generous tip. We all agreed it was a fantastic little extravaganza of tastes, both food and wine and at R100 a head, a really worthwhile way to spend an afternoon. Check out their website for more info