It’s been close to two weeks since I moved to Cape Town and I’m loving it! I somehow got really lucky in that I got a job at a company that is pretty much perfect for me, and I get to work in their Cape Town office while I wait for my UK visa to be approved, so I’ll be here at least another month.
I’ve only ever been to CT on weekend trips, and I don’t think I’ve been here more than 6 or 7 times, so it’s great to have time on my side in terms of trying out everything food related this city has to offer. If you check out my favourited tweets, you’ll see what’s on my list (I only ever pick places to eat based on word of mouth.)
Work has been quite busy during the week (also I’m just starting to get used to working again), so I tend to cook or eat something quick and easy on weekdays, and then eat out most of the weekend.
It’s located in the city centre, on Waterkant Street. The area is pretty quiet on weekends, but once you step into the restaurant the ambiance changes completely. It’s one of those places that doesn’t need much to make it vibey and it has such a good energy. Jacques Erasmus is the chef and creative head behind the concept, and what makes Hemelhuijs special is that it isn’t just the menu that is seasonal, the entire restaurant changes according to the seasons- so if you go four times a year, you’ll have a completely different experience each time.
I would describe the cuisine as homely fine dining. There are lots of breakfast options and then heartier lunch options. Think cream of cauliflower and chestnut soup with hints of truffle, or an open burger (more a sandwich really) of slow roasted beef brisket with prune and peppercorn creme. I had the white pepper fried calamari dressed with radish, green apple and miso mayonnaise. The presentation was beautiful and I loved the unusual addition of radish and apple, but did find the dish a bit too peppery (I guess this could have been expected since white pepper was the focal point!) Lately I’ve been opting against eating at gourmet restaurants in favour of more simple, heartier meals but this restaurant offers the best of both. I love beautiful food, but I want to feel satisfied at the end of a meal, not feel as though I’ve hardly eaten- which is the case at most gourmet restaurants.
For dessert, we shared a milk tart and also tried their homemade chai which was delicious.
Some restaurants just make you want to linger.. and that we did, staying until the doors closed at 3pm. We sipped on wine, and admired the gorgeous homeware available for purchase as well as “The Botanicals”, a collection of leaves and flowers that is pressed on acid free paper or pure linen.
Prices are really reasonable and it’s a wonderful treat as an alternative to the average daytime breakfast or lunch spot where you know exactly what you’re going to get.
There were a couple of walk-ins while we were there who managed to get tables, but I’d recommend booking just to be safe.
Hemelhuijs Address: 71 Waterkant Street
Hemelhuijs Opening Hours: 9am- 4pm Mon- Fri, 9am- 3pm Sat
Hemelhuijs Phone Number: 021 418 2042
Yum! Enjoy 🙂
*Photo Credit: Myburgh du Plessis for photography and Jacques Erasmus for styling