I recently acquired a copy of Rossouw’s Restaurants 2009. It has changed a lot from the 2008 version. Apart from the new look which is smaller and hardcover, it includes restaurants in Gauteng, although much less than Western Cape restaurants. There are in fact 4 sections: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route and Gauteng.
All the meals are unannounced and paid for in full, removing much of the potential bias. This is something which I feel is very important when it comes to reviewing restaurants and is a policy I use myself. In his introductory comments, JP Rossouw draws attention to the fact that restaurants often vary in quality over time as there are many factors which can impact the quality. Just because a restaurant is reviewed as good or bad, doesn’t meant it will stay like that forever, so just as I do, he welcomes feedback from other diners in order to monitor the general standard of the various establishments. If you wish to read JP’s notes on his various dining experiences, check out his blog at www.rossouwsrestaurants.com and feel free to post your comments. I comment there regularly and I know that JP follows Relax with Dax and has commented here several times too.
The first thing I did when I got my hands on the book, was to page through and see if I agree with his ratings of the top restaurants and the bottom restaurants. Apart from a few discrepancies, we were in agreement. I enjoy the short reviews and summary information. I don’t have time to read long rambling reviews, I just want a general feel and specific advice on each place along with the price range and contact details. This is all provided in an easy to read format.
The guide does not contain reviews of every restaurant, but there are certainly a lot which are included. Over time the guide will expand to include more, especially in Gauteng as this is the first one to include Gauteng. I gave some thought to how someone might use the guide, obviously reading it from cover to cover is an option, marking off restaurants which have tickled your fancy. But I think a good way to use the guide is to use it when choosing a restaurant. It has lists at the back, indexed by star, food type and location, allowing you to choose a suitable restaurant on whichever criteria suits you. Also, if you have chosen a restaurant, double checking with Rossouw’s Guide could help avoid unnecessary disappointment.
Rossouw’s Restaurant Guide cost R150 and is available at most book stores or on the website.