Salt River: wine capital of SA

The whole of Bree street is buzzing with the news that chef Andrea – former #2 at El Bulli – is arriving from Spain this week to make La Parada the paella Ground Zero of SA. With Irish celebrity chef Conrad Gallagher also on final approach (although the word he he will be cooking offshore), is Bree Street set to snatch the mantle from sleepy Stellenbosch as culinary capital of SA? Already Conrad’s countryman Liam Tomlin is dishing up the best Asian tapas at the Chef’s Warehouse (below) while Migdalia Bellorin has Venezuela down pat at Orinoco. Neil Grant is opening Bocca on the corner of Wale  Street (nothing to do with the revolting Whale Cottage hairy blogster) while Jason Lilley runs the best bakery in the Cape at the eponymous Jason’s on Bree.

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On the subject of bakeries Johan Wegner is expanding GetWine from next door to Charly’s Bakery in District 6 to Salt River. Salt River is fast becoming the dora destination for Cape Town and even Die Burger has noticed. The Cape’s top lifestyle writer Herman Lategan has just penned a witty sketch of the suburb, all valstande, kuite, rissies en gnocchi. Forget about Lategan, this is Herman Charles Bosman on fire, he’s that good. Lin Sampson on steroids.

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With Johan offering wine cheaper than mineral water (at less than R25 a bottle, see above) tomorrow’s petrol price decrease will not save outlying wine appellations like Franschhoekfranschhoekcellarwines Salt River: wine capital of SA
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from ruin as South Africans tighten their belts in anticipation of recession. Especially when platteland guesthouses dish up stale biscuits. Sies. Surely Vinimark can’t be serious about asking Reuben Riffel to open a restaurant on Twee Jonge Gezellen in distant Tulbagh? It will take more than some MasterChefSA glitter to rehabilitate that brand after last month’s MCC scandal.