Cape Town’s top tapas restaurant, Chefs Warehouse, will be expanding to popular Beau Constantia wine estate with Ivor Jones (ex Test Kitchen) as head chef.
Beau Constantia originally opened their wine lounge offering sushi through a collaboration with Sushi Box. What was meant to be a pop-up for Summer continued for 18-months before Sushi Box decided to focus on expansion plans in town. Beau Constantia needed to come up with a new food offering, but they wanted something special, something to complement the beautiful view, delicious wines and tasteful architecture. Chef’s Warehouse was the logical choice.
There are significant renovations involved as Beau Constantia will be expanding the lounge and converting the bar into an open kitchen. Initial projections are for a public launch in late 2016.
Plates for days #thechefswarehouse #chefswarehouse #holyshit
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Yes, you can still visit Beau Constantia for wine tasting while the renovations take place, and there are cheese platters available for those that like something to nibble with their wine. And yes, the collaboration with Darling Brew remains. You’ll still be able to quench your thirst with a crisp, cold Darling beer on tap.
Tell me more!
We visited Beau Constantia and chatted to owner Pierre de Preez as well as chef Ivor Jones, to get the low down on the new partnership. Pierre and his wife are big fans of Chef’s Warehouse in Bree Street and they were determined that it would be the perfect fit for Beau Constantia. As a wine farm that prides itself on being different in every way from architecture to food offering to wine style, it was important that the food offering continue to be something unique in the Constantia Valley.
Realising that food is a major drawcard for visitors, the pop-up idea was scrapped and then began the journey to finding a serious food offering that would put Beau Constantia at the forefront of people’s minds when planning their visit to the Constantia Valley, or any wine region for that matter.
Liam Tomlin liked the idea but did not have the resources to commit to the project. With his responsibilities consulting to Singita and opening a restaurant in the old Takumi space on Park Road (watch this space!), Liam knew he had to find the perfect person to run the new Chef’s Warehouse. Someone who was not only experienced, skilled and dedicated but someone who wanted to take on the responsibility of his own place and would not be looking to Liam for input every day. When Liam heard that Ivor Jones was leaving his position as head chef at The Test Kitchen, with a mind to do his own thing, he knew he had the perfect candidate.
A few phone calls, a few meetings, maybe a couple of glasses of wine, and it was all agreed. Brainstorming began, plans were drafted and the word has spread. Pierre is driving the renovations, Ivor is dreaming up amazing dishes to serve his guests and Liam is providing his expert advice on both sides. Ivor tells us that he is looking forward to moving away from complicated dishes and serving tapas in the style of Chefs Warehouse, which are simple, flavourful and substantial. Pierre has promised Ivor a hectare large food garden on the farm, which will potentially provide up to 70% of the kitchen’s fresh produce requirements and ensure unbeatable freshness.
As with Chefs Warehouse, the menu will be changing almost daily but with a few regular dishes that are always popular. It will even feature some of the more popular dishes from the original Chef’s Warehouse like the Vietnamese oysters and the lemon posset dessert.
Pricing will be similar too, with a tapas platter for two costing R540. Only Beau Constantia wines will be available, at a small mark up from the cellar price. Beer lovers will be pleased to hear that the collaboration with Darling will continue, with Beau Constantia retaining its position as the only wine farm in Constantia selling Darling beer on tap. They are even having a special beer brewed specifically for the estate.
You'll be able to make reservations
The cherry on the top is that, unlike Chef’s Warehouse in Bree St, they will allow table reservations while still keeping a portion of the tables available for walk-ins. Many will also be pleased to learn that they will not be emulating Chef’s Warehouse in using tables as thin as gymnastic beams, but will be aiming to provide a more comfortable, but still intimate, experience.
The restaurant opening times are still to be finalised, but for now the plan is lunch and early evening tapas. Daylight hours means guests get to enjoy the beautiful view, one of the things for which Beau Constantia is famous.After chatting to Pierre and Ivor, we’re convinced it’s going to be one of the best dining experiences in Cape Town and we can’t wait to experience it.
- Dax Villanueva