Spring is itching to get underway here in the Mother City. Gauteng, I believe you guys are in mid-summer already, and Durban, well isn’t it always like Mauritius there?
It’s almost time for restaurant owners around the country to dust off the outdoor furniture, brush the cobwebs off the sun umbrellas and start stocking up on jugs for delicious summer cocktails (and tap water). I am salivating at the thought of eating lunch on a deck somewhere wearing my shorts, sunglasses and flip flops.
Summer is a whole different ball-game to crackling fires, comfort food, red wine and set menus. So we want to know from our readers what you would like to see happening at restaurants this summer.
Here is Food24’s list of tips for restaurateurs this summer:
1. A sea view. Well that rules out most restaurants in Cape Town, and obviously Gauteng etc. Durban and PE and The Garden Route corner the market there. So make the most of it.
2. More craft beer – we love it. Or even just more beer on tap. Woodlands Eatery has a great range – have you tried the Devil’s Peak IPA yet? You should.
3. Less expensive cocktails – make them simpler, with less fancy ingredients - no one is prepared to pay R60 for one drink, even if it has pomegranates in it.
4. A really good list of white wines, rosés and white blends – and you needn't make our eyes water at the prices – there are lots of easy-drinking, quality wines out there now - check out The Best Value Wine Guide 2013.
5. As much outdoor seating as you can possibly manage, we realise some places are limited in this respect, so squeeze those tables in – I’d rather sit outside squashed up, than inside with lots of space and no vibe.
6. Shade. Please provide shade.
7. Enough waiters to service the busy outdoor sections – instead of 3 standing inside spinning their trays.
8. Live music - it's such a good accompaniment to jugs of craft beer – Sotano in Mouille Point is great for this.
9. More kid-friendly is always a win – a box of crayons and some colouring books won’t set you back too much. Maybe a basket of toys? Tokara does this and it is a hit with the folks, and the kids, and subsequently the other diners.
10. Go wild with a massive salad section on your menus – and be creative with lighter meals.
So there are our thoughts, and we have listed some restaurants here as examples. But we’d like you to send in your ideas for summer restaurants and tips for the best places to go to on beautiful days. Tell us what you think they are doing right. Or wrong. Tell us what you’d like to see more of. Or less of.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts and the person with the most constructive ideas will be sent a R500 Kalahari voucher.
Everybody welcomes constructive criticism. Don’t they?