richard barnett on food, wine and the finer things

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La Colombe, Constantia - Top 10 Review

Read More… 24 September 2012

La Colombe is a restaurant whose fame precedes it. I have, on numerous occasions, been advised to try this Top 10, and finally had the opportunity to do so. The visit was somewhat spontaneous, due to the special offer of a two course lunch paired with a glass of wine, for under R200. The booking was handled by a third party (who was offering the special) and was flawless. Lunch was booked for 12h30, and when we walked through the door just after 12h20 we were greeted by a lady behind a desk who all but ignored us. On my announcement that we had a lunch reservation, she checked her list and promptly chastised us (somewhat rudely) for being "very early." Not a good start, by any measure.

Rasoi by Vineet, Mauritius: An (Un)forgettable Experience

Read More… 30 June 2012

Fine dining is one pastime that I really enjoy and, as a result, it should come as no surprise that I was looking forward to Rasoi by Vineet. While the Mauritian restaurant (located as part of the Le Saint Géran resort) is not a Michelin Starred establishment, it is sold as being owned by Michelin starred chef Vineet Bhatia. Indeed, Vineet was the first Indian-Chef to receive the famous accolade.

Gauteng in the Top Ten: dw eleven-13

Read More… 30 April 2012

Keeping the trend of Top Ten dining alive, I recently had the opportunity to dine at dw eleven-13 in Johannesburg. Due to the nature of my visit, it was a weekday lunch meal and the restaurant was a little quieter than it may be in the evenings. The fact that this is the only (Eat Out) top ten restaurant not in the Western Cape gave it the hard work of living up to its southern counterparts. It certainly lived up to expectations, and was well worth the visit.

Franschhoek Summer Wines

Read More… 15 April 2012

The inaugural Franschhoek Summer Wines Festival was held at Leopard's Leap on the 31 March. In principal, as I love good wine, I enjoy wine festivals as an opportunity to explore more wines without having to drive from farm to farm. This particular festival was good fun, and very informative.

Table Terroir

Read More… 2 April 2012

My second opportunity at Top 10 dining this year came in the form of the Stellenbosch restaurant Terroir. Based at the Kleine Zalze wine estate, Terroir is Eat Out's number six for 2011 and of all the restaurants on Eat Out's list, it is the one restaurant that I have visited on a number of occasions.

Fine Dining with George Jardine (Jordan Restaurant)

Read More… 21 March 2012

Fine dining in South Africa takes on many forms of restaurant, in all parts of the country. Sifting through these and finding real quality can be very difficult. There are no Michelin Stars to be had and lots of people have differing views on what constitutes the best.

Every year the popular restaurant guide (and website) Eat Out publishes a list of twenty "finalists" for the crown of Top Restaurant. These are whittled down to a select ten at a glittering event each November. The list includes a number of repeat offenders each year and as chefs move about, some drop off the list and some join the list. Perhaps one of the most interesting outcomes of this process is that year on year the majority of the Top 10 end up being in Cape Town or the Cape Winelands. The 2011 awards were no exception and nine of the these are in the Western Cape, with the last coveted spot going to a restaurant in Johannesburg.

Seeing in 2012 at the Victoria Falls

Read More… 4 January 2012

It is a family tradition that the family and I go away for New Year. We have been away every year for the past fifteen years, bar perhaps two. This year, we decided to spend it in absolute style at The Royal Livingstone at the Victoria Falls in Zambia.


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