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Restaurant ordering 2.0

With all these burning questions, are there any solutions?

11 Nov 2010

The cyberways have been red-hot this last week with comments and reactions to my article about wine mark-ups at wine farm restaurants. If you haven’t read it yet, then check it out here and see what everyone has been saying about the subject.

Wine mark-ups are a guaranteed way to get people’s blood boiling – too much, too little, should there be any at all – everybody has a different opinion. The subject of a wine farm restaurant marking up the wine farm’s own wines by 100+% and more has proved to be quite complex and it has been fantastic to see wine farms, wine farm restaurants and others all engaging in the debate. Read the latest instalment here.

So how do you know if the wine farm is ripping you off on its own wines in its own restaurant? Well, you must add it to the growing list of questions you have to ask before a sip of wine or a forkful of food gets near your lips! It’s great that we are all becoming more aware of what we are eating and drinking, but boy – am I ever glad I’m not a waitress these days!

Take, for example, the issue of fish. More and more retailers (and ordinary folk) are becoming SASSI-savvy, trying to preserve fish stocks for the future. So when you sit down at a restaurant, check out the linefish options and then sms the name of the fish to 079 499 8795 to find out if it is on the orange or red list.

Meat-free Mondays is gathering momentum all over the place – good for the environment and good for your health as well. We’ve got plenty of recipes for you to cook at home, but if you want a great restaurant which offer delicious vegetarian specials, then try Catharina’s at Steenberg.


The new buzz-word in town these days is ‘provenance’ – where do your meat and vegetables come from and have they been raised or grown in ethical and sustainable ways?  Sam Wilson and Aletta Lintvelt recently went to the new restaurant at Paul Cluver’s wine estate where most of the produce is grown onsite or comes from neighbouring farms – read all about their visit. And I lunched at Laborie last week and chatted with new chef, Alicia Gillomee who is very clued up as to what she puts on her plates – check out my review.

Phew! All these questions to go through and not a morsel of food or drink has even got to the table! I know it is better for everything that we are all more aware of the consequences of our actions, but has it gone a bit too far, I wonder? And what will we all be complaining about when every waitress has to spend 15 minutes at each table explaining everything about everything to everybody? Yes, that’s right – how slow the service is at that particular restaurant. You can’t win, can you, but perhaps on balance, it is better to try at the very least!

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