Since its inception in 1998, the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurants Awards has presented an annual ceremony commemorating the best restaurants in South Africa. The Eat Out Restaurant Awards celebrates the country’s ever-growing culinary industry by awarding excellence the best restaurants, chefs and establishments in the South African food and wine scene.
This year, the country’s shining 20 culinary talents were honoured at the annual ceremony that took place at Grand West in Cape Town on Sunday the 18th of November 2018.
With the top 10 positions announced, your gastronomical bucket list for the year ahead is set. Take a look at the Eat Out Award’s official list of the best restaurants in South Africa for 2018.
1. The Restaurant at Waterkloof
Located at the splendid Waterkloof wine estate in Somerset West, The Restaurant at Waterkloof takes first place. With a thrilling fusion of South African and French cuisine, fine dining at The Restaurant is accompanied by world-class South African wines, not forgetting the awe-inspiring views of the vineyard.
Revered chef Gregory Czarnecki runs the show with his masterful culinary mind that merges traditional French principles of cooking with punching South African flavours and ingredients. With his simplistic yet masterful style, he has earned global recognition and this year.
2. The Test Kitchen
Presented by renowned chef Luke Dale-Roberts, The Test Kitchen team is no stranger to South Africa’s fine dining culinary awards.
Situated in the buzzing Old Biscuit Mill building in Woodstock, the interior of the restaurant is vibey, intimate and modern, while the menu oozes out-of-this-world creativity and tastiness. The dining experience at the Test Kitchen is a gastronomical adventure that will leave you feeling like royalty.
3. La Colombe
Situated on the mountain slopes of Silvermist Wine Estate, boasting magnificent views of the Constantia Valley, La Colombe is one of South Africa’s most iconic fine dining restaurants.
Presenting numerous imaginative yet elegant dishes, Chefs Scot Kirton and James Gaags derive inspiration from the fusion of Asian and French cuisine. Using their impressive techniques and acute attention to detail, these chefs continue to craft classically graceful dishes with clean flavours and seasonal local produce.
Highly acclaimed restaurant, Wolfgat, takes fourth place on the list. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding West Coast area and its seasonal transformations, Winner of the 2018 Eat Out S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna Chef of the Year, chef Kobus van der Merwe’s cuisine is a fresh and unique celebration of the nearby landscape.
The menu comprises of tasting dishes of local seafood and meats, with wild herb rubs and organic pickings from the garden.
5. La Petite Colombe
Making its first appearance in the Top 10, the younger sister restaurant to La Colombe, La Petite Colombe, as taken the culinary world by storm.
Situated in South Africa’s gastronomical corner, Franschhoek, La Petite Colombe wows its patrons with cleverly conceptualised and carefully constructed dishes.
6. Greenhouse at Cellars-Hohenort
The Greenhouse at Cellars-Hohenort hotel is a celebration of South Africa’s heritage and abundant resources. Acclaimed chef Peter Tempelhoff takes a thoughtful look at the way in which food impacts our bodies, and uses this philosophy to craft delectable, inspired meals.
7. Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient
Located in Pretoria, the Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient offers a unique twist on fine dining. Chef Chantel Dartnall tells a culinary fairy tale through the melding of art with food. Her delicate yet playful plating and innovative flavours compliment the surrounding space which is influenced by the various cities she has visited throughout her culinary career.
8. Camphors at Vergelegen
Located on the popular wine farm, Vergelegen in Somerset West, Camphors takes the eighth spot on the top ten list at the year’s Eat Out Awards. Overlooking expansive lawns and historical trees, the restaurant’s Chef Michael Cooke takes inspiration from the farm itself, weaving it into the dishes on offer. Named after the ancient Camphor trees planted in the 1700’s, the restaurant’s menu produces delightful seasonal flavours with the use of very local produce and ingredients found on the farm itself.
9. Jardine Restaurant
Award-winning chef George Jardine’s restaurant is the epitome of elegance and innovativeness. Paying special attention to detail, each of the dishes served at Jardine Restaurant are generous, vibrant and elegant. The space itself is small and intimate, creating a comfortable feel that will have you feeling relaxed, and of course, well fed!
10. Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia
Situated on the slopes of the Constantia Valley, with wondrous views of expansive vineyards, Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia is one of the top restaurants for foodies alike. Pairing delicious meals of classical flavours with some of the best wine in Cape Town, chefs Ivor Jones and Liam Tomlin’s culinary partnership continues to deliver a delectable dining experience, with thrilling flavours, delicious tapas and lush wines.
Just outside of the top ten spots are the following highly commendable restaurants:
- 11. Fermier Restaurant (Die Wilgers, Pretoria)
- 12. Jordan Restaurant (Stellenbosch)
- 13. Foliage (Franschhoek)
- 14. Le Coin Français (Franschhoek)
- 15. The Chef’s Table (Umhlanga, Durban)
- 16. Chef’s Warehouse at Maison (Franschhoek)
- 17. La Tete (City Bowl, Cape Town)
- 18. Overture (Stellenbosch)
- 19. The Shortmarket Club (City Bowl, Cape Town)
- 20. The Pot Luck Club (Woodstock, Cape Town)
Add a dinner or lunch service at one of these highly acclaimed restaurants to your itinerary. View our Food and Wine Experiences or contact us and we’ll help you plan an incredible vacation in Southern Africa!