Steenberg in the Constantia Valley is fast making its mark as one of the culinary ‘hotspots’ in the Western Cape, with fine dining restaurant Catharina’s and trendy Bistro Sixteen82 both scooping an American Express Platinum Fine Dining Award this year.
The internationally recognized American Express awards platform was created 15 years ago to acknowledge those food and wine-serving establishments that set the standard for a top quality dining experience. This year, only 83 restaurants from all over South Africa received the coveted award, 18 of which are based along the Cape Peninsula.
A feather in the cap for Steenberg, Chef Garth Almazan’s Catharina’s Restaurant is celebrating its 15th American Express award this year, while it is the second one for Chef Brad Ball and Bistro Sixteen82, which made its debut onto the list last year, shortly before celebrating its second birthday.
According to restaurant critic Victor Strugo, who has been on the judging panel since the inception of the American Express Fine Dining Awards, modern diners are accepting a more open minded interpretation of what constitutes ‘fine dining’. He comments: ‘If the food is good and they understand their wine well, there is now scope for many types of restaurants and cuisine to be included and recognized, including urban chic, rustic and ethnic’.
Catharina’s, which has been a longstanding landmark on Cape Town’s wine and fine dining scene, recently started sharing space in its historical building with Gorgeous by Graham Beck, South Africa’s first brand-exclusive bubbly bar. With its approach to cuisine that is ‘finely presented’, it is set to keep Steenberg firmly on the culinary map as one of the Cape’s most exciting wine and food destinations.