Top 10 restaurants in the Cape, among the vines – Eat Out Awards 2016


The Restaurant at Waterkloof Estate, Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West

EAT OUT, “South Africa’s Best Guide to South Africa’s Best Food”, might well come in for some flack after publication of their 2016 Restaurant Awards sponsored by Mercedes-Benz – only one restaurant from outside the Western Cape cracked the nod for a spot among the Top 10 and only three among the Top 20. Respected restaurant critic and publisher of Platter’s (by Diners Club) SA Wine Guide, JP Rossouw, won’t be printing his annual book of recommendations this year, and it’s arguable that the American Express Fine Dining Awards are issued to too many places to be of much use to folk seeking pointers regarding the nation’s best lunch and dinner venues. Fortunately, there’s not much argument about the very best restaurants in the winelands of the Cape.

Eat Out Chef of the Year for 2016: Greg Czarnecki of The Restaurant at Waterkloof wine estate off Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West. Not a great drive to get to there but once you’re arrived it’s all worthwhile – besides the great food and decent wines, modern décor and great views. La Colombe of Silvermist wine estate at the top of Constantia Nek won the Eat Out Service Excellence Award, and the shortlist of best places to eat at among the vines according to Eat Out’s Top 10 is as follows – in alphabetical order:


Camphors at Vergelegen, Somerset West – Chef Michael Cooke
Kitchen at Maison
, Franschhoek – Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg
La Colombe at Silvermist, Constantia Nek – Chef Scot Kirton
Overture at Hidden Valley
, Stellenbosch – Chef Bertus Basson
Waterkloof, Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West – Chef Greg Czarnecki


Indochine at Delaire Graff on Helshoogte, Stellenbosch – Chef Virgil Kahn
Jordan in Stellenbosch Kloof – Chef George Jardine
Pierneef à La Motte, Franschhoek – Chef Michelle Theron
Rust en Vrede, Stellenbosch – Chef John Shuttleworth
Terroir at Kleine Zalze, Stellenbosch – Chef Michael Broughton

Other recipients of Eat Out’s Top 10 awards: Foliage in the Franschhoek CBD (Chef Chris Erasmus), Greenhouse at the Cellars Hohenort Hotel in the suburb of Constantia (Chef Peter Tempelhoff), Mosaic at The Orient Hotel in Pretoria (Chef Chantel Dartnall), The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek’s CBD (Chef Margot Janse), and The Test Kitchen at The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Cape Town (Chef Luke Dale-Roberts), the latter named 2016 Eat Out Restaurant of the Year (yet again) and also the recipient of Eat Out’s Wine Service Award (Sommelier Tinashe Nyamudoka).

Also included in Eat Out’s choice of the country’s Top 20 restaurants: Chefs Warehouse & Canteen in the Cape Town CBD, DW Eleven-13 in Dunkeld, Johannesburg, Hartford House in Mooi River, Nobu at the One & Only Hotel in the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, and the Pot Luck Club at The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Cape Town.

Most of the restaurants recommended in the various Eat Out guides including the Best Everyday Eateries in various categories – Asian, Indian, Italian, Steak, Bistro, Burgers – are rated by visitors to their website. Heading up the team of critics who chose the 2016 award winners were Carianne Wilkenson (Silwood School of Cookery), David Higgs (Marble Restaurant, Johannesburg), and Abigail Donnelly (Eat Out Editor and Chief Judge). For more about the Eat Out award winners, see here, and to read about the awards criteria, see here.