Where the food critics dine: all the best spots to eat in Cape Town
These are the places where you’ll find senior copy editor at Taste magazine Lynda Ingham-Brown tucking in when she’s not eating on the job
From Monday to Friday Lynda Ingham-Brown, senior copy editor at Woolworths’ Taste magazine, lives and breathes all things epicurean. These are the places where you’ll find her tucking in when she’s not eating on the job.
When I tell people I work at a food magazine, they say: "You must be a great cook, then." Sure, I can follow a good recipe (making sure the ones we publish in Taste are well written is my job), but that doesn’t mean that I spend all my time in the kitchen.
In fact, I love eating out. I attribute this to it being a serious luxury when I was a kid, and to my chronic Fomo (fear of missing out) — I like to know what’s going on.
Being in the food media business means I get my fair share of work perks. My lunches in the winelands and dinners at the newest spot on the block have my friends commenting: "Tough job, hey?" on my Instagram posts.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m aware that this is an incredible privilege, and I’ll never forget that. But when people ask me where they should eat in Cape Town, I find myself recommending the same places, because I know they won’t be disappointed when they go to them.
It’s not just fine dining; I’m happy to eat almost anything, as long as it’s delicious.
So here, in no particular order, are some of the places at which I love to eat when I’m not eating for free.
Chef Giles Edwards trained under Fergus Henderson at St John in the UK, and is a big fan of nose-to-tail dishes. Expect brains, kidneys, liver, heart and tongue.
If that’s not your thing, there are other options, such as the restaurant’s fish sandwich, which has a near cult-like following. Or crispy pig’s cheek with apple and watercress. And you can order a bowl of cauliflower cheese as a side, and six (or even 12) warm-from-the-oven madeleines for dessert. It makes me happy.
Chefs Warehouse & Canteen
Liam Tomlin was Eat Out’s chef of the year last year, and once you eat here — or at any of his other restaurants — you’ll understand why.
The concept is simple: a set menu of about eight smallish dishes for two to share. There are no decisions to be made, which I’m very happy about as I regularly suffer from order envy. And don’t panic if you’re not usually a sharer; there’s plenty to go around. So much flavour is packed onto each plate that you’ll be scraping the dishes for more.
Sometimes you just want a red wine and Coke — aka a catemba — and a plate of really good calamari and chips, or trinchado in a garlicky barbecue sauce, and dancing on Friday nights. Dias does all of the above. And it is about as honest as it gets.
The tavern has been around almost as long as Cape Town has, and its no-frills, plastic-tablecloth glory is an institution.
I find breakfast fare particularly satisfying, especially if someone else has made it — perhaps because I have the same breakfast every day of the week at my desk.
You’ll find Superette in the Woodstock Exchange — a cool collection of quirky shops and restaurants. It does a selection of morning meals, but I most like what the restaurant serves with them: roasted baby tomatoes (not soggy, and with just the right amount of char), lemon-dressed greens, and julienne-cut baby marrows with goat’s cheese. It just works.
Superette also makes Nutella-stuffed French toast and toasted banana bread.