Cape Town’s first Restaurant Week, which will run from 22 to 29 September, was launched with a bang at the Mount Nelson Hotel. Restaurateurs, celebrity chefs, food bloggers and the media shared Pongracz, oysters and macaroons, whilst listening to an opening address by Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism.
“We are the culinary mecca of Africa,” said Mariette, “and we support projects such as this, which help us compete with some of the world’s best culinary destinations.”
As DiningCity SA, the main sponsor behind the event, also launched its on-line, real time restaurant review and reservation service, Mariette emphasized how important it was to be digitally connected. ”Armed with Smart Phones and iPads, today’s travelers are ‘Digital Nomads’”, exploring a hyper-connected world where, “if we do not get on board, we run the risk of becoming irrelevant and obsolete.”
Restaurant Week, an event which has previously only happened in Europe and Asia, will give diners a chance to enjoy specially created menus at the top restaurants, for a fixed price that is much lower than the normal price. The concept is simple: guests can enjoy a three course lunch or dinner at the top restaurants for R125 or R200, respectively. Restaurants enjoying a DiningCity star will cost an extra R50.
Guests at the launch also saw a demonstration of how easy it is to book online for restaurant week with DiningCity’s website www.restaurantweek.co.za. Bookings are real-time and all last minute spots will be in a news feed on the site and at www.twitter.com/RSeats
“In other locations, such as Amsterdam and Singapore, restaurants have been booked out within the first week that the reservation site was open,” said Tertius van Oosthuyzen, CEO of DiningCity SA.
Participating restaurants include the Planet Restaurant at the Mount Nelson, The Round House Restaurant, Pigalle, The Duchess of Wisbeach, Roca Restaurant at Dieu Donne Estate and Haute Cabrière, in Franschhoek. A complete list of participating restaurants in the greater Cape Town area can be viewed at www.restaurantweek.co.za.