Cape Town – It’s still nice!

Here’s my usual round-up after a trip. This time I travelled to Cape Town, only for a short week and a lot of work. Nevertheless I managed to steal some time for myself and explored the city a bit. It had been a long while (some 15 years) since my last visit to Cape Town; I knew/remembered what to expect and was anxious to see what has changed since then.

But let’s do this as it happened…. first I had to travel to the Mother City. My plan was to do that with the Lufthansa in their premium economy class (I just refuse to fly economy on such long haul flights; those days are over. Since my still favorite Swiss airline does not feature premium eco I had to get used to other airlines….). But, a German union decided to strike the airline once again, so my plane wasn’t flying. I still don’t get how stupid people can be; it might be worth thinking something like that through `til the end; airline is on strike – customers are not happy – customers avoid airline – airline suffers and has to lay off staff. Not that difficult, is it? Now that took me somewhat off-topic, now back to the more fun topic again.

My flight was transferred over to BA and I flew to Cape Town via London. While BA does have a premium eco class the plane was, uuuhm, old (a really old B-747) and it felt its age. Fortunately I slept most of the night and only woke up shortly before arrival in Cape Town. The difference between a some 20 – 30 years old plane and a modern one became even more tangible when I flew back. Lufthansa staff was not on strike anymore and I had the pleasure (I mean it, really) of flying back in a top modern A340. The flight was still long, but comfortable. And hey, they even had in-flight WiFi!

And while we’re talking travel…. – use UBER while you’re in Cape Town. So much nicer, not more expensive than taxi.

Next up: accommodation. For the first couple of nights I slept at a friend’s place, but for the last three nights I stayed at the Grand Daddy hotel in Long street, Cape Town. The hotel is a solid 4 star with a couple of specialities. Well, actually one. It’s on the roof top and this is how it looks:

Airstream trailer on top of Grand Daddy hotel in Cape Town

Of course it’s not any ol’ trailers, these are Airstreams. On the inside the trailer is on the smaller side, but still nice and of course, special. Each trailer is themed differently, the theme of my one was “Gold Rush” (feel the bling bling?).

Gold Rush Trailer inside Grand Daddy Hotel Cape Town

One word of warning though: the roof top features a bar too and it’s right in the middle of the trailer park. Of course there’s a DJ playing on weekends, and he sure got the place bumpin (including the trailers…) – fortunately the sound only lasted until 8 pm, after that it was astonishingly calm and quiet.

Food and stuff (you saw it coming, didn’t you?). Of course seafood never gets better than so close to the sea, but meat lovers also get their share. So, in the order of appearance; these are the places I’d recommend you to go to: Steenberg (both the Bistro 1862 and the high end restaurant Catharinas. Very nice indeed. This time stuff translates into wine – needless to say that South African wines are just delicious.

Simply the best restaurant I ate in during my trip was at the Jordan winery. We stopped at their restaurant for lunch on wine tasting tour we did on Sunday and hell, I hardly ate so deliciously before. It was only after lunch that our tour guide (Stephen, also highly recommended) told us that we just had lunch at one of South Africa’s top restaurants. Not surprising that it couldn’t get any better after that, is it?

But, there were at least two comparable places . One night I had lobster at the Pigalle restaurant. It looked like this and tasted as good as it looked:

Lobster at Pigalle restaurant in Cape Town

I followed a restaurant recommendation on Bree street, Chefs Warehouse and I let this pic speak for itself (I’m quite sure you’re able to figure out what I ate):

Table at Chefs Warehouse in Cape Town

Bree street is nice to find small, innovative good food places anyway, just stroll up and keep your eyes open.

The tour through the oh-so-near (really, 30 mins from the city) wine area on Sunday was lovely. Stephen took us to small wineries all off the beaten track; think Vergelegen, Morgenster (where we also tasted olive oil), Jordan and Muratie. I told him during our ride to the first winery that DeMorgenzon is my current favorite and he just adjusted the itinerary and also took us there – brilliant!

Mirror at the DeMorgenzon winery in South Africa

Oh, and there’s a place you shouldn’t go to for food, seriously; just don’t! The waterfront is nice for shopping, especially the watershed. But just don’t eat there, take an UBER, ride it for a couple of minutes and go to a decent restaurant (like Pigalle…. ). I’m quite sure you’ll even pay less.

And here’s one last recommendation for y’all. I documented my activities on social media quite intensely. The lovely folks at the Paper Jet travel agency in Durban noticed (good social media monitoring!) and contacted me in a very nice way. Rest assured that I now know who I’ll ask for an offer next time I head to South Africa; with a bit more time. I will make sure that there’s enough time for a decent safari trip!

I loved this scene on Shortmarket street:

Street scene at Shortmarket Capetown

Street scene at Shortmarket Capetown

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Sonntag sei schlechtes Wetter….

Sagt gerade der Mann am Radio.

Da könnte man doch zur Gourmesse pilgern.

Wolfgang Fassbender fragt drüben bei der NZZ Stefan Schramm, weshalb man vorbeischauen sollte.

Ich würde ja bloss hingehen, um mir wie jedes Jahr eine Flasche Kirsch vom Humbel zu holen. Immer wieder. Jedes Jahr eine Freude. Na ja, ich bin mir sicher, dass mir noch “ein bisschen” mehr auf- und gefallen wird.

Punktlandung, wie immer im Oktober.

Dieses Jahr mit der Cuvée 153. Alte FlascheLeere Kirschflasche leer war genau am letzten Samstag. Und sonntags ging’s an die Gourmesse, neue Flasche holen. Dieses Mal die Nr. 4 Schattenmorelle Sauerkirsch, Kirschflasche vollnatürlich sortenrein.

Das tönt natürlich alles kryptisch, die Auflösung ist aber recht simpel – ich habe ein kleines Spiel mit mir selbst am laufen – Jedes Jahr an der Gourmesse leiste ich mir eine Flasche Kirsch von der Spezialtätenbrennerei Humbel. Die zurecht als eine der besten Brennereien in der Schweiz (und wohl auch weiter) gilt, da können die Grossen einpacken. Das kleine Spiel ist, ganz einfach, dass ich mir die 50 cl Kirsch über ein Jahr lang genehmige und versuche, den Zustand “Flasche leer” genau am Abend vor der nächsten Gourmesse zu erreichen. Das gelang mir über die letzten 5 Jahre bestens. Macht Spass und verteilt die Freude schön über ein Jahr.

An die Brände von Humbel kommt wohl der deutsche Produzent Ziegler schon ran [oder umgekehrt, das sei dem geneigten Leser Trinker überlassen]. Der, respektive ein alter Freund aus Deutschland, der mich vor etwa 15 Jahren mit einem sehr schönen sortenreinen Ziegler auf den Kirsch-Geschmack brachte, Schuld.

Na ja, mal sehen, ob von unserer Reise nach Berlin gegen Ende Oktober vielleicht auch noch eine Flasche sortenreiner Ziegler den Weg retour nach Zürich findet.

Letzthin, bei Buchers

Wir hatten da letzthin nett was zu feiern… [die Auflösung dieses kleinen Rätsels folgt anfangs Oktober]. Getreu der Aussage, dass ich einen einfachen Geschmack habe 🙂 fiel mir ein, dass ich bei SmittenKitchen ein sehr verlockendes Rezept, um Spare Ribs im Backofen zuzubereiten, entdeckt hatte.

Gesagt, getan; beim Metzger meines Vertrauens genug Spare Ribs bestellt und mich am Samstag mittag [merke, mittag, hier geht’s ums Nachtessen…] die Gewürzmischung zubereitet, die Rippchen liebevoll damit eingerieben, sie eingepackt und für die nächsten 6 [!!!] Stunden in den Ofen verfrachtet. [Tipps für’s Nachkochen: ja, es braucht wirklich soviel Zucker, aber auf jeden Fall die Menge Salz etwas erhöhen, sonst ist’s etwas fest süss. Mit den Gewürznelken eher sparsam umgehen, sonst wird’s gar weihnachtlich].

Nun, das Resultat konnte sich sehen, respektive beissen lassen – sehr fein und zur Wiederholung empfohlen. Dieses Bild hier Die kläglichen Überreste der samstäglichen Spare Ribs.

spricht wohl für sich selbst, respektive für das Rezept.

Der Wein, ein 2006 Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon,  gekauft bei unseren Freunden vom Winebroker passte ausgezeichnet dazu.

Ein rundum gelungener Abend. Das fand übrigens auch unser vierbeiniger Gast, der sich hier verschämt von der Kamera abwendet. Dabei hat er doch gar nichts gemacht….Barney